I am in love with Jeffrey Schlupp. I like writing his name down. Photo: Getty
Hunter Davies’ Half-Season Awards
By Hunter Davies - 19 December 11:52

Cheer up, Stevie! Go, Schlupp! And Pearson, don’t come down from the stands.

Andre Agassi. Photo: Getty
Ed Smith: for some coaches it’s not about improving sporting skills but about moulding people
By Ed Smith - 11 December 10:28

Many high achievers, across all disciplines, have troubled and complex relationships with people who pushed them. I would like to pretend that psychological bullying never works, but clearly it can.

Players in Victoria put out their bats in tribute to Phillip Hughes. Photo: Getty
SB Tang on Phillip Hughes: The nation mourns a cricket hero
By S B Tang - 11 December 9:32

He was, as we say in Australia, just a really good bloke. 

 

The longest yard: Vinnie Jones. Photo: BT Sport
Vinnie Jones: “I speak to kids today and I’m not a footballer, I’m a film star”
By Cameron Sharpe - 10 December 17:53

As Vinnie Jones embarks on his sixth decade, he reflects on the biggest day of his career, his battle with alcohol and why his wife has to stop him calling Massimo Cellino.

Liverpool supporters protest about ticket prices during the English Premier League football match between Liverpool and Hull City at the Anfield stadium in Liverpool, northwest England, on October 25, 2014. Photo: Getty Images
Premier League clubs are less and less able to ignore fan discontent over ticket prices
By Martin Cloake - 05 December 17:33

There are tentative signs that Premier League clubs are starting to take fan campaigns against high ticket prices more seriously.

Footballer Gavin Swankie (left), just one of the players whose every goal is recorded by the Whitehall fan. Photo: Getty Images
Who's the Whitehall civil servant spending hours each week editing footballers' Wikipedia pages?
By Ian Steadman - 27 November 15:59

Someone, somewhere in government, is spending a considerable amount of time keeping Wikipedia's entries on Scottish football up-to-date.

Gravy train: Fifa president Sepp Blatter on the pitch with a Saudi official in Riyadh. Photo: Getty
It is time to clean up the beautiful game
By Jon Holmes - 27 November 10:00

In recent days, Fifa seems to have plumbed new depths of almost comic-book villainy.

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.

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