Friday, August 31, 2007

Players heard Dyer's leg snap

Matthew Upson has revealed horrified West Ham players heard Kieron Dyer's leg snap when he sustained his season-ending injury.

The England midfielder underwent surgery yesterday on the double break in his right leg suffered in Tuesday's 2-1 Carling Cup victory at Bristol Rovers.

And despite X-rays revealing two clean breaks, Upson said the club was still coming to terms with the shock of losing a player making just his third appearance since his £6million arrival from Newcastle.

The Hammers defender said: "It turns your stomach doesn't it. A few of the boys heard the noise. But the problem is not as bad as it can be. I am sure that he will be back fit and strong."

Upson has also endured long spells on the sidelines injured. He added: "You can go into a state of despair. It is a massive mental challenge."

Ferguson breaks his own rule

Sir Alex Ferguson was forced to break one of his own rules this week - when he took a helicopter to watch son Darren's Peterborough side in action.

Fergie has banned his millionaire players from taking helicopters and private planes, but it was a different story when he needed to make it to the League Two clash on time.

A sheepish Sir Alex revealed: "I got a helicopter from our training ground to watch Darren's team play the other day, simply because it was the only way I could get down there. Mick Phelan, my first team coach, said to me: 'I can't believe you. You're the one who refused everybody helicopters and private planes, you used to go off your head with them all'.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Zat Knight's drug arrest

If Zat Knight was feeling a little on edge during his unveiling as Aston Villa’s new £3.5 million signing yesterday afternoon, it was with good reason.

Only hours earlier, the former Fulham defender had been locked up in a police cell after being arrested with his brother, Carlos, 26, during an early morning drugs raid at their mother’s home in Birmingham.

In a bizarre turn of events, the 27-year-old Knight was marched out of the house in Erdington in handcuffs by police bearing firearms, and accompanied by sniffer dogs, after the raid, which took place at 5.30am.

Knight’s mother Sandra, 47, was not at home at the time and was not arrested. It is believed that crack cocaine and heroin were seized.

Whiteside's education

After Norman Whiteside's playing career was terminated after nine knee operations in as many years, he returned to college to sit his GCSEs and A-levels.

Then he went on to university to emerge with a Bachelor of Science (Hons) in podiatric medicine, followed by a postgraduate degree in sports science.

Manager dumped after player has heart attack

Leicester City last night dismissed Martin Allen as manager less than 24 hours after one of the club’s players suffered two cardiac arrests during a Carling Cup tie.

Allen, the former Barnet and Brentford manager who joined from Milton Keynes Dons with a reputation for passion and eccentricity, was only appointed at the end of May on a three-year contract but rumours soon surfaced of fallouts with some of the players and Milan Mandaric, the chairman.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Solskjaer lined up as global ambassador for United

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is being lined up to take over Sir Bobby Charlton's ambassadorial duties for Manchester United after confirming his retirement from the game yesterday.

Solskjaer, who has suffered a recurrence of his knee injury, will remain at Old Trafford in a coaching capacity but the long-term strategy is that he should use his popularity to help to promote the club worldwide.

While Solskjaer will begin by taking his coaching qualifications and working with the young players, the Norwegian will eventually take over from Charlton in a role the 1966 World Cup winner has filled with distinction.

Charlton will be 70 in October and the club are aware he is approaching an age at which he will want to curtail his international travelling.

Solskjaer, who is 34 and one of the most popular players in United's history, will be asked to represent the club in a similar way. Ryan Giggs will also be invited to fulfil this kind of role when he retires from playing.

Beckham loses his cool

David Beckham's frantic transatlantic dash appeared to have taken it's toll after he lost his temper during an LA Galaxy game.

He was on the pitch less than 30 hours after playing for England against Germany around 5,500 miles away at Wembley.

Beckham was involved in an angry clash with a rival player during a tense match. He was seen shouting at Jesse Marsch and waving his right arm before the referee tried to grab him and usher him away.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Baseball boss tries his hand at soccer

Last summer, Billy Beane, the Oakland A's General Manager took the rest of his top brass to Germany for a week during the World Cup.

The fever really took hold.

"I've become a rabid, passionate fan," Beane said.

His tutors in the game include his counterpart at Spurs – director of football Damien Comolli.

Moved as much by Beane's enthusiasm as business calculations, A's co-owner Lewis Wolff decided to provide his employee with a new toy. Last month, he and partner John Fisher agreed to resuscitate the defunct Major League Soccer franchise, the San Jose Earthquakes.

"The downside is relatively comfortable and the upside is unknown," Wolff said in Toronto recently, where he was attending the baseball owners' meetings.

