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

ShareLink float hugely oversubscribed

David Jones, chief executive of ShareLink, the telephone-based share dealing service, said the company's pounds 42m flotation had been 7.9 times subscribed, and that more than 60 per cent of the individual subscribers were existing ShareLink customers. Dealing starts next Friday.

Optimism gives way to anger after new comments

THE judge professed 'immense sympathy' for the relatives of the dead man, yesterday, writes Stephen Ward.

Steep decline in complaints against members of SFA

COMPLAINTS against stockbrokers and other members of the Securities and Futures Authority have fallen sharply, writes Paul Durman.

BOOK REVIEW / Paperbacks: B Monkey - Andrew Davies: Minerva, pounds 5.99

Gritty love story between A and B - Alan and Beatrice, whose street-name from the 'days of wild' is B Monkey - explores love, memory, fear, jealousy and eroticism in quick-snap dialogue and interior monologue. High-octane, street-wise and dirty-talking, with a not so reluctant romanticism that always shows through.

Sports Letters: The bad shepherd

Sir: So often we see a footballer shepherding the ball over the byline and in so doing preventing an opposition player reaching the ball. More often than not a defender is guilty of blatant obstruction, but the referee rarely gives a free-kick against the offender. Why do the officials more often than not turn a blind eye against what is obviously a breach of the rules?

Sports Letters: Football's offside law

Sir: I missed the earlier correspondence on the offside law. On reading Paul White's comments (Sports Letters, 14 January) I think that the re-marking of pitches would be quite unnecessary. Surely the simplest way to create more penalty- box activity is to treat all direct free-kicks (eg for fouls) in the same way as a throw-in. At present, a foul committed generally leads to defenders pushing up to the halfway line and often results in another free-kick being given when forwards are caught offside. By ruling that no offside shall count if the ball is played directly from a free- kick, the defenders would no longer be free to squeeze play into 10 yards either side of the halfway line. Forwards would be able to get as far forward as they like and the team which had given away the free-kick would stand more chance of being punished.

MUSIC / Upbeat: Game and set

ANOTHER move towards Mark McCormack's domination of the European concert agency field: IMG Artists (Europe), the London-based classical music wing of the US sports management supremo's empire, has plucked two of the leading singers' managers from rival agencies, writes Andrew Green. Tom Graham of Harrison/Parrott and Diana Mulgan of Lies Askonas Ltd have agreed to form an opera department for IMG. There seems little doubt that most, if not all, of the singers they represent will follow them: the lists include such names as Olaf Baer, Barbara Bonney, Samuel Ramey and Karita Mattila.

Obituary: Ray Wilkie

Ray Wilkie, footballer, died aged 56. Played for Crook Town in 1959 FA Amateur Cup final. Was manager/chairman of Gateshead, where he was a successful businessman; led Barrow to success in FA Trophy final in 1990.
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Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Dubrovnik, the Dalmatian Coast & Montenegro
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Lisbon, Oporto and the Douro Valley
Lake Garda, Venice & Verona
Spain
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As in 1942, Germany must show restraint over Greece

As in 1942, Germany must show restraint over Greece

Mussolini tried to warn his ally of the danger of bringing the country to its knees. So should we, says Patrick Cockburn
Britain's widening poverty gap should be causing outrage at the start of the election campaign

The short stroll that should be our walk of shame

Courting the global elite has failed to benefit Britain, as the vast disparity in wealth on display in the capital shows
Homeless Veterans appeal: The rise of the working poor: when having a job cannot prevent poverty

Homeless Veterans appeal

The rise of the working poor: when having a job cannot prevent poverty
Prince Charles the saviour of the nation? A new book highlights concerns about how political he will be when he eventually becomes king

Prince Charles the saviour of the nation?

A new book highlights concerns about how political he will be when he eventually becomes king
How books can defeat Isis: Patrick Cockburn was able to update his agenda-setting 'The Rise of Islamic State' while under attack in Baghdad

How books can defeat Isis

Patrick Cockburn was able to update his agenda-setting 'The Rise of Islamic State' while under attack in Baghdad
Judith Hackitt: The myths of elf 'n' safety

Judith Hackitt: The myths of elf 'n' safety

She may be in charge of minimising our risks of injury, but the chair of the Health and Safety Executive still wants children to be able to hurt themselves
The open loathing between Barack Obama and Benjamin Netanyahu just got worse

The open loathing between Obama and Netanyahu just got worse

The Israeli PM's relationship with the Obama has always been chilly, but going over the President's head on Iran will do him no favours, says Rupert Cornwell
French chefs get 'le huff' as nation slips down global cuisine rankings

French chefs get 'le huff' as nation slips down global cuisine rankings

Fury at British best restaurants survey sees French magazine produce a rival list
Star choreographer Matthew Bourne gives young carers a chance to perform at Sadler's Wells

Young carers to make dance debut

What happened when superstar choreographer Matthew Bourne encouraged 27 teenage carers to think about themselves for once?
Design Council's 70th anniversary: Four of the most intriguing prototypes from Ones to Watch

Design Council's 70th anniversary

Four of the most intriguing prototypes from Ones to Watch
Dame Harriet Walter: The actress on learning what it is to age, plastic surgery, and her unease at being honoured by the establishment

Dame Harriet Walter interview

The actress on learning what it is to age, plastic surgery, and her unease at being honoured by the establishment
Art should not be a slave to the ideas driving it

Art should not be a slave to the ideas driving it

Critics of Tom Stoppard's new play seem to agree that cerebral can never trump character, says DJ Taylor
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's winter salads will make you feel energised through February

Bill Granger's winter salads

Salads aren't just a bit on the side, says our chef - their crunch, colour and natural goodness are perfect for a midwinter pick-me-up
England vs Wales: Cool head George Ford ready to put out dragon fire

George Ford: Cool head ready to put out dragon fire

No 10’s calmness under pressure will be key for England in Cardiff
Michael Calvin: Time for Old Firm to put aside bigotry and forge new links

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Time for Old Firm to put aside bigotry and forge new links