Sunday, March 30, 2008

Vinnie Jones wife's heart "collapsed"

Former Wimbledon hard-man Vinnie Jones is married to one of the UK's longest living heart transplant recipients.

Tanya Jones had a heart transplant at the age of 21 when her heart "collapsed" during the birth of her daughter Kaley in 1987.

She says: "I had been a gymnast since I was six, rode regularly and hardly ever even had a cold, but suddenly I was in terrible pain, couldn't breathe and I felt as if someone had blown me up with an air pump."

"I also felt incredibly claustrophobic and panicked. "

"Somehow I managed to calm myself and gave birth naturally. "

"Afterwards I looked in my small make-up mirror and saw my mouth was blue and that I looked grey."

"I called a nurse, who ran to get a doctor. I was wrapped in tinfoil and taken to intensive care."

"At first they didn't realise what was wrong. My life was saved by chance when a heart specialist walked into the unit, glanced at me and said my heart had collapsed. "

"I was rushed to Harefield and told I needed a heart transplant. "

Tanya's new heart is now 21 years old ... the current UK record is 27 years.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Osama is a gooner

A new biography of Osama bin Laden, entitled Behind the Mask of Terror, chronicles that, during the early 1990s, when he was living in London, the man who was later to become the world's most wanted terrorist attended Arsenal matches at Highbury, in particular during the 1993-94 season.

It is further alleged that bin Laden visited the club shop and bought a replica shirt for one of his sons.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Beckham's golden boots

David Beckham warmed-up in white boots for his 100th cap game against France today, but changed into extra-special gold ones before the game began.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Sir Bobby launches cancer charity

Former England manager Sir Bobby Robson has launched a charitable foundation to help in the fight against cancer.

Sir Bobby, 75, who is battling the disease for the fifth time after first being diagnosed in 1991, aims to raise £500,000 for the new charity.

The cash will fund the Sir Bobby Robson Cancer Trial and Research Centre, being built at Newcastle's Freeman Hospital.

The centre will focus on early detection and treatment and clinical trials of new drugs.

Speaking at the launch Sir Bobby said: "I have had cancer five times now but I have had a wonderful life and I feel lucky to be alive.

Beckham 'set to buy own MLS franchise'

David Beckham has an option to buy his own football team in the US when his contract with Los Angeles Galaxy runs out, according to US reports.

The 32-year-old midfielder will be able to purchase a stake in his own Major League Soccer franchise in 2011, at the end of his Galaxy contract, CBS's 60 minutes reported.

Speaking on the documentary, Beckham described his first year with his new team as a 'nightmare'.

Beckham insisted his move to the US was not a form of 'semi-retirement'.

'I'm passionate about the game, I'm passionate about this move, and I'm passionate about the fact that the sport can grow here and the potential is huge here,' he said.

But he admitted the MLS, where he will start his second season on Saturday, will not be transformed within six months or a year.

He said it would take 'five, 10 years'.

Sunday, March 23, 2008


Sponsors' words don't always mean the same thing in the opposition's language, as Arsenal found out when they played in Italy a few years back.

The Gunners had to wear their change strip which had Sega as the sponsor.

Apparently, 'Sega' is a slang term for self-gratification in Italian.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Fletcher attacked by toilet door

After helping Manchester United dump Lyon from the UEFA Champions League a few weeks ago, Scottish midfielder Darren Fletcher was heading to take one himself when he was a victim of a vicious attack - by a toilet door.

According to a Man U insider, Fletcher attempted to swing a bathroom door open when the door fell on his head, knocking him unconscious. Blood started pouring from his head, and the injury required stitches.

Said the staffer, "It seems that there was something seriously wrong with the toilet door. I don't know if fittings had come loose or what - but when Darren went to open the door, it came away and clobbered him. It was a nasty wound but it could have been worse."

Probably the Best Marketing Move in the World

When Havant & Waterlooville played Liverpool in the FA Cup this year, both were sponsored by Carlsberg.

Havant & Waterlooville opted to have 'Probably' instead of 'Carlsberg' on the front of their yellow shirts, in what was most likely a marketing move driven by Carlsberg's slogan, 'Probably the best beer in the world'.

Under UEFA sponsorship rules if both teams have the same sponsor, one has to be altered so that those watching the game don’t think that company were sponsoring the whole competition.

There is no such rule in place for English domestic competitions though.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Another Beckham tattoo

David Beckham appears to have chosen an ancient Chinese proverb in what is the latest addition to his tattoo collection.

The midfielder lifted up his shirt during a charity match for LA Galaxy to reveal a line of black symbols running down his left rib cage.

The letters are said to represent a Chinese proverb that translates to "Death and life have determined appointments. Riches and honour depend upon heaven."

