The Anti-Sports Personality of the Year awards 2018 | Simon Burnton

14-12-2018 While the more deserving await the BBC’s Sports Personality of the Year award verdict on Sunday night, here is our list of sporting anti-heroes from 2018 Related: BBC Sports Personality shortlist to no longer be revealed in advance Continue reading...

Gareth Farrelly: ‘It was a toxic, bullying culture for young players at Aston Villa’

14-12-2018 Midfielder turned lawyer claims coach Kevin MacDonald left a ‘dark shadow’ over players at Villa and says it drove him to suicidal thoughts“It was a culture of verbal and physical bullying, but there were no checks and balances; he operated with impunity … It was like a dark shadow came over.”Gareth Farrelly, now 43 and a qualified lawyer, with a Premier League and international career behind him, is recalling the bullying he says he endured as a young player at Aston Villa in the 1990s from the coach Kevin MacDonald. It was a “relentlessly negative” regime under him. Continue reading...

Hand of clod? Brexit and Theresa May divide England's 1986 World Cup squad

14-12-2018 Peter Shilton and Peter Reid at odds over Jacob Rees-Mogg Gary Lineker tells Chris Waddle to ‘stick to football’ after tweetBrexit has divided communities, families and friends, so it should perhaps come as no surprise to find it has done the same to England’s 1986 World Cup squad.After Theresa May survived a vote of no confidence by Conservative MPs on Wednesday, several members of the side which reached the quarter-finals in Mexico offered their thoughts on social media. They revealed a divide as great as the one in the England defence when Diego Maradona dribbled straight through it. Continue reading...

Rangers crash out after Dejan Ljubicic fires late winner for Rapid Vienna

14-12-2018 Steven Gerrard said Rangers will need January reinforcements after watching his side miss out on the Europa League last 32.Rangers needed to beat Rapid Vienna in their final Group G match if they were to follow Villarreal through to the knockout rounds. Their remarkable journey that started on 12 July as they were forced to battle through four qualifiers came to an end after Dejan Ljubicic’s late winner sealed victory for Rapid. Continue reading...

Danny Cipriani: ‘It’s been the same story for six years, hasn’t it?’

14-12-2018 Fly-half remains philosophical about his England exile and is enjoying his new leadership role at GloucesterIf Danny Cipriani feels messed around by England he hides it well. You might expect confusion, resentment, even betrayal at how he again finds himself on the outside looking in after the briefest of comebacks over the summer but on a chilly afternoon in Gloucestershire there is nothing but positivity from the exiled fly-half.To recap, Cipriani made his first England start in 10 years in their first win in six matches in June but was discarded again for the autumn campaign. It followed his arrest in Jersey but Eddie Jones insisted his latest omission was based on form, all while Cipriani was tearing up trees with his new club, Gloucester. Continue reading...

Scottish Open: John Higgins knocked out by Alfie Burden

14-12-2018 Alfie Burden says it would be "ridiculous" for John Higgins to retire after knocking the four-time world champion out of the Scottish Open.

Celtic 1-2 Salzburg: Scottish champions squeeze into Europa League last 32

14-12-2018 Celtic scrape into the last 32 of the Europa League on a night of astonishing drama thanks to a late Rosenborg goal in Leipzig.

Sunderland 'Til I Die: Netflix series charts pain, prayers and passion for the club – trailer

14-12-2018 Netflix has released a trailer for Sunderland 'Til I Die, a new docu-series following the club's first season back in the Championship after the team crashed out of the Premier League in 2017.The fly-on-the-wall style series, following the 2017-18 season as the club suffered a second consecutive relegation, features interviews with the club’s manager, players and dedicated fans.All eight episodes of the Netflix series will be released globally on 14 December.Sunderland’s Jack Ross: ‘I’ll never regret accepting this job, whatever happens’ Continue reading...

'Solari the stopgap with bigger name to come' - what is going on at Real Madrid?

14-12-2018 The relatively unknown Santiago Solari has been placed in charge of Real Madrid - but he is not likely to be in the role for long, writes Andy West.

