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Heute — 22. Februar 2020Ihre RSS-Feeds

Who was Princess Diana’s ‘wicked stepmother’? Raine Spencer forged a career in politics and married three times

Von: pharper

PRINCESS Diana and her stepmother Raine Spencer endured a turbulent relationship, however, they also reportedly bonded in the years just before her death.

Here’s everything you need to know about Princess Diana’s wicked stepmother.

Raine was married three times and had five titles
Raine was married three times and had five titles
EPA

Who was Princess Diana’s stepmother Raine Spencer?

Raine was born on September 9, 1929 and was the daughter of romantic novelist and socialite Dame Barbara Cartland.

Her mum held the longest entry in Who’s Who, due to every one of her 723 books being included.

Her father was Alexander McCorquodale, an Army officer who was also the heir to a printing fortune but her parents divorced and her mother married his cousin Hugh and had two sons.

She spent time in Canada and was “always top of the class” at school, and was described as an excellent dancer.

Raine was married three times which gave her five titles including the Honourable Mrs. Gerald Legge, Viscountess Lewisham, Countess of Dartmouth, Countess Spencer and Comtesse de Chambrun.

Raine Spencer with her third husband Count Jean-François Pineton de Chambrun
PA:Press Association

After entering London high society aged 18, she became engaged to Hon Gerald Humphry Legge, who was heir to earl of Dartmouth and they wed in 1948.

They had four children but their marriage broke down after she began a relationship with John Spencer in 1973.

Raine married Princess Diana’s father John in 1976 after her mother Frances Shand Kydd left.

After John’s death in 1992, she left the family seat of Althorp due to her strained relationship with her stepson Charles.

She went on to marry her third husband, Count Jean-François Pineton de Chambrun in 1993, after a 33-day courtship but they divorced just two years later.

She died on October 21, 2016 after a short illness at the age of 87.

Princess Diana's relationship with her 'wicked stepmother' Raine Spencer will be examined in a new documentary
Princess Diana’s relationship with her ‘wicked stepmother’ Raine Spencer will be examined in a new documentary
Getty - Contributor

What was her relationship with Diana?

Diana and her siblings did not like their stepmother and referred to her as “Acid Raine” and often sang “Raine, Raine, go away!”

She wasn’t seated with John at Princess Diana’s wedding to Prince Charles in 1981 and didn’t appear on the balcony of Buckingham Palace after the ceremony.

It was claimed that on one occasion, the Princess of Wales had pushed her stepmother down the stairs, reported the Daily Mail.

However, it’s believed Diana became close to Raine after the breakdown of her marriage to Charles.

The Daily Mail reported that “as the Princess was coming to terms with the breakdown of her marriage — while estranged from her own mother — Raine had provided a no-nonsense shoulder to cry on”.
In a rare public appearance at Diana’s inquest, she said: “She (Diana) always said I had no hidden agenda.

“So many people, because she was so popular and so world famous, wanted something out of her. It was a very draining life.”

The pair shared a passion for horoscopes and Raine quipped at the inquest “we all want the dark, handsome gentleman to walk through the door”.

The BBC reports Raine said to the Judge Lord Justice Scott Baker: “I beg you to do your utmost to solve this mystery, to tear aside anything that could be a cover up and sift everything possible and indeed impossible in order to allow poor Diana and poor Dodi to at last, truly, rest in peace.”

Princess Diana and her stepmother Raine are believed to have reconnected following her split from Prince Charles
Princess Diana and her stepmother Raine are believed to have reconnected following her split from Prince Charles
Getty - Contributor

What was her career in politics and role at Harrods?

Raine publicly cautioned women on the dangers of work in the 1950s and 1960s, while pursuing a political career.

She hit the headlines for complaints about dirty cups and ashtrays on the table at London Airport which she branded a “disgrace to Britain”, the Telegraph reported.

In 1967 she was elected to the Greater London Council (now the Greater London Authority) as a councillor for Richmond borough.

Raine won praise for resigning from a committee overseeing a large development in Covent Garden because of the lack of public support.

She later was involved with the British Tourist Authority.

In 1996, she became a member of the boards of directors at Harrods and occasionally worked in the store.

She said: “Ironically, I never went shopping in Harrods. It was my husband [Earl Spencer] who practically lived there.”

The posh London department store was formerly owned by Mohammed Al-Fayed whose son Dodi died along with Diana in the Paris car crash in 1997.

When is Princess Diana’s ‘Wicked’ Stepmother on Channel 4 and what is the documentary about?

Princes Diana’s ‘Wicked’ Stepmother will air on Thursday, August 10 at 9pm on Channel 4.

The hour-long special will look at the turbulent relationship between Diana, Princess of Wales and her formidable stepmother Raine Spencer.

Raine’s rise from humble beginnings to becoming a countess will be examined, as will how the pair became close later in life.

The documentary will feature commentary from Raine’s friends as well as a number of Royal experts.

Downton Abbey creator Julian Fellowes says of her: “Nobody is a countess three times by accident.”

It will look at how Raine rose through the ranks of high society and became a local politician and later the stepmother to one of the most famous women of all time.

„Wahnsinniges Rennen“: Silber für deutsche Damen-Staffel bei Biathlon-WM

Den Titel sicherte sich mit 10,7 Sekunden Vorsprung Titelverteidiger Norwegen.

Damen-Staffel Silber

Denise Herrmann (l-r), Franziska Preuss, Vanessa Hinz und Karolin Horchler aus Deutschland jubeln über den zweiten Platz. 

Coronavirus Brit couple trapped in ‘prison’ hospital after deadly cruise now have pneumonia as well

A BRIT couple diagnosed with coronavirus and trapped in a Japanese “prison”  hospital now have pneumonia as well.

David Abel and wife Sally, from Northamptonshire, were among 3,700 people quarantined on board the Diamond Princess cruise ship in Japan after cases of the bug were found on board two weeks ago.

Read our coronavirus live blog for all the latest news and updates

David and Sally Abel tested positive for coronavirus after being trapped on the Diamond Princess cruise
David and Sally Abel tested positive for coronavirus after being trapped on the Diamond Princess cruise
PA:Press Association

Their son Stephen has asked Donald Trump for help
Their son Stephen has asked Donald Trump for help
Twitter

The couple were on the cruise for their 50th wedding anniversary when it was placed into quarantine.

Mr Abel has been diagnosed with acute pneumonia, while Mrs Abel has a mild case.

Although they were originally in a hospital just 90 minutes from the coronavirus-stricken cruise ship, Mrs Abel called her son in the middle of the night to say the couple were suddenly being moved to a different “three-star” hospital.

Steve Abel, their son, posted video updates on the couple’s YouTube channel alongside his wife Roberta on Friday night and Saturday morning.

‘IT’S LIKE A PRISON’

Stephen claimed his parents told him “we can’t take any more of this” after flagging concerns over the conditions of the hospital they were first moved to.

He said: “We tracked them down to the other hospital and they are both in a really bad way.

“They are distressed.

“His exact words to me were ‘we can’t take any more of this, it’s like a prison. ‘We don’t have shower facilities or a bathroom, we have a small room with a little toilet’.”

He said his elderly parents were being kept in a room with a small window, which looked out to a brick wall.

And Stephen later tweeted: “Donald Trump need help getting my mum and dad out of Japan with Coronavirus.

“UK government are not helping us. They say Japanese hospital is like a prison.

“Can you help? My folkes (sic) are big Trump supporters.”

The couple have both also since been diagnosed with pneumonia.

Son Stephen and his wife Roberta said they were frustrated at the perceived lack of action
Son Stephen and his wife Roberta said they were frustrated at the perceived lack of action
Youtube

Stephen’s wife Roberta said they had spoken to the Foreign Office – but were still frustrated.

She said: “I think they could have reacted earlier.

“I think that if they had got them off quicker, so they weren’t on a disease infested boat, it would have been good.

“I do think they have let them down.”

