Calm, alert and brave, Gordon Banks was the ideal goalkeeper for any age | Richard Williams

16-02-2019 For a while, as the 60s bled into the 70s, Gordon Banks, who has died at the age of 81, was accepted as the finest goalkeeper in the worldNot all of the 11 players who won the World Cup for England in 1966 would claim he was the best in his position the country has ever produced. Two or three might have a good shout, but the one over whom there could be no dissent was Gordon Banks.He was, in short, the ideal goalkeeper for any age. Calm but ever alert, organising his defenders, watching his angles, plucking the ball out of the air, anticipating what a forward with the ball at his feet might do next, as brave as a lion in an era when strikers had a licence to intimidate, his qualities were beyond dispute. Continue reading...

Sports quiz of the week: managers, money, metal medals and monikers

16-02-2019 Who defied his age? Who scored quickly? Who made a packet? Matt Kuchar earned $1.3m in prize money for his victory at the Mayakoba Golf Classic. How much did the golfer pay his caddie?$5,000$130,000 $300,000 $1.3m Why does Anthony Joshua’s next opponent, Jarrell Miller, go by the nickname “Big Baby”? He takes a cuddly toy with him wherever he goesHe weighed 10 pounds at birthHis first opponent called him that before the opening bell – and was quickly knocked outHe lost a betJoshua is fighting Miller on 1 June. Which other sporting event is taking place that night?The last game of the Six Nations The Cricket World Cup final The men’s singles final at WimbledonThe Champions League finalWho scored a hat-trick in 30 minutes this week?Sergio Agüero Eden Hazard Roberto Firmino Jonny MayPaul Scholes made his managerial debut this week. Which footballer announced his retirement on the day Scholes made his playing debut way back in 1994?Bryan Robson Gary LinekerDiego Maradona Glenn Hoddle Gordon Banks, who died this week aged 81, is most famous for winning the World Cup with England in 1966. In which country did he play his last game as a professional footballer in 1977?Republic of IrelandEgyptCanada UruguayDeclan Rice says he wants to play for the England football team. Why has his decision gone down badly with some Irish supporters?He grew up in Northern Ireland and played for their Under-21 team He was born in the Republic of Ireland He has already played three matches for the Republic of IrelandHe was in the Republic of Ireland squad for Euro 2016 but didn't playThe organisers of next year’s Olympics in Tokyo say the medals will be made from…Metals mined from below the stadium in Tokyo Old phones and computersShipwrecks found off the Japanese coastMetal found in the Acropolis in Athens Where is the best team in the southern hemisphere meeting the best team in the northern hemisphere this weekend?Wellington WichitaWiganWinnipegMatthijs de Ligt captained Ajax against Real Madrid this week in the Champions League. What is remarkable about that?He only made his debut in August He has already signed to play for Real Madrid next season He is still a teenagerHis brother captained the team in their previous match 1 and above.Nine wrong answers in a multiple-choice format. Impressive2 and above.Eight wrong answers in a multiple-choice format. Impressive3 and above.Chin up. There's always next week4 and above.Chin up. There's always next week5 and above.That's a fine score. Well played6 and above.That's a fine score. Well played7 and above.That's a fine score. Well played. 8 and above.That's a super score. Well played9 and above.You star. Have a great weekend0 and above.Ten wrong answers in a multiple-choice format. Impressive10 and above.You legend. Have a great weekend Continue reading...

Premiership: Gloucester beat leaders Exeter 24-17 at Kingsholm

16-02-2019 Gloucester upset Premiership leaders Exeter as they win 24-17 in a thrilling contest at Kingsholm.

FA People's Cup: Romance FC - the female five-a-side football collective

16-02-2019 Meet Romance FC - the collective of creative women from East London who are playing in this year's FA People's Cup.

Chris Smalling says Manchester United are once again a team to be feared

16-02-2019 • Defender says team playing their best since Alex Ferguson era• United away to Chelsea in FA Cup on MondayChris Smalling can draw on his own challenging childhood when talking to the pupils of Salford City Academy. He is there as the new patron of Football Beyond Borders, a charity that hopes to provide stability and hope for disadvantaged youngsters. Smalling’s glittering career shows how difficult beginnings can be overcome. The 29-year-old lost his father as a child and was raised on a council estate, the family requiring social security. Related: Kylian Mbappé’s teleportation device leaves Manchester United floundering | Barney Ronay Continue reading...

