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

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...

15-12-2018

Formula E breakdown: 'Unbelievable' circuits & 'mega' cars - five reasons to watch

From "unbelievable" locations to former Formula 1 drivers in "mega" cars, BBC Radio 5 live commentator Jack Nicholls tells us why Formula E is a must-watch.

15-12-2018

The 100 best footballers in the world 2017

Our panel of 169 experts from 63 nations compile a list of the greatest male players in 2017. Click on an individual to read more about their year.• Messi edges Ronaldo to No1 | The data behind our 100 | Watch: our top 10• Meet our panel of judges for 2017 | 2016 edition | 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 Continue reading...

15-12-2018

World sport: 10 photos we liked this week - 22-28 October

A selection of the most striking sports photographs from around the world this week.

15-12-2018

Team Sky’s legacy: titles and ambition tarnished by coldness and allegations | Richard Williams

The cycling team, who will lose Sky as a sponsor next year, raised the sport’s profile in Britain but took it away from the humanity treasured by puristsEvery now and then a new force enters a sport with an impact so crushing it reshapes and even deforms the whole competition. So it was with the state-sponsored German grand prix teams in the 1930s, with East African distance runners over the past two decades and with football clubs benefiting today from the sovereign wealth of Arab states. Team Sky’s recent dominance of cycling’s major events can be measured on that scale.Many will mourn the passing of a name that helped bring British riders to the forefront of the sport: first Bradley Wiggins, then Chris Froome and most recently Geraint Thomas. When Wiggins won the Tour de France in 2012 it was the fulfilment of what had long appeared an impossible dream. By the time of Thomas’s recent Tour victory – a sixth for Sky in seven years – it seemed almost commonplace. Froome’s victories in the Vuelta a España in 2017 and this year’s Giro d’Italia meant he and the team held all three grand tour jerseys simultaneously. Continue reading...

15-12-2018

Raheem Sterling comments 'a game changing moment' for sports journalism

BBC Sport's Hugh Woozencroft debates with three black sports journalists the issues raised by Raheem Sterling's comments on race, football and the media.

15-12-2018

Newcastle cancel Christmas party after deciding it would be a ‘wrong’ move

• Threat of relegation means no festive fun for players • ‘If something’s wrong, you have to realise,’ says Rafael BenítezNewcastle United’s players have cancelled their Christmas party for the second year running, and Rafael Benítez is suitably relieved.Jamaal Lascelles, Newcastle’s captain, had planned a festive celebration in London this weekend but he and his team-mates came to the conclusion that partying is not a good look for a side in peril of relegation. Continue reading...