Tottenham’s manager Pochettino tips his hat to ‘hard-working’ chairman Levy

14-12-2018 • ‘Fantastic recognition’ deserved for work on stadium project• He needs to feel the love from fans and the club, manager addsMauricio Pochettino has told Tottenham fans that Daniel Levy deserves “fantastic recognition” for the club’s new stadium rather than being made a scapegoat for the delays, as he talked up the chairman’s other side and how badly he was suffering.Spurs hope to be playing in the ground by early February, although the timings look tight. They confirmed the latest delay on Wednesday when they said the Manchester United game scheduled for 13 January will be played at Wembley, their temporary home. Continue reading...

From the Tavern to the Palace: the decade since darts went large – video

14-12-2018 It’s now more than a decade since the PDC world championship moved from the Circus Tavern in Purfleet to London’s Alexandra Palace and the game of darts has grown beyond all expectations. We talked to a number of the figures behind the growth of the game both in front and behind the cameras Continue reading...

Premier League: 10 things to look out for this weekend

14-12-2018 A crunch clash at Anfield, depleted Palace and Huddersfield teams, and the start of a crucial run for FulhamIt is a marker of how far Manchester United have fallen to see that when Gary Neville set about choosing his combined XI for Liverpool and Manchester United on Monday Night Football, he included just three outfield United players. The only player he picked with conviction was Anthony Martial at left wing, admitting Eric Bailly would not be in if Joe Gomez was fit and laughing that his selection of Paul Pogba alongside Naby Keïta and Gini Wijnaldum was “just an opportunity to get a United player in”. Nobody would argue that Liverpool are the better side, and have been for a number of years, yet the past eight league meetings read W0, D3, L5 for the Merseyside club. Liverpool’s lack of ruthlessness against Napoli so nearly came back to bite them in the Champions League; they can ill afford the same profligacy against a José Mourinho side that is unlikely to be anything other than defensively minded. MB Continue reading...

The Dozen: the weekend’s best Premier League photos

14-12-2018 Our picture editors choose their favourite images from the weekend’s Premier League actionView the Dozen archive Continue reading...

Pete Shelley's Tour de force, Miami's Miracle and Premier Passions | Classic YouTube

14-12-2018 This week’s roundup also features Paul Sherwen, NHL deflections and Dean Jones’s very bad idea1) It wasn’t always widely known, but Buzzcocks’ brilliant Pete Shelley, who died this past week, wrote the music for the iconic Channel 4 Tour de France theme, itself taken from within 1984 track Give It To Me. Another sad passing this week was Paul Sherwen. It’s well worth a listen to the Cycling Podcast’s tribute, while Sherwen recalls how he met his broadcasting partner Phil Liggett.2) The Miami Miracle! Obviously there’s already a Tecmo Super Bowl version out there. Gronk’s still stumbling. More laterals: here’s the Music City Miracle, which always features highly among some of the NFL’s most famous. There are more in college football, including … Miami (!) v Duke, Trinity v Millsaps and the classic: Cal v Stanford. Watch out for that band! More on The Play. Continue reading...

Adetomiwa Edun: The man who plays Fifa's Alex Hunter

14-12-2018 Adetomiwa Edun is the actor who plays Alex Hunter, the young star of the Fifa video game franchise. What is it like being the face of the world's best known fictional footballer?

Anthony Joshua says he wants to fight Deontay Wilder in April

14-12-2018 Anthony Joshua says he's willing to fight WBC champion Deontay Wilder in April and told the American "I'm running the game".

'Humble and generous, but a private enigma' - who was Leicester City's owner?

14-12-2018 Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha is revered in Leicester as the man who presided over one of sport's great triumphs - but who was the billionaire Thai businessman?

Steve Hansen to step down as New Zealand coach after 2019 World Cup

14-12-2018 • World Cup-winning coach gives advance notice to help team• Hansen: ‘This is a critical process which shouldn’t be rushed’Steve Hansen’s all-conquering reign as the New Zealand coach will end after the 2019 World Cup. The 59-year-old, who has been in charge of the All Blacks since 2012 and has had 16 years within the setup, will leave after his side’s title defence in Japan.“I think change after the World Cup will bring a new outlook for the team and it’ll be time for someone else to enhance the legacy of the All Blacks,” he said. Continue reading...