Talking Horses: rhythm for Al Dancer at Ascot plus Saturday’s best bets

16-02-2019 The Nigel Twiston-Davies trained unbeaten hurdler looked to have plenty more to offer when he won at CheltenhamA slightly reduced version of the Betfair Handicap Hurdle will be the main betting race on Ascot’s excellent card and it is hard to escape the claims of Al Dancer (3.20). From the Nigel Twiston-Davies yard that had a winner with its first runner back after racing restarted this week, he is unbeaten over hurdles and looked highly progressive when scoring at Cheltenham in December.That was his handicap debut and even a 12lb hike in the ratings may not stop him. Getaway Trump is a talented opponent but may find this too much of a test of speed. Continue reading...

FA Cup: Man City will suffer against League Two Newport County, says Pep Guardiola

16-02-2019 Manchester City will "suffer" against Newport County in Saturday's FA Cup fifth-round tie, says boss Pep Guardiola.

Presenting Percy to miss prep race and may go straight into Gold Cup

16-02-2019 • Trainer Pat Kelly opts against running in chase at Gowran• Owner Philip Reynolds says they are ‘happy with where he is’Presenting Percy could go straight to the Cheltenham Gold Cup after connections of the talented but rarely spotted animal decided against the prep run that had been planned for him on Saturday. That raises the extraordinary possibility of a horse starting favourite for the Gold Cup despite not having raced over fences for a full year.Horses have won major races after injury-plagued preparations, restricted them to rare appearances at the track but it is something new for a young, reportedly healthy and top-class chaser to be campaigned so sparingly. There was no public comment from his Athenry-based trainer, Pat Kelly, and the only available explanation came from Presenting Percy’s owner, Philip Reynolds. Continue reading...

Root joins Murray and Southgate in standing up for social tolerance | Tim de Lisle

16-02-2019 England captain has done cricket a great service – his reaction to a perceived homophobic remark was cool, calm, collected … and rightCricketers call it sledging, or chirping: the business of trying to undermine your opponent with verbal abuse. It’s a dismal habit that shows us sport at its most small-minded and should have been banned long ago. But this week it has done the world a favour.In the Test in St Lucia, the West Indies bowler Shannon Gabriel was bad-mouthing the England captain, Joe Root. What Gabriel said the stump microphone did not catch but it did bring us Root’s reply: “Don’t use it as an insult. There’s nothing wrong with being gay.” Continue reading...

Dyed beards and lucky stones: Crazy Gang lives on at AFC Wimbledon | Barry Glendenning

16-02-2019 The successors to the 1988 FA Cup-winning side have revealed the unusual practices they hope will help them beat MillwallWhile his teammate Scott Wagstaff sits in the home dressing room at Kingsmeadow getting his bushy ginger beard dyed bright blue and yellow, the AFC Wimbledon midfielder Anthony Wordsworth is in the President’s Lounge telling reporters about his lucky stones. The original FA Cup-winning Crazy Gang may have been uprooted and moved to Milton Keynes many moons ago, but at the fan-owned phoenix club which replaced it there is still an apparent undercurrent of madness.Quiet and unassuming, Wordsworth is anything but deranged, although at one point he teetered on the brink. As a Southend player, he suffered the trauma of losing his beloved older brother, Steven, to a heart attack, a bereavement that led to a slump in form and eventually left him without a club. Picked up by Wimbledon, he is looking forward to an FA Cup fifth-round tie against Millwall on Saturday following his side’s demolition of West Ham. Continue reading...

Dan Christian heroics send Renegades into Big Bash League final

16-02-2019 Renegades beat Sydney Sixers by three wicketsStars await in all-Melbourne final on SundayMelbourne Renegades will host cross-city rivals the Stars in Sunday’s BBL decider after claiming a thrilling three-wicket semi-final victory over Sydney Sixers.Set 181 to win on Friday night at Marvel Stadium, the Renegades required 46 off the final four overs but held their nerve to book a first BBL final appearance. Continue reading...

FA Cup: Etienne Capoue gives Watford win against QPR

16-02-2019 Etienne Capoue gives Watford a win against QPR after finishing an inadvertent assist from Tom Cleverley in the FA Cup fifth round.

Laura Muir has her sights on 1988 indoor mile record in Birmingham

16-02-2019 • Kirsty Wade’s indoor mile Birtish record has stood for 31 years• Muir to defend her 1500m and 3,000m indoor titles next monthShortly after Laura Muir first broke into the British team in 2014 she received an unexpected request from the Scottish middle distance legend Kirsty Wade. “We think Laura has something special,” she wrote in a long email via her husband. “And we would love to see her name in front of mine in the rankings over the next few years.” Related: Laura Muir: ‘I don’t like taking anything. I don’t even drink coffee’ Continue reading...

Football transfer rumours: Suso to Spurs or Arsenal? De Ligt to Man City?

