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When Stuart Williams was confronted by the emerging genius of Pele in a quarter-final of the 1958 World Cup in Sweden, the classy and constructive Welsh full-back responded with the performance of his life. That day in Gothenburg, the teenager who would soon be hailed as the greatest footballer of all time, scored the only goal of the game to eliminate valiant opponents who had upset the odds by reaching the last eight. Though deprived of their own star, John Charles, through injury, the scarlet-shirted heroes held out for more than 70 minutes against a sumptuously talented Brazilian attack, in which the prodigy combined to compelling effect with the likes of Garrincha, Didi and Zagalo.

Ryan mighty: England’s winger Ryan Hall scores his second try last night

England 34 France 6 match report: England feel the width with Ryan Hall and Josh Charnley

England survived an early scare to reach the semi-finals of the World Cup, with rather less assurance than New Zealand or Australia, but still with more than enough to spare.

Catalan Dragons aim to add spirit to French flair

This weekend’s quarter-finals are a testing time for the World Cup, not so much for the nations which are expected to go through as for the tournament as a whole.

England full-back Sam Tomkins

Rugby League World Cup: England full-back Sam Tomkins picks out France's Morgan Escare as the dangerman ahead of quarter-final

The World Cup hosts meet France at the DW Stadium and home favourite Tomkins has identified hs opposite number as the man to watch

Monsieur Giroud, left, was by all accounts very pleasant

The O Zone: Arsenal striker Olivier Giroud was at Leyton Orient this week, asking if his pal could join us

The O Zone: Behind the scenes at Leyton Orient

Steve Carney obituary: Newcastle United stalwart of the 1980s

The starry likes of Kevin Keegan, Chris Waddle and Peter Beardsley garnered most of the headlines as Newcastle United rose to the top tier of English football in 1984, but Arthur Cox’s exhilarating side relied on more prosaic contributors too, none more fearsomely committed to the cause than central defender Steve Carney.

Up North: George North scored two tries in Scarlets win over Dragons

George North thrives as regions make themselves heard

This was billed as 'Judgement Day' and in many ways that is exactly what it was for the ailing Welsh regional rugby. Sports promoters often suffer delusions of grandeur when advertising their wares but inadvertently they, for once, hit the nail on the head.

Dean Saunders

Wolves confirm Dean Saunders as new manager

Compensation has been agreed with Doncaster

Mark Hughes' career timeline

Javier Hernandez replaces Ole Gunnar Solskjaer as Manchester United's super-sub

With his stunning performance at Aston Villa on Saturday, Javier Hernandez entered football folklore as one of the game's great substitutes.

River Clywedog death couple drowned

A young mother and her fiance who were found dead at a swollen river had died as a result of drowning, post-mortem examinations found today.

Two drown rescuing dog as autumn storms wreak havoc

Couple were swept away by swollen river during floods that have forced hundreds from homes

Eddie May: Legendary figure of Welsh football

The burly, affable Eddie May looms large in the modern history of Welsh football. During his playing prime in the first half of the 1970s he cut an imposing figure at the heart of the Wrexham rearguard, totalling some 400 senior appearances.

Fleetwood matched by Speight and Wrexham

Fleetwood Town 1 Wrexham 1
Two trains collided head-on in southern Poland, killing over a dozen people

Head-on crash that killed 16 is investigated

An investigation was under way last night after two trains running on the same track crashed head-on in southern Poland, leaving 16 people dead and 58 injured in the country's worst rail disaster in more than 20 years.

Velcro's dramatic save leads football to lift ban on hijab

New pinless headscarf persuades world body to reverse ruling

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Sarah Silverman (middle) with sister Reform Rabbi Susan Silverman (right) and sister actress Laura Silverman (left) at Jerusalem's Western Wall for feminist Hanuka candle-lighting ceremony
peopleControversial comedian stages pro-equality Hanukkah lighting during a protest at Jerusalem's Wailing Wall
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The Bach Choir has been crowned the inaugural winner of Sky Arts’ show The Great Culture Quiz
arts + ents140-year-old choir declared winner of Sky Arts' 'The Great Culture Quiz'
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After another poor series in Sri Lanka, Alastair Cook claimed all players go through a lean period
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Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – Five-star MS Swiss Corona 7 nights from £999pp
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Lake Maggiore, Orta & the Matterhorn 7 nights from £939pp
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Homeless Veterans appeal: 'You look for someone who's an inspiration and try to be like them'

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Could cannabis oil reverse the effects of cancer?

Could cannabis oil reverse effects of cancer?

As a film following six patients receiving the controversial treatment is released, Kate Hilpern uncovers a very slippery issue
The Interview movie review: You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here

The Interview movie review

You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here
Serial mania has propelled podcasts into the cultural mainstream

How podcasts became mainstream

People have consumed gripping armchair investigation Serial with a relish typically reserved for box-set binges
Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up for hipster marketing companies

Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up

Kevin Lee Light, aka "Jesus", is the newest client of creative agency Mother while rival agency Anomaly has launched Sexy Jesus, depicting the Messiah in a series of Athena-style poses
Rosetta space mission voted most important scientific breakthrough of 2014

A memorable year for science – if not for mice

The most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
Christmas cocktails to make you merry: From eggnog to Brown Betty and Rum Bumpo

Christmas cocktails to make you merry

Mulled wine is an essential seasonal treat. But now drinkers are rediscovering other traditional festive tipples. Angela Clutton raises a glass to Christmas cocktails
5 best activity trackers

Fitness technology: 5 best activity trackers

Up the ante in your regimen and change the habits of a lifetime with this wearable tech
Paul Scholes column: It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves

Paul Scholes column

It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves
Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Club World Cup kicked into the long grass by the continued farce surrounding Blatter, Garcia, Russia and Qatar
Frank Warren column: 2014 – boxing is back and winning new fans

Frank Warren: Boxing is back and winning new fans

2014 proves it's now one of sport's biggest hitters again
Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas