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How to ghost write a football book

In 2011 I emailed football manager Stephen Constantine to ask him if he’d ever considered doing an autobiography. Six years later, our book has just gone on sale

By Owen Amos for The Set Pieces, part of the Guardian Sport Network

I first emailed Stephen Constantine in September 2010. I was organising a football tour to Nepal (a long story) and remembered, years earlier, reading about an Englishman who managed their national team in the late 1990s. I found Stephen’s website and emailed him, asking for advice. To my surprise, he replied.

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Geoffrey Boycott apologises for ‘unacceptable’ West Indies remark

• Boycott suggested he could be knighted if he ‘blacked up’
• Boycott: ‘What I said was clearly wrong and I apologise unreservedly’

Geoffrey Boycott has offered an unreserved apology for an alleged racist comment. The 76-year-old former England and Yorkshire batsman suggested he would have a better chance of being knighted if he “blacked up”, the Daily Mirror reported on Tuesday.

Boycott responded on Twitter, accepting his comments were “unacceptable” and “clearly wrong”.

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Tevez, Kuyt & Heinze among footballers named in hackers' leak

Carlos Tevez, Dirk Kuyt and Gabriel Heinze have been named by hackers Fancy Bears as three of the footballers allowed to use banned medicines during the 2010 World Cup.The trio were among 25 players given Therapeutic Use Exemptions (TUEs) during the to…

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English Football League investigates after fans made to show bras to stewards

EFL launches inquiry after Grimsby Town supporters subjected to ‘invasive’ checks at Stevenage football club

The English Football League is investigating after female football fans were made to show their bras during “grossly invasive” security searches.

At least 10 Grimsby Town supporters had their bras checked by stewards at Stevenage football club on Saturday.

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How one family inspired a football revolution for girls in a village in Pakistan

The Inayats started a team in Shimshal, motivated by social pressures faced by young girls in the region, and now they cannot keep up with demand

Shimshal is a small village in one of the most northern parts of Pakistan, the highest settlement in the Hunza Valley at 3,800 metres above sea level. A short distance from China’s most western border, it has a population of about 2,000 inhabitants.

City life is a world away; dusty Shimshal is a 16-hour drive from Islamabad, 20 from Lahore. It is not the sort of pocket where one would expect to find an appetite for women’s football. Yet girls are queueing up to take part.

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How one family inspired a football revolution for girls in a village in Pakistan

The Inayats started a team in Shimshal, motivated by social pressures faced by young girls in the region, and now they cannot keep up with demand

Shimshal is a small village in one of the most northern parts of Pakistan, the highest settlement in the Hunza Valley at 3,800 metres above sea level. A short distance from China’s most western border, it has a population of about 2,000 inhabitants.

City life is a world away; dusty Shimshal is a 16-hour drive from Islamabad, 20 from Lahore. It is not the sort of pocket where one would expect to find an appetite for women’s football. Yet girls are queueing up to take part.

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Wayne Rooney burns bright to rekindle England hopes under Southgate’s gaze | Jamie Jackson

Adam Lallana’s thigh injury has opened up berth in Southgate’s squad and he must be impressed at how Rooney is back knocking in the goals for Everton

Wayne Rooney’s 200th Premier League goal was particularly sweet as it came before a Manchester City crowd who just love to detest the former Manchester United captain. Rooney left Old Trafford in the summer for Everton as record scorer with 253 goals. Here he registered a 19th finish for his boyhood club, an instinctive left-foot jab that squeezed under Ederson’s legs before ricocheting in via the left post. Rooney duly put extra spice into his celebration at a venue he has previously enjoyed for United.

Related: Raheem Sterling draws comfort for 10-man Manchester City against Everton

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Girona the town with the world’s top restaurant now has a team to relish | Sid Lowe

Loud and leaping fans test the strength of Girona’s temporary stands as top-flight debut verges on perfection against formidable Atlético Madrid

On the way out of the Free City of Braavos, over the river and to the south, leaving King’s Landing behind too, is a bar. Unlike the buildings and narrow streets of the old town of Girona, the setting for Game of Thrones, it’s nothing much and it’s not exactly medieval but it is the only one on Avinguda de Montilivi and the last stop en route, so a small crowd gathers dressed in red and white. On the window is a sign. “Stadium: half a kilometre,” it says. A few hundred metres further along concrete blocks moved into place by a forklift truck guard the road and beyond that, the arena rises up – much higher than it used to.

