‘What a time to be alive!’ – Fans react as Northern Ireland qualify for first ever European tournament

first_img1 ‘What a time to be alive!’ – Fans react as Northern Ireland qualify for first ever European tournament Northern Ireland booked their place at the 2016 UEFA European Championship after beating Greece 3-1 at Windsor Park.What a night for Michael O’Neill’s men.It will not only be their first appearance at a major tournament since 1986, but it’s the first time they will ever take part in a European tournament.As can be imagined, congratulations and ecstasy towards Northern Ireland has flooded social media.So, with such excitement, we’ve put together the best reactions.  Take a look at the comments of supporters who now cannot wait for the competition to kick off in France next summer…last_img

Man Utd, Everton and Crystal Palace keeping tabs on Marseille’s Belgian striker

first_img1 Scouts from Manchester United, Everton and Crystal Palace all watched Marseille striker Michy Batshuayi in action at the weekend, according to reports in France.Representatives from the trio of English clubs were in attendance alongside counterparts from Borussia Dortmund, Bayer Leverkusen and Villarreal as the French club drew 1-1 at home against Toulouse.And it has been reported by L’Equipe that they were all keeping a close eye on hotshot Batshuayi, who has scored 13 goals in 27 Ligue 1 outings so far this term.United are also understood to be interested in Marseille winger Georges-Kevin Nkoudou, the 21-year-old who has scored five in 22 games so far, who, like Batshuayi, played all 90 minutes in the clash.But it was a very familiar face who scored the goal for the home side as on-loan Steven Fletcher equalised following Wissam Ben Yedder’s opener. Michy Batshuayi has scored 13 goals in 27 Ligue 1 outings so far this term last_img read more

Angels really on run now

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREChargers go winless in AFC West with season-ending loss in Kansas CityThe dramatic walk-off blast cleared the Green Monster in left field and disappeared into the darkness, pretty much taking the Angels’ playoff hopes with it. The Red Sox now lead the best-of-5 division series, 2-0. The series now heads to Anaheim for Game 3 on Sunday, the Angels franticly trying to avoid their second playoff sweep to the Red Sox in four years. “This can be done,” Scioscia said. Mathematically, of course, it is possible. Realistically, the Angels’ playoff hopes took flight with the Ramirez rocket. BOSTON – The Angels tried to do it their way, running all over Fenway, stealing and maneuvering and trying to find some way to manufacture runs and a desperately needed playoff victory. Boston uses a different approach, and safe to say, its way is winning. The Red Sox went to their power game when it was most needed Friday, and Manny Ramirez responded with the kind of shot they sing songs about in New England. All those stolen bases by the Angels, all those runners put in motion and that choreographed player movement by Manager Mike Scioscia went for naught when Ramirez launched a three-run, ninth-inning homer off closer Francisco Rodriguez that should be landing sometime soon in the New Mexico desert. The Angels tried to play their game. Stole five bases. Played hit and run. Went to closer Francisco Rodriquez early. Tried to play smart, tried very hard to pitch around David Ortiz. It was Ortiz’s two-run homer that led the Red Sox to their 4-0 victory in the series opener, and the Angels weren’t about to take any chances with him Friday night. They walked Ortiz four times, twice intentionally, each time bringing up the dangerous Ramirez. The first time, aided by a teenager in the second row who swiped the ball out of catcher Jeff Mathis’ glove on a foul ball, Ramirez simply walked. But this time, with two outs and two on, the insult proved one too many. “He made them pay,” Red Sox manager Terry Francona said. “That’s the way you play the game.” Ramirez’s swing exploded on Rodriguez’s second pitch, in one of those never-a- moment’s-doubt shots that screamed out of the ballpark. Ramirez, who had struggled with an oblique injury in September, stood at home plate and took in the flight path. He raised both arms overhead and then began his triumphant jog around the bases. “I haven’t felt right all year long,” Ramirez said. “When you don’t feel right and still get hits, that’s when you know you’re a bad man.” The Angels simply were left feeling bad, and worse, hurting. The lone serious bat in the Angels lineup, Vladimir Guerrero, was hit on the left shoulder by a Manny Delcarmen fastball in the seventh inning. Guerrero left the game the next inning with a bruise that made it difficult to raise his arm. Scioscia said he expects him to play Sunday, but expectations are getting hard to come by with the Angels. The pregame curiosity had largely centered on Boston right-hander Daisuke Matsuzaka. Having never faced the 26-year-old rookie from Japan with a variety of pitches, the aggressive-swinging Angels were presumed to be at some grand disadvantage. Scioscia fielded two days of questions on Matsuzaka, continually trying to downplay any great difficulty, saying simply they would “have to be a quick study.” Turned out, one inning of study got them going. A walk to Casey Kotchman and a line single off the glove of diving second baseman Dustin Pedroia by Kendry Morales opened the inning. Matsuzaka struck out Howie Kendrick, but then a typical Angels baserunning play kept the rally alive. With runners on the corners, one out on and a full count, Scioscia sent Morales on the next Matsuzaka pitch. When Jeff Mathis bounced to third, it avoided the double play and Kotchman scored. Chone Figgins then doubled in Morales and Orlando Cabrera doubled in Figgins to give the Angels a 3-2 lead. Matsuzaka left after 42/3 innings, having already thrown 96 pitches. Angels starter Kelvim Escobar, likewise, lasted only five innings and the game became a battle of two of baseball’s finest bullpens. Scot Shields, whose erratic second half cost him the set-up role, pitched himself in and out of trouble in the seventh. It began with a two-out walk to Ortiz. Then Ramirez walked, and suddenly there were flashbacks of the Shields who became unreliable in the late summer. Scioscia stayed with Shields, even though he was throwing his second inning, and he was rewarded when Mike Lowell flied out to center. With the scored tied, 3-3, the Angels tried to squeeze out another run in the eighth. With two outs, Francona brought in closer Jonathan Papelbon. Kendrick hit a routine bouncer to Lowell at third, but his throw went in the dirt and for an error when Kevin Youkilis couldn’t come up with it. Scioscia pinch-hit Juan Rivera after Kendrick stole second and he walked. Kendrick stole third. Scioscia pinch ran Reggie Willits and he stole second. The Angels were trying so hard to manufacture the go-head run, but Figgins was called out on strikes. And all the little ball in the world, wasn’t going to bring down Ramirez. [email protected] local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more

