The award for worst sox goes to Villa's Jack Grealish (R). Photo: Clive Mason/Getty Images
Worst sox, duelling aeroplanes and the pull of the affluent south: it’s the year in football again
By Hunter Davies - 21 May 11:14

Next season, I hope for the return of gigantic sideboards, like what George Best and Malcolm Macdonald used to have.

A football memorabilia shop in Newcastle. Photo: Ian Horrocks/Getty Images
Damn and blast – my epic football collection is going down in value
By Hunter Davies - 14 May 13:05

Fans have no money left for books and they can look it up online, anyway.

A statue of Sir Viv Richards outside the Antigua ground which bears his name. Photo: Gareth Copley/Getty Images
Could West Indies cricket, once so fearsome, soon be closed for business?
By Ed Smith - 04 May 11:24

It is a magical story, that a tiny archipelago came to dominate a world sport - but now the West Indies board owes £27m.

David Cameron and Gary Lineker. Photo: Andrew Parsons/Conservative Party via Getty Images
Are you a footie follower or a fan? Take this quiz to find out
By Hunter Davies - 04 May 11:17

Pencils at the ready - Hunter Davies has prepared a simple test to split the fakers from the true fans.

Anthony Wilkerson rushes during a Stanford v Arizona State game. Photo: Christian Petersen/Getty Images Sport
The socialist principles at the heart of American Football
By Joe Ware - 30 April 13:20

Can we learn something about redistribituion and fairness from the land of corporate Darwinism?

Runners in the 2015 London marathon. Photo: Alan Crowhurst/Getty Images
The not-so-lonely long distance runner: how one marathon man brought camaraderie to London
By Xan Rice - 30 April 11:54

The extraordinary support is one of the main reasons why people aspire to run the London Marathon. Where else will you have strangers scream your name as though you were famous?

Kentish Town baths in 1909. Photo: Camden archives
I’d only gone for a swim, but I ended up being serenaded in the changing room
By Hunter Davies - 23 April 17:34

He was doing something I’d never seen before in Kentish Town Baths, and I’ve been going for over 40 years.

In political debate as in sport, practice doesn't make perfect: it makes for boring
By Ed Smith - 16 April 14:58

Instead of playing to win, politicians are seeking not to lose.

Ryan Gigs consults with "beady eyed" Van Gaal. Photo: Alex Livesey/Getty Images Sport
Football is a place of totally pointless prejudice – and that’s worth cheering for
By Hunter Davies - 15 April 11:27

In a way, football is democratic - your looks don't matter as much as your ability. So why is such a huge part of loving it hating the players?

It is definitely, definitely not the case that the teams in La Liga are better. Photo: David Ramos/Getty Images
Why are we messing up at top-flight football? I have all the answers
By Hunter Davies - 02 April 16:00

Champion of Europe? Not these days. Hunter Davies explains some of the reasons England aren't quite the footballing force they once were.

The crowd at Old Trafford. Photo:  Alex Livesey/Getty Images
Football is multicultural - but you wouldn’t know it looking at the crowd
By Hunter Davies - 26 March 10:35

"The fact that the majority of players in any Premiership game these days are foreign, and so many of them black, does not seem to have had an appreciable effect on the faces in the crowd."

Great Scot: Sir Alex lifts the Premier League trophy in 2013. Photo: Alex Livesey/Getty Images
Internship available: zero-hours non-contract, must supply own white gloves
By Hunter Davies - 19 March 11:21

Where have all the Scottish managers gone? This week, Hunter Davies seeks an intern to count them.

England have been a poor one-day side in cricket for years – now they're abject
By Ed Smith - 13 March 13:21

If this kind of performance is what you get after six months of dedicated planning, then less planning sounds good to me.

Poor Arsene Wenger. Photo: Ian Walton/Getty Images
The big decision for any manager is whether or not to scream and shout
By Hunter Davies - 12 March 13:28

"Wenger sat there silently, on the verge of a seizure."

Osborne at the royal mint. Photo: Matthew Horwood - WPA Pool/Getty Images
What the budget will not reveal: Osborne has been more pragmatic than his image suggests
By New Statesman - 12 March 10:56

This looks set to be a minimalist budget - but not all is as it seems, and opposition Ed Balls would do well to veer away from it sooner rather than later.

