'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?

15-12-2018

Great Britain begin Track Cycling World Cup with double pursuit gold

• Hosts win men’s and women’s team events in London• Young British quartet pick up bronze in men’s eventGreat Britain enjoyed a successful first day of the Track Cycling World Cup in London that produced golds in the women’s and men’s team pursuit.Laura Kenny, Katie Archibald, Neah Evans and Ellie Dickinson claimed their third consecutive World Cup title after reeling in the United States with more than 1km to go. 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

The Breakdown | England’s dilemma: undermine Eddie Jones or risk scramble for a top coach

Looking for a successor could be a distraction in World Cup year but waiting could mean the talent is snaffled up and Wales and Ireland have already made their moveThe start of the World Cup is nine months away but countries are already thinking about their next coach. Wales are sorted, appointing Wayne Pivac in the summer knowing Warren Gatland would be off after his side’s final match in Japan, as are Ireland, with Andy Farrell to take over from Joe Schmidt.In New Zealand, Steve Hansen is due to announce this evening UK time as to whether he will seek a new contract after the World Cup. Rassie Erasmus has told South Africa he will not be carrying on after Japan, focusing on his director of rugby role instead. Australia’s Michael Cheika may not last that long after taking part in a performance review this month after the Wallabies’ worst year, in terms of results, for 60 years. A decision is expected before Christmas. Continue reading...

15-12-2018

Lisa Ashton goes to the oche and the nuns go wild at the PDC World Darts

Ashton took the opening leg in style but her first visit to Alexandra Palace ended in defeatBy 6pm the fairground outside Ally Pally is just beginning to wind down, the ferris wheel has stopped going, the merry-go-round is slowing and there is a sign outside the grotto promising that Santa will be back again tomorrow. So, at that time of night, it’s little kids this way and big kids that, up the hill and on beyond the fair to the Great Hall for the opening night of the PDC World Championship. For a lot of people the trip is a winter tradition now, a little less solemn than the carol service at St Paul’s, a little less sobering than swimming in the Serpentine on Christmas morning.The Championship has junked one of its own old rituals. The walk-on girls are gone. The PDC chairman, Barry Hearn, says he was forced into it by the TV companies. “It’s out of my control,” he said. “We’re living in changing times – the PC brigade, the liberal brigade are out in strength.” 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

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

England Netball: Sport England to back national programme until 2021

England Netball will receive financial backing from Sport England until 2021.

15-12-2018

David Squires on … the mistreatment of Raheem Sterling

Our cartoonist on why it’s hard to exaggerate the vilification Raheem Sterling has been subjected to in recent yearsIf you like David’s cartoons, buy his book Goalless Draws 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

Livingston 5-0 Hearts: Hosts score five goals and Arnaud Djoum sent off in 14-minute spell

Five goals and a red card in the space of 14 minutes ensure Livingston hammer Hearts in the Scottish Premiership.

15-12-2018

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

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...

15-12-2018

The Spin | Big Bash’s flipping bats recall stories of cunning ploys with tossed coins

When you look closely at the ritual, it begins to seem odd that cricket lets blind luck and ‘dynamical bias’ play such a large partWhen he was 14, Persi Diaconis packed a fresh deck of cards and a spare pair of socks into a knapsack and ran away from home to become a magician’s assistant. He spent the next few years as an apprentice with Dai Vernon, whose sleight of hand was so smart, so sharp, he even beat Harry Houdini, who famously claimed he could pick any magic trick on the third go, until Vernon fooled him seven times in a row.They used to call Vernon “the Professor”, and now they do Diaconis, too. Because that is what he is. The Mary V Sunseri professor of statistics and mathematics, to be exact, at Stanford, where he has been continuing his lifelong study of chance and probability. Continue reading...

15-12-2018