Talking Horses: Cheltenham's autumn meeting puts jumping at centre stage

Grand National and three-time Festival winner Tiger Roll will be present at a meeting that often unearths top-class talentIt is 196 days since the first race of the 2018-19 National Hunt season, but there will still be a sense of a new beginning as racegoers assemble below Cleeve Hill for the first day of Cheltenham’s November meeting on Friday afternoon. For the next four-and-a-half months, jumping is centre-stage and there is a good chance that at least one of next spring’s Grade One championship winners will be lurking somewhere on Friday’s card.One certainty is that there will be a Grand National winner on the cast-list, as Tiger Roll, who held on by a fast-diminishing head at Aintree back in April, returns to the scene of his third Cheltenham Festival success in the Cross-Country eight months ago. When it comes to the current season, though, it is two of Friday’s novice events which are likely to prove most significant. Continue reading...

16-11-2018

Farewell to Wayne Rooney brought cheers and a hymn to the new age | Barney Ronay

It was a slightly odd occasion and Rooney’s reappearance in an England shirt provided a reminder how much football has changedIn the end Wayne Rooney got the biggest cheer of the night. Which was, after all, the whole point. With 58 minutes gone there was a roar from the bleachers that almost became a full standing ovation as the crowd rose to clap and gawp, sucking the sweetness from the last of those big Rooney moments.He looked pretty much the same, just a little stiffer in this light and speedy England team. Rooney’s first act was to watch DeAndre Yedlin skim past him on the outside. He leaped for a couple of headers. A bit later a man in a red shirt ran on to the pitch and threw an arm around his shoulder before being led away by stewards, but nobody really seemed to mind much. Continue reading...

16-11-2018

Olivier Giroud says it is ‘impossible’ to show homosexuality in football

• Chelsea forward says there is a lot of work to be done• Giroud has posed on the cover of a gay magazineChelsea’s forward Olivier Giroud has admitted he “understands the pain and difficulty” that prevents professional footballers coming out as gay, saying that it is “impossible” to show homosexuality in the sport.Giroud, who is in the France squad to face the Netherlands and Uruguay this week, posed on the cover of a gay magazine in 2012. Continue reading...

16-11-2018

Sports quiz of the week: Wayne Rooney, City v United and Formula 1

Who scored? Who stripped? Who is out of action?Wayne Rooney is likely to win his final England cap later this month. His first game for England ended in a 3-1 defeat to Australia. Which other young striker made his international debut that night, scored England’s only goal of the game and never played for his country again?Rickie Lambert Francis JeffersDavid Nugent James Beattie Where are England playing New Zealand at rugby this weekend?Bradford and BathLondon and LeedsManchester and CardiffWigan and SheffieldWhen it comes to the Manchester derby, what makes Ernest Mangnall unique?He scored for both sides in the derby in 1935 (a fine header for United and a scrappy own goal for City)He is the only man to have managed both clubsHe is the only player to have been sold from one club to the otherHe is the only United player who has gone on to manage CityIf it was Singapore in 2008, United Arab Emirates in 2009, South Korea in 2010 and India in 2011, where will it be in 2020?South AfricaVietnamWalesTurkeyWhy will Aldershot Town have to do without midfielder James Rowe for the next few months?After winning Britain’s Got Talent with his ukulele playing, he "wants to concentrate on music for a while"He has stepped away from football for a few months to star in a pantomimeHe has gone to Buenos Aires “to watch the Copa Libertadores final and check out Argentina”He was injured by a bottle of RibenaThe Women’s World Twenty20 begins this weekend. Who are the hosts and reigning champions?EnglandAustraliaIndiaWest Indies Bradley Stoke Town FC signed a new player this week. What is he called?Donald TrumpObama BarracksMichel BarnierBradley StokesHuddersfield's victory on Monday night means that every team in the Premier League has won a game this season. Who scored Huddersfield's winner?A Huddersfield playerA Newcastle player (on loan from Chelsea)A Cardiff City player (on loan from Liverpool )A Fulham player (on loan from Manchester United) Fernando Ovelar scored a goal for Cerro Porteño against Club Olimpia in the Paraguayan Superclásico this week. What is unusual about Ovelar’s goal?He was the refereeHe is also the club’s ownerHe is just 14 years old He played the first half for Olimpia but was signed for Cerro Porteño at half-time Who is the only player to have scored at Anfield and the Etihad this season?David Silva Danny Ings Callum Wilson Wesley Hoedt Zeki Celik was shown a yellow card for stripping Neymar of which item of clothing in Lille’s defeat to PSG?A hatA snoodA necklaceA gloveWho said: "I wanted to do something different. I want to give the people what they want – blood, sweat and tears. I can do it all"?José MourinhoTony BellewFloyd MayweatherWayne Rooney12 and above.You are a true credit to yourself. Have a cracking weekend. You've earned it1 and above.That's not very good. 2 and above.That's not a great score but it's something to build on next week 3 and above.That's not a great score but it's something to build on next week 4 and above.You've done OK there. Not great but not embarrassing either5 and above.You've done well there. Give yourself a thumbs up6 and above.You've done well there. Give yourself a thumbs up7 and above.You've done well there. Give yourself a thumbs up. Enjoy the weekend8 and above.You've done very well there. Enjoy the weekend9 and above.You've done very, very well there. Enjoy the weekend10 and above.You've done very, very, very well there. Have a cracking weekend0 and above.That's not very good. 11 and above.You are a credit to yourself. Have a cracking weekend. You've earned it Continue reading...