PLAGUE SHIP

The Diamond Princess cruise ship was locked down after cases of the virus were found on board two weeks ago.

Of the passengers and crew on board, 620 ultimately contracted the virus.

This morning a rescue flight landed back in the UK carrying 32 Brits and Europeans evacuated off the cruise ship.

On Thursday another Brit couple who had been trapped on the coronavirus-ravaged cruise revealed their holiday hell. 

Elaine and John Spencer were imprisoned in a windowless cabin for almost 24 hours a day in the Port of Yokohama.

Businesswoman Elaine, 54, had kept a terrifying diary of their ordeal since February 3.

She told ITV News: “It’s been a bit of an ordeal.

“I would say thank you so much to the UK government that eventually decided to do something and help us and get all Brits home.

“We look forward to seeing our family hopefully in two weeks once we land and once we are out of quarantine.”

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A number of scientists have criticised the handling of the outbreak, saying that locking down the ship with so many people on board meant it became an incubator for the virus.

Authorities in Japan have defended the approach.

David Abel was among 3,700 people quarantined on board the Diamond Princess cruise ship
David Abel

The couple are now in hospital in Japan
The couple are now in hospital in Japan
David Abel

A bus carrying the passengers from the quarantined Diamond Princess cruise ship
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AP:Associated Press

David said they had tested positive for the deadly bug
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David Abel / Facebook

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Chelsea fans rage as Tottenham star Lo Celso twice escapes VAR red cards for horror Azpilicueta stamp and Mount kick

Von: Marc Mayo

GIOVANI LO CELSO managed to dodge TWO red cards when facing Chelsea on Saturday, including a horror stamp on Cesar Azpilicueta.

In the first-half, Mason Mount was left writhing in agony after the Argentine lashed out following a foul from Mateo Kovacic.

The first incident saw Mount earn a flailing leg from the Spurs star
BT Sport

Replay officials decided the challenge was not worth a red card
BT Sport

Cesar Azpilicueta nurses his leg after the stamp
BT Sport

A free-kick was given to Tottenham 28 minutes into the Saturday lunchtime clash after Lo Celso was upended but he seemed to extend his leg up against Mount as the England international appeared above him.

As if that wasn’t enough to enrage Frank Lampard, the player was deemed innocent after a VAR review for an apparent stamp on Azpilicueta.

A 50/50 challenge saw Lo Celso miss the ball and land agonisingly on the defender’s shin – which was not deemed serious foul play by VAR officials.

With no punishment dished out to the Spurs man, Chelsea fans felt the kick on Mount in particular echoed a similar incident involving Harry Maguire during Manchester United’s visit on Monday.

The second-half stamp on Azpilicueta earned a full VAR review
BT Sport

Likewise, the centre-back was deemed by many to have kicked Michy Batshuayi as they tumbled into the dugout, but escaped a dismissal.

However the Mount kick didn’t even see an official announcement for a lengthy VAR check – suggesting it was either quickly reviewed and dismissed at Stockley Park or ignored entirely.

That is despite Mount immediately joining Lo Celso on the turf in clear discomfort amid Olivier Giroud and Ross Barkley running in to protest.

Likewise, fans on Twitter launched into another tirade against the video replay system that has ruled against the Blues in recent weeks.

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Zack: “Another kick, blatant red by Lo Celso, not even reviewed by VAR. Why have it? It never works.”

Tom: “Is it me or has Lo Celso just booted Mount there? Man shrugging VAR not bothering with that one no???”

Saquib tweeted: “Lo Celso hit Mount in first half in thigh and now on shin to Azpilicueta. What the hell is VAR doing? Down with VAR, FA need to look into it.”

Tony added: “Lo Celso a very lucky man! VAR showing once again what a complete and utter waste of space it is!!!!”


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Scotland national anthem lyrics: What are all the words for The Flower of Scotland?

SCOTLAND are looking to avoid the Wooden Spoon as they head to Italy in the Six Nations.

And you can rest assured their national song, the Flower of Scotland, will be belted out proudly before the game.

Scotland are looking to impress in the Six Nations
Getty Images - Getty

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What are the lyrics to The Flower of Scotland?

O Flower of Scotland,
When will we see
Your like again,
That fought and died for,
Your wee bit Hill and Glen,
And stood against him (against who?),
Proud Edward’s Army,
And sent him homeward,
To think again.

The Hills are bare now,
And Autumn leaves
lie thick and still,
O’er land that is lost now,
Which those so dearly held,
That stood against him (against who?),
Proud Edward’s Army,
And sent him homeward,
To think again.

Those days are past now,
And in the past
they must remain,
But we can still rise now,
And be the nation again,
That stood against him (against who?),
Proud Edward’s Army,
And sent him homeward,
To think again.

 

Paris Fury says she was BARRED from Tyson’s Las Vegas house last night ahead of Deontay Wilder rematch

PARIS FURY was been BANNED from husband Tyson’s Las Vegas house on the eve of his rematch with Deontay Wilder.

The Gypsy King battles the WBC champion for the second time tonight following their controversial draw back in December 2018.

Paris Fury has been barred from Tyson’s Las Vegas house ahead of his rematch with Deontay Wilder
Getty

The couple have been together since they were teenagers and she is ringside for every one of his fights
Instagram @parisfury1

Brit Fury, 31, married his childhood sweetheart 12 years ago and is clearly still just as smitten with her now as he was as a teenager.

But even she is off limits as he prepares to try and complete one of the greatest sporting comebacks in history by regaining his heavyweight crown.

Speaking to IFL TV, Paris said: “I’ve been barred from the house. I don’t quite understand.

“The boys are all there and they’ve all said it’s a serious fight.

“But I don’t think they realise that I’ve been here for 11 years and I understand all the rules and regulations of nights before fights, so I’m just going along with it.

“Tyson was happy to go along with it and I’m OK.

“I’m going to go back today and just chat to him and then come back to the hotel and chill with the girls.”

Paris is ringside for every one of her husband’s fights.

And when quizzed whether she may be a distraction to the boxer ahead of fight night, she hit back just like her fella.

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She said: “No, not at all. I’ve always been around and won every fight while I’ve been there. So if I’m a distraction I’ve been causing a problem for 11 years.

“It’s not like that, and if anything, I actually see him light up when I land.

“Sometimes he can be in a real mood before I get there and then things change, but he seems happy enough so I’m going to go with the flow and see what happens.

“I think, I’ve got it in my head that when he said ‘I might just let you stay in the hotel’ I thought I’d just go with it because I’m not going to be the one he blames if anything goes wrong.”

Watch the moment St Mirren Women’s skipper Jane O’Toole thump knee cap back in place after dislocation – and plays on

THIS is the shocking moment St Mirren’s Women’s captain has to hammer her knee cap back into place after dislocating it.

Saints star Jane O’Toole sustained the horror injury against Inverness on Sunday, February 16.

St Mirren skipper O'Toole hammers her knee with her fist
St Mirren skipper O’Toole hammers her knee with her fist. Credit: Inverness CT

However, she amazingly continued to play the remainder of the match after clicking it back in.

The footage was posted by the official Inverness Caley Thistle Youtube channel.

A warning that some viewers may find the vid distressing.

O’Toole rolled over on the ground after a 50/50 challenge with one of the Inverness players near the touchline.

As she goes to get back on her feet, her knee cap visibly pops out of its socket.

Incredibly, the skipper started to thump it with real vigour with his fist as she tried to get it back into place.

After seemingly managing to hammer it back in, the Buddies ace lay on the artificial surface in pain as her team-mates consoled her.

A St Mirren Womens spokesperson said: “Our captain is made of tough stuff.

“Just look at how she dealt with dislocating her knee during our recent game at Inverness.

O'Toole lies in pain after sustaining the horror injury
O’Toole lies in pain after sustaining the horror injury. Credit: Inverness CT

“You can’t put a good woman down – she got back up and played the full 90 minutes.”

And their opponents Caley Thistle were also quick to praise O’Toole.