Half the stand is made of scaffolding and to the left there is more of it, erected over the seats and complete with a tarpaulin roof, the kind of structure temporarily set up for fiestas all over Spain. The stands were not there a few weeks ago; well into the summer, they still did not even have permission to build, so when they went up they went up fast. They had to: scene of 25 sieges, captured seven times, Girona has a 2,000-year history, 97,586 people, and the best restaurant in the world, according to Restaurant magazine, but until Saturday it had never had a first division football team. Until, a bit before seven, heading down the hill from the other side came Atlético Madrid.

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Football transfer rumours: Jamie Vardy to Chelsea?

Today’s fluff is in it for the long haul

Atlético Madrid remain hopeful of signing Diego Costa before the window shuts, so impressed are with the gruelling fitness regime that involves the motormouth striker working up a sweat by never talking to the media every three seconds, but first they want him to make peace with Chelsea. That should be simple enough given that Costa is hardly the type to pick an unnecessary fight. He just has to sit in a locked room with the similarly placid Antonio Conte and make sure not to upset the Chelsea manager. Keep a straight face while complimenting the Italian’s hair. Avoid talking about the FA Cup final. Try not to have a debate about whether it’s ever acceptable to break up with someone with a text message.

Related: Transfer window 2017 – every deal in Europe’s top five leagues

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Rooney's focus on Everton over England after 200th Premier League goal

Wayne Rooney

Striker Wayne Rooney says he is “focusing on Everton” rather than an international recall after scoring his 200th Premier League goal.

Rooney, 31, netted the opener in Monday’s 1-1 draw at Manchester City – his second goal in two league games.

England manager Gareth Southgate overlooked him for matches against Scotland and Spain in June.

Rooney said: “I’m sure I’ll speak to Gareth Southgate over the next few days. We’ll see what happens.”

Southgate is due to name a squad on Thursday for the World Cup qualifiers in Malta on 1 September, and home to Slovakia three days later.

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Former England captain Rooney is the leading all-time scorer for both his country – with 53 – and Manchester United, for whom he scored 253 times in 13 years.

Having rejoined Everton this summer, Rooney has scored in the team’s opening two Premier League games – against Stoke and Manchester City.

Finding the net at Etihad Stadium made him only the second player after Alan Shearer to score 200 Premier League goals.

Rooney, who celebrated by cupping his ears in front of the home supporters, told Sky Sports: “It was nice.

“To do it today in such an important game for us, with tough games coming up, it was a sweet moment and I am sure the red half of Manchester will have enjoyed it as well.”

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Welcome to the club – reaction

Premier League’s leading goalscorer Alan Shearer: “Congratulations Wayne on reaching 200 Premier League goals, a great achievement. Where have you been? The 200 club has been a lonely place without you. Well done, I am sure you have a few more goals in you.”

Everton manager Ronald Koeman: “He is still the player that every manager needs in his team. He is back home. He is that teacher for younger players. We would like to win titles and he knows how to win titles. He has that cleverness to know the best decision on the pitch.

“Players over 30 need regular game time. He had a good pre-season – trained and played a lot. He is in the physical state he needs to give these performances.”

Former Manchester United and Everton defender Phil Neville on BBC Radio 5 live: “I think this move has come at the perfect time for him in his career, I don’t think he is anywhere near finished. I see a footballer who looks challenged, motivated and really, really happy playing for the club that he loves more than any other.

“The biggest question may be whether Wayne Rooney wants to play for England, not whether England want Wayne Rooney. Looking at him, he’s playing in the Europa League and he will want to do well for Everton. He might be want the international break to recharge his batteries.”

Former Everton and England midfielder Leon Osman on BBC Radio 5 live: “His performances justify the [England] talk, he’s been one of the better strikers at the start of this season. We all know the quality Wayne’s got, he just wasn’t quite getting the run of games at Manchester United.