San Jose will rejoin MLS next season. For now, Beane has an informal involvement with the team that includes an office in the Earthquakes' temporary headquarters.

"It's something I want to help grow," Beane said, at pains to point out he's not leaving the A's. But, "at some point, I anticipate that involvement growing."

Manager gives permission to get booked

Crystal Palace manager Peter Taylor has given Clinton Morrison permission to get booked when he scores his 100th goal for the Eagles.

Morrison plans to take off his jersey and display a T-shirt with the message ‘100 not out’ when he reaches his century, which is an automatic yellow card.

Posh works out

Victoria Beckham has joined an exclusive celebrity gym in LA to help get her into shape for the Spice Girls tour later this year.

Despite claiming she never works out, Posh has become a member of LA's The Sports Club - and she's even signed up to Candlelight Stretch classes accompanied by a live string quartet.

The plan is to tone up ahead of the Spice Girls' gruelling world tour, which is likely to hit 25 dates.

The 33-year-old mother-of-three wants to be in better shape than the rest of the Spice Girls and has even hired a personal trainer.

In an indication of how competitive the girls still are, sources say Victoria made the move after finding out Geri Halliwell has her own trainer in London and has been working out every day.

A pal said: "The girls have always been deeply competitive, especially Vic and Geri. So when she heard Geri has been working out like mad to get back into shape Victoria marched herself into the nearest exclusive gym and signed herself up.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Abramovich's private bowling alley

Tycoon Roman Abramovich has got rid of his private bowling alley — because his kids were too noisy celebrating strikes.

And the lanes have ended up in a top members’ club.

The Chelsea owner had the alley removed from his Belgravia mansion and it is now in Shoreditch House in East London.

Alan Hansen's chin

Last week Alan Hansen appeared on Match of the Day with a disfiguring blemish on his lower lip.

Hansen angrily informed an amused Gary Lineker that the red marks on his face during the recording were the result of an unspecified "accident with a candle".

Sunday, August 26, 2007

'Blasphemous' balls anger Afghans

A demonstration has been held in south- east Afghanistan accusing US troops of insulting Islam after they distributed footballs bearing the name of Allah.

The balls showed the Saudi Arabian flag which features the Koranic declaration of faith.

The US military said the idea had been to give something for Afghan children to enjoy and they did not realise it would cause offence.

The footballs were dropped from a helicopter in Khost province.

Some displayed flags from countries all over the world, including Saudi Arabia, which features the shahada, one of the five pillars of Islam - the declaration of faith.

Sammy Lee

Nike tries to protect Rooney's feet

Sir Alex Ferguson has joined forces with Nike to ensure Wayne Rooney gets more protection from his boots.

Manchester United manager Ferguson is concerned that Rooney has suffered broken bones three times in his career.

Ferguson revealed that the England striker is ahead of schedule in his latest recovery following his injury against Reading and could be ready to play in three weeks.

But Ferguson has told his players to wear reinforced soles, while club medics are also looking to alter Rooney's running style to ease the pressure on his body.

Ferguson said: "We have looked into how the injury occurred and I don't think it had anything to do with his boots, but I have spoken with Nike and gone across all the issues with them.

"Nike aren't slow in addressing such things because they don't want their best client and our best player sidelined every year because he's broken a bone. So Nike have been efficient in that respect and are going through certain solutions."

Charlton brothers feud

The feud between Britain's most famous footballing brothers was reopened yesterday when Sir Bobby Charlton broke his silence about years of rancour with his brother Jack, accusing his 1966 World Cup team-mate of making 'absolutely disgraceful' statements about his wife.

Sir Bobby, who is promoting his autobiography published next month, spoke for the first time about the rift between his wife and his late mother and admitted that he now rarely sees Jack, even at Christmas.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Given puts holy water in goal

Prior to every game he plays, Republic of Ireland and Newcastle keeper Shay Given places a vial of Lourdes holy water at the back of his goal as a lucky charm.

Apparently, the water carries with it powers that many Roman Catholics ascribe to the Lourdes spring, where apparitions of the Virgin Mary first appeared in 1858.

Given also takes a picture of his late mother wherever he goes.

"He's been doing it since he was small," revealed his father Seamus.

"I don't know how much he remembers her because he was so young when she died, but he doesn't want to forget about her."

F1 boss looks to buy QPR

Flavio Briatore, the multi-millionaire boss of formula one team Renault, has confirmed he is interested in buying Queens Park Rangers - but says he will not "go crazy" to complete the sale.

Briatore is involved with "a bunch of friends" in looking to acquire the Championship club. However, the Italian has conceded the consortium is one of several parties looking to take over at Loftus Road.

