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Author Archive for Richard Foster

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The players who have hit hat-tricks on Premier League opening weekends

All hail Mick Quinn, Matt le Tissier, Kevin Campbell, Fabrizio Ravanelli, Dion Dublin, Gabby Agbonlahor and Didier DrogbaBy Richard Foster for the Guardian Sport NetworkMick Quinn became the first player to score a hat-trick on the opening weekend of a…

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Lewes FC: the football club who are making equality pay

Two years ago Lewes decided to pay their women’s team as much as their men’s team. They have not regretted itBy Richard Foster for the Guardian Sport NetworkTwo years ago Lewes FC became the first football club in the world to pay their women’s team th…

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North Ferriby in four seasons: promoted, relegated, liquidated, resurrected

Football fans in the village of North Ferriby have seen more drama in a few years than most supporters witness in a lifetimeBy Richard Foster for the Guardian Sport NetworkFour years ago, a football club from a tiny village in Yorkshire went to Wembley…

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Football clubs are linking up with prisons to offer coaching – and hope

Coaches from 36 clubs across England and Wales are leading sessions in their local prisonsBy Richard Foster, author of The Agony and the EcstasyDavid Dein visited HMP Holme House in Stockton-on-Tees last month. It was a significant landmark for Dein, t…

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Michael Gray: ‘All people want to hear about is that bloody penalty’

The former Sunderland player talks about play-offs heartbreak, the kindness of fans and having a giggle with Clive MendoncaBy Richard Foster, author of The Agony and the EcstasyWhen Doncaster Rovers captain Tommy Rowe sliced his kick wide of the goal i…

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Crystal Palace: the Premier League team who are better away from home

Crystal Palace were the only team in the league who won most of their points from away games – and this is not a new trendBy Richard Foster, author of The Agony and the EcstasyWhen commentators describe Selhurst Park as “a fortress”, Crystal Palace fan…

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Crystal Palace: the Premier League team who are better away from home

Crystal Palace were the only team in the league who won most of their points from away games – and this is not a new trendBy Richard Foster, author of The Agony and the EcstasyWhen commentators describe Selhurst Park as “a fortress”, Crystal Palace fan…

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‘They’ve just scratched the surface’ – football tackling mental health but more can be done

Work by charities, the PFA, clubs and players is helping the sport open up, though no one claims to have all the answersBy Richard Foster, author of The Agony and the EcstasyGary Speed’s family are inviting fans to take part in the Speed Cycle, a fundr…

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‘They’ve just scratched the surface’ – football tackling mental health but more can be done

Work by charities, the PFA, clubs and players is helping the sport open up, though no one claims to have all the answersBy Richard Foster, author of The Agony and the EcstasyGary Speed’s family are inviting fans to take part in the Speed Cycle, a fundr…

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Liverpool’s coaching evolution: from the boot room to a throw-in specialist

Liverpool were mocked for appointing a throw-in coach but Jürgen Klopp’s collaborative approach is nothing newBy Richard Foster, author of The Agony and the EcstasyIt is difficult to imagine Jürgen Klopp squeezing into the narrow confines of the conver…

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Premier League managers should forget the mythical 40-point mark

Fans are told they can breathe easily once their team hits 40 points but 36 is usually enough to survive these daysBy Richard Foster, author of The Agony and the EcstasyPremier League managers often say they will not relax until their team has hit the …

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Juan Mata’s charity brings a club onboard to celebrate its first birthday

FC Nordsjaelland are giving 1% of their matchday revenue to Common Goal – and that’s not all of their charitable workBy Richard Foster, author of The Agony and the EcstasyA year has passed since Juan Mata launched Common Goal, which asks its members to…

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Bouncebackability: a word coined for the play-offs that fits them perfectly

The best preparation a team can have for a play-off final is the experience of losing one the year beforeBy Richard Foster, author of The Agony and the EcstasyIain Dowie coined the word bouncebackability in the 2003-04 season when describing how his Cr…

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Martin Tyler became a Woking fan 65 years ago. Now he’s coaching the team

After attending his first Woking match in 1953, Martin Tyler went on to play for them, play against them and commentate on their matches. Now, aged 72, he is joining their coaching staffBy Richard Foster for The Agony and the EcstasyMartin Tyler’s pass…

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Paul Tisdale takes over as the longest-serving manager in England – for now

Arsène Wenger’s departure from Arsenal means Exeter City boss Paul Tisdale will become the longest-serving manager in English football – although he might be on his way tooBy Richard Foster for The Agony and the EcstasyAs Arsène Wenger prepares to say …

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Mentoring, marching and matchdays: life as a football club’s ambassador

Andy Johnson scored 85 goals for Crystal Palace and is now back in south London representing the club in the communityBy Richard Foster for The Agony and the EcstasyAndy Johnson is revered by Crystal Palace fans. He scored 85 goals in 160 appearances f…

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When Brighton played Palace and the referee gave five penalties in 27 minutes

Ian Wright, Mark Bright and John Pemberton all missed penalties for Crystal Palace against Brighton in 1989 but they still won the game (thanks to a penalty)By Richard Foster for The Agony and the Ecstasy of the Guardian Sport NetworkThe FA Cup tie bet…

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World Cup draw cock-ups: dropouts, dropped balls and dresses

Dividing teams into groups for a football tournament should be easy but nothing is ever simple when Fifa is in chargeBy Richard Foster for The Agony and the Ecstasy of the Guardian Sport NetworkGary Lineker has faced accusations of hypocrisy after cond…

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Celtic’s 63-game unbeaten record is impressive but Steaua Bucharest hit 119

Celtic broke their own 100-year-old British record on Saturday but they still have some way to go if they are to match Steaua Bucharest’s European recordBy Richard Foster for The Agony and the Ecstasy of the Guardian Sport NetworkWhen Celtic cruised pa…

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How Croatia, Italy and Ireland fared in Europe’s first World Cup play-offs in 1997

A few of the teams facing play-offs for next summer’s World Cup have been here before. Croatia and Italy qualified 20 years ago … unlike the Republic of IrelandBy Richard Foster for The Agony and the Ecstasy of the Guardian Sport NetworkOf the eight …