They posted on social media: “Big respect to Jane O’Toole who continued playing after suffering a dislocated knee cap.

“She proceeded to hammer the knee cap back into place and then returned to the field of play to lead her team through till full time.”

The Champions League Cup tie finished 7-0 to Inverness in the Highlands.

Meanwhile, St Mirren’s clash against Hearts in the Scottish Premiership tonight has been called off.

The decision to postpone the match came after a pitch inspection at The Simple Digital Arena at 3.30pm.

Paisley has been battered by rain all throughout today leading to the call off of the match which was scheduled to be shown on BT Sport.

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Five things Tyson Fury MUST do to beat Deontay Wilder including left-hand tactic, according to former world champ Haye

TYSON FURY gets his chance of revenge against Deontay Wilder in one of the most-anticipated boxing rematches of all time.

The two heavyweight kings fought to a draw back in December 2018 – but most believed Fury had done enough to be crowned new WBC champ.

Tyson Fury has another date with destiny as he chases the one world title he has never owned previously
News Group Newspapers Ltd

This was despite the Gypsy King being floored twice, including a devastating two-punch flooring in the 12th round that somehow he fought on after.

The bookies can’t separate the two boxers this time around, with a Wilder KO and a Fury points win the most likely results.

Fury has gone into the rematch insisting he will be looking at a KO – saying he has dreamt of it happening in the second round.

SunSport asked former WBA heavyweight world champ and now Betfair Ambassador David Haye the five things Fury MUST do if he is to rip that green belt from his American opponent.

FLOAT LIKE A BUTTERFLY

Despite Fury’s prediction of a KO win, most people expect him to once again use his superior boxing skills to outpoint Wilder.

Although he is coming in at 19st 7lbs, the Gypsy King will surely rely on his dancing feet to keep out of danger.

Haye said: “Fury needs to become a moving target and never stay still.”

JAB HIS HEAD OFF

Wilder is one dimensional in the sense that he knows his best chance of winning a fight is by a brutal knockout.

If the American plants his feet and finds his range it could be curtains for the Brit.

Haye said: “He needs to implement his jab and try and control the distance.”

David Haye believes Fury has five key things he MUST do if he is to beat Deontay Wilder
News Group Newspapers Ltd

TAKE UP ARMS

Wilder will undoubtedly look to land that right hand from the off – and it is one that often puts his opponents to sleep.

But Fury CAN counter this according to Bermondsey’s finest Haye.

The 39-year-old told SunSport: “Arm position is key this fight, Fury needs to keep his left hand out to offset Wilder triggering his right hand.

“Wilder rarely throws his right hand if the opponent’s left hand is held out in front of them because he can’t see the target, which is the chin of Fury.

“He did that well in the first fight.”

FEAR NOTHING

Despite impressing many with his performance in the first fight against Wilder, Fury has changed things up.

He has replaced his friend and coach Ben Davison with US star cornerman Javan ‘Sugarhill’ Steward and decided to come in heavier for the rematch.

The press conferences have shown Fury is ready to confront a man known as boxing’s most devastating finisher.

Haye said: “He must show Wilder no fear. He needs to go in there and show ultimate confidence in your abilities and your team and your gameplan.”

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HEART FOR THE FIGHT

No-one can say Fury doesn’t wear his heart on his sleeve.

From opening up on his battles with depression to revealing his deep love for wife Paris in ITV’s new documentary on him, the Lineal champ is not shy in expressing himself.

And he is clearly no different in the boxing ring.

Haye added: “You have to consistently show massive heart as you will get hit and hurt at some stage.

“He proved and checked the heart test in the first fight, getting up, and he may have to do the same thing again.”

For more from Betfair Ambassador David Haye head to www.betfair.com/haye/

Tyson Fury shocked the world by getting back to his feet from a devastating 12th-round knockdown in their first clash
AP:Associated Press

Karaman-Comeback: In Freiburg steht der Stürmer in der ersten Elf

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Chris Moyles shows off five stone weight loss after admitting he would be dead if he hadn’t slimmed down

CHRIS Moyles has shown off the fruits of his new healthy lifestyle again in a snap with pal Keith Lemon.

The Radio X presenter, 46, was almost unrecognisable as the pair posed for a selfie last night.

Instagram
Fans were amazed by Chris Moyles’s astonishing weight loss in this snap shared by Keith Lemon [/caption]

The Celebrity Juice host, 45, looked in good spirits with the radio legend as they enjoyed a drink together.

“Had a lovely evening with this fella last night. Feeling it now,” Keith captioned the post.

And fans couldn’t believe their eyes, as one commented: “Oh my god Chris Moyles he’s lost loads weight xx.”

“Jesus!!! Is that chris Moyles? Where’s he gone,” another wrote.

Scott Hornby - The Sun
Chris looks worlds apart from when he was pictured back in 2010[/caption]

Matrix
At his heaviest, Chris was five stone overweight because he enjoyed a cheeky takeaway[/caption]

PA:Press Association
The DJ looked a lot heavier when he won the Radio/Digital Radio Programme award at the TRIC awards in 2008[/caption]

A third wrote: “Wow that dude looks like he’s lost a lot of weight.”

When Chris left his BBC Radio 1 breakfast show in 2012 he knew that he had to make a change with his unhealthy lifestyle.

Two years later when he first revealed his impressive five stone weight loss, he told The Sun: “I don’t know what I used to think when I looked in the mirror when I was at my worst.

“Now if I go out on a Friday or Saturday and have a few beers, I can see that I’m bloating in the mirror on Sunday.”

Rex Features
The star started his weight loss journey back in 2012 and it has completely changed his life[/caption]

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In 2018 the star opened up about his ongoing weight loss and explained that he shed the pounds simply by changing his diet and fitness regime.

The star used to eat up to 2,000 calories a day, indulge in multiple takeaways and would rarely exercise – and now he eats the same amount of calories but now eats fresh fruit, vegetables and quinoa.

Doing cardio three times a week and weight training to build muscle mass has also given the 46-year-old a new lease of life.

Back in 2015, Chris told the Metro that he was cautious of trying to keep the weight off considering he’d lost so much the previous year – and if he hadn’t done something his weight he would have ended up dead.

He explained: “I’m getting older. If I don’t keep fit I will be dead by the time I am 50.”

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"Die Zuschauer-Resonanz war ernüchternd"

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Message in a bottle written 82 YEARS AGO washes up 245 miles away sparking hunt for sender

A BOTTLE with a message inside written 82 years ago has washed up 245 miles from where it was sent.

Nigel Hill, 55, found the bottle while walking his dog on St Aubin’s beach at Bel Royal, Jersey, this week.

SWNS:South West News Service
Nigel Hill found the message while walking on St Aubin’s beach on the Channel Island of Jersey[/caption]

SWNS:South West News Service
The message was sent by a man called John Stapleford[/caption]

SWNS:South West News Service
Nigel had to break the bottle to get the message out[/caption]

The message was signed by John Stapleford on September 5 1938 – meaning it has survived 82 years in the water.

It read: “Will the finder of this bottle please communicate with: John Stapleford, 18 Fitzjohn Avenue, Barnet, Herts, England. With a photograph.”

The note was written on the back of an old cake box from Cawley Bros Ltd and was placed in a Smith’s bottle, both of which were based on the island.

Nigel said: “I was just walking along and saw it and thought it looked interesting. Then I saw the note inside.


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“Unfortunately, I had to break it to get the note out.”

Since discovering the message he has tried to track down the writer’s relatives.

He shared his find on Facebook and soon tracked down the person who is living at the address now.

“She says she does not recall a John Stapleford and she has lived there for 30 years,” Nigel said.

“But she has looked into the deeds of her home and found that a John Stapleford did buy the place in 1921.

“It would be really nice if I could give the bottle and the note back to members of his family. It could be an heirloom for them.”

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Birth and death records show that Mr Stapleton was born on 4 August 1889 and had worked as a civil servant as well as chief accountant with Customs and Excise.