"We started talking by chance, but there are a lot of people in England talking with QPR at the moment," said Briatore ahead of this weekend's Turkish grand prix in Istanbul.

"We have not put in any offer. Absolutely nothing formal has been done, but the lawyers are working. We know where we are and what we want to do. If it happens then I will be very happy, but we are not going to go crazy to have this club."

Friday, August 24, 2007

Sven's phone cut off

Sven Goran Eriksson has revealed his FA mobile phone was cut off the day after England went out of the World Cup.

The former Three Lions boss was responding to a story that a woman in Hull has his old number and has been getting messages of congratulation meant for Sven after his good start at Manchester City.

But Eriksson said: "I do not know how this has happened. The last English phone number I had was cut off the day after we went out of the World Cup last summer. I’ve not had an English mobile since then."

Beckham warned about transatlantic commute

David Beckham has been warned being a transatlantic commuter could seriously damage his health.

American midfielder Eddie Lewis has spent nine years flying to and from LA.

The Derby new buy, 33, said: "It starts to border on the dangerous, long-term. It’s dehydrating and you’re more vulnerable to swelling with altitude."


New Chelsea right-back Juliano Belletti is a big fan of U2 and plans to impress his new team-mates with a rendition of one of their hits.

The Brazilian has also revealed that his mobile ringtone is the sound of his son Dianluca crying.

FIFA inspects Brazil for 2014 World Cup

A FIFA inspection team arrived in Brazil on Thursday for a look at the country's bid to host the 2014 World Cup.

The Brazilian Football Confederation (CBF) said in a statement that the FIFA officials would visit five candidate cities - Rio de Janeiro, Sao Paulo, Belo Horizonte, Brasilia and Porto Alegre - during their nine-day trip.

The other 13 candidate cities would make their presentations in Rio de Janeiro.
Brazil is the only country bidding to host the event, which is due to be staged in South America under FIFA's rotation system.

However, FIFA have said that Brazil, which staged the 1950 event, is not guaranteed to host the tournament. The event could go elsewhere if the bid is not up to scratch.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Romanov in Strictly Come Dancing

Hearts supremo Vladimir Romanov is to star in a Strictly Come Dancing-style TV show in his home country.

The tycoon is in training for the reality programme called Dance With A Star in Lithuania.

Romanov and professional dancer Sandra Kniazeviciute will battle nine other couples, and he has already been pictured waltzing with Sandra in an empty stadium for publicity shots.

Posh beefs up security

Fuming Victoria Beckham has drafted in extra bodyguards after a sexy stalker reached her husband’s hotel room.

Three tough minders have been ordered to beef up protection following the security breach by a "gorgeous" teenage girl.

The obsessed fan sneaked past security at a hotel in Toronto, Canada, where David was staying with LA Galaxy team-mates, and reached his bedroom door.

Now Spice Girl Posh, 33, fears her husband could be the targeted by a string of disturbed female fans on a mission to lure him into bed.

A source at the swanky King Edward Hotel in Toronto said: "This creepy girl was clearly determined to come face-to-face with David.

"She kept saying his name over and over and acted like she knew him – even though she clearly didn’t.

1966 reunion

In a week when refereeing decisions have been to the fore, it was fitting that the most controversial in football history was re-opened yesterday in the shadow of the new Wembley arch.

The two principal protagonists relived the breath-holding moment when Geoff Hurst's second strike in the 1966 World Cup Final was under scrutiny by match officials. His shot had struck the underside of the crossbar and bounced down on to the line before being scrambled clear — but a goal was ultimately given.

Hurst and Hans Tilkowski, the West Germany goalkeeper that fateful day in July 1966, met up at Northwick Park on a sports field just a goal-kick from Wembley Stadium.

Tilkowski, despite his limited English, was quick to pass on his sympathy over the death in April of Alan Ball, the man who supplied the centre that led to Hurst's historic goal.

The Borussia Dortmund legend, who played in the 1962 and 1966 World Cups, still looks sprightly at 72 and there was a mischievous glint in his eye as he handed the now-Sir Geoff a copy of his recent autobiography.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Oba jumps for joy at life with Sam at Newcastle

Obafemi Martins has delivered a damning indictment of Glenn Roeder's time as Newcastle manager, insisting the club is now run far more professionally.

Martins was signed by Roeder from Inter Milan for £10million last summer and went on to score 17 goals in his debut season in England.

Sam Allardyce, who succeeded Roeder, has overhauled the way Newcastle's backroom staff are organised, installing a new sports science team, and Martins has been impressed.