“He’s not the long-term future but we’re talking about a man who’s 31. I didn’t make my England debut until I was 31, so there’s still a lot of football left in Wayne Rooney. If he continues to play like he is doing, I can certainly see him being involved in the summer in the World Cup.”

Everton midfielder Idrissa Gueye: “Very tough game! Disappointed not to get all three points but congratulations to Wayne Rooney for his 200th goals.”

Former club Manchester United: “Congratulations to Wayne Rooney on reaching 200 Premier League goals. A true legend!”

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Top Premier League goalscorers
Player Appearances Goals
Alan Shearer 441 260
Wayne Rooney 462 200
Andy Cole 414 187
Frank Lampard 609 177
Thierry Henry 258 175
Robbie Fowler 379 163

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Manchester City will improve, vows Guardiola after draw with Everton – video

Pep Guardiola cut a frustrated figure after watching his Manchester City side draw 1-1 with Everton in the Premier League on Monday. Guardiola refused to discuss the referee’s decision to send Kyle Walker off on his home debut for the club but praises his players for rescuing a point after Wayne Rooney had given the visitors the lead

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Western Force to consider new Asian competition if Super Rugby appeal fails

  • ‘It’s an embryonic idea, but one worth exploring,’ says Force CEO
  • Axed club to find out if appeal will be heard in supreme court

The Western Force will consider launching a new rugby union competition in Asia if they cannot win their way back into Super Rugby ranks after they were axed by the ARU earlier this month.

Related: Australian Rugby Union errs in decision to cull Western Force

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Victoria Azarenka confirms she will miss US Open over child custody battle

  • Belarusian pulls out of final grand slam of year due to ‘ongoing family situation’
  • Former world No1 not permitted to take her son out of California

Two-time grand slam winner Victoria Azarenka has withdrawn from the US Open as she is not allowed to take her baby son out of California amid a custody battle with her former partner.

The 28-year-old Belarusian returned to action in June, after the birth of her son Leo last December, and had been hopeful that legal arrangements could be worked out to allow her to compete in the grand slam in New York.

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Eniola Aluko: Kick It Out wants new FA inquiry into England striker's claims

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The Football Association should conduct “a comprehensive and independent review” into Eniola Aluko’s claims against England boss Mark Sampson, says anti…

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Ronald Koeman hints Everton’s red card was referee’s way of evening up

• Manchester City’s Pep Guardiola refuses to discuss Kyle Walker dismissal
• Wayne Rooney expects chat with Gareth Southgate about England return

Ronald Koeman suggested the referee, Bobby Madley, evened up his dismissal of Manchester City’s Kyle Walker by also showing Everton’s Morgan Schneiderlin a red card in the 1-1 draw between the sides at the Etihad Stadium.

Related: Raheem Sterling draws comfort for 10-man Manchester City against Everton

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Jack Wilshere sent off after brawl in under-23 win over Manchester City

• Arsenal midfielder sees red along with City defender Tyreke Wilson
• Wilshere in final year at club after Bournemouth loan and broken leg

Jack Wilshere was sent off after being involved in a mass brawl during the Arsenal under-23 match against Manchester City at the Emirates Stadium.

Wilshere has yet to play for the first team this season, having spent the last one on loan at Bournemouth, but is now fit following his recovery from a fracture to the lower left leg suffered during Bournemouth’s 4-0 defeat at Spurs in April.

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'Next question' – Guardiola refuses to comment on Walker red card

[unable to retrieve full-text content]Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola says his side “put absolutely everything on the pitch” in their 1-1 Premier League draw with Everton which saw a first-half red card for defender Kyle Walker.

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Sterling rescues point for Man City against Everton

Wayne Rooney scores for Everton at Manchester City

Raheem Sterling’s volley salvaged a point for 10-man Manchester City as Everton were denied victory on the night Wayne Rooney scored his 200th Premier League goal.

City were left with an uphill battle after Rooney’s strike was followed by Kyle Walker’s dismissal after two quick bookings just 44 minutes into his home debut.

But Pep Guardiola’s side showed belief and spirit to avoid only their second home defeat under the Spaniard.

Rooney, 31, looked to have given Everton victory after he slid Dominic Calvert-Lewin’s square pass between City keeper Ederson’s legs from eight yards.