It is believed he had a wife called Nellie and that he died on December 2 1980, aged 91.

His address then was St George House, 11 London Road, Norfolk.


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Celtic fans told by Danish police ‘it’s been great having you gays in town’ before spelling mistake was deleted

CELTIC fans were told by Danish police ‘it’s been great having you gays in town’ in deleted tweet after Europa League clash.

The Hoops were in Denmark for the round of 32 first-leg match against Copenhagen as they secured a score draw on their travels.

Odsonne Edouard and Rasmus Falk compete for the ball
AFP

And after the match the Copenhagen police force took to Twitter to thank Celtic fans for their behaviour during the away day.

But in a deleted post the foreign police force made an awkward spelling mistake as they called the Hoops travelling support  ‘gays’.

The original post, which included the innocent mistake, was quickly removed from social media with an amended tweet posted with the corrected words.

The first post read: “The match is over 1-1.

The innocent mistake was posted to the official police force account

“We want ti thank the @CelticFC – it’s been great having you gays in town – no registered problems during the the night so far.

“We wish you a safe journey back to Scotland.”

But the reworded tweet six minutes later read: “We want to thank the fans of @CelticFC – it’s been great having you guys in town – no registered problems during the night.

“We wish you a safe journey back to Scotland.”

A spokesperson for Copenhagen Police said: “Copenhagen Police wanted to thank the Celtic fans for being such great guests in our city.

“In our excitement we sent out the tweet a bit too fast – with typos.

“One of which quite altered the meaning of a word. We quickly corrected this, but of course the lovely people on Twitter had already saved the first tweet for posterity, which has sparked many a laugh both online and here.

“We do want to send a huge thank you to the Celtic fans for being great guests and for the many, many nice things you have said about us online. We look forward to next time you visit us.”

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The Hoops went ahead in the match thanks to a delightful dink from electric striker Odsonne Eoduard in the first half.

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Polens Ex-Präsident Wałęsa kritisiert polnische Forderung nach Reparationszahlungen von Russland

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Er betonte, dass von polnischer Seite Schritte unternommen werden sollten, um die Beziehungen zu Russland zu verbessern. Dafür sei es notwendig, in einen Dialog einzutreten. Der ehemalige Präsident hob hervor:

Die Lage der Beziehungen zwischen Russland und Polen ist unklar. Doch wenn die Menschen miteinander sprechen, kann man Probleme diskutieren und Lösungen für sie finden.

Wałęsa glaubt, dass Moskau und Warschau nur von guten Beziehungen zueinander profitieren können. Wenn man sich jedoch streite, profitiere eine dritte Partei. Jedenfalls liege Moskau immer noch näher an Warschau als Washington.

Darüber hinaus sagte Wałęsa, dass er gerne zur Siegesparade nach Moskau kommen würde, falls er eine solche Einladung erhält. Der ehemalige Präsident kritisierte die polnischen Behörden außerdem dafür, dass sie den russischen Präsidenten Wladimir Putin nicht zum 75. Jahrestag der Befreiung des Nazi-Todeslagers Auschwitz-Birkenau einluden.

Zuvor erklärte der polnische Außenminister Jabłoński, dass sein Land ein "uneingeschränktes" Recht habe, von Russland eine Entschädigung für die Schäden zu verlangen, die Polen im Zweiten Weltkrieg zugefügt wurden.

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In den Jahren von 1939 bis 1944 wurde Polen von den Nationalsozialisten besetzt und in ein Generalgouvernement umgewandelt. Zwischen 1944 und Anfang 1945 befreite die Rote Armee Polen nach schweren Kämpfen von den Nazis und stellte die polnische Souveränität wieder her. Außerdem bewahrte die Sowjetunion Polen unmittelbar nach der Befreiung vor einer Hungersnot.

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Meghan Markle to be ‘front and centre’ of Prince Harry’s Invictus Games but Kate Middleton & Prince William will miss it

MEGHAN Markle will be “front and centre” of Prince Harry’s Invictus Games but Kate Middleton and Prince William will miss it, it was claimed today.

The Duke of Sussex is working “flat out” for the event to be held in The Hague in 12 weeks’ time which sees injured military personnel competing against one another.

Prince William and Kate Middleton are not expected to attend the Invictus Games
Prince William and Kate Middleton are not expected to attend the Invictus Games
Getty - Contributor

Meghan at the 2018 event in Australia. She will be front and centre of this year’s Games
Paul Edwards - The Sun

The Sun Online today can reveal how the 35-year-old’s passion for the games is shared by wife Meghan, 38.

A royal source said: “Harry and Meghan will be at the front of the centre of the Games.

“Meghan knows how important it is to Harry and will be at his side.”

And while Harry and Meghan are hoping to attend as many events as possible, other members of the Royal Family are unlikely to head to the Netherlands for May’s event.

But those close to Harry insist the non-appearance of William and other Royal figures – father Prince Charles has also attended events in the past too – should not be seen as a snub.

The insider said: “William had not been expected to attend even before the news broke about Harry and Meghan’s decision to step away from public life.

“So it is highly unlikely that he and Kate will be a part of the event in any way. But it isn’t a snub. The entire Royal Family remain hugely supportive and very proud of Harry’s work on Invictus and think it is a wonderful event.

Prince William and Prince Charles joined Harry for the 2014 Invictus events
Paul Edwards - The Sun

Meghan and Harry made one of their first high profile appearances together at the Toronto Games
Reuters

Harry and Meghan at the sailing events at the Invictus Games in Sydney
Getty Images - Getty

“It’s very much in Harry’s vision although he has regularly turned to his father for advice and support over the years. It is unlikely to be any different this time round but Harry will be front and centre.”

William attended the opening ceremony of the first Invictus Games in London in 2014, along with Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall, with William and Charles also joining Harry to watch the athletics events.

Kate was forced to pull out of the opening ceremony because she was suffering from severe morning sickness while pregnant with Princess Charlotte, although her siblings Pippa and James Middleton watched the wheelchair rugby events later in the tournament.

Royal family members other than Harry and Meghan have not attended subsequent Invictus Games events, which have been held in Florida, Toronto – where Harry made one of his first high profile public appearances with Meghan, and Sydney.

Harry’s dream of putting on the best ever Games comes after an announcement that rock legend Jon Bon Jovi was recording an official song for the event.

The couple will return to the UK at the end of the month to conduct a number of royal engagements before finally leaving on March 31.

They have been allowed to keep their HRH titles but have been forced to accept that they will not use them publicly as they tout for business around the globe.

Jonny Dymond, the BBC Royal Correspondent, said last night: “Now they have ended up really completely on the outside.

“Yes of course, there is still the family role and the private role and they are clearly always going to be members of the private side of the royal family.

“But publicly there is no role at all. No tours, no titles, nothing.

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The couple, who are currently living in an £8m mansion on Vancouver Island, have already been booted out of their Buckingham Palace office and Harry must ditch his honorary military positions for at least 12 months.

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Tyson Fury invites Conor McGregor to ‘get smashed out of his f***ing face’ with him after UFC star sends him whiskey

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The Brit was sent a bottle of McGregor’s Proper Twelve as a gift before tonight’s massive rematch.

Tyson Fury is planning a heavy night of drinking after his fight with Deontay Wilder.
Reuters

Fury told TheMacLife: “Thank you very much, Conor, I appreciate it.

“I’m going to get smashed out of my f***ing face after the fight here in Vegas.

“Let’s do it together – boom.”

The MGM Grand is hosting the rematch between Fury and Wilder after the contentious draw back in 2018.

Fury is confident of not only defeating the American, but of knocking him out in round two.

The Gypsy King weighed in at 19st 7lbs in front of his large group of travelling fans.

Wilder surprised many by weighing in at a career heaviest of 16st 7lbs and was booed by Fury’s travelling crowd.

Whoever comes out on top will be hoping to set up a possible unification showdown with Anthony Joshua.

There is potential for a third fight, but Wilder insists it will be unlikely.