Ed Smith at bat. Photo: Tom Dulat/Getty Images
The secret to performing at your peak? Deciding which of the voices in your head is talking sense
By Ed Smith - 11 March 12:21

The conflict between instict and reason has left me having a small domestic disagreement in my head.

What's black and white and mocked all over? Pardew in 2010. Photo: Andrew Yates/AFP/Getty Images
There's more than one Alan Pardew: "Background" is a burden in the beautiful game
By Hunter Davies - 05 March 10:05

Football, where the dirty cockney and the whippet handler live on.

Van Gaal at Old Trafford. Photo: Clive Mason/Getty Images
The life and times of the Iron Tulip: Who is Louis van Gaal?
By John Bew - 26 February 11:34

Biographies by Hugo Borst and Maarten Meijer get to know Manchester United's new manager.

City's Frank Lampard. Photo: Shaun Botterill/Getty Images
Hello, Hurray: why we need an old Etonian on every team in the Premier League
By Hunter Davies - 26 February 10:38

Scarcely 2 per cent of our top players are privately educated: yet a whopping 7 per cent of the nation’s children go to private schools. So unfair. Something has to be done.

Chelsea football fans packed onto a Paris Metro train, where the racist incident occured. Photo: AFP/Guardian News & Media Ltd/Getty Images
All football fans – not just Chelsea supporters – need to show intolerance to intolerance
By Tomo Taka - 19 February 14:49

The racist behaviour of a tiny minority of fans should not poison the spirit of a club that has always attracted loyalty from all over the world.

Sheep. Photo: Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images
In which I have a bout of pneumonia and a ménage à trois – and make my debut as a basketball reporter
By Nicholas Lezard - 19 February 12:46

"I am delighted until I see that the paper has spelled my name, at the end of the column, 'Nicholas Zloozman'."

Internally displaced Afghan children play cricket in a refugee camp. Photo: SHAH MARAI/AFP/Getty Images
Afghanistan at the World Cup
By Tim Wigmore - 19 February 12:23

"Appreciation for Afghanistan’s cricketing achievements is perhaps the only thing that links the government with Taliban forces."

Novak Djokovic at the Australian open. Photo: Quinn Rooney/Getty Images
How Novak Djokovic can make you a better friend, colleague and spouse
By Ed Smith - 19 February 11:17

Self-improvement isn’t about making our best better – but about making our worst less bad.

Sky Sports Premier League coverage. Photo: Ben Radford - Sky Sports/Getty Images
I never thought it was possible to have too much football
By Hunter Davies - 19 February 11:16

Eleven hours of the beautiful game on one day: is it enough?

A worker installs a flag advertising the cup. Photo: A worker installs a flag for the cup. Photo: Stephane de Sakutin/AFP/Getty Images
Letter from Equatorial Guinea: forget human rights – here comes the football
By Jonathan Wilson - 12 February 11:09

When Morocco withdrew from hosting the African Cup of Nations, citing Ebola fears, Equatorial Guinea stepped in. But at what cost?

English footballer Gary Lineker of Leicester City FC, circa 1980. Photo: Simon Miles/Getty Images
In ye olden days, retired footballers set up market stalls – or sold toilet rolls
By Hunter Davies - 12 February 10:19

I can think of only two players in my lifetime – who played long before the birth of the Prem – who did manage to make real money after their playing days.

Ronda Rousey hits Liz Carmouche during their 2013 title fight. Photo: Jeff Gross/Getty Images
Why the UFC is treating its female fighters better than (almost) any other sport
By Joel Snape - 26 January 16:34

It’s not just the money – Ultimate Fighting Championship has appreciated that women aren’t good fighters considering their gender. They’re simply good fighters.

Walthamstow's finest: Harry Kane for Spurs. Photo: Richard Heathcote/Getty Images
All the Spurs players are heroes but Harry is different: he’s a local hero
By Hunter Davies - 15 January 10:35

What does it mean to sign a local lad?

Grass-roots: Crystal Palace fans in 1989. Photo: Getty
Priced out of matches and treated as commodities, football fans are finally starting to reclaim the beautiful game
By Martin Cloake and David Webber - 23 December 10:45

In the space of two decades, English football has gone from a localised game rooted in working-class communities to a globalised brand controlled by the markets, excluding many of its loyal fans. But those fans are still there and they are fighting back. 

Pages