He said: 'There's a new manager and new players and it's changed for the better.

'This season we spend a lot of time on tactics. It all seems very different. We have training and then after that, the manager takes us to one side and teaches us how to move and work tactically.

'Everyone's enjoying the new approach and looking forward to the season. Everyone wants a place in the team. Everything has changed.

'We do homework after games and it's helpful. It's something I am used to from my time at Inter Milan but it's not something we really did last season. Different managers have their own ideas.'

Swearing, fighting and littering banned at soccer game

When Barca played Beijing Guoan on Sunday, there were police filming each section of the crowd to keep an eye out for 'inappropriate' behaviour, which is basically anything that would happen at your average English football ground. Swearing, fighting and littering were all crimes that would lead to being detained by the police as well as getting a 12-month ban from attending footy matches.

"It is just way out of line to have 30,000 people shouting and swearing en masse," police spokesman Liu Chunjiang was quoted as saying. "What we are trying to do is to give the right guidance in how to view a football match, not to impose anything on the spectators."

Friday, August 17, 2007

Allardyce locks players out

Sam Allardyce is locking out Newcastle players who turn up late for training.

The Newcastle boss is proving his no-nonsense style by having the gates to United's Benton training ground padlocked at 9.45am every morning.

Big Sam wants to force latecomers into a humiliating buzz on the intercom to explain themselves after becoming fed up with some stars who sneak in late.

He is insisting on the strictest discipline around his training ground as he prepared for what he believes is the "toughest season ever" in the Premier League.

Sven buys Sir Alex a bottle

Manchester City boss Sven-Goran Eriksson will end his feud with Sir Alex Ferguson by giving him a £415 bottle of Cabernet Sauvignon red wine when Manchester United visit Eastlands on Sunday.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Sheringham's ex agrees with Keane

Teddy Sheringham's ex-girlfriend Danielle Lloyd agrees with Roy Keane that most Wags make their partners join clubs where the best shops are.

"I can imagine most Wags would want their other halves to be somewhere like London," says Lloyd.

"It's different for girls like me, Cheryl Cole and Victoria Beckham who make their own money."

Rooney's little brother

Wayne Rooney's little brother John, 16, turned out for Macclesfield Town’s youth team this weekend.

Rooney Jnr came off the bench to inspire a 7-1 win over Stalybridge Celtic.

An onlooker said: “John’s a hard-running player who doesn’t take prisoners. He has his brother’s characteristics.”

Wayne broke his left foot against Reading in front of 75,000 while John had 50 onlookers.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Benni McCarthy's No 1 single

Benni McCarthy had a No1 hit in South Africa with local Kwaito group TKZee.

The song was Shibobo, which is South African slang for nutmegging the ball through an opponent's legs.

Manager won four titles, but was sacked three times.

Hermann Stessl became Austria Vienna coach in 1977-78, but because he was so young - 37 - he only got a half-year contract.

However, he was successful: Austria Vienna won the title and reached the Cup Winners' Cup final before losing to a great Anderlecht side. The next year he won the league and his side lost to Malmö in the semi-finals of the European Cup - the furthest an Austrian side have ever gone in the competition - but was sacked halfway through the following season.

It doesn't end there. He returned to Austria Vienna in 1985-86: the team did the double and were only knocked out of the European Cup by Bayern Munich after two amazing matches. Not good enough: he was sacked again.

It still doesn't end there. He went back for a third stint in 1992-93, won the title ... and was sacked again. So in four-and-a-half seasons he won four titles, one Austrian Cup, reached a European final and semi-final ... and was sacked three times.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Beckham's new neighbors

“Are the Cruises your new neighbors?” Victoria Beckham was asked recently.

“They live like five minutes down the road,” she revealed.

But that’s just the beginning - Jay Leno, Priscilla Presley and “X-Men” director Brett Ratner all call the same Beverly Hills neighborhood home, where legacy is every bit as important as proximity.

Fred Astaire once danced down a driveway on the very same street, while Raquel Welch owned the same abode once occupied by Tony Curtis and Janet Leigh.

Silva gets dumped over the Net

Gilberto Silva was shocked at being dumped as Arsenal's skipper - after reading it on the Internet.

The Brazilian ace captained the Gunners for much of last season in the absence of the injured Thierry Henry, who has joined Barcelona in the summer.

But Silva, 30, has revealed he was stunned to discover boss Arsene Wenger had opted to give the armband to defender William Gallas.

And to make matters worse, the midfielder only found out when he switched on his computer.

Silva said: “Of course I was surprised because I was captain all last season when Henry didn’t play and I thought I would be this time.