16-02-2019 Today’s fluff is warming up nicelyNow that Tottenham no longer plan to spend half of their cash on an executive cheese room at the new White Hart Lane, they can make more room in their budget for football stuff. That means they can buy some new training bibs, take muddy kits to the launderette after every game, make sure that everyone has shin pads, get enough half-time oranges for the whole team and give Son Heung-min a new contract worth a whopping £150,000 a week. Hooray! Let the good times roll! Related: Sergio Ramos facing Champions League ban for intentional booking at Ajax Continue reading...

FA Cup: Five fifth-round ties to look out for this weekend

16-02-2019 There are eight FA Cup fifth-round ties taking place between Friday and Monday. Here, BBC Sport takes a look at five of them.

Sports quiz of the week: a birthday present, a record and a whiskey cup

16-02-2019 Who wants a miracle? Who needs a drink? Who ran the world?What did Susannah Gill achieve in 24 hours, 19 minutes and nine seconds?She rowed from Botany Bay to Belfast She cycled from Asia to AfricaShe ran seven marathons across seven continents in seven daysShe swam from England to FranceNeymar celebrated his 27th birthday this week. In his speech at his party, what did the PSG forward say he wanted as a present?For his teammates “to stop losing without me” To move back to Spain A new metatarsal To become “the Tom Brady of soccer”Where is the Centenary Quaich being contested this weekend?DublinEdinburghLondon Chicago53% of households in New Orleans watched the Super Bowl last year. Why did that figure fall to 26% this year?People listened to the radio instead as Barack Obama was doing guest commentary Fans boycotted because a dubious refereeing decision ruled out their team Donald Trump was in the city so people were out protesting The main broadcast company mistakenly sold rights to New Zealand rather than New OrleansIn which of these leagues has one of the teams not lost yet this season?Bundesliga La Liga Ligue 1 Premier League Serie AAnd which league has a team who have not drawn a game yet this season?BundesligaLa Liga Ligue 1Premier League Serie A What world record did golfer James Nitties equal this week at the Vic Open in Australia?He went 18 straight tournaments without dropping a shot He hit nine birdies in a row He missed the cut at a tournament for the 21st time in a row He lost 10 balls on one roundWhy did Newport County goalkeeper Joe Day sprint off the pitch at the final whistle after his team had beaten Middlesbrough in the FA Cup?To brush his hair and "look smart" for the post-match interviewsHe was “absolutely busting for a number two”He is a Middlesbrough fan and “felt a bit teary”To see his partner, who was in labourDulwich Hamlet signed Simon Bloch Jørgensen this week. What makes Jørgensen stand out?He plays as a goalkeeper but refuses to wear gloves He is the tallest professional footballer playing in EnglandHe wears glasses while playing He insists on wearing a shirt with no branding or sponsorship PSG play Manchester United in the Champions League on Tuesday night. Which of these footballers has not played for both teams?Gabriel Heinze Ángel Di María Zlatan Ibrahimovic Ray Wilkins Laurent Blanc David Beckham It’s the Madrid derby this weekend, which pits Diego Simeone against Santiago Solari, the sixth different Real Madrid manager he has faced while in charge of Atlético. Who did Simeone face in his first Madrid derby as a manager?Rafa BenítezFabio Capello José MourinhoCarlo AncelottiWhich of the last-16 ties features two clubs that have won the competition three times in a row?Manchester United v PSGAtlético Madrid v JuventusLiverpool v Bayern MunichAjax v Real Madrid 11 and above.You've done very well there. Good work. Have a super weekend12 and above.You've done very, very well there. Good work. Have a super weekend1 and above.It's not a good score but fret not. It's a Friday. Go forth and have fun2 and above.It's not a good score but fret not. It's a Friday. Go forth and have fun3 and above.It's not a good score but fret not. It's a Friday. Go forth and have fun4 and above.You've done OK there. Not great but certainly OK5 and above.You've done OK there. Not great but certainly OK6 and above.You've done OK there. Not great but certainly OK7 and above.You've done well there. Good work. Have a super weekend8 and above.You've done well there. Good work. Have a super weekend9 and above.You've done well there. Good work. Have a super weekend0 and above.It's not a good score but fret not. It's a Friday. Go forth and have fun10 and above.You've done very well there. Good work. Have a super weekend Continue reading...

Andy Farrell says succeeding Joe Schmidt will be his greatest challenge

16-02-2019 • Ireland assistant ‘proud and privileged’ to take reins• Farrell confirms Johnny Sexton will be fit for Italy gameAndy Farrell has rated succeeding Joe Schmidt as Ireland head coach the biggest challenge of his career. The former dual-code England international will step up from assistant coach when Schmidt steps down after the autumn’s World Cup in Japan.The 43-year-old has worked under Schmidt since 2016 amid Ireland’s rise to second in the world, after four years as England defence coach. Continue reading...