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The Liverpool defender today announced he will retire at the end of the season

Dear Footballers

Thick as a parrot: a new American study claims that repeatedly heading the ball can make footballers lose up to ten IQ points.So what else is new?

43 years for footballer's killer

43 years for footballer's killer

Footballers are free to go on the wing

From Mr Gordon Taylor

Mistrial looms as judge expels more OJ jurors

Los Angeles - Odds that the OJ Simpson case will end in a mistrial, and that a second murder trial will have to be held, arose yesterday after two more jurors were thrown out of the courtroom, writes Phil Reeves.

The referee who knew the score

Today we are bringing you a football yarn for boys! So here we go, here we go, here we go then with a story entitled:

Clarke compares executive rewards to footballers' pay

A good business executive is worth at least as much as a good footballer, Kenneth Clarke, the Chancellor, declared yesterday.

Progressive : WORDS

WHEN Her Majesty's Chief Inspector, Chris Woodhead, reported last week that schools were being too soft on their pupils - letting them work at their own pace, leaving them to enjoy finding things out for themselves and so on - the press knew just what he was talking about. He was attacking "progressive methods" (I don't think he actually used the phrase in his report). But the odd thing about progressive is that although it clearly suggests the new, the breakaway, the avant-garde - it is, after all, only an adaptation of the Latin verb meaning "to advance" - it has at the same time a pleasingly old-fashioned ring, inducing nostalgia and the backward look. The great days of the progressive school movement were just before and after the First World War, when a whole crop of experimental establishments flourished, often enraging the readers of the Morning Post. Chesterton mocked the vegetarian Shaw for his "bad progressive education"; he wrote that in 1910. The Punch cartoonist Pont drew a miserable, weedy, wild-haired schoolboy with the caption "My parents have a theory about education". And there was an American journal called Progressive Education.

Sports Letter: Name-dropping

Sir: Johan Cruijff has been a unique football player and manager. However, if it isn't too much of an honour for him to have his surname translated into English (Cruyff), it definitely is for a rising star like his son Jordi.

Swedish footballer struck by lightning is back on the ball

VERONICA RONN (inset), a Swedish soccer player, took her first steps yesterday since being struck by lightning two weeks ago and blown out of her boots. The lightning bolt stopped her heart for four minutes and caused burns all over her body as she stood in goal. The blast ripped her football boots and shinguards (above) to shreds and set them on fire.

Sports Letters: Disappearing footballers

Sir: In the context of the current debate on penalties as a method of settling matches in World Cup football still drawn after extra time, would it not be a preferable solution to institute a rule whereby after every five or 10 minutes one or two players from each team, at the choice of the managers, be taken off the field? This could be instituted either during any initial period of extra time or afterwards, during a sudden-death period.

Silly Questions: I before E except after K. See?

WHY is it 'i' before 'e' except after 'c'? Readers offer weird and weighty scientific explanations. 'The rule,' writes Keith Knight, 'was part of the vindictive measures against the Scots after the '45 Rebellion of Bonnie Prince Charlie. As well as banning tartans and bagpipes (a good thing), introduction of the spelling rule was a psychological weapon against anyone named Keith.' Mr Knight's own paranoia and identity crisis have been traced back to problems in spelling his name. He appeals to all parents to consider the consequences of their actions when naming offspring.

Letter: MPs make hard work of tired excuses

Sir: Am I unreasonable to be somewhat offended at the suggestion in your leading article 'A professional Parliament' (21 May) that one of the essential reasons for the recent spate of scandals involving Tory MPs is the long hours demanded of them by Parliament?

View from City Road: Few defenders of executives' pay

Finding non-executive directors prepared to recommend huge salaries for company bosses is a piece of cake, if the growing number of pounds 1m- plus awards is anything to go by. Finding non-executive directors prepared to defend them is, however, rather more difficult.

Letter: The 'new right' misrepresents Adam Smith

I AM delighted that someone has finally dared to set the record straight on the calumnies the 'new right' has been spreading about Adam Smith ('I see, said the blind man', 13 March). Since I am a Kirkcaldy-born man, it has always irked me that the philosophy of Smith, born in a period of enlightenment, should be so misrepresented by those without his intellectual vigour or humanitarianism.

City File: Martin Taylor

MARTIN Taylor's appointment as chief executive of Barclays bought much praise for his management style. But Wednesday's half-year results at his old company, Courtaulds Textiles, will show even he is not perfect.
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Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there