“Arsene is the manager and it is his decision and I have to accept that. Life goes on and I will get on with my job like I always have.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Manager sacked two days into the season

Carlisle have parted company with their manager Neil McDonald, making him the first managerial casualty of the two-day old season.

McDonald, a former coach with Bolton and Crystal Palace, took over from Paul Simpson at the start of last season after he left to take over at Preston, and guided the club to eighth in their first season back in League One.

United drew their first game of the new season on Saturday 1-1 at Walsall, but a statement on the club website, revealed: "The board of Carlisle United regret to say that they have lost confidence with Neil McDonald and are terminating his contract forthwith. They thank him for his hard work at the club and wish him all the best for his future career."

McDonald admitted his shock after being dismissed, saying: "This is obviously a major surprise to me. I am absolutely amazed this has happened so early in the season but I am not prepared to say anything more at this point."

Fans choose who plays

Bewildered by the number of players wanting a pre-season trial for his squad, Swindon Town boss Paul Sturrock fielded two teams of hopefuls at the club’s Community Open Day.

Every player had a ‘text to vote’ number on the back of their shirts — and fans texted their favourite players’ numbers.

The fans’ choice won a chance to train with Swindon for real.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

A new WAG

Rolando Bianchi's arrival in the Premier League has taken the world of WAGs into a new era.

The Manchester City striker's stunning missus Elena Santarelli, left, looks set to give the other WAGs a run for their money in the glamour stakes.

Posh hasn't read a book in her life.

Former Spice Girl Victoria Beckham has never read a book in her life, she has told a Spanish magazine.

In the article, she said: "I haven't read a book in my life. I don't have the time. I prefer listening to music, although I do love fashion magazines."

The admission may surprise fans who bought her 528-page autobiography Learning to Fly. According to its cover blurb, Ms Beckham was inspired by the movie Fame. "A line from the theme song stayed with her - 'I'm gonna live for ever, I'm gonna learn how to fly.'

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Fashanu to host Deal or No Deal

Former Wimbledon striker John Fashanu is now the host of the Nigerian version of Deal or No Deal.

Asked why he wanted to be involved with Deal Or No Deal Nigeria, Fashanu simply said, “I thought it would be a great opportunity to experience working on one of the biggest International TV entertainment shows.”

In addition to appearing on t.v, Fashanu is a prominent businessman who was named the International Business Person of the Year (1999 - 2000) by UK Black Links. He also won The Business Federation Achievement Award (1990) and was named the Coca-Cola Face of Nigeria (1995).

Posh's secret album leaked

Victoria Beckham is furious because a secret album she scrapped has been leaked onto the internet.

The former Spice Girl recorded the eleven track "pop style" album, entitled 'Open Your Eyes', between 2002 and 2003 but hated it so much she declared it "useless" and ordered it be destroyed as she never wanted anyone to hear it.

A music industry insider said: "Victoria didn't know what she wanted while manager Simon Fuller and Telstar were clear they wanted dance-influenced pop.

"She recorded the tracks that have now been leaked, but then met Damon Dash and went off in a hip-hop direction, demanding the pop album be binned. She hated these songs and couldn't wait to scrap them."

Record label Telstar released one single, 'Let Your Head Go/This Groove', from the album in December 2003. It got to Number 3 in the UK charts after a huge media campaign.

Shortly after, Telstar went bust and it was thought the album would never be heard. But loyal fans of Victoria are delighted that the mother-of-three's lost LP has finally surfaced.

Three captains in one game

During England's group game against Morocco at Mexico 86, Bryan Robson came off injured and threw the armband to Ray Wilkins.

Ray got himself sent-off shortly after that for throwing the ball at the ref and handed the armband over to goalkeeper Peter Shilton.

It was the first time more than two players had worn the England captain's armband in the same match.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Posh snubs Paris friendship

Don’t look for Paris Hilton and Victoria Beckham to become new best friends.

British import Beckham, better known in the U.S. as the woman who was once Posh Spice, has been big buddies with TomKat, but the fashion-obsessed bottle-blonde reportedly snubbed friendship overtures from Paris Hilton.

“I just know Victoria and I would get along,” Hilton told a pal, according to the London Sun. “We could be soul mates.”

Posh begs to differ. “Over my dead body!” she snapped to a friend, reports the paper. “We couldn’t be more different. You won’t catch me falling out of nightclubs with no knickers on.”

River supporters club leader dies after shooting

A leading figure in the hardcore supporters club of Argentine first division side River Plate died on Thursday, two days after being attacked and shot in the head, a hospital spokesman said.