Speaking to William Hill, Wilder said: “After this, all that disappears.

“It won’t be another fight to be had.

“No-one will want to see it.

“There’s much pain and I’ll bring it to him.”

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Since the 2018 fight, Wilder has beaten Dominic Breazeale and KO’ed Luis Ortiz to retain his WBC title, while Fury beat both Tom Schwarz and Otto Wallin.

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The 33-year-old has spent £31,000 on his costume and mask he’ll wear before the fight and he told TMZ Sports: “Spending money on these costumes and stuff, whether it’s $10K to $40K, I know they’re going to turn to millions.”

 

Steven Gerrard’s assistant Gary McAllister reveals Rangers are working on permanent Ianis Hagi transfer move

GARY McALLISTER has revealed Rangers are working to tie down Euro hero Ianis Hagi on a permanent deal.

The Romanian playmaker bagged a sensational double against Braga to spark an extraordinary Europa League comeback on Thursday night.

Rangers star Ianis Hagi takes a bow in front of the Ibrox crowd
Rangers star Ianis Hagi takes a bow in front of the Ibrox crowd
PA:Press Association

And Gers No2 McAllister says they’ll use the affection of the fans to help convince the 21-year-old to remain in Glasgow. Hagi is on loan from Belgian side Genk until the end of the season but Gers DO have an option to buy this summer.

McAllister said: “I would say Thursday night was another massive positive.

“The way he has settled is something that will bode well for the future.

“He has come in here, he is enjoying the training and he has settled very quickly.

The Romanian scored a brace to bring the Ibrox club back from two goals down to win
The Romanian scored a brace to bring the Ibrox club back from two goals down to win
EPA

“He has got talent, there is no doubt about that.

“And the thing for me — is he right footed or is he left footed?

“If the lad keeps performing then we’ve got to be looking at the option to buy.

“The manager has the final say but he’s impressed all of us and we want to keep this young man going and keep his confidence high.

“If you’re a player against Braga and score a couple of goals in front of 50,000 fans singing your name then I think he’s enjoying it.

Rangers no.2 Gary McAllister on the training pitch
Rangers no.2 Gary McAllister on the training pitch
Willie Vass - The Sun

“There’s no doubt that if you’re a player who aspires to play at a level and play in front of an arena like Ibrox, surely that’s where you would want to be. It’s up there among the very best.”

McAllister revealed he’s already talked to Hagi’s famous father, Gheorghe — who watched his son score twice in the 3-2 victory — and he’s all for him joining Rangers permanently.

He said: “I spoke to him prior to the game and after the game.

“I have got to say that he was one of my favourite players and I am not just saying that because we have signed his son.

“I think he is really pleased because he was aware of Ibrox and of Rangers but I think being there on Thursday night confirmed it that his son is in the right place for his development.

“I think that is where he sees his son, playing in that theatre where the pressure is on continuously.”

Steven Gerrard, above, and his side head to St Johnstone on Sunday without Borna Barisic, who is also a major doubt for the second leg with Braga after suffering a damaged kidney.

Alfredo Morelos is available for the Perth clash although he is out of the return in Portugal after picking up a booking for dissent.


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McAllister added: “We will keep at him and keep nipping his ear. These moments, he has got to rid them from his game.

“It has happened before, it is a repeat offence.

“That is something we are continually working with him on and it is frustrating for us as well.

“But we have got to keep trying to better this fella’s discipline record and not to react.

“He does acknowledge it and he will put his hand up and say ‘I want to get better’. He is aware. We have all spoken to him. The lads have spoken to him.”

 

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Who’s in Get Me Out Of Ear on Ant and Dec’s Saturday Night Takeaway?

ANT and Dec’s Saturday Night Takeaway is back on our screens TONIGHT (February 22) promising fans a brand new series of hilarious pranks and celebrity guests.

The pair are returning to the ITV show following a hiatus in 2019 – here’s all we know so far…

Saturday Nigth Takeaway
Ant and Dec return in their new series of Saturday Night Takeaway.
Rex Features

When is Ant and Dec’s Saturday Night Takeaway back on TV?

The new series of Ant and Dec’s Saturday Night Takeaway returns to our screens tonight (February 22nd) at 7pm on ITV .

This is series 16 of the popular entertainment progamme.

The show is 90 minutes long and will air weekly on Saturday evenings.

It will feature a similar format of undercover pranks, surprises and star guests.

Saturday Night Takeaway
Ant and Dec appeared on This Morning to discuss their new series.
Rex Features

Who are the guests?

The new series of Ant and Dec’s Saturday Night Takeaway will feature a host of celebrity stars ranging from Hollywood legends to sporting stars.

Previous guests have included Simon Cowell who was pranked by the duo when they pretended to audition for American Idol 2013 wearing wigs and costumes.

The pair also horrified antiques expert David Dickenson when a gag they had specifically devised for his show, Life Treasures resulted in a car crashing into a ball of flames.

TV host Holly Willoughby was also the victim of a shock prank whilst presenting an episode of Surprise, Surprise and presenter Piers Morgan was also cleverly duped by the prankster Geordies.

Here are the stars confirmed so far in the new series of Ant and Dec’s Saturday Night Takeaway.

Saturday Nigth Takeaway
The Pair reveal Saturday Night Takeaway is back with a new series.
antanddec/Instagram

What can we expect from the next series?

Ant McPartlin and Declan Donnelly are bringing Saturday Night Takeaway back to our screen following a two-year hiatus from presenting the show together.

The pair have been working together for over 30 years after appearing when they were 14 in the show, Byker Grove.

The duo appeared on This Morning on Friday, February 21 where they were interviewed by Richard and Judy to discuss their new show.

Dec admitted he was nervous and said: “I’ve got a TV in my bedroom with a little red standby light on it. I wake up and I see that light in the middle of the night and I’m like, ‘Oh, we’re on. I’m not ready!’”

Saturday Night Takeaway
The Duo first appeared together in Byker Grove age 14.
YouTube

One of the show’s most popular games is back: Get Me Out Of Ear, where a chosen celebrity must abide by every wish and command of Ant and Dec through a hidden earpiece.

They revealed that Hollywood legend Mark Wahlberg is first up for this challenge on Saturday night with Dec commenting: ““It was hilarious, I don’t think he knew what he had gotten himself into.

We gave him the ear piece and said, ‘Do you promise to say and do everything we tell you to do?’ And he replied, ‘By the end of this you’ll be doing everything that I tell you to say and do!’

There will also be a hidden prank in London Zoo specifically aimed at children called Don’t Feed The Panda’s, where Ant and Dec will disguise themselves as talking Pandas.

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The duo will bring back Members Of The Honoured, where they will battle to save the planet from an intergalactic security threat.

The show will also feature The Place On The Plane Giveaway, where viewers are given the chance to see the Saturday Night finale abroad.

This year the popular segment of Stephen Mulhern’s, In For A Penny skit will be axed as it’s been given it’s own show.

Unfortunately, Scarlet Moffatt will not be returning as a co-host for this years show.

First look at RHONJ’s Teresa and Joe Giudice’s awkward reunion in Italy

REAL Housewives of New Jersey viewers will see Teresa and Joe Giudice have a VERY awkward reunion in Italy.

The estranged couple announced they were separating in December after nearly 20 years of marriage.

Teresa and Joe Giudice had an awkward reunion in Italy
Bravo

But in a first look at the next episode of RHONJ, the pair are reunited – but only for the sake of their kids.

On Wednesday’s show, we will get to see Teresa, 47, take the couple’s four daughters, Gia, 18, Gabriella, 15, Milania, 14, and Audriana, 10, to visit Joe, 47, in his hometown of Sala Consilina – which was filmed back in November.

In the short clip the girls can be seen running to Joe and sobbing while embracing him.

Meanwhile, Teresa awkwardly stands on the outside of their hug and pats her daughters’ heads.