16-11-2018

UFC at 25: Things were a lot different back at UFC 1

BBC Sport throws it back to 1993, when the first UFC numbered event featured a boxer with one glove, non-existent weight divisions and a pair of very tight pants.

16-11-2018

Thousands of Leicester City fans march to honour Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha – video

Thousands of Leicester City fans marched on Saturday to honour former owner Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha and four others, who were killed when their helicopter crashed following Leicester's previous home match against West Ham. Fans gathered in Jubilee Square and marched towards the team's King Power Stadium  ahead of their match with Burnley waving Leicester City and Thai flags, with others holding up banners. Continue reading...

16-11-2018

Premier League to introduce VAR but clubs reject overseas quota cut

• VAR to be implemented from next season• Widespread opposition to plans to cut overseas playersThe Premier League has finally agreed in principle to introduce video assistant referees next season but discussions over increasing homegrown quotas looks set to continue after clubs indicated they were unwilling to reduce the number of foreign players in the event of any Brexit deal.Having opted to extend VAR trials in April, clubs were provided with an update at the shareholders’ meeting on Thursday and have decided to proceed. They will formally make a request to the International Football Association Board and Fifa to use VAR next season. Continue reading...

16-11-2018

England v Japan: Mark Wilson of Newcastle on his route to Test success

How hard work and an inspirational teacher propelled Newcastle forward Mark Wilson to become England's autumn break-out success.

16-11-2018

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

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?

16-11-2018

Renault appoint Thierry Koskas as head of Formula 1 programme

Renault appoint Thierry Koskas as the head of their Formula 1 programme to replace Jerome Stoll from 1 January.

16-11-2018

No shock in Federer scheduling claims but Laver Cup row more problematic | Kevin Mitchell

Everyone knows Roger Federer gets to play when and where he wants in every tournament he enters but Laver Cup issue is a sign of turbulent timesIt is rare to see Roger Federer flustered or short-tempered but both those sides of his personality were on show in London this week, and how revealing they were.Everyone knows (including the man himself) that he gets to play when and where he wants in every tournament he enters. He has earned it. He is not only the biggest draw in tennis, he has been one of the genuinely major stars of international sport for nearly two decades. Continue reading...

16-11-2018

Football transfer rumours: Godín or Alderweireld to Manchester United?

Today’s fluff might be heading north soonIf Thursday felt like deadline day for the British cabinet then it follows that Friday should be a little woozy, a touch mellow, spent in a fug of regret and looming fear of whatever the Bad Thing was. Fortunately The Mill only knows football and, well, have we got a never-ending stream of guilt-free tittle-tattle for you. First of all, who was José Mourinho watching in Brussels on Thursday when Belgium beat Iceland? None of his Manchester United players were involved, so does that mean he wants another nibble at Toby Alderweireld – who helped Belgium to keep a clean sheet in the 2-0 win – this January? The centre-back was by far the most obvious target out there and it is little secret that Mourinho would like to convince his superiors – a word we naturally wouldn’t use lightly – that United desperately need reinforcing in that position. Related: Alexis Sánchez signing plays part in Manchester United 10% wage bill rise Continue reading...

16-11-2018

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

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.

16-11-2018

Great golf duels, quick pitstops and sticking it up the punter | Classic YouTube

This week’s roundup also features propelling things at targets and narrowly avoiding being trampled1) It’s Tiger Woods v Phil Mickelson nonsense next week, which means an ideal time to look back at some maverick and even random golf matches. Here’s Tiger v Sergio in the Battle at Bighorn (2000), Seve v Jack in the Toyota Challenge of Champions (1986) and Ben Hogan v Sam Snead (1965). Then Skins … at Wentworth in 1988, Walton Heath in 1991, Lee Trevino at PGA West (1987) and Woods, again, at the Memorial Skins in 2009. And how about the $18,000 Putt-Putt Skins Game – 1989 edition and then 1992? And how could we possibly forget a famous 1964 duel at Stoke Park?2) Ferrari didn’t keep Sebastian Vettel waiting in the pits for his second stop at last weekend’s Brazilian Grand Prix – he was on his way again after an incredible 1.97 secs. Yet it’s still not the fastest ever. The pit lane ballet isn’t always so well choreographed, however. And beware: tyre jack. Continue reading...

16-11-2018

Richard Scudamore’s £5m reflects greedy and ruthless Premier League | David Conn

The executive chairman’s departure sits awkwardly next to fudged pledges to help football’s grassrootsIt was strangely appropriate that London was in political chaos over the UK’s impending exit from the European Union when the Premier League clubs gathered unruffled at their meeting and awarded their executive chairman, Richard Scudamore, an eye-popping £5m for choosing to leave his job. There they were, modern representatives of football clubs formed as social enterprises in Victorian England, by churches, schools and enlightened employers, presenting an image of being in a kind of money bubble, voting to give grossly excessive thanks to the man who has enriched them over 19 years. Related: Richard Scudamore will accept £5m departure bonus from Premier League Continue reading...

16-11-2018

Wayne Rooney on England, leaving the Premier League, and life in the US

Wayne Rooney talks to Football Focus about England, leaving the Premier League, and life in the US playing for DC United.

16-11-2018