Jamie Lawrence: ‘One minute I’m in jail, the next on TV with Sunderland’

16-12-2018 The former Premier League winger is stepping back into jails to help prisoners and working with young players ‘to change their whole outlook on life’For a man whose slogan is “Prison to Premiership” it was a tense moment for Jamie Lawrence to find himself outside Brixton prison on a crisp winter’s morning, preparing to go back inside. He was here as a teenager, PN 2991LAWRENCE. He trots out his prison number, thinks about the boy he was then, the circumstances that allowed crime to seem like the easier option. Now 48, he braced himself to step back into his former life hoping he might strike some kind of chord with the prisoners of today. Whatever talks and workshops are on offer to them, not many can look them in the eye and level with them in the way he can.He half smiles as he explains that these days he gets cleared by security. “Normally I was going in the sweat box before I was going in,” he says wryly. “It was nice to go through the gate. I got introduced to the boys. I was nervous as hell. There were 12 prisoners in a little room. I started sharing my story, from being in prison to getting out and turning my life around and playing in the Premiership and for my country. We challenged them with a few things about what they are going to do on release. ‘How can you not reoffend?’ That is so, so important. Continue reading...

BBC Sports Personality of the Year: who should win five top awards? | Observer writers

16-12-2018 Our writers offer their choices for the highest honours at the prestigious ceremony, from Ronnie O’Sullivan to Tracey NevilleRonnie O’Sullivan has been winning for 25 years now: five world championships, seven Masters and seven UK titles, the latest of them this month. His 19th major victory means he has overtaken Stephen Hendry and become the most successful player in snooker history. Continue reading...

‘Having children changes everything’ – lessons from my father about how to be a man

16-12-2018 Society has changed immeasurably over the last few decades, so how has that affected what it takes to be a good man? Who better to ask than my dad? By Andrew DickensFor several millennia now, men have had things their own way (I’m assuming there are no howls of protest at this statement). But in the last few decades, things seem to have changed for the better – and changed fast. So fast, we are told, that men’s moral compasses are spinning. In the space of a generation, what it means to be a good man has been completely overhauled. Continue reading...

Harry Kane tipped for BBC’s top gong but history may point to a surprise | Sean Ingle

16-12-2018 The England striker is favourite to win Sports Personality of the Year but footballers do not have a great record in the eventEver since England reached the semi-finals of the World Cup, Harry Kane has been a smouldering favourite for the BBC Sports Personality of the Year award. The Spurs striker has already won the golden boot. No wonder many believe he is a shoo-in to lift the famous silver-plated trophy of a four-turret lens camera engraved with many legends of British sport.Yet history reminds us that footballers and Spoty do not always mix. For while 18 track and field stars have walked away with the award in its 64-year history – with Formula One drivers claiming it seven times and tennis players six – footballers have done so on only five occasions. Continue reading...

'Canelo' Alvarez v Rocky Fielding: Mexican eases to win at Madison Square Garden

16-12-2018 Saul 'Canelo' Alvarez claims a world title in a third weight division as he knocks Rocky Fielding down four times in three rounds.

Klopp and Liverpool sense chance to inflict killer blow on Mourinho | Barney Ronay

16-12-2018 Liverpool’s manager has a habit of handing his Manchester United rival defeats that spell the end of the roadIt is a tribute to the indelible grandeur of Manchester United that even a season of constipated football and toxic managerial asides can still seem epic-scale and entirely engrossing.Not to mention eminently saleable, another commodity out there to be retailed. In the week leading up to Sunday’s Premier League trip to Anfield, MUTV has continued to seek new subscribers by pushing a rather telling product. Continue reading...

Gary Anderson beats Kevin Burness to make third round of PDC World Darts

16-12-2018 • Two-time world champion hits seven 180s during victory• Wins also for Ted Evetts, Chris Dobey and Danny NoppertThe two-time world champion Gary Anderson booked his place in the third round of the PDC World Championship by beating Northern Ireland’s Kevin Burness 3-1, hitting seven 180s on the way.Anderson won three legs in a row to take the opening set against Burness, who beat Paul Nicholson in the day’s afternoon session. Continue reading...

