Phil Hughes batting for South Australia before the accident. Photo: Mark Metcalfe/Getty Images
Cricketers mostly ignore risk – but sometimes, as Phil Hughes found, it comes looking for you
By Ed Smith - 26 November 12:15

In throwing in your lot as a professional sportsman, you make an implicit deal. The upside feels irresistible; the downside you consign as too improbable to think about.

Better with age: Arjen Robben, who used to play for Chelsea, now at Bayern Munich. Photo: Getty
They may be foreign players, but they’re our foreign players
By Hunter Davies - 13 November 10:00

Hunter Davies’s weekly football column, The Fan.

Ooh-aah: Eric Cantona in 2013. Photo: Getty
Maverick or phoney: why Balotelli has nothing in common with Cantona
By Ed Smith - 13 November 10:00

Ed Smith’s weekly column, Left Field. 

The graduate: David Wheeler of Exeter City (left), a former NS Subscriber of the Week. Photo: Getty
Where have all the graduate footballers gone? A football player reader explains
By Hunter Davies - 06 November 10:00

Just over a year ago, David Wheeler made it into the Football League, joining Exeter City in League Two, where he still is, a dashing and hard-working right winger. He started reading the NS six months ago.

To the victor the spoils: Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer after the Wimbledon 2014 final. Photo: Getty
Sometimes, the best of sport can find eternal life
By Ed Smith - 30 October 9:00

Ed Smith’s Left Field column. 

Hospitality sweet: corporate boxes at Villa park football ground. Photo: Getty
Goodbye pies and fights: how football became the game of the middle classes
By Hunter Davies - 29 October 15:00

When the Prem began 20 years ago, and stadiums became all-seaters, with the season tickets costing a fortune, many of the working classes and twentysomething lads were excluded, unable to pay the prices.

Hammering: England playing San Marino on 9 October. Photo: Getty
Which is better – watching football in the flesh or on the telly?
By Hunter Davies - 27 October 10:13

Hunter Davies’s weekly column, The Fan. 

Shadow chancellor Ed Balls playing football against a team of journalists at the Labour Party Conference. Photo: Matt Cardy/Getty
Politicians are trying to reform football – there must be a general election on the way
By Martin Cloake - 24 October 12:16

Nonetheless, if the current proposals to include fan reps on club boards go through, it will be a significant breakthrough for the sport.

Nicholas Anelka playing for Chelsea in 2010. Photo: Getty
The mutual dependence of football and the media
By Martin Cloake - 21 October 11:52

A new book by Roger Domeneghetti explores the huge pull that the game has on the mass imagination.

Man of the old school: United manager Louis van Gaal (second from right) with his briefcase/note pad. Photo: Getty
Football, home to the lost art of handwriting. And other silly rituals
By Hunter Davies - 17 October 16:22

Hunter Davies’s weekly column, The Fan. 

Arsenal Ladies celebrating their 2014 FA Cup win. Photo: Getty
The rebirth of women’s football: more than a century on, it’s a game worth watching
By Samira Shackle - 17 October 12:43

The FA is out to make women’s football the second most popular sport in the UK, displacing men’s cricket and rugby union. Samira Shackle explores the long history of the game, from munitions workers in 1917 to the first salaried national players just a few years ago.

Fratton Park, the home ground of Portsmouth FC, the largest fan-owned football club in England. Photo: Getty Images
Supporters Direct welcomes Labour's plans to put fans on football club boards
By Martin Cloake - 17 October 10:58

Football supporters will be given the right to appoint and remove up to a quarter of a football club’s board of directors under new proposals from the Labour Party. Fans will also be given the right to buy up to 10 per cent of a club’s shares on offer during a change of ownership. We assess the proposals and get the views of Supporters Direct chief executive Robin Osterley.

Pocket rocket: Santi Cazorla of Arsenal. Photo: Getty
Does size matter? And where have all the Arsenal six-footers gone?
By Hunter Davies - 09 October 13:45

Hunter Davies’s The Fan column. 

The Etihad Stadium. Photo: Getty
I’m sorry – there’s no beating the view from the Platinum Box
By Hunter Davies - 02 October 9:07

There is still part of me that hates all this hospitality stuff which every Premiership club now offers.