Gonzalo Acro, 29, had been in a coma since being shot three times as he was leaving a gymnasium in the latest bout of soccer-related violence.

'`I inform you that the patient (Acro) died in the early hours of this morning,'` Mario Visiglia, a doctor at the Pirovano hospital in Buenos Aires, told reporters.

Police sources said they were investigating whether Acro's murder was related to in-fighting among the River Plate fan club known as '`Los Borrachos del Tablon.'`

Acro was on a River Plate blacklist banning him from the Monumental stadium and was widely recognised as being the leading figure in one of the fan club's factions.

Last February, the rival factions clashed at the River Plate social club, which adjoins the stadium, leaving a wake of destruction and terrorising families who were using the swimming pool.

Acro, who had a job in River's maintenance department, was one of five employees fired following the incident. River were given a five-match home ban, later reduced to three.

Nani in trouble over goal celebration

Manchester United's new signing Nani will have some explaining to do to manager Sir Alex Ferguson after performing his trademark celebratory somersault following a stunning goal in the 3-0 win against Glentoran on Wednesday.

Ferguson, who missed the friendly and another against Dunfermline because his wife forced him to help with a house move, had banned the winger from such a performance because of injury fears.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Tevez sings about whipping a girl and begging her for sex

Manchester United target Carlos Tevez, is also the front man in a band called Piola Vago, who play cumbia villera, a form of Argentinian shantytown/urban music.

"Here it's all hip-hop, all in English, so they don't understand a thing," Tevez said of his old West Ham colleagues.

"They want to hear it, they ask me but I say no to them. If they don't understand, what's the point of making them listen to it?"

Interestingly, Piola Vago managed to hit the charts in Argentina with their song Lose Your Control, a jaunty little number which has Carlitos "singing about whipping a girl and begging her for sex".

Delia not implicated in Norwich BBQ crisis

Four Norwich players were among 30 people taken ill following a barbecue at the club's training ground, it emerged today.

Celebrity chef Delia Smith is a director of the club but sources said outside contractors were employed to lay on the food to allow staff at Delia's Catering Company to enjoy the event.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Smell like Beckham

David Beckham and his wife, Victoria, now have their own brand of his-and-hers fragrances — Intimately Beckham.

“Why is this different from any other celebrity fragrance? The fact that (I) have spent a lot of time checking all the details,” Victoria Beckham said.

“We are not just saying, ‘We are celebrities, put our name on it.’ I love to be involved with the whole process.”

Industry sources estimate the Beckham fragrance franchise, which also includes Instinct by David Beckham, will generate $100 million in worldwide sales this year and twice that next year.

Victoria Beckham, who describes herself as “a working mum,” is also developing a signature line of clothing and sunglasses.

Player donates signing bonus

Lee Cook has given his cash-strapped former club QPR a major boost by handing over £250,000 as a parting gift. Left-winger Cook departed Loftus Road last month to join West London neighbours Fulham for £2.5million.

But when he heard Rangers were not happy with the fee, he decided to step in and stump up an extra 10 per cent from his own money.

Cook, 25, said: “Rangers are struggling for money and, as everyone knows, I’m a boyhood Rangers fan.

“The club were saying not enough money had been paid for me so I said, ‘I’ll give you 10per cent of the sale’. It was totally my decision, there was no pressure from anyone.

“I love Rangers and I don’t want to see them hard up.”

Cook hopes his gesture will help keep Rangers ticking over until new finance arrives.

He added: “It goes through your mind the club might go into administration but I heard new investors are coming.”

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Lita suffers freak injury in bed

Reading are sweating on the fitness of striker Leroy Lita for Sunday's opener against Manchester United after he suffered a muscle injury overstretching in bed.

England Under-21 international Lita was unable to train on Monday with the problem and his progress will be monitored by the Royals' medical staff for the rest of the week.

Boss Steve Coppell told the Evening Post: 'Leroy is in a great deal of pain. He woke up and stretched while in bed and he has done something to his leg. It is not an injury that should be ridiculed or made light of.'

Goldchip's gamble

The man whose private betting firm was embroiled in a row over Wayne Rooney's gambling debts in the run-up to last year's World Cup - thought to have reached £700,000 - has applied for a licence from the new Gambling Commission.

A deal was brokered between Smith and Rooney's agent, Paul Stretford, after his debts escalated and were called in.

Smith applied for a general betting licence on April 27, the deadline for ensuring he can continue to operate when the new Gambling Act comes into force on September 1.

Scotland win Homeless World Cup

Scotland have won the Homeless World Cup with a 9-3 victory over Poland.

