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Author Archive for Richard Williams

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Clive van Ryneveld: an all-round sporting star and an even better man

He played rugby for England and cricket for South Africa but his work in law and politics in South Africa was also a true reflection of the man who died in January aged 89When Cecil Rhodes was defining the ideal candidate upon whom to bestow one of his…

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Chris Froome and Sky must stop hiding behind the letter of the law | Richard Williams

Dave Brailsford’s lofty ideals when setting up Team Sky have been exposed under the pressure of top-level competitionTo judge from Dave Brailsford’s words the other day it seems he still doesn’t get it. He was talking in a press conference about the bu…

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Chris Froome and Sky must stop hiding behind the letter of the law | Richard Williams

Dave Brailsford’s lofty ideals when setting up Team Sky have been exposed under the pressure of top-level competitionTo judge from Dave Brailsford’s words the other day it seems he still doesn’t get it. He was talking in a press conference about the bu…

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Donny Davies, the Guardian correspondent who died in the Munich air disaster | Richard Williams

Donny Davies was the son of an orphanage boy and survived a German POW camp in the first world war. In February 1958 he was among those to lose his life in the wreckage of G-ALZUThe afternoon light was fading and the crowd of 52,000 were dispersing as …

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I, Tonya seems unfair to Nancy Kerrigan in its desire to give Harding her say | Richard Williams

The film strips away the rhinestones and makeup but wants to leave us wondering about the real victim of the attack on figure skater Kerrigan in January 1994As we were reminded by the events in the Michigan courtroom over which Judge Rosemarie Aquilina…

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How Sir Stirling Moss dodged the goats to win unique 1957 Pescara Grand Prix | Richard Williams

Fifteen miles of country lanes, no safety precautions of any sort and Sir Stirling Moss at the wheel of a Vanwall – the scene was set for a historic victoryThe silver trophy, about 18 inches high, took the form of a figurine of a racing driver, and the…

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Dan Gurney obituary

World-class racing driver and team owner who was the first to spray champagne in celebrationThe American racing driver Dan Gurney, who has died aged 86, was said to be the rival most feared by the great Jim Clark. He was at the start of the most remark…

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Cyrille Regis: a pioneer on the pitch and the leader of a generation | Richard Williams

As a player, Cyrille Regis used his strength and control to burst through the defences. As a man, he endured unspeakable abuse in order to ease the way for othersThe sun was shining on the Baseball Ground, which didn’t seem to happen very often at a gr…

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Inside the mind of Adrian Newey: the F1 design guru opens up | Richard Williams

In How to Make a Car, the Red Bull’s chief technical officer is refreshingly honest on Ayrton Senna, his design process and the aim of ‘disruptive technology’As a Pink Floyd-loving public schoolboy in the mid-1970s, Adrian Newey found a clever way arou…

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Why Roy Hodgson was always suited to the challenge at Crystal Palace | Richard Williams

It is a little amazing that weary scepticism was the general reaction to Hodgson’s appointment last September as Palace’s 11th manager in 10 years“When he came, we were in trouble and things appeared dark. He didn’t panic. He was calm and he made us ca…

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Ballboy aged 10 gave us note of joy, but stern realities darkened 2017 | Richard Williams

Bristol City celebration and Cricket World Cup final were among the highlights in a year when sport too often seemed to reflect the corrosion of the world around itThe sight of Bristol City’s manager sweeping up a 10-year-old ballboy in a dance of pure…

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Team Sky and Chris Froome may find public will inflict a grim verdict | Richard Williams

BBC Sports Personality of the Year voting, and Sky corporate changes, could lead to Froome’s inhalation of salbutamol proving a puff too farChris Froome is an opportunist. All great riders have to be. It’s the faculty that allows them to spot the momen…

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Proxy battles by the US and Russia are taking sport back to the 1930s | Richard Williams

Lindsey Vonn’s outburst against Donald Trump means she takes her place in a complex game where politics and sport have once again become deeply entangledOn the face of it, Lindsey Vonn looks like Donald Trump’s type. Tall, blond, blue-eyed and a former…

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Facts mix with fiction yet Battle of the Sexes may still be underplayed | Richard Williams

Billie-Jean King’s match against the 1939 men’s Wimbledon champion in 1973 provides the main thrust of a new film but like other sporting movies the facts are often massaged to augment the storyAfter the credits finished rolling at the end of the Battl…

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Use of TUEs negate an intrinsic part of sport – the overcoming of exhaustion | Richard Williams

Eradicating exemptions seems fairer than allowing athletes to use artificial means of lifting themselves back up to their natural level of performanceIn more optimistic times, the news that Dr Michele Ferrari’s appeal against a doping conviction was tu…

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Wild-eyed fury, urchin’s grin, sheer dynamism – Gianluigi Buffon had it all | Richard Williams

Goalkeeper’s last international was marred by Italy’s disastrous failure to qualify for the World Cup but as the embodiment of the sternest resistance and generosity of spirit, the 39-year-old has few peersGianluigi Buffon was born in Carrara, the Tusc…

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Lewis Hamilton divides opinion but is undoubtedly the best of British | Richard Williams

Mercedes driver’s fourth F1 world title takes him beyond arguments even of the romantics who venerate Jim Clark and Sir Stirling Moss above allLewis Hamilton, by winning his fourth world championship, one more than Sir Jackie Stewart, has established h…

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Colin Kaepernick’s dignified protest echoes the spirit of Jackie Robinson | Richard Williams

The quiet but effective way Kaepernick has created the take a knee movement would resonate with the baseball legend whose brilliance helped combat the terrible racism he encountered in the 1940s and 50sWhen Time magazine conducted a poll in 1947 with t…

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David Warner’s trash-talking is the wrong way to rouse competitive intent | Richard Williams

Using your sporting ability and showing mutual respect while defeating an opponent shows up those who prefer a crass war of wordsHow badly do you want it? That’s a question to be directed at an opponent in the form of a challenge, stated or implied. Do…

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Football’s lost boys Morrison and Balotelli seek redemption and stir nostalgia | Richard Williams

Ravel Morrison’s fine strike for the Mexican side Atlas and the news that Mario Balotelli has rediscovered his goalscoring touch at Nice will have us wondering, yet again, if these great talents can come into sharp and sustained focusThirty yards from …