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Cook ‘desperate’ to lead the rebuilding of England side

Championship round-up: Blades force Pardew to fall on sword

Alan Pardew last night left his role as Charlton manager by mutual consent. The board at The Valley finally lost patience with the 47-year-old following the 5-2 defeat at home to Sheffield United.

Norris explains handcuffs celebration

An under-fire championship soccer player today changed his explanation of the meaning of a controversial goal celebration.

Championship round-up: O'Connor too wise for Owls as McLeish goes on offensive

Frugal in defence, the Championship leaders Birmingham City had been equally parsimonious as goalscorers before manager Alex McLeish chose Garry O'Connor, Kevin Phillips and Cameron Jerome to start against Sheffield Wednesday. Not many dividends are being paid these days, but McLeish's decision paid in full as O'Connor, whose injury time goal was enough to beat Crystal Place on Tuesday, struck twice in the first half, an 11th-minute header and, four minutes later, his fifth goal of the season.

Round up: Jerome helps Blues escape from Burnley unscathed

Even the most well-planned of road trips can go awry as two of the Championship's top three, Birmingham City and Reading, discovered on their travels to the North-west.

Seven years for death crash footballer

A drunken professional footballer was jailed for seven years today for killing two young boys as he drove "like an idiot".

Former Plymouth keeper admits causing death of boys

Former Plymouth Argyle goalkeeper Luke McCormick faces a jail sentence after he admitted causing the deaths of two young children by dangerous driving in a car crash in June.

Championship round-up: Royals look flush as Hunts develop taste for Clarets

Reading's dazzling burst of form shows no sign of abating, their 3-1 defeat of Burnley, taking their Championship goal haul to 10 in eight days and 26 in 10 matches. The Royals followed Tuesday's 3-0 win at Wolves with a similarly confident disposal of the Clarets, Noel Hunt nodding in brother Stephen's cross for the first goal, Stephen heading Reading's second and Shane Long adding the third just after the hour.

Championship round-up: Grayson sees the Seasiders spoil Brum's day out

Birmingham City's 100 per cent home record, and unbeaten start in the Championship, was left in tatters by Blackpool, who thoroughly deserved their 1-0 win at St Andrews. Simon Grayson's side made the breakthrough two minutes into the second half. Ben Burgess had just missed a good chance for Pool when Keith Southern's pass picked out unmarked Chris Taylor-Fletcher who fired in from 10 yards. Brum rarely threatened, but remain second in the table.

Reading 2 Plymouth Argyle 0: Sonko sinks Plymouth's 'waifs and strays'

Paul Sturrock would be the first to admit that he has cast covetous eyes over Reading's squad of players. His own Plymouth team, one that he rather unflatteringly called a "bunch of waifs and strays", were soundly beaten by Steve Coppell's Reading team, courtesy of a set of goals from the defender Ibrahima Sonko at the Madejski Stadium on Saturday.

Gary Megson: 'You need drive and desire, and I don't have time for people who don't have that'

The Brian Viner Interview: Bolton's taskmaster draws inspiration from his former managers as he faces the new Premier League season full of steely determination

Transfer news and speculation, 19 July

West Bromwich Albion have completed the signing of the England goalkeeper Scott Carson from Liverpool. Carson has signed a four-year deal, for an initial fee of £3.25m which could rise by £500,000, depending on "performance-related criteria". The signing is Albion's seventh since they gained promotion in May and brings their summer spending to £13.75m. Roman Bednar, Luke Moore, Doheon Kim, Graham Dorrans, Gianni Zuiverloon and Marek Cech have already been signed. The 22-year-old Carson, who played 35 Premier League games for Aston Villa last season, is second on the all-time list of England Under-21 appearance-makers, with 29, and was in the team that reached the 2007 European Championship semi-finals. Sven-Goran Eriksson, then the England manager, named him in his 2006 World Cup squad and he made two B international appearances before being given his senior debut in a 1-0 win over Austria in November 2007. Five days later, with the regular No 1 Paul Robinson out of form, Carson started the make-or-break Euro 2008 qualifier against Croatia at Wembley which England lost 3-2, confirming their absence from this summer's finals.

Goalkeeper in court over boy's deaths

The mother of two young boys killed in a motorway crash has returned to court to see a Plymouth Argyle footballer charged with causing their deaths.

Footballer charged after children die in crash

Footballer Luke McCormick was charged today with causing the deaths of two young boys by dangerous driving.

A Yorkshire town that has become a battleground for feuding gangs

It is the West Yorkshire town that cannot stay out of the spotlight: the scene of the successful manhunt for the missing nine-year-old Shannon Matthews, one-time home of the 7 July bomber Mohammad Sidique Khan, and the place where the Yorkshire Ripper was questioned after his arrest almost 30 years ago.

Pompey in fight to keep Diarra and Kranjcar

While Harry Redknapp confirmed he wants "two or three signings" and Portsmouth's chief executive, Peter Storrie, said the manager would be given the funds to "strengthen the team" there were indications that the FA Cup winners will have to fight to hold on to Lassana Diarra and Niko Kranjcar, their best two young players.

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