The final of this year's competition took place at a temporary stadium in the main square of Copenhagen in Denmark. Scottish captain Paul Smith said he was thrilled with the result and described the skill level as "exceptional".

The event, which was first held in 2003, brings together teams from around the globe. About 500 players from 48 countries took part this year.

The event aims to help people recover from homelessness by generating self-confidence, a feeling of belonging and enhanced self-esteem.

Monday, August 06, 2007

Footballers go missing in Denmark

Fifteen footballers who took part in the Homeless World Cup in Denmark have left their teams and gone missing, police and organisers say.

Seven of the missing players are from Burundi, four from Liberia, three from Cameroon and one from Afghanistan.

The men had entry visas that expired on Monday. Danish police say they will be arrested and deported if found.

The men may already have left Denmark as their visas allowed them to travel within the 15 European countries in the Schengen borderless travel area, Danish immigration authorities say.

Five hundred players from 48 countries took part in this year's tournament, which was held on miniature pitches in the Danish capital, Copenhagen.

The organisers said they were "upset and angry" at the players' disappearance.

"This is our fifth tournament and we've never had this experience before," said Kat Byles, a spokeswoman for the Homeless World Cup.

"We want to review the situation and put new measures in place to ensure this doesn't affect the positive impact of the tournament."

Beckham meets the Yankees

Soccer's biggest superstar met some baseball royalty Monday afternoon as the David Beckham paparazzi show hit the Rogers Centre.

Beckham and his Los Angeles Galaxy teammates -- including Canadian internationals Ante Jazic and Kevin Harmse -- spent their day off in Toronto watching the Blue Jays host the New York Yankees.

A visit to the Yankees clubhouse was closed off to the media but a spokesman said Beckham met with Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter, one of baseball's biggest stars.

Bullard sharpening his competitive instincts

Jimmy Bullard is back in training and hoping to return to Fulham’s first-team by the anniversary of his injury on September 9.

Bullard, 28, has just been sharpening his competitive instincts on the riverbank and the golf course.

He said: “I’m back on the golf course, so I feel like a sportsman again. I play off scratch. I’d like to see what level I can get to in golf when I’ve finished in football.

During a year-long lay-off with a knee injury, Bullard has been signed by Super League fishing champs Dorking.

“Dorking asked me to join them. I couldn’t believe it — they are like the Man United of fishing. The fishing has kept me sane since the injury.”

Contract talks dressed only in briefs and red goggles

Ron Atkinson, former manager of Manchester United would often conduct contract talks with players while lying beneath his office sunbed dressed only in briefs and red goggles.

"It was probably quite a good negotiating tactic because it had the effect of unsettling you." said former player Norman Whiteside.

New Tricks

Roy Mitchell, writer of BBC drama New Tricks, named his characters after West Brom players and nobody realised for three series.

Sunday, August 05, 2007

Victoria Beckham to appear in Playboy ?

Victoria Beckham has received an invitation from the Playboy Playmates to join them in a photoshoot.

Bridget Marquardt, 33, who shares Hugh Hefner’s affections with Kendra Wilkinson, 20, and Holly Madison, 26, said she wants Posh to do a shoot in the pages of Playboy.

She said: “She should do a pictorial with us. We’ve got big plans for her. I think she’s going to fit in fine - they’re both gorgeous.”

Hefner said: “I think Hollywood is gonna love him. The girls at the mansion have been talking about it and want to be sure that we put him on the party list.

“I think he will do very well here, particularly since soccer has never really caught on in America as it has in the rest of the world, he may make the difference.”

Visiting every Premier League ground in 24 hours

Beci Wood of The Sun is leading an adventurous four-girl team who will visit every Premier League ground in just 24 hours.

Their charity challenge has been set up in memory of Ross Cooper, a close friend who died last year from a brain tumour at just 25.

Beci explains: "Ross was a huge Manchester City fan.

"As a tribute to him, myself and three friends - Nicola Spendlove (Ross's girlfriend), Jay Trisk and Philippa Murray - are going to visit all 20 Premier League grounds in 24 hours this weekend in exchange for some much needed charitable donations.

"All proceeds will go directly to The Christopher Clarke Cancer Research Fund, with every penny going towards funding a research post at the Christie and Hope Hospitals in Manchester.

Lerner has Villa tattoo

Randy Lerner is so committed to Aston Villa he has a tattoo of the club crest on his ankle.

Villa’s American billionaire owner unveiled the work of art during the team’s pre-season tour of the US.

The players were stunned to spot such a public and permanent declaration of faith in Villa.