'Rugby's like a chessboard with 120kg pieces' - how virtual reality could transform training

16-12-2018 Painstaking research, virtual reality and holding the tackle bags in training... an insight into how a top rugby analyst operates.

'Humble and generous, but a private enigma' - who was Leicester City's owner?

16-12-2018 Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha is revered in Leicester as the man who presided over one of sport's great triumphs - but who was the billionaire Thai businessman?

Billy Monger wins BBC Sports Personality of the Year Helen Rollason Award for 2018

16-12-2018 Teenage racing star Billy Monger has been named the winner of the BBC Sports Personality of the Year Helen Rollason Award.

Katie Taylor beats Eva Wahlstrom to defend world titles in New York

16-12-2018 Ireland's Katie Taylor wins every round to inflict a first career defeat on Eva Wahlstrom and defend her world titles at Madison Square Garden in New York.

Christian Eriksen’s late strike gives Tottenham win over Burnley

16-12-2018 Last Tuesday, Tottenham played Barcelona in the Camp Nou for a place in the Champions League knockout stages. On Wednesday, they face Arsenal in a League Cup semi-final. A game against Burnley in front of a half-full Wembley, rain sheeting down and adding an extra chill to an already freezing Saturday, was always going to be what advertising types call a tough sell.Thank the lord then, for Christian Eriksen. For 90 minutes, it was the sort of grim afternoon that might lead everyone to question their life choices, the 0-0 scoreline to that point even less interesting than it might sound. Continue reading...

Matthew Walls and Fred Wright claim silver in Madison at track World Cup

16-12-2018 • Young British pair finish second behind Denmark• Jack Carlin, Elinor Barker edged out of medals on day twoGreat Britain claimed a silver medal in the men’s Madison on the second day of the Track Cycling World Cup in London.Matthew Walls and Fred Wright followed up Friday’s team pursuit bronze medals by sealing second place, 16 points behind Denmark. Continue reading...

Salomón Rondon seals precious points for Newcastle at Huddersfield

16-12-2018 Newcastle spluttered at first but, after finding rhythm in the second half, produced the best move of the match. That work led to a fine goal for Solomón Rondón and another three precious points on the road.They have earned 10 of their 16 Premier League points this season away from St James’s Park, largely thanks to the sort of efficiency that they eventually showed here against hosts who dominated possession but, as so often, lacked sharpness when it mattered most. Continue reading...

Raheem Sterling finishes off Everton to put Manchester City on top

16-12-2018 Manchester City did not have things completely their own way against Everton, so in emerging with the win the champions illustrated why they remained title favourites despite losing top spot last Saturday. They also leapfrogged Liverpool to become leaders again, at the very least until Manchester United visit Anfield on Sunday.Everton arrived as the only side not to lose here in the two league outings since Pep Guardiola took over and left with that record shredded. City achieved this by retaining the relentlessness that steamrollers most opponents and that finally wore down their visitors’ resistance. Continue reading...

Watford hold on for nervy home win after Cardiff’s frenetic fightback

16-12-2018 This was a good win for Watford. Such was the harum-scarum nature of the closing stages, however, that a moment’s reflection was needed in order to be sure. After dominating possession and storming to a 3-0 lead with some sumptuous goals, they almost threw it away in the last 10 minutes. The final moments saw the hosts clinging on to the result, keeping the ball by the corner flag.The time-wasting made Neil Warnock chuckle afterwards and once again his Cardiff side had rattled loftier opponents. Junior Hoilett and Bobby Reid both scored in the last 10 minutes to make the result close but even the Cardiff manager had to admit it was closer than it should have been. “We thought we would try and contain them and then have a go in the last half-hour,” he said. “But you don’t legislate for losing two or three goals by that point.” Continue reading...

