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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.

'We need to be patient, but we needed better players,' says Pepe Reina

Reina: We're back where we belong after darkest days in club's history

Once foreign players have become reasonably fluent in English, it is always interesting to note which idiomatic phrases they pick up. Jose "Pepe" Reina must have been listening to former Liverpool stalwart Mark Lawrenson, for he is fond of the pundit's "happy days".

Milan's Robinho celebrates his goal against Arsenal at San Siro; Arsène Wenger needs to be able to pay his best players higher salaries

Ian Holloway: We get the sack because chairmen don't really know about the game

Some of them have egos so big they can't cope. That is when managers get the boot

Plastic pitches could make a return

Plastic pitches in line to return

English football is a step closer to reintroducing artificial pitches after the Football League announced plans to seek opinion on their possible return. The public consultation will run until the end of April and canvass the views of clubs, fans and officials.

Errors & Omissions: This incredible chaos is getting beyond the boundaries of belief

"Chaos on roads and railways to continue today, warn forecasters." That headline appeared over a news story on Monday. It happens every winter: severe weather is greeted by the absurdly overdramatic word "chaos". Of course, "chaos" is a short word, and as such very difficult to keep out of headlines.

Robin Scott-Elliot: Bernstein deserves credit for firm and decisive leadership

When John Terry was last relieved of his duties as captain of England it was a decision made by Fabio Capello. A four-man gathering of the Football Association's key suited players, including the chairman Lord Triesman, decided to leave the manager to have the final say. This time it was the chairman, David Bernstein, who took the lead and the chairman who informed Terry of his fate. The events of the last two days at the business end of Wembley Way have smacked of firm and decisive leadership, something that has not always appeared the FA way.

Syd Thomas: Footballer for Wales and Fulham

There wasn't much of Syd Thomas, the Welsh international winger who helped Fulham rise to the top flight of English football in 1948-49, but on his day he was a captivating entertainer. Standing 5ft 6in and slight of build, he looked as if he might be eaten alive by some of the brawny full-backs plying their trade in the immediate post-war era, but often his sleight of foot and sudden bursts of acceleration, allied to a fierce determination which belied his diminutive stature, would leave them toiling impotently in his wake.

Club-by-club guide to all the January transfer deals

A full run-down of the transfer ins and outs in the Premier League during the January window.

Portsmouth issued with winding-up petition over unpaid taxes

Portsmouth have been issued with a winding-up petition by HM Revenue and Customs.

Stéphane Sessègnon (right), who scored Sunderland’s first goal and set up their second, is challenged by Joe Allen, of Swansea

Swansea's cool design unpicked by O'Neill

Sunderland 2 Swansea 0

Six footballers held over sex attack

A number of Brighton and Hove Albion footballers and one from AFC Bournemouth have been arrested by police investigating a sex attack.

Gus Poyet shows the strain before Brighton’s victory on penalties

Morrell leads brave fight but Wrexham fall at the last

Wrexham 1 Brighton & Hove Albion 1 (aet; Brighton win 5-4 on penalties)

Strikers doubt for Brighton

Wrexham v Brighton
Christopher says: 'The children clustered around me yelling 'Toubab' - I felt special'

Go with the flow: Charting a course through The Gambia

The Gambia offers sunshine and sunloungers on its Atlantic coast, but it's easy to get off the beaten track and experience a different side of this West African state.

Swansea defender Neil Taylor has played down the speculation linking him with Arsenal

Swansea defender Neil Taylor plays down Arsenal speculation

Swansea defender Neil Taylor has dismissed speculation linking him with a move to Arsenal during the transfer window.

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Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Seven Cities of Italy
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Prague, Budapest and Vienna
Lake Garda
Minoan Crete and Santorini
Prices correct as of 15 May 2015
The Silk Roads that trace civilisation: Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places

The Silk Roads that trace civilisation

Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places
House of Lords: Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled

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Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled
When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race

'When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race'

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International Tap Festival: Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic

International Tap Festival comes to the UK

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War with Isis: Is Turkey's buffer zone in Syria a matter of self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

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Ankara accused of exacerbating racial division by allowing Turkmen minority to cross the border
Doris Lessing: Acclaimed novelist was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show

'A subversive brothel keeper and Communist'

Acclaimed novelist Doris Lessing was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show
Big Blue Live: BBC's Springwatch offshoot swaps back gardens for California's Monterey Bay

BBC heads to the Californian coast

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Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England

Conman Austin Bidwell. was a heartless cad who carried out the most daring forgery the world had known
Car hacking scandal: Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked

Car hacking scandal

Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked
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Protect your table and dine in style with a bold new accessory
Ashes 2015: Alastair Cook not the only one to be caught in The Oval mindwarp

Cook not the only one to be caught in The Oval mindwarp

Aussie skipper Michael Clarke was lured into believing that what we witnessed at Edgbaston and Trent Bridge would continue in London, says Kevin Garside
Can Rafael Benitez get the best out of Gareth Bale at Real Madrid?

Can Benitez get the best out of Bale?

Back at the club he watched as a boy, the pressure is on Benitez to find a winning blend from Real's multiple talents. As La Liga begins, Pete Jenson asks if it will be enough to stop Barcelona
Athletics World Championships 2015: Beijing witnesses new stage in the Jessica Ennis-Hill and Katarina Johnson-Thompson heptathlon rivalry

Beijing witnesses new stage in the Jess and Kat rivalry

The last time the two British heptathletes competed, Ennis-Hill was on the way to Olympic gold and Johnson-Thompson was just a promising teenager. But a lot has happened in the following three years
Jeremy Corbyn: Joining a shrewd operator desperate for power as he visits the North East

Jeremy Corbyn interview: A shrewd operator desperate for power

His radical anti-austerity agenda has caught the imagination of the left and politically disaffected and set a staid Labour leadership election alight
Isis executes Palmyra antiquities chief: Defender of ancient city's past was killed for protecting its future

Isis executes Palmyra antiquities chief

Robert Fisk on the defender of the ancient city's past who was killed for protecting its future