Just last month the former England captain, 32, unveiled a tattoo he had dedicated to Victoria Beckham and the words "Forever by your side" have been inked into his left forearm.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Maradona in Bolivia run-out

Argentine football star Diego Maradona and Bolivia's President Evo Morales have taken part in a charity football match in Bolivia's main city La Paz.

It was played to raise funds for victims of major flooding in Bolivia and to protest against a Fifa ban on high altitude international matches.

The pair led teams of retired Argentine and Bolivian football stars.
Argentina won the match 7-4, with three goals being scored by Maradona and one by Mr Morales.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Crouch's balls

Liverpool striker Peter Crouch has kicked off the 2008 Keep Your Eye On The Ball Focus Fortnight, by calling for football fans across the UK to keep their balls in check.

The England forward met testicular cancer survivors in Liverpool to launch the Keep Your Eye On The Ball Focus Fortnight, an initiative backed by the Everyman Male Cancer Campaign, The FA and The PFA, urging men to check themselves and raise some funds for vital research into prostate and testicular cancer.

Crouch, who has joined other high-profile footballers such as David James and Paul Robinson to back the campaign, said: "Men can be so vocal on the terraces but struggle to talk about their own health with their mates. It only takes a minute to check yourself and it's worth it, because in life you don't get extra time."

Testicular cancer is the most common form of cancer in 15-44 year olds but if caught early, it has a 99% cure rate, making awareness of the symptoms essential.

Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men, with over 35,000 men affected in the UK every year.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Cuban team start with 10 men after defections

Cuba's Olympic soccer team took to the field with only 10 men on Thursday after up to seven of their players defected.

Five members of the communist state's under-23 team defected after their Olympic qualifying game against the United States, a 1-1 draw, in Tampa on Tuesday.

A further two players, both reported to have defected, were absent from the line-up against Honduras on Thursday.

With one player already suspended following a red card, Cuba coach Raul Gonzalez had only ten players available to him and his team began the match with a one-man disadvantage and no substitutes.

Players robbed while collecting wages

The players of leading Peruvian side Cienciano were held up and robbed by armed men as they were collecting their wages, a police official said Thursday.

The victims, who were forced to lie on the floor during the raid, included Peru internationals Juan Carlos Bazalar and forward William Chiroque. The robbers were reported to have made off with $85,000 in cash as well as the players' wallets and mobile phones.

'At the moment that the players were receiving their wages, four men entered and surrounded the cashier,' said Cusco police official Juan Auccahuaqui.

'It seems that the criminals were from Lima,' he said.

'They were well-dressed, it seems the operation had been planned. The place does not have security, anyone can come and go as they please.'

Police said the raid lasted five minutes before the criminals sped off in a blue car.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Gretna facing fight for survival

Gretna face the threat of closure if they do not find the necessary funds to fulfil their remaining SPL fixtures.

The ailing club are now in the hands of an administrator and need £30,000 for Saturday's visit to Aberdeen.

"We need emergency funding for wages, an overnight stay and transport," said administrator David Elliot. "At the moment I don't have it."

The SPL is unwilling to release a cash advance unless Gretna can prove themselves a viable proposition.

Monday, March 10, 2008

UEFA takes action over laser attack

UEFA have opened disciplinary proceedings against Lyon after home supporters aimed a laser at Manchester United winger Cristiano Ronaldo during their Champions League clash at the Stade Gerland.

Portugal winger Ronaldo was dazzled by the laser before and during the first leg of the tie.

UEFA's Control and Disciplinary Committee will examine evidence in preparation for a hearing on March 20.

Sunday, March 09, 2008

Brits play for Cayman Islands

The Cayman Islands called up eight British players in late February 2000.

The Caymans, as a British dependent territory, believed Fifa rules would allow them to call up players with a British passport, so long as they hadn't already been capped for another country.

All but one of the eight players represented the Caymans in a friendly against US champions DC United, and were duly thrashed 5-0.

At this point, however, Fifa intervened, ruling that such players were not actually allowed to represent the Caymans unless they were Cayman- born nationals, five-year residents in the territory, or at least had links to the country through marriage or descendency.

Friday, March 07, 2008

Ref sent into hiding after lookalike attacked

Italian referee Mauro Bergonzi was sent into hiding by police after thugs tried to attack someone he looked like, the head of the country's referees' association has said.

Bergonzi awarded two contentious penalties in Napoli's 3-1 win over Juventus in October.

'A dangerous incident happened. A group of people encircled someone they thought was a referee, they tried to abduct him and continually punch him. The only thing was he just looked like the referee,'.

'He was a bank manager, poor thing, and he managed to reveal this at the end to save himself from more blows. On the advice of the police, the referee was forced to live under protection and went to another province for two weeks.'

Player sent off for shoving ball boy

Flamengo had two players sent off, one for bundling over a ball boy, in a 3-0 defeat away to Nacional in the Libertadores Cup on Thursday.

