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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NHS struggling to monitor the safety and efficacy of its services outsourced to private providers

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A report finds that private firms are not being properly assessed for their quality of care
Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

The Tory MP said he did not want to stand again unless his party's manifesto ruled out a third runway. But he's doing so. Watch this space
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Five voters from different backgrounds tell us what they expect from Syriza's charismatic leader Alexis Tsipras
From Iraq to Libya and Syria: The wars that come back to haunt us

The wars that come back to haunt us

David Cameron should not escape blame for his role in conflicts that are still raging, argues Patrick Cockburn
Sam Baker and Lauren Laverne: Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

A new website is trying to declutter the internet to help busy women. Holly Williams meets the founders
Heston Blumenthal to cook up a spice odyssey for British astronaut manning the International Space Station

UK's Major Tum to blast off on a spice odyssey

Nothing but the best for British astronaut as chef Heston Blumenthal cooks up his rations
John Harrison's 'longitude' clock sets new record - 300 years on

‘Longitude’ clock sets new record - 300 years on

Greenwich horologists celebrate as it keeps to within a second of real time over a 100-day test
Fears in the US of being outgunned in the vital propaganda wars by Russia, China - and even Isis - have prompted a rethink on overseas broadcasters

Let the propaganda wars begin - again

'Accurate, objective, comprehensive': that was Voice of America's creed, but now its masters want it to promote US policy, reports Rupert Cornwell
Why Japan's incredible long-distance runners will never win the London Marathon

Japan's incredible long-distance runners

Every year, Japanese long-distance runners post some of the world's fastest times – yet, come next weekend, not a single elite competitor from the country will be at the London Marathon
Why does Tom Drury remain the greatest writer you've never heard of?

Tom Drury: The quiet American

His debut was considered one of the finest novels of the past 50 years, and he is every bit the equal of his contemporaries, Jonathan Franzen, Dave Eggers and David Foster Wallace
You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

Dave Hax's domestic tips are reminiscent of George Orwell's tea routine. The world might need revolution, but we like to sweat the small stuff, says DJ Taylor
Beige is back: The drab car colours of the 1970s are proving popular again

Beige to the future

Flares and flounce are back on catwalks but a revival in ’70s car paintjobs was a stack-heeled step too far – until now
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's dishes highlight the delicate essence of fresh cheeses

Bill Granger cooks with fresh cheeses

More delicate on the palate, milder, fresh cheeses can also be kinder to the waistline
Aston Villa vs Liverpool: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful,' says veteran Shay Given

Shay Given: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful'

The Villa keeper has been overlooked for a long time and has unhappy memories of the national stadium – but he is savouring his chance to play at Wembley
Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own - Michael Calvin

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own