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Author Archive for Richard Williams

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Notts County prove a trip to Eastleigh is not the end of the world | Richard Williams

After 157 years the Football League’s oldest club are coming to terms with life in the National LeagueThose 157 years of history were not out there on the pitch. They were in the away sections of Eastleigh’s Silverlake Stadium, where 796 fans of Notts …

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Unpredictable elements crucial to rekindling of Tour de France romance | Richard Williams

Egan Bernal bloomed in yellow while unique Alpine dramas unfolded as a wonderful Tour rode towards its conclusionThe most meaningful touch of the 2019 Tour de France was not the slap Luke Rowe gave Tony Martin after the German had tried to run him into…

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Unpredictable elements crucial to rekindling of Tour de France romance | Richard Williams

Egan Bernal bloomed in yellow while unique Alpine dramas unfolded as a wonderful Tour rode towards its conclusionThe most meaningful touch of the 2019 Tour de France was not the slap Luke Rowe gave Tony Martin after the German had tried to run him into…

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Alaphilippe allows France to dream in Tour where panache is overriding strategy | Richard Williams

Host country’s hopes of first title winner since 1985 are high after a breathtaking weekend thanks to Julian Alaphilippe’s risk-takingThe headline writers of L’Équipe seldom let you down. On Sunday they scraped the mould off a pun – JOUR DE FRANCE – he…

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A golden sporting Sunday to make Britain appreciate its better self | Richard Williams

If you were at Lord’s, Wimbledon or Silverstone or just delirious in the back garden here was a day to rekindle the Olympic spirit of 2012 and forget the decision that has divided us sinceBread and circuses, eh? A full house of 140,000 at Silverstone, …

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Super-agent Mino Raiola is a player’s dream and a manager’s nightmare | Richard Williams

The middleman has brokered some of football’s biggest transfers but his tactics have made him one of the game’s most controversial figuresOne morning in late 1992, at Ajax’s old training ground, Bryan Roy arrived to clear out his locker and say his goo…

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Maradona film reminds that untameables were not always untouchable | Richard Williams

The Argentinian great’s Napoli years show the real pressures of adulation compared to today’s walled-away talentsWhen I sat down in a cinema to watch Emir Kusturica’s documentary about Diego Maradona a decade or so ago, I still thought of myself as a P…

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Hard racing not hard to call: Vettel’s Canadian GP win should have stood | Richard Williams

F1 connoisseurs were virtually unanimous in their views over the penalty that not only robbed Sebastian Vettel in Canada but also ruined a classic finish between the world’s best two driversAs a simmering Sebastian Vettel stalked into the room where th…

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Drab Champions League final continues trend of dismal domestic duels | Richard Williams

Teams who face each other domestically always struggle to produce the kind of showpiece expected from the most eagerly anticipated night of the seasonIf you wanted to decrease the level of global interest in the climactic match of a European club compe…

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Lance Armstrong should keep his mouth shut if he is serious about redemption | Richard Williams

Sport often welcomes back a bad boy turned good but some offences lie so far beyond the pale a return is almost impossible despite protestationsSteve Smith and David Warner were booed during Australia’s warm-up fixtures against West Indies and England …

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Niki Lauda obituary

Star racing driver who survived a near-fatal crash to win the Formula One world championship three timesNiki Lauda was attempting to win his second Formula One world title when he was almost killed in one of the most famous accidents in the history of …

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Niki Lauda: a single-minded F1 champion who beat the best of his age | Richard Williams

Lauda was not an emotionless racing machine but a driven competitor who cared little for others’ opinionsA common view of Niki Lauda is that he was an emotion-free calculating machine, the antithesis of his great rival James Hunt. The misconception gai…

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Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City can be judged with England’s very best | Richard Williams

The champions have retained their title through a manager persuading players to reach into areas of unexplored potentialIn the aftermath of Manchester City’s victory, Vincent Kompany said something that sounded like a Zen riddle: “We have such an incre…

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Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City can be judged with England’s very best | Richard Williams

The champions have retained their title through a manager persuading players to reach into areas of unexplored potentialIn the aftermath of Manchester City’s victory, Vincent Kompany said something that sounded like a Zen riddle: “We have such an incre…

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Women fight against prejudice on an extraordinary weekend for sport | Richard Williams

From Semenya’s 30th win in a row, to powerful displays at Wembley, on bikes and in cars, women cast a blow against outdated attitudesThey may have failed to knock the Premier League title race completely out of the headlines, but whether they were peda…

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Ayrton Senna: 25 years since F1 lost its flawed, fascinating hero | Richard Williams

This week sees the 25th anniversary of the Imola accident that took the Brazilian’s life and had a devastating impact not just on his millions of fans but on grand prix racing as a wholeNo doubt the Pope, like the Queen, receives many strange presents….

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Solskjær’s Easter woes show Manchester United must live up to their past | Richard Williams

Time will tell whether United really have hit upon their saviour and, either way, the club must rediscover the boldness of oldFor those with long memories, the irony inherent in Richarlison’s marvellous opening goal for Everton against Manchester Unite…

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Tiger Woods’ triumph may help clean off the stain of Trump’s golf addiction | Richard Williams

The president’s very public obsession with golf represents everything that makes a very good game easy to dislike. But then, on Sunday, came a miracleGrotesque, malevolent and a cheat at golf: does Auric Goldfinger remind you of anyone? And there’s the…

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James Cracknell is a great Boat Race story but should age eclipse youth? | Richard Williams

The Boat Race and University Challenge are both being dominated by postgraduates yet used to be about the nation admiring the strength and knowledge of young peopleNo one watching University Challenge lately will have overlooked the presence of Jason G…

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Mattia Binotto embarks on marathon sprint to get Ferrari back on track | Richard Williams

Swiss has a complex task as team principal – ending the Mercedes stranglehold while F1 faces environmental concernsWith his shock of dark hair and his round black-framed spectacles, Mattia Binotto looks as though he might have taken his masters degree …