And the Toffees’ cause was helped when England full-back Walker slid in late on Leighton Baines and was then booked again, rather harshly, for catching Calvert-Lewin in the face as they competed for a high ball.

Despite their numerical disadvantage, the home side continued to press after the break and were rewarded when Sterling fired in Mason Holgate’s weak defensive header.

Everton also finished with 10 men when midfielder Morgan Schneiderlin was shown a second yellow card for catching Sergio Aguero late.

Rooney haunts City… again

Wayne Rooney celebrates his 200th Premier League goal<!–

Rooney became only the second player to score 200 Premier League goals – after former Blackburn and Newcastle striker Alan Shearer – when he put the visitors ahead after 35 minutes.

The former Manchester United forward cupped his ears in front of the home fans as he celebrated his second goal in two league matches since rejoining Everton.

Perhaps it was no surprise Rooney netted the landmark goal at Etihad Stadium, having also scored his 50th and 150th Premier League goals against United’s neighbours City.

However, the ease with which City’s new £35m keeper Ederson allowed his first-time shot in was more of a surprise.

“It is a good contact from Rooney, but you have to say it went straight at Ederson,” said former Toffees defender Phil Neville on BBC Radio 5 live. “You have to expect your keeper to save it.”

Rooney, who scored his first top-flight goal as a 16-year-old for the Toffees against Arsenal in October 2002, hit the double century in his 462nd league match in front of his former Red Devils managers Sir Alex Ferguson and Jose Mourinho.

Ultimately, the England international did not prove to be the match-winner like he was against Stoke last weekend – but he was still smiling at the final whistle as the early part of his Everton return continues to be fruitful.

More to follow.

Line-ups

Man City

  • 31Ederson
  • 4KompanyBooked at 78mins
  • 5StonesSubstituted forDaniloat 65′minutes
  • 30Otamendi
  • 25Fernandinho
  • 2WalkerBooked at 44mins
  • 21Silva
  • 17De Bruyne
  • 19SanéSubstituted forBernardo Silvaat 69′minutes
  • 10Agüero
  • 33JesusSubstituted forSterlingat 45′minutes

Substitutes

  • 1Bravo
  • 3Danilo
  • 7Sterling
  • 15Mangala
  • 20Bernardo Silva
  • 42Y Touré
  • 47Foden

Everton

  • 1Pickford
  • 4Keane
  • 5WilliamsSubstituted forKlaassenat 61′minutes
  • 6Jagielka
  • 30Holgate
  • 26DaviesBooked at 24minsSubstituted forSigurdssonat 61′minutes
  • 17Gueye
  • 2SchneiderlinBooked at 88mins
  • 3Baines
  • 29Calvert-Lewin
  • 10RooneyBooked at 84minsSubstituted forBesicat 90′minutes

Substitutes

  • 11Mirallas
  • 15Martina
  • 18Sigurdsson
  • 20Klaassen
  • 21Besic
  • 22Stekelenburg
  • 31Lookman
Referee:
Robert Madley

Match Stats

Home TeamMan CityAway TeamEverton
Possession
Home65%
Away35%
Shots
Home19
Away7
Shots on Target
Home6
Away2
Corners
Home7
Away1
Fouls
Home7
Away9

Live Text

Posted at

Match ends, Manchester City 1, Everton 1.

Full Time

Posted at90’+5′

Second Half ends, Manchester City 1, Everton 1.

Posted at90’+3′

Corner, Manchester City. Conceded by Davy Klaassen.

Substitution

Posted at90′

Substitution, Everton. Muhamed Besic replaces Wayne Rooney.

Dismissal

Posted at88′

Second yellow card to Morgan Schneiderlin (Everton) for a bad foul.

Posted at88′

Sergio Agüero (Manchester City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Posted at88′

Foul by Morgan Schneiderlin (Everton).

Booking

Posted at84′

Wayne Rooney (Everton) is shown the yellow card.

Posted at84′

Bernardo Silva (Manchester City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Posted at84′

Foul by Wayne Rooney (Everton).

Goal!

Posted at82′

Goal! Manchester City 1, Everton 1. Raheem Sterling (Manchester City) right footed shot from the centre of the box to the bottom left corner.

