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Author Archive for Donald McRae

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Joe Hart: ‘All I want is to be a big part of a club … hope burns through me’

Former England goalkeeper has started three games this season but he is still only 33 and feels he will have to move abroad to get back into the big timeMore than 500 days have passed since Joe Hart last played in a Premier League game and so, on Zoom,…

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Joe Hart: ‘All I want is to be a big part of a club … hope burns through me’

Former England goalkeeper has started three games this season but he is still only 33 and feels he will have to move abroad to get back into the big timeMore than 500 days have passed since Joe Hart last played in a Premier League game and so, on Zoom,…

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Lee Hendrie: ‘My wife went through an awful lot. She’s seen me on life-support machines’

The one-time England midfielder has had a tough time of it since he left Aston Villa in 2007 but playing in ITV’s Harry’s Heroes and recent work as a pundit have given him renewed hope“Look at this, Lee,” I say as I lower my head towards the screen. Le…

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Gianluca Vialli: ‘Now I realise that whenever I want to cry, I cry’

The former Chelsea and Italy forward talks openly about cancer, overcoming adversity and the future“You feel that you are letting someone down, like your parents,” Gianluca Vialli says as his memories of cancer return with renewed force. His voice is g…

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Richie Sadlier: ‘I thought I’d better find out where my abuser was’

The former Millwall forward on the day he discovered what had happened to his abuser and his work now as a psychotherapistRichie Sadlier pauses as he remembers the moment when, as a 40-year-old man, he told his father he had been sexually abused as a b…

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Steve Redgrave: ‘I’m proud of my daughter on the NHS frontline’

The five-times Olympic champion is now in charge of China’s rowers but his main concern during Covid-19 crisis is not more medals“My eldest daughter is a plastic surgeon but she’s been drawn back into hospital medicine because there’s no surgery going …

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Alistair and Jonny Brownlee: ‘The lockdown has made us appreciate sport’ | Donald McRae

The Team GB triathlete brothers were preparing for an Olympic Games but even in lockdown are finding ways to train hard Alistair and Jonny Brownlee always seem to match each other, whether it’s winning medals in the triathlon at the past two Olympic Ga…

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Andy Cole: ‘I don’t know how I’ve done it. Some days are a total blur’ | Donald McRae

Former Manchester United striker on living in lockdown, how lots of transplant patients ‘hate themselves’, and the value of supportAndy Cole gazes out of my laptop screen and, even in our strange virtual world, I can see clearly how his face creases wi…

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PSG’s Nadia Nadim: ‘I know the value of helping a person when they have no hope’

The Dane discusses the Taliban’s murder of her father, falling for football as a refugee and training to be a reconstructive surgeon“I’m only 32 but I feel like I’ve experienced a lot more, like 200 years of life, in bad ways and good ways,” Nadia Nadi…

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Larry Olubamiwo: ‘Athletes dope for money. My goal was to make a living’ | Donald McRae

The former boxer and Ben Johnson fan banned for doping shares his views while challenging received wisdom on drugs in sport“I have a very pragmatic approach to doping,” Larry Olubamiwo says after he has told me of another sporting great he is convinced…

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Ian McKinley: ‘My eye injury turned life upside down but it opened up the world’

The Treviso and Italy fly-half, who has fought back from losing sight in one eye to relaunch his career, describes the profound impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on his hometown in Italy“The two things that you usually hear are silence and sirens. It’s a…

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Ian McKinley: ‘My eye injury turned life upside down but it opened up the world’

The Treviso and Italy fly-half, who has fought back from losing sight in one eye to relaunch his career, describes the profound impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on his hometown in Italy“The two things that you usually hear are silence and sirens. It’s a…

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Katherine Grainger: ‘We’re suddenly in a very different world’ | Donald McRae

Former Olympic champion is still excited about UK Sport’s future – not only in terms of medals but having a positive impact on society“We are asking hard questions like who might be facing bankruptcy in the short term, because that’s the reality right …

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Will Miller: ‘Ugo passed and I said let’s turn this into a song. Emotion flew out of me’

The former Spurs and Burton midfielder discusses the impact of Ugo Ehiogu’s death, swapping football for a creative career and helping players with depressionI have been playing a song about life and death on a loop today. While waiting to interview Wi…

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Isaac Chamberlain: ‘I’ve been here before, in a very dark place’

The Brixton cruiserweight was on the cusp of hitting it big as the coronavirus crisis stopped boxing for the foreseeable future, but he is no stranger to isolation and is taking the blow in his stride“I know I can go through hell,” Isaac Chamberlain sa…

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Rory Best: ‘I thought you played hard and partied hard. I had to change’

Ireland’s most capped forward talks about kicking in a neighbour’s door, the abuse he suffered for being a Protestant captain and the insecurities that drove him on“It was another one of those nights and I went in to the local chicken shop, as you do,”…

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Rory Best: ‘I thought you played hard and partied hard. I had to change’

Ireland’s most capped forward talks about kicking in a neighbour’s door, the abuse he suffered for being a Protestant captain and the insecurities that drove him on“It was another one of those nights and I went in to the local chicken shop, as you do,”…

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Nigel Pearson: ‘It’s the right decision to stop playing, even if it was made under duress’

The Watford manager, who recently lost his mother, says protecting people’s health during the coronavirus crisis is more important than his side’s relegation fight“Sometimes I just need solitude, which is really rather nice,” Nigel Pearson says in a de…

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Paul Townend: ‘Every jockey wants to have Ruby Walsh’s success’

Irishman is determined to emulate his 2019 success, as he prepares for Cheltenham as No 1 rider in the Willie Mullins stable“I thought of her straight away,” Paul Townend says after memories of his mother filled his head as soon as he won the Gold Cup …

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Paul Townend: ‘Every jockey wants to have Ruby Walsh’s success’

Irishman is determined to emulate his 2019 success, as he prepares for Cheltenham as No 1 rider in the Willie Mullins stable“I thought of her straight away,” Paul Townend says after memories of his mother filled his head as soon as he won the Gold Cup …