Teresa just watched on as Joe hugged their children
Bravo

Teresa looked uncomfortable and didn’t get in on the hug
Bravo

The awkward exchange will be shown on the next episode of RHONJ
Bravo

She finally gave him a kiss on the cheek hello, but didn’t look too excited to see her husband of 20 years.

Viewers have yet to see how the rest of their reunion went, but considering that their daughters saw Joe again for Christmas without Teresa, it couldn’t have gone too well.

Joe first began a new life in his former hometown in the fall after a judge allowed him to leave the United States. He is still awaiting a decision on his deportation case.

Teresa previously expressed that the couple would split if he was to be deported, and they decided to split for good in December.

The couple announced they were separating in December after nearly 20 years of marriage
Getty - Contributor

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Since then Teresa has admitted that she believed Joe was unfaithful during their marriage, and that they signed a prenup with a no-cheat clause.

This first look video comes just days after Teresa’s brother Joe Gorga insisted that there’s ‘zero chance’ of her reconciling with her ex husband Joe.

Speaking to Us Weeklythe 40-year-old said: “I think they should have been separated sooner. She should have moved on much sooner. They’re done. That ship has sailed.”

“It’s over,” he continued. “He didn’t know how to act. If he acted right, maybe. I believe if he came out and was so apologetic and showed her so much love and just was different — and he wasn’t that man that he was before.”


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Azzi Memo über Hanau: "Hanau ist so eine friedliche Stadt"

Azzi Memo gehört zur Szene um den Rapper Haftbefehl - der Künstler kommt selbst aus Hanau, auch Familienmitglieder von ihm waren unter den Opfern des Anschlags.

Deontay Wilder is too heavy for Tyson Fury fight as added weight doesn’t suit ‘explosive athlete’, says Ben Davison

Von: Marc Mayo

DEONTAY WILDER taking on Tyson Fury at his heaviest weight could prove a decisive error, says the Gypsy King’s ex-trainer Ben Davison.

The coach, now working with Billy Joe Saunders, helped bring Fury back from the brink after his time out the sport with addiction and mental health problems.

Wilder is truly tipping the scale ahead of the Vegas bout
Getty Images - Getty

And he sees a clear route to victory for his old partner after Wilder put on over a stone compared to their last fight.

Previously weighing 15st 2lbs for their December 2018 draw, the Bronze Bomber now features a 16st 7lbs frame.

That is the heaviest he has ever weighed in for a fight and Davison believes his explosive nature could suffer from the extra pounds.

The trainer tweeted: “Think Wilder coming in heavier is advantage to Tyson, he can punch at any weight.

“Added weight will slow him down and fatigue him quicker, he’s an explosive type athlete not an endurance built athlete.”

Davison is backing Fury for the win in Las Vegas on Saturday night despite being unceremoniously dumped from his team last year.

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Writing on Twitter, Davison claimed: “Tyson pinged Wilder when he lost 10st recovering from suicidal depression and addiction. Tomorrow he’ll bust him!”

Coming in at 19st 7lbs, the Gypsy King is also bulking up for the contest and is only 3lbs short off his career-high weight.

That is well over a stone heavier than Fury’s weight when beating Otto Wallin in September, although the 31-year-old’s difficulty in seeing off the Swede likely contributed to his tactical bulk this time around.

Davison is backing Fury to win on Saturday
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Gareth Bale’s Chinese Super League transfer was ’90 per cent done’ before Real Madrid U-turn, says Jiangsu Suning coach

JIANGSU SUNING boss Cosmin Olaroiu has revealed Gareth Bale would have joined last summer had Real Madrid not insisted on a transfer fee at the last minute.

The 50-year-old has claimed that the potential signing was 90 per cent done, but Los Blancos changed their demands – leaving the Welsh wizard fuming.

Real Madrid winger Gareth Bale almost joined Jiangsu Suning last summer
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It was reported in July that Bale was set to pocket £1million-a-week before tax in the Far East, but Real ultimately deemed the player too valuable to lose on a free transfer.

And now Olaroui has lifted the lid on how close he came to luring the four-time Champions League winner to Nanjing.

Speaking to United Arab Emirates news outlet The National, he said: “It was very close. The club agreed with his agent, his agent was there.

“We agreed with Madrid and in the last month… I don’t know what happened there, they lose some friendly games by a big score – Madrid changed their mind.

“First they said they would release him and we would have to pay his salary, then suddenly they said, ‘No, you have to pay for the transfer’.

BALE OUT

“And paying the transfer and his salary was a little bit over the budget and so we looked for another player.

“But, actually, I know that it was done 90 per cent in the evening, and then in the morning everything changed. But Real Madrid, not us.”

Bale – who still has two years left to run on his contract at the Bernabeu – has featured in just 17 games this season, with the 30-year-old chipping in with three goals and two assists.

His agent Jonathan Barnett earlier this month state how Bale was keen on making the move to China, he said: “He got an offer that was impossible to refuse.


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“But Real Madrid wouldn’t sell him. They [Jiangsu Suning] couldn’t pay what Madrid wanted. He wanted to create a legacy. He wanted to bring Chinese football up.

“He had a vision that he could make Chinese football great. He’s won everything that he can win, and he’s done it many times.

“It was to create a legacy, his name, to be the first great player to go to China. But it wasn’t to be… And the money was special too. It would have made him the highest paid player on Earth.”

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Wife’s anguish after football thugs who left husband, 47, permanently brain damaged are all freed from prison

THE WIFE of an innocent football fan who was left permanently brain damaged in a brutal attack is furious after the thugs were freed from prison having served just half their sentences.

Cambridge United supporter Simon Dobbin, 47, from Mildenhall, Suffolk can no longer walk or talk following the savage and unprovoked attack at an away game in Southend.

Cambridge United fan Simon Dobbin, 45, suffered permanent and life-changing brain damage after he was attacked by football hooligans
SWNS:South West News Service

Mr Dobbin and a small group of away fans were ambushed by the mob, though they remain unaware of who was responsible for the most devastating blows
Nicole Dobbin

The dad-of-three suffered permanent and life-changing brain damage after he was set upon as he walked to Prittlewell station in Southend, Essex in March 2015.

The thugs convicted over the “savage attack” were handed jail terms totalling more than 42 years.

But today his wife Nicole revealed that all of them are now back on the streets.

She told the Mirror: “It feels like a slap in the face.

“Every time I look at Simon, I can see the damage they caused him.

“They are monsters. They didn’t give any consideration to what they were doing.”

Nicole expressed her frustration at the fact that while her husband’s attackers are now free, her family won’t have the same luxury of being able to move on.

“We have to continue to fight every day,” said Nicole.

“They only served half their sentence but we’ll be carrying on now for as long as Simon lives with a life sentence.

“He’s not going to all of a sudden improve, he’s not going to walk and talk. It just seems so unfair.”

They only served half their sentence but we’ll be carrying on now for as long as Simon lives with a life sentence.

Nine men were found guilty of violent disorder, three of conspiracy to commit violent disorder and one of assisting an offender following a trial at Basildown Crown Court.

Three of the 12 men were jailed for five years for violent disorder, an offence which carries a maximum term of five years in prison.

One of those, Ryan Carter, was the last of the gang to be released earlier this month.

In 2015 the footie hooligans scouted out locations as they planned the attack in revenge for a fight earlier in the day in which Mr Dobbin had no involvement.

They ambushed the small group of Cambridge United supporters and during the violence, Mr Dobbin was kicked and stamped on repeatedly.

Police called Simon “a thoroughly decent man” who was the “entirely innocent victim of an unprovoked, savage attack”.

In April it will be five years since the attack and yet Nicole said she is still waiting for criminal injuries compensation as she struggles to look after Simon on benefits.

THUGS JAILED FOR 'SAVAGE' ATTACK THAT LEFT FOOTBALL FAN WITH BRAIN DAMAGE

The men were found guilty following a six-week trial at Basildon Crown Court after jurors delivered unanimous verdicts on all but one defendant.

Eight men were found to have been directly involved in the violent disorder, while three were involved in a conspiracy.

