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.
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Monday 28 December 2009
The cold weather has caused a number of festive football fixtures to be cancelled.
Wednesday 16 December 2009
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.
Wednesday 18 November 2009
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.
Sunday 04 October 2009
Friday 02 October 2009
Tuesday 01 September 2009
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.
Sunday 26 July 2009
Thursday 23 July 2009
Saturday 07 February 2009
Monday 26 January 2009
Thursday 08 January 2009
Stoke have announced that 20-year-old defender Ritchie De Laet has moved to Manchester United and signed a three-year deal.
Monday 05 January 2009
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.
Sunday 04 January 2009
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.
Tuesday 09 December 2008
Friday 03 October 2008
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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