Assistant referee Sian Massey has been the focus of sexist comments in the past. Photo: Getty
The chilling reality of sexism in football
By David Mooney - 30 September 14:35

While there is willingness to tackle other forms of discrimination in the sport, objectifying women is too often shrugged off as just “banter”.

Exciting match: Scotland's Ikechi Anya (foreground) in the UEFA qualifying match against Germany. Photo: Getty
If Scotland votes Yes it’ll make no difference to football
By Hunter Davies - 25 September 10:00

Hunter Davies’s The Fan column. 

A delight to watch: Mooen Ali on the first day of the fifth Test match between England and India on 15 August. Photo: Getty
Bigotry is bigotry – shame on those who booed Moeen Ali at Edgbaston
By Ed Smith - 25 September 10:00

Why was there such deep reluctance to state what was obviously the case – that Ali, a British Asian, was booed by other British Asians?

Roman Abramovich, owner of Chelsea. Photo: Getty
Football is escape, not a moral maze. Isn’t it?
By Martin Cloake - 22 September 16:07

It is not the job, we are told, of those who regulate football to regulate football. What?

The stand at Brunton Park, home of Carlisle United. Photo: Getty
I drove up to Carlisle, armed with treasures to prove that, once upon a time, small clubs made it to the top
By Hunter Davies - 18 September 8:58

I still can’t believe that Carlisle were ever in England’s premier league – with a small p – yet on 24 August 1974 they were top of Division One, having beaten Chelsea, Spurs and Middlesbrough.

Oscar Pistorius arriving at court. Photo: Getty
Oscar Pistorius found guilty of culpable homicide
By New Statesman - 12 September 10:04

The South African athlete has been cleared of premeditated and second-degree murder.

Croke Park in Dublin. Photo: William Murphy on Flickr, via Creative Commons
From inflexible nationalism to Sky Sports: Ireland’s Gaelic games have come a long way
By Oliver Farry - 05 September 17:04

In 2014, Gaelic Athletic Association games are being broadcast by Sky Sports for the first time. Oliver Farry looks at the history of two sports that have deep connections with Ireland’s identity.

The greatest leaps in sport come from trial and error – not the conventional wisdom of coaches
By Ed Smith - 04 September 9:03

Innovative sporting cultures become wealthy, so they can afford to have more coaches. That doesn’t prove that the coaches caused the innovation and wealth.

The politician and his playmaker: Tony Blair and Alex Ferguson in 1996. Photo: Steve Eason/Getty
Pitch perfect: the ten football matches that changed the world
By John Bew - 31 August 11:11

Jim Murphy’s book combines a blokey ethos with a serious tone, and includes the Eton-smashing 1883 FA Cup final, the 1943 Spanish Cup semi-final and Robben Island’s  “Makana League”.

MK Dons striker Benik Afobe celebrates the team's third goal against Manchester United. Photo: Getty
Why MK Dons’ 4-0 victory over Manchester United didn’t cause universal joy
By Martin Cloake - 29 August 14:36

How would you feel if the club you supported had been stolen from you, relocated, renamed, made into something entirely different?

Glutton meets gourmet: our ideas about healthy eating are becoming ever more confused. Image: Valero Doval
Slightly overweight people live longer – so is it time to rethink our dietary advice?
By Julian Baggini - 21 August 11:50

One of the most unfortunate consequences of this constant revising of recommendations is the belief that no one knows what a good diet is. But look at the bigger picture and the consensus holds steady over time.

DNA strands on display in a double helix model on display at the Science Museum. Photo: Getty
DIY diagnosis: how an extreme athlete uncovered her genetic flaw
By Ed Yong - 19 August 12:13

When Kim Goodsell discovered that she had two extremely rare genetic diseases, she taught herself genetics to help find out why. Ed Yong tells her story.

Harriet Harman at Wimbledon this summer. Photo: Getty
The problem with Harriet Harman’s proposed gambling tax
By Martin Cloake - 18 August 15:30

Labour think the levy can be used to fund elite sports development as well as grass-roots sports. So, they must be hoping for a lot of gambling in order to generate the sums needed.

Ched Evans playing for Sheffield United in 2012. Photo: Getty
Ched Evans and Ma’lik Richmond: why should rapists get a second chance to be celebrated?
By Sarah Ditum - 15 August 12:31

Sports stars who are convicted of rape get to return as heroes on the field. If there were justice for women, rape would be a crime that makes us all turn in disgust from the perpetrator.

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