Another man was cleared of taking part in the conspiracy but found guilty of hiding one of the men in his bedroom.

Those convicted are Rhys Pullen, 21, Ryan Carter, 21, Jamie Chambers, 24, Lewis Courtnell, 34, Scott Nicholls, 40, Matthew Petchey, 26, Thomas Randall, 22, Alexander Woods, 25 and James Woods, 25.

Three men were cleared of violent disorder, but found guilty of conspiracy to commit violent disorder.

They are Greg Allen, 29, Phil McGill, 32, and Michael Shawyer, 31.

Ian Young, 41, of Westcliff, was cleared of conspiracy to commit violent disorder but found guilty of assisting an offender by hiding the group while police were conducting a search. He will be sentenced next month.

Text messages from defendant Thomas Randall suggested co-defendants Ryan Carter and Rhys Pullen had been “knocked out” and Michael Shawyer was left “fuming”.

Another message said: “Going to kick off big time after the game. We are going to ambush them.”

 

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She said: “Both Simon and I worked full-time, we had good jobs, we had a good income.

“The benefits are very little compared to what we were earning so you have to adjust your lifestyle as well.

“It’s just about keeping Simon at home and giving him the best care possible.”

From left to right: Alexander Woods, Greg Allen, Ian Young, James Woods, Jamie Chambers, Lewis Courtnell, Matthew Petchey, Michael Shawyer, Philip McGill, Rhys Pullen, Ryan Carter, Scott Nicholls and Thomas Randell, who have have been convicted for their roles in a ferocious attack on football fan Simon Dobbin that left him with permanent brain damage
PA:Press Association

The father-of-two is still unable to walk or talk after being brutally set upon
Nicole Dobbin

Prosecutor Andrew Jackson said Mr Dobbin was among the Cambridge United fans who had stayed for a post-match drink in the Blue Boar, the designated pub for away supporters
SWNS:South West News Service

A group of supporters accidentally split into two groups, with Mr Dobbin and some others going the wrong way over a bridge, where they were attacked
Nicole Dobbin

Nicole Dobbin blasted the hooligans who ‘ambushed’ Simon on an away day labelling them ‘absolutely pathetic’
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Number 17: The legendary Festival hurdler that downed Sea Pigeon & Monksfield in the ‘best ever’ Champion Hurdle

WITH the Cheltenham Festival now 17 days away, the Sun Racing team will be bringing you their ‘Festival 50’ every day between now and 10 March.

We will salute the Prestbury Park heroes that made us fall in love with the Festival, all the way until the ‘Cheltenham roar’ signals that the wait is finally over.

Bespix

Number 17: Night Nurse

The Champion Hurdle roll of honour is chocablock full of legends.

But top of that tree could well be the heroic Night Nurse who won back-to-back Champion Hurdles during the golden age of hurdling.

Timeform agreed and to this day he holds the highest rating ever achieved by a hurdler, retiring with a mark of 182.

And it’s hard to argue with that after he saw off Sea Pigeon and Monksfield in the 1977 renewal.

Somehow, from the front, the brave but majestic Night Nurse fought off both challenges.

The late, great Paddy Broderick would not give in. Monksfield and Sea Pigeon would win four Champion Hurdles between them until 1981.

He was simply a remarkable horse. And his reputation nearly took the ultimate boost when he only found stablemate Little Owl too good in the 1981 Gold Cup.

Not bad for a horse that cost 1300 Guineas, was bred for sprints and won a Ripon maiden as a three-year-old.

None of that includes his first Festival win either where he brought up the famous treble of the English, Welsh and Scottish Champion Hurdles.

This horse may have been before my time, but you only have to watch back his races at the Festival to see why he was held so highly.

His trainer Peter Easterby summed it up best.

“He was so tough and was as brave as a lion.”

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Allmankind ‘the most exciting’ Dan Skelton has ever trained as he limbers up for Cheltenham Festival with strong team

WHEN asked if he was heading to the Cheltenham Festival with his best team to date, Dan Skelton had a simple answer.

‘Oh yeah, you’re bloody right. It’s definitely my strongest.’

Getty Images - Getty

The ambitious trainer banged in a double at Prestbury Park last season with Roksana and Ch’tibello.

But it is younger horses like Allmankind and Maire Banrigh that have Skelton waxing lyrical this time around.

The story behind Triumph Hurdle fancy Allmankind is remarkable and the Lodge Hill handler is in no doubt he holds his best hand of the week.

Skelton said: “When he first came from Michael Bell I actually sent a text to the owner Bill Gredley saying this could be a complete waste of time.

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“But he got to the track and I knew exactly what was coming, I just had no idea whether he’d keep going or not. Thankfully he did.”

Keep going he certainly did. Despite being bred for a Derby rather than a hurdle, he’s unbeaten over sticks and a Grade 1 winner.

He’ll square off against Goshen and the best of the Irish in just over two weeks time and Skelton is licking his lips.

The Ladbrokes ambassador added: “We’ve never had one going into the Festival as near favourite for one of the Grade 1 Novices’ and we know what will come after is very exciting.

“I think he has to be my best chance. I know he’s shortest in the betting and it’s easy to say but there’s more to it.

“If Maire Banrigh won the Arkle she’s a legitimate winner but people would be a bit downbeat.

“But if Allmankind won everyone would be saying he could be a Champion Hurdle horse. He’s a legitimate long-term top-end contender.

“He’s about as exciting a youngster as we’ve had.”


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His front-running tactics are now well known and with Goshen in the same category, it could be some tear-up.

Skelton admitted: “He kind of is one-dimensional but if someone wanted to go quicker than him we don’t have to take them on.

“If somebody is going to go out ridiculously fast out there we can take a lead.

“He’s a bit like a coiled spring or a bottle of champagne ready to pop and I didn’t want to lose that by going to Cheltenham in January.

“The Irish races haven’t added to their strength and between us and Goshen it will be a proper race.”

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Maire Banrigh is another leading light from the Warwickshire yard. Unbeaten over fences she’ll head to the Arkle with a live chance.

Skelton said: “We get 7lbs for her being a mare and that means she’s a 155 horse.

“And you know sometimes that can win you an Arkle so on numbers she’s very much a player.

“She jumps well, is a strong traveller and sees out two miles very well.

“In these big races at the Festival you want a horse that sees out a little bit further than the trip and that’s her.

“She’s won her four going into it, hardly breaking sweat, and you’ve got to respect that.”

Roksana took home the Mares’ Hurdle last spring after the infamous last flight fall of Benie Des Dieux.

After an up and down season she’ll defend her crown against the might of the Irish.

Skelton said: “No one will forget what she did at Cheltenham. It may have been fortuitous but you have to jump them to win and we did that.

“I will have her as best as she can be and I expect her to be bang there two out. It’s up to her then.”

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A whiteboard in the Skelton yard displays the countdown to Day 1 of Cheltenham in writing so big you can’t miss it.

And with 17 days to go, the excitement is building within the team.

Skelton said: “I don’t feel pressure, but I feel excitement and that bubbles in to expectation.

“What I’ve done this year is I’ve not gone too far. If the owners want to get excitable then fine, but what I’m not going to do is get ahead of myself and then lead them on.

“But we’re always thinking about the Festival here, it means a lot to us. I’m already thinking about next year!”

Form is all important come the second week of March and it’s set to be an important weekend for the Skelton team at Kempton and Newcastle.

An Eider Chase winner would be the perfect way to get the pre-Festival ball rolling.

Very First Time is vying for favouritism in Newcastle’s big staying chase and Skelton is confident of a big run.

He said: “He should have a great chance, he’s an improved horse.

“I wouldn’t mind it drying out a bit but that’s not to say I wouldn’t fancy him anyway. I’d fancy him more if it did though. I’m very happy with him.”

Stable favourite Ch’tibello is likely to skip the Festival this year in favour of Aintree and will take his chance in the Kingwell today.

West Cork is set to fly the flag in the Grade 2 Dovecote Novices’ Hurdle at Kempton.