Saturday, August 04, 2007


The scar that traces a line down the right side of French international Franck Ribéry's face, from the forehead to the beard, is a reminder that at the age of 2 he survived being thrown through the windshield of a car in Boulogne-sur-Mer, where he was born.

The French press also recently disclosed that the Bayern Munich player is a Muslim, one of seven million in France. He took the faith of his wife, Wahiba, who is of Moroccan descent, and only when pressed did he tell Paris Match, "Islam is my source of strength either on or outside the playground."

Ronaldo's fat and his pals were drunk

Some Brazilian players returned to the hotel drunk after being given time off between matches during the 2006 World Cup, according to the president of the Brazil's soccer confederation.

A year after Brazil's quarter-final elimination in Germany, Ricardo Teixeira said a group of players lacked discipline during the World Cup, but did not mention anyone specifically, the Estado de S. Paulo newspaper reported yesterday.

"There were players who arrived between 4 and 6 in the morning, drunk," Teixeira said.

Teixeira also criticized Ronaldo for being out of shape during the competition.

"How can an athlete arrive for a World Cup weighing 98 kilograms (216 pounds)?" he said, adding that it would be acceptable to him if coach Dunga stopped including the 30-year-old forward for the national team.

Friday, August 03, 2007

Man Utd players treated unfairly

The Manchester United squad have been complaining recently about unfair treatment by their club ... their car parking bays are too small to fit their ludicrously big cars.

Wayne Rooney recently bought a huge £70,000 top of the range Hummer H2, while Gary Neville and Ryan Giggs drive big Range Rovers and Cristiano Ronaldo has got a chunky Bentley Continental GT.

Unfortunately, the parking bays at their Carrington training ground are made for real cars that real people drive, so the players are struggling to fit theirs in.

Boateng's career path

New Tottenham signing Kevin-Prince Boateng has revealed his chosen career path was one of just three options available to those who grow up in the mean streets of Wedding, Berlin.

"Here you either become a drug dealer, a gangster or a footballer", he said.

Fowler to commute by helicopter

Robbie Fowler has decided against moving closer to his new club, Cardiff, and will instead commute to work from his home in Liverpool by luxury helicopter.

The 32-year-old will buy a chopper at a cost of £200, 000, build a £5,000 heliport at his home and pay a private pilot £200 per day for the 90-minute flight.

Thursday, August 02, 2007

MyFootballClub closes in on takeover

Website MyFootballClub has achieved its target of recruiting 50,000 fans - only three months after launching its bid to take over a football club.

Four clubs have already approached the website, which will now collect £35 from each member towards a £1.4m takeover fund to buy a club.

Members will have the right to vote on all major decisions affecting the club.

Currently, Leeds is the club members would most like to take over, followed by Cambridge United and Nottingham Forest.

Soccer thriving in Pakistan

Members of Pakistan's football federation put 100 hopeful players through their paces in Rotherham, England this week with a view to choosing a lucky few to go to Pakistan on long-term sponsorships.

Football has to play second fiddle in Pakistan to more established sports like cricket and hockey.

But Naveed Haider Khan, from the country's football federation, says it is beginning to thrive.

A national professional league has just been set up in Pakistan, with a coaching academy based in the city of Lahore.

Man Utd lose their most eminent fan

Manchester United appear to have lost one of their most eminent fans - the Archbishop of York.

Dr John Sentamu has opted for a £300 season ticket to watch York.

He is not the only stay-away as United still have season tickets available, with only 10 days before the start of the season.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Ich, Roque

New Blackburn striker Roque Santa Cruz sang on a German pop record, which was a top-40 hit in both Germany and Austria

In tandem with German 'rockers' Sportfreunde Stiller, the Paraguayan sang the title lyrics "Ich, Roque" (I, Roque, or I rock).

Leicester players clean the toilets

Martin Allen is getting his Leicester players ready for the new season by making them clean toilets.

The eccentric former Brentford and MK Dons manager set his team to work this week behind the scenes at the Walkers Stadium.

Allen — once nicknamed Mad Dog — said: “They have been in all the different parts of the ground, from IT, security, the shop, ticket office, maintenance — and cleaning out the toilets.

“When I told them what they had to do, it was a kind of a test. But not one of them whinged, pulled a face or gave it ‘I don’t want to do that.’

Dyer abuse

Newcastle's attempts to find a buyer at an acceptable price for Kieron Dyer continue, but a section of supporters appear to have taken matters into their own hands.

Anti-Dyer chanting heard during the second half of the Juventus game was later followed by more abuse outside the ground, as Dyer's car was surrounded by fans who beat on the windows and shouted further threats.

It's then claimed that Dyer's house was attacked with eggs being pelted at the windows.

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