15-12-2018

Sports quiz of the week: Champions League, Canelo and conspiracies

Who was big? Who doubted? Who scored Liverpool’s penalties?What offer did basketball player Stephen Curry receive this week?President Trump offered him the job of coaching USA’s Olympics basketball teamMarvel offered him a role as a baddie in their next superhero moviePhil Mickelson offered him a winner-takes-all round of mini-golfNasa offered him a tour of the lunar lab at their space centre in HoustonMichael “Rocky” Fielding fights Saúl “Canelo” Álvarez in New York this weekend. Why was Rocky given his nickname?He starred in Creed 2 as young Rocky’s body double He was born in Ballyrock He has never watched any Rocky films and vows he never willHe weighed 10lb when he was born On a similar theme, what does “canelo” mean?ChampChopperCinnamonChilledAll four English clubs in the Champions League have qualified for the knockout stages. Which of them did so with a negative goal difference in their group?Manchester United LiverpoolTottenham HotspurManchester CityVinicius Junior was just 18 years and 152 days old when he made his Champions League debut for Real Madrid on Wednesday night. Which player was even younger when he started for Real against Ajax in the competition in September 1995?Iker CasillasRaúlGutiLuis Enrique Liverpool host Manchester United at Anfield on Sunday afternoon. Who scored two penalties for Liverpool the last time they beat United in the league? Luis SuárezDanny MurphySteven GerrardFernando TorresTeam Sky, whose future is in doubt, have won six of the last seven editions of the Tour de France. Which cyclist won the other one?Vincenzo NibaliNairo Quintana Rigoberto Urán Romain Bardet The new Formula E season begins in Saudi Arabia on Saturday. Which innovation has been introduced for this season?Attack mode, which gives drivers a temporary speed boost like in Mario KartTag-team mode, which gives teams a chance to sub in a Formula 1 driver for one race of the season Water mode, which permits teams to soak the track in one race of their choice Petrol mode, which permits teams to use non-electric cars for one race of their choiceEngland played Belgium twice in the football World Cup earlier this year (and lost twice). The two countries are meeting in the semi-finals of which tournament this weekend?Men's Hockey World CupChess World CupCurling World CupWomen's Volleyball World CupIn which city are Anastasia Dobromyslova and Lisa Ashton competing at the minute?RiyadhLondonNew York CityMelbourne1 and above.Oh dear. That's a bad score2 and above.Oh dear. That's a bad score3 and above.Oh dear4 and above.Not bad but not great5 and above.Not bad but not great6 and above.Nice work. Enjoy your weekend7 and above.Superb scoring. Enjoy your weekend9 and above.Superb scoring. Enjoy your weekend8 and above.Superb scoring. Enjoy your weekend0 and above.Poor show10 and above.You are a genius. Enjoy your weekend Continue reading...

15-12-2018

Champions League: how far will the 16 teams go in the knockout stages?

Will PSG finally make the last four? Will Liverpool win away from Anfield? Will Lyon win another game? By Ben McAleer and Josh Wright for WhoScoredAjax have qualified for the Champions League knockout stages for the first time in 13 years and almost did so as group winners. The four-time European Cup winners were eight minutes away from beating Bayern Munich on Wednesday, only to then come from behind and secure a 3-3 draw. Ajax are one of only five teams unbeaten in the competition, after three wins and three draws. They have been particularly successful in turning over the ball high up the pitch and that could be important in the knockout stage; only Manchester City (43) won possession in the attacking third more times than Ajax (39). Continue reading...

15-12-2018

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

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...

15-12-2018

Pep Guardiola: Kevin De Bruyne is fresh, recovered … he is a special player

• Kevin De Bruyne could make his return against Everton• Manager believes Belgian’s injuries could prove a blessingPep Guardiola believes Kevin De Bruyne’s injuries may prove a blessing in disguise for Manchester City because the Belgian will return fresh for the second half of the season.De Bruyne is back in full training after his second knee problem of the campaign. Continue reading...

15-12-2018

Sheffield United 1-2 West Bromwich Albion: Baggies come from behind to beat Blades

West Brom come from behind to pick up a crucial victory at fellow Championship promotion contenders Sheffield United.

15-12-2018

LA Chargers beat Kansas City Chiefs in stunning late comeback

The Los Angeles Chargers fight back from seven points down to beat the Kansas City Chiefs with a two-point conversion in the final seconds.

15-12-2018

Gary Anderson beats Kevin Burness to make third round of PDC World Darts

• Two-time world champion hits seven 180s during victory• Wins also for Ted Evetts, Chris Dobey and Danny NoppertThe two-time world champion Gary Anderson booked his place in the third round of the PDC World Championship by beating Northern Ireland’s Kevin Burness 3-1, hitting seven 180s on the way.Anderson won three legs in a row to take the opening set against Burness, who beat Paul Nicholson in the day’s afternoon session. Continue reading...

15-12-2018

Men: how to be kinder to yourself – and feel more confident

A growing ‘kindful movement’ is gathering pace, says author Caroline Millington, and men have much to gain from itYou’d have had to be trapped in the Love Island villa all summer with no access to the outside world to have missed the latest movement in self-care.It’s on T-shirts, phone covers, Instagram quotes, street art … I’ve even written an entire book about it. The buzzword? “Kind”. Continue reading...

15-12-2018