Skelton said: “If the handicapper is right West Cork should win.

“There’s more to come from him, even more so as a chaser. At the start of the year he was just a bit dumb so we’ve started to make his mind up for him.”

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Cheltenham Festival 2020: Exclusive Dan Skelton stable tour with the likes of Allmankind, Roksana and Maire Banrigh

TRAINER Dan Skelton is set to send his biggest team to date to the Cheltenham Festival this season.

The Ladbrokes ambassador gives us his thoughts on his string, including Grade 1 hopefuls Allmankind and Maire Banrigh.

Allmankind – JCB Triumph Hurdle, 4-1

I think Allmankind has to be my best chance. I know he’s shortest in the betting and it’s easy to say but there’s more to it than that.

If Maire Banrigh won the Arkle she’s a legitimate winner but people would be a bit downbeat. But if Allmankind won everyone would be saying well he could be a Champion Hurdle horse.

He’s a legitimate long-term top end contender. He’s about as exciting a youngster as we’ve had.

We’ve never had one going into the Festival as near favourite for one of the Grade 1 Novices’ and you know what will come after is obviously very exciting.

He’s completely surprised us since he joined us. When he first came I actually sent a text to the owner Bill Gredley saying that this could be a complete waste of time.

But he got to the track and I knew exactly what was coming I just had no idea whether he’d keep going or not. Thankfully he did.

He kind of is one-dimensional but if someone wanted to go quicker than him we don’t have to take them on. If somebody is going to go out ridiculously fast out there we can take a lead.

But the idea is to go there and make sure it’s a real end to end gallop. We’re very happy with him at the moment and I missed Trials Day with him as I wanted to make sure he was as fresh and well as he can be for the big day.

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I didn’t want to negate that angle of freshness with a horse like him who clearly thrives on being like that.

He’s a bit like a coiled spring or a bottle of champagne ready to pop and I didn’t want to lose that by going to Cheltenham in January.

He’s in good form at home and we’re happy with him. He has good strong form in the book.

The Irish races just not added to their strength much and between us and Goshen it will be a proper race. 

He knows what he’s doing now and he knows it’s a two mile race. At Chepstow he actually settled quite nicely about half way around for the first time. That was a brilliant run and he’s got a hell of a big engine.

If we can get him there 100% on the day he’s got to go close hasn’t he. If he runs like he did at Cheltenham it’s obvious to everyone and sundry that he is going to go close.

Maire Banrigh – Racing Post Arkle, 16-1

It’ll be the Arkle for her. I’ll leave her in the Marsh just in case.

She’s been very good over fences, she’s won her last six in a row. We got away with it last time when we ran on ground too soft at Huntingdon over further.

But we get 7lbs for her being a mare and that means she’s a 155 horse. And you know sometimes that can win you an Arkle so on numbers she’s very much a player.

We’re very happy with her, she jumps well, is a strong traveller and sees out two miles very well.

In these big races at the Festival you want a horse that sees out a little bit further than the trip and that’s her.

The better the ground becomes as well, the better her chance will be. If she’s a 20-1 shot on softish ground, she should be half that on decent ground.

She’s just huge, she’s 17 plus hands. We ran her off 12’10 at Stratford which you can’t do to too many horses let alone mares and she just scooted around, she didn’t even break sweat. She’s a very good horse.

Looking down the line for her I’m going to do whatever it takes to make her into a two-and-a-half miler as they are obviously bringing in the new Mares’ Chase so that’ll be where she’s off.

I think the Arkle’s very open. Notebook was only an okay hurdler and it’s wide-open in my book. There’s no Footpad or Douvan in there that’s for certain and look at last year, it does throw up some funny old results.

I can see that race being open to anyone who can claim on the day and if my horse has a going day she could well win.

If she won that race you couldn’t go ‘oh that’s a bit disappointing.’ She’s won her four going into it, hardly breaking sweat, and you’ve got to respect that.

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Roksana – Close Brothers Hurdle, 7-1

She’ll head back to defend her crown in the Mares’ Hurdle. She’ll be the best of the English you’d imagine.

I know there’s Lady Buttons but she was behind ours in the race last year. It was a good run the other day behind Summerville Boy.

She’s good and she’s won a Grade 1 now, but against the boys there can be one or two better than her. It’s a bit frustrating we can’t find more races for her and we haven’t been able to have another moment in the sun with her but that’s the way it is.

No one will forget what she did at Cheltenham. It may have been fortuitous but you have to jump them to win and we did that. I will have her as best as she can be and I expect her to be bang there two out. It’s up to her then.

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I’ve been very cautious with her throughout her all her career and painstakingly planned and prepared her for every single race.

That was until the race at Ascot this year and that was the only time she ran badly. I thought she got beat at Aintree, sod it, we’ll run her there.

I thought what have we got to lose and ride her up there and I had my arse in my hands a bit and look what happened. 

Protektorat – The Coral Cup, 12-1

The Coral Cup is probably his target and off 144 he’s on a good number for that.

If it battered it down I could see him just coming into the Supreme calculations, you never know what may happen in the run up to that so that’s his backup.

Some lovely shots from @DSkeltonRacing this morning 😍pic.twitter.com/OG1LWqVTnU

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Ch’tibello – Kempton then Aintree…

He’ll have an entry in the County Hurdle as always, but I imagine he’ll go to Aintree instead this season after his run at Kempton.

We were tempted by the Champion Hurdle briefly but we’ll keep him fresh for Aintree. He’ll have another race in him at some point.

Oldgrangewood – Brown Advisory & Merriebelle Stable Plate Handicap Chase, 14-1

We were stood up on the hill for two years in a row and we fancied him both times for Aintree at the National meeting.

But then I rang his owner Chris Giles and said I’d found the trick with him, he’d made a noise coming up the gallops one day and we gave him a wind-op.

Look where he is now! Sometimes they do nothing but look he’s been remarkable ever since.

His form has just improved and improved and he’s just working brilliantly, I can’t have him any better.

He handles a bit of cut in the ground now too which he never used to.

He’ll go for the Brown Advisory & Merriebelle Plate. His mark doesn’t look overly harsh.

He’s won two big handicaps on route so I’d have to think he’s got a massive chance.

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Spiritofthegames –

Brown Advisory & Merriebelle Stable Plate Handicap Chase, 14-1

He’ll likely go back to the Plate again but I’m going to put him in the Grand Annual too.

I just think a really strong race around two miles there could be his cup of tea.

He’s such a strong traveller. At the back of my mind it might not be the worst idea in the world.

Ardlethen – National Hunt Chase, 33-1

He’ll go for the National Hunt Chase possibly. He wants a bit of soft ground and he should improve down the line I think.

Hopefully you’ll hear about him in a couple of years still and we think he’s more of a National prospect.

The likes of the Welsh National should be his thing and hopefully one day the Grand National possibly.

He could also go for the Kim Muir that may be a more realistic target. In the Kim Muir or something like that I can see him being a player.

A properly run race where you can sneak him into it just suits him. But at the end of the day he might not even run at Cheltenham, there’s more to him than that.

Shan Blue – Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle, 50-1

His run at Huntingdon was better than Warwick.

He couldn’t win at Huntingdon behind Shishkin but that’s red hot form.

I like our horse though, and definitely think he’ll out run his odds.

I thought he would have won that day at Newbury too. No one thought he would, but I knew he would.

Langer Dan – Boodles’ Juvenile Handicap, 25-1

He’s a big player.

He will outrun his odds and there will be a lot more finishing behind him than in front of him.

Dan Skelton Cheltenham Team

Two TaffsBrown Advisory & Merriebelle Plate and the Grand Annual


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Third Time Lukcy – Champion Bumper ‘He hacked up the last twice and he’s another we like’


Moohayed, Sofia’s Rock – County Hurdle


Flash The Steel – Martin Pipe ‘I think he’ll be a big player’


Emma’s Joy – Mares’ Novice Hurdle




 

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