Scottish Open: Mark Allen 'doesn't deserve to be in final' after 'disrespecting' tournament

16-12-2018 Mark Allen says he has reached the Scottish Open final despite "disrespecting the event" with a week of too much drinking.

Sports quiz of the week: Champions League, Canelo and conspiracies

16-12-2018 Who was big? Who doubted? Who scored Liverpool’s penalties?What offer did basketball player Stephen Curry receive this week?President Trump offered him the job of coaching USA’s Olympics basketball teamMarvel offered him a role as a baddie in their next superhero moviePhil Mickelson offered him a winner-takes-all round of mini-golfNasa offered him a tour of the lunar lab at their space centre in HoustonMichael “Rocky” Fielding fights Saúl “Canelo” Álvarez in New York this weekend. Why was Rocky given his nickname?He starred in Creed 2 as young Rocky’s body double He was born in Ballyrock He has never watched any Rocky films and vows he never willHe weighed 10lb when he was born On a similar theme, what does “canelo” mean?ChampChopperCinnamonChilledAll four English clubs in the Champions League have qualified for the knockout stages. Which of them did so with a negative goal difference in their group?Manchester United LiverpoolTottenham HotspurManchester CityVinicius Junior was just 18 years and 152 days old when he made his Champions League debut for Real Madrid on Wednesday night. Which player was even younger when he started for Real against Ajax in the competition in September 1995?Iker CasillasRaúlGutiLuis Enrique Liverpool host Manchester United at Anfield on Sunday afternoon. Who scored two penalties for Liverpool the last time they beat United in the league? Luis SuárezDanny MurphySteven GerrardFernando TorresTeam Sky, whose future is in doubt, have won six of the last seven editions of the Tour de France. Which cyclist won the other one?Vincenzo NibaliNairo Quintana Rigoberto Urán Romain Bardet The new Formula E season begins in Saudi Arabia on Saturday. Which innovation has been introduced for this season?Attack mode, which gives drivers a temporary speed boost like in Mario KartTag-team mode, which gives teams a chance to sub in a Formula 1 driver for one race of the season Water mode, which permits teams to soak the track in one race of their choice Petrol mode, which permits teams to use non-electric cars for one race of their choiceEngland played Belgium twice in the football World Cup earlier this year (and lost twice). The two countries are meeting in the semi-finals of which tournament this weekend?Men's Hockey World CupChess World CupCurling World CupWomen's Volleyball World CupIn which city are Anastasia Dobromyslova and Lisa Ashton competing at the minute?RiyadhLondonNew York CityMelbourne1 and above.Oh dear. That's a bad score2 and above.Oh dear. That's a bad score3 and above.Oh dear4 and above.Not bad but not great5 and above.Not bad but not great6 and above.Nice work. Enjoy your weekend7 and above.Superb scoring. Enjoy your weekend9 and above.Superb scoring. Enjoy your weekend8 and above.Superb scoring. Enjoy your weekend0 and above.Poor show10 and above.You are a genius. Enjoy your weekend Continue reading...

Australia v India: second Test, day three – live!

16-12-2018 Updates from the third day of play at Perth StadiumAny thoughts? Email [email protected] 8.24am GMT 26th over: Australia 89-3 (Khawaja 21, Head 4) Travis Head gets off the mark with a boundary through extra cover, aided by a silly bit of fielding from Bumrah, who had his foot needlessly on the rope when he picked the ball up.This is marvellous stuff, a pleasure to watch. I would still make Australia slight favourites but it’s desperately tight. And Virat Kohli knows that, as things stand, another epic from him could put India on the brink of a first ever series win in Australia. Now that would be a legacy. 8.19am GMT Another bowling change brings a wicket! Ishant Sharma strikes with his first ball, a lovely full-length delivery that traps Handscomb absolutely plumb in front. It was a desperate stroke from Handscomb, who groped from the crease and missed the ball by a mile. Continue reading...