Posted at80′

Raheem Sterling (Manchester City) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Posted at80′

Foul by Wayne Rooney (Everton).

Posted at79′

Attempt saved. Wayne Rooney (Everton) header from the centre of the box is saved in the bottom left corner. Assisted by Gylfi Sigurdsson with a cross.

Booking

Posted at78′

Vincent Kompany (Manchester City) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Posted at78′

Foul by Vincent Kompany (Manchester City).

Posted at78′

Dominic Calvert-Lewin (Everton) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Posted at77′

Attempt saved. Danilo (Manchester City) left footed shot from the right side of the box is saved in the bottom left corner. Assisted by Raheem Sterling.

Posted at75′

Corner, Manchester City. Conceded by Michael Keane.

Posted at75′

Attempt blocked. Kevin De Bruyne (Manchester City) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Sergio Agüero.

Posted at74′

Attempt missed. Raheem Sterling (Manchester City) right footed shot from the right side of the box is too high. Assisted by Sergio Agüero.

Posted at74′

Attempt missed. Wayne Rooney (Everton) right footed shot from more than 40 yards on the right wing is high and wide to the right. Assisted by Dominic Calvert-Lewin.

Posted at72′

Attempt missed. Raheem Sterling (Manchester City) right footed shot from outside the box is too high. Assisted by David Silva.

Posted at71′

Attempt missed. Bernardo Silva (Manchester City) left footed shot from the centre of the box misses to the right. Assisted by David Silva.

Substitution

Posted at69′

Substitution, Manchester City. Bernardo Silva replaces Leroy Sané.

Substitution

Posted at65′

Substitution, Manchester City. Danilo replaces John Stones.

Posted at64′

Attempt missed. Raheem Sterling (Manchester City) right footed shot from the right side of the box misses to the left. Assisted by David Silva.

Posted at63′

Foul by Raheem Sterling (Manchester City).

Posted at63′

Leighton Baines (Everton) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Substitution

Posted at61′

Substitution, Everton. Gylfi Sigurdsson replaces Tom Davies.

Substitution

Posted at61′

Substitution, Everton. Davy Klaassen replaces Ashley Williams.

Posted at58′

Attempt blocked. David Silva (Manchester City) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

Posted at58′

Attempt blocked. Kevin De Bruyne (Manchester City) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

Posted at57′

Raheem Sterling (Manchester City) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Posted at57′

Foul by Idrissa Gueye (Everton).

Posted at54′

Leroy Sané (Manchester City) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Posted at54′

Foul by Mason Holgate (Everton).

Posted at52′

Corner, Manchester City. Conceded by Mason Holgate.

Posted at51′

Corner, Manchester City. Conceded by Mason Holgate.

Posted at51′

Attempt blocked. Sergio Agüero (Manchester City) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Kevin De Bruyne.

goal

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Raheem Sterling draws comfort for 10-man Manchester City against Everton

To the immense credit of Manchester City, there are not many other teams in the Premier League who could come up with this kind of feat of escapology from a position at half-time where they were not only trailing to Everton but playing with 10 men because of Kyle Walker’s red card towards the end of the first half.

By the end, there was even the unmistakeable sense that the players in light blue were disappointed they could not complete the recovery and find a late winner once their substitute, Raheem Sterling, had volleyed in an 82nd minute equaliser. Morgan Schneiderlin’s late dismissal, after two bookings of his own, had levelled the numbers and City were still smouldering with a sense of injustice because of the nature of Walker’s second booking and a piece of amateur dramatics from Dominic Calvert-Lewin to dupe the officials.

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Billy Vunipola boost for England but Saracens have to wait for No8’s return

• ‘Billy is due back in October but in true Billy style he will be back before that’
• Saracens are also without their Lions players for the start of the season

Billy Vunipola will miss the start of the Premiership season because of the shoulder injury that ruled him out of the British & Irish Lions tour of New Zealand but the Saracens director of rugby, Mark McCall, said the No8 will be back in time for England’s autumn campaign in November.

McCall was less candid about exactly when his six Lions tourists will return to action but admitted the majority will not be used at the start of the season owing to the extra time off required following a 10-match tour that finished on 8 July. “We are not looking to get our pound of flesh out of the guys,” he said.

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