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.

Football fixtures hit by the weather

The cold weather has caused a number of festive football fixtures to be cancelled.

Crusaders complete move to Wrexham

Super League has a new home in Wales – all it needs now is a team to play there. The sale of the ailing Crusaders to Wrexham Football Club was confirmed yesterday, which means that all but two home games next season will be played at the Racecourse Ground. The exceptions will be at Neath, which will also be home to a new South Wales side in the Co-operative Championship 1.

Tomkins can go to the very top, claims Maguire

Sam Tomkins has the ability to become one of the game's all-time greats, according to his new Wigan coach. Michael Maguire, the latest occupant of the hottest seat in Super League, heaped praise on the 20-year-old England stand-off at his first press conference yesterday.

Wilder aspires to get Oxford dreaming

First division is a distant memory but a wily Yorkshireman has university town heading back towards the League

Games Review: Fifa 10

DS, PC, PSP, PS2, Wii, Xbox 360, £29.99 – £49.99

Twelve months and £200m later, are City ready for the big time?

There have been moments which Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed al-Nahyan would not have anticipated when, 12 months ago today, his Abu Dhabi United Group signed the deal which delivered Manchester City from Thaksin Shinawatra's hands into those of the Premier league's wealthiest owners. Foremost amongst them was the indignity of seeing his picture splashed across the front page of The Sun alongside the headline "Sheikh in the Kaka". It accompanied a story highlighting the millions in paper losses that he had sustained on his $3.5bn (£2.15bn) investment in Barclays and his new club's ill-fated attempt to sign Kaka from Milan. Image counts for much in Abu Dhabi. How he must have squirmed.

Savage words may break as many bones as his kicks

It's time for an assault on the ears following a career spent getting up opponents' noses.

It's make your mind up time: campus or countryside?

Wales really has it all: prestigious big-city institutions; campuses in paradise settings; and intimate universities in peaceful countryside surroundings. Andy Sharman weighs up the options

Heat rises on Adams after cup capitulation

Swansea 2 Portsmouth 0: The Portsmouth manager seemed unfazed after the shock defeat by Swansea, but the jackals are circling, reports Tim Collings

Manchester United sign De Laet

Stoke have announced that 20-year-old defender Ritchie De Laet has moved to Manchester United and signed a three-year deal.

Blyth plan to give Allardyce headache

The Blyth Spartans manager, Harry Dunn, has urged his players to grasp a "once-in-a-lifetime opportunity" when they face Blackburn in the FA Cup third round tonight.

Outside the Box: Cup heartache is still hard to shoulder for Blyth boys of '78

Three decades on, in the midst of another mighty FA Cup run by Blyth Spartans, hosts to Sam Allardyce's Blackburn Rovers in the third round tomorrow night, spirits still flag at the thought of what might have been for the Northumberland club's giant-killing heroes of 1978. Five non-League sides have got to the fifth round since the First World War, but only one as far as a fifth-round replay. They were the Blyth boys of '78, who came within a thrice-taken corner kick of a quarter-final tie at home to Arsenal. Alan Shoulder still winces when he recalls what happened next after he and his Spartans team-mates took a 1-0 lead into the final minute of a fifth-round tie against Wrexham played on a bone-hard, icy Racecourse Ground pitch. "It was only when you saw the replays on 'Match of the Day' that you could tell it wasn't even a corner," the former striker says. "That was fair enough, but to take the corner three times was a bit much. "The first time he [Wrexham midfielder Les Cartwright] took it, the corner flag fell over, our keeper [Dave Clarke] caught it and the referee made him take it again. The lad tried to stick the flag back in, took the corner, it fell over again and our keeper caught it again. But at the third time of asking the flag stayed in and Dixie McNeil headed in at the back post. Virtually as soon as we kicked off, the referee blew for time. Alf Grey, his name was. You see a lot of bad refereeing decisions now, but that was hard to take." There was also a contentious penalty award against Blyth in the replay, which they lost 2-1 in front of a 42,000 crowd at St James' Park. Shoulder was a miner at Kelloe Colliery at the time. A year later he was signed by Newcastle and wore the black-and-white No 7 shirt before Kevin Keegan's arrival in 1982. Now 55, he runs an egg retail business near Bishop Auckland.

Dean Saunders: The only way is up

Dean Saunders waited a long time before taking the managerial plunge, but tells Ian Herbert why he is convinced he can succeed at non-league Wrexham

Saunders takes over ailing Wrexham

Former Liverpool and Aston Villa striker Dean Saunders has been given the task of rescuing Wrexham from non-league football. Wales' oldest club suffered relegation from the Football League at the end of last season. But their start in the Blue Star Premier League has been disastrous, and one win in six league games cost Brian Little his job as manager last week.

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Day In a Page

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Backhanders, bribery and abuses of power have soared in China as economy surges

Bribery and abuses of power soar in China

The bribery is fuelled by the surge in China's economy but the rules of corruption are subtle and unspoken, finds Evan Osnos, as he learns the dark arts from a master
Commonwealth Games 2014: Highland terriers stole the show at the opening ceremony

Highland terriers steal the show at opening ceremony

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Brewing the fat from artwork angers widow of sculptor

Part of Joseph Beuys' 1982 sculpture 'Fettecke' used to distil schnapps
BBC's The Secret History of Our Streets reveals a fascinating window into Britain's past

BBC takes viewers back down memory lane

The Secret History of Our Streets, which returns with three films looking at Scottish streets, is the inverse of Benefits Street - delivering warmth instead of cynicism
Joe, film review: Nicolas Cage delivers an astonishing performance in low budget drama

Nicolas Cage shines in low-budget drama Joe

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Ford Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time, with sales topping 4.1 million since 1976

Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time

Sales have topped 4.1 million since 1976. To celebrate this milestone, four Independent writers recall their Fiestas with pride
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Female boxers set to compete at Commonwealth Games for first time

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It’s impossible to avoid the impression that the Dutch manager is playing to the gallery a little
Screwing your way to the top? Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth

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Will the young Britons fighting in Syria be allowed to return home and resume their lives?

Will Britons fighting in Syria be able to resume their lives?

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Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter, the wartime poster girl who became a feminist pin-up

Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter

The wartime poster girl became the ultimate American symbol of female empowerment
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The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones

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Meet the US Army's shooting star

Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform