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Author Archive for Richard Williams

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Cal Crutchlow takes laid-back route to being the best since Barry Sheene | Richard Williams

First British rider to head the MotoGP standings for 39 years has done it on a non-works Honda and without the need for endless hours in the gymIn a universe of professional sportsmen and women happy to proclaim the incredible rigour of their winter tr…

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Memory of Michael Goolaerts lives on in a race of sustained brutality | Richard Williams

Belgian’s death at the Paris-Roubaix reminds us of the price that can be paid for our pleasure, but riders return each year to this fiendishly difficult race in an act of non-rational courageThe death of young Belgian Michael Goolaerts following a cras…

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The real and remarkable Ray Wilkins was always a joy to watch | Richard Williams

From Chelsea captain at 18 to a generous-spirited pundit, he was the most well-mannered and courteous of football menIn the eyes of all who watched him captaining Chelsea at the age of 18, Ray Wilkins was a golden boy of English football. To an instinc…

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Jim Clark, the indecisive farmer who was transformed behind a wheel | Richard Williams

The Scottish Formula One double world champion, who died 50 years ago, was modest and unpretentious but a supreme competitor on the trackJim Clark was almost certainly the only Formula One world champion as comfortable with a shepherd’s crook as with a…

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Xenophobic England football fans: take a closer look at your own team | Richard Williams

Are the minority who follow England and continue to disrespect foreign cultures and cities like in Amsterdam on Friday perhaps feeling a sense of legitimacy due to the Brexit referendum?Can a couple of football matches provide evidence that England in …

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Halo could be most effective method yet devised to reduce F1’s appeal | Richard Williams

Limiting the danger to suit changing attitudes and modern sensibilities is fine as long as the measures taken do not devalue a sport so profoundly that its meaning disappearsAs grand prix drivers go, Tony Brooks was one of the best produced by Britain….

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Delusions of stadium grandeur haunt West Ham and club’s owners | Richard Williams

West Ham once gave life to a part of east London, but the Boleyn ground is gone and the heart has been ripped out of the clubThe fate of the little memorial garden on Green Street, next to where the Boleyn ground’s main entrance once stood, is just one…

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Do we trash or treasure our memories of Bradley Wiggins’ rise to the top? | Richard Williams

A combination of athletic prowess and personal eccentricity made him a beloved national figure but the latest allegations against him and Team Sky have at the very least tainted that legacyThe golden throne outside Hampton Court Palace. The Sun’s stick…

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How does Pep Guardiola feel about his ambassador role for Qatar World Cup? | Richard Williams

Manchester City manager’s yellow-ribbon display of political affiliation sits uncomfortably with a readiness to front for QatarAs they consider the case of Pep Guardiola, who won his first medal in English football at Wembley on Sunday while semi-surre…

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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…