Midfielder Toro was sent off for pushing a ball boy as he ran to collect the ball - the ball boy, who television reports said was 13 years old, was cheered by the home fans for the rest of the game.

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Litmanen's Fulham bow reliant on Finnish insoles

Jari Litmanen's debut for Fulham is on hold because of a problem with the insoles of his football boots.

The 37-year-old has been forced to return to his homeland to have new insoles made for his boots to cure a muscle strain.

Manager Roy Hodgson reported: "Jari has had Achilles and ankle operations and needs these insoles to correct certain movement in his ankles which, if it doesn't get corrected, brings about muscle strains.

"That's exactly what has happened - he has got a strain on the inside of his thigh that has come about because the new insoles that he thought were going to work didn't.

"He has to go back to Finland to have that fixed up. The guy who does it all over there knows all about the background to all his operations.''

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Duke of York's former date running campaign to take over Liverpool

Dubai International Capital's latest £400million bid for Liverpool is being fronted by a glamorous former Businesswoman of the Year who dated the Duke of York.

Amanda Staveley, 34, is the senior partner at a private equity firm, PCP Capital Partners, chosen by DIC to lead negotiations with the club's American owners.

She briefly attracted public attention for her romance with Prince Andrew, but could soon become one of the most high-profile women in the male world of English football.

If DIC can take over Liverpool, Staveley will become a director.

Sarkozy to meet Wenger

French president Nicolas Sarkozy is to meet Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger at the club's London Colney training ground at the end of the month.

Sarkozy reportedly wishes to quiz his compatriot about football and "social cohesion".

Apparently Sarkozy, an amateur player in his youth, has noticed that Wenger has five Frenchmen, 11 French-speakers and 16 different nationalities in his Arsenal squad.

He believes that Wenger, who is from Alsace, can teach him lessons about integrating those from a variety of cultures and social backgrounds into a cohesive unit.

FIFA finally makes Donovan's record official

Landon Donovan became the U.S. career scoring leader on Friday, one month after scoring the goal that broke the record.

Donovan converted a penalty kick to tie the record in the 44th minute of a game against Denmark 13 months ago, but before Friday FIFA had not counted the game -- or the goal.

When initially contacted, FIFA responded: "The Danish FA confirmed in January that this match was not played by their official 'A' team. Therefore we did not register it."

The U.S. Soccer Federation asked FIFA to reconsider, citing provisions in the contract for the game that said both sides would recognize it as an official game.

On Friday, FIFA general secretary Jerome Valcke wrote to USSF secretary general Dan Flynn saying the match now counted.

"We are pleased to inform you that after some discussion with the [Danish Football Union], DBU agreed that the match in question will be moved into the list of official 'A' matches," Valcke wrote.

Monday, March 03, 2008

Chelsea Idol

Chelsea are to give trials to four Chinese youngsters after agreeing a partnership with a talent show in the People's Republic.

The Super Soccer Star programme will be broadcast in the southern Chinese province of Guangdong next month, and the lucky quartet who are judged to have the most promise will then visit Chelsea's academy.

The contest is open to players aged between 14 and 16 and is another component of Chelsea's bid to boost their profile and presence in the Far East.

They are already the official football development partner of the Asian Football Confederation's Vision China project, which aims to set up 10 city leagues in China.

Blues chief executive Peter Kenyon said: 'We are delighted to be involved in such an innovative project that helps us deliver on our continuing commitment to promote grass roots football amongst youngsters in China.

'The show complements our involvement in Vision China with the AFC as well as showcasing Chelsea to a large audience and we look forward to hosting the finalists of Super Soccer Star in England.'

Everton defend Cahill celebration

Everton have defended Tim Cahill after his controversial goal celebration in their 3-1 win over Portsmouth.

Cahill scored the Toffees' second goal and dedicated it to his brother Sean, who was jailed for six years in January for grievous bodily harm with intent.

The Australian midfielder crossed his wrists as if he had been handcuffed.

But an Everton spokesman said that although some people would not "be in favour" of the celebration, it was ultimately a personal decision.

"Goal celebrations are a personal matter and up to the player to decide."

Saturday, March 01, 2008

Savage's £160,000 Mercedes

Paul Jewell has refused to criticise Robbie Savage after the Derby County midfielder risked provoking an angry reaction from team-mates and officials when he reported for training in a new £160,000 Mercedes.

Savage, nonetheless, is expected to be dropped against Sunderland tomorrow following a number of disappointing performances since he arrived from Blackburn Rovers for £1.5m last month.

With only one league victory all season, and just nine points on the board in total, Derby appear unlikely to pass the record-low 15 points Sunderland collected in 2003.

Jewell admitted Sunderland's tally is an additional motivation but insists that promotion next term is the priority.

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