Wife’s kidney donation saves husband’s life

first_imgAt one point actor Paul Newman was the PKD spokesman, Polinsky said, and the disease received much-needed publicity. Since Newman left as spokesman, PKD has drifted back into obscurity, he said. The Los Angeles Walk for PKD has been held in Pasadena in September at the Rose Bowl for three years. Last month’s walk raised $70,000. “But that’s not much for a city the size of Los Angeles,” Polinsky said. “We should be able to raise more than $100,000.” PKD also affects the heart. Ten years ago Polinsky had open heart surgery to replace heart valves. His kidneys were so big they pressed against his diaphragm and lungs, making it hard for him to breath. They also pressed against his stomach. “I was eating like a fly,” he said. After he awoke from the four-hour transplant surgery at UCLA Medical Center, Polinsky first asked about his wife. Then he asked about the kidney. “They showed me a plastic bag filled with urine, a sure sign the kidney was functioning,” he said. “I’m incredibly grateful. It’s like a miracle.” But he’s not out of the woods yet. His body can reject the kidney at any time and he checks his blood pressure and temperature twice daily for signs of infection, said Polinsky, a therapist who works in Beverly Hills. His wife works for Parents Anonymous, child welfare advocates in Clarement. She turned out to be an unusually healthy woman. But Polinsky said he was fortunate in that several people offered to be donors. “I didn’t hesitate to donate,” Peggy Polinsky said. “It was a great privilege, but it was not a big deal. I went through a year of testing, what they call the million-dollar work-up, where they give you every test in the world.” Both are active in the PKD Foundation. “I don’t want to see my kids and the millions of people with this disease go through that,” said Polinsky. [email protected] (626) 578-6300, Ext. 4475 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! PASADENA – For two years, Joel Polinsky’s stomach was so big, children would ask if he was pregnant. “Yes,” he’d tell them. “I’m going to have triplets.” But far from being funny, the Pasadena resident’s condition was deadly. What saved his life was a kidney donation in June from his wife, Peggy, 63. “You only need one kidney, but you have two,” she said. “If you know someone who has none, give them one.” AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREChargers go winless in AFC West with season-ending loss in Kansas CityPolinsky, 65, had Polycystic Kidney Disease, PKD, a hereditary ailment that also afflicts his two children, his brother, a niece and nephew and an uncle. PKD destroyed Polinsky’s kidneys. When they were removed in January, the organs that normally weigh a combined one pound weighed 16 pounds. “I was diagnosed with the disease when I was 40,” he said. “Cysts in the kidneys choke off their function. They stop filtering blood, so you have toxins in your blood. You feel exhausted, sluggish. It can effect your cognitive ability. Your blood pressure goes up and you may have hypertension.” While not as well known as cancer, heart disease or diabetes, PKD affects 600,000 Americans and 12.5 million people worldwide, more than cystic fibrosis, muscular dystrophy, sickle cell anemia and Down syndrome combined. But while sickle cell anemia receives around $2,800 in funding per patient per year, PKD only receives $53. last_img read more

Harry Redknapp unlikely to return as Jordan boss but grateful for opportunity

first_img1 Harry Redknapp is willing to act as an advisor for Jordan but is unlikely to return as boss. The former Tottenham manager’s two-game deal finished after a 5-1 defeat in Australia on Tuesday ended Jordan’s chances of reaching the 2018 World Cup. They missed out on reaching the next stage of the Asian section by a point despite an 8-0 win over Bangladesh in Redknapp’s first game last week. Redknapp, who was initially appointed by president of the Jordan FA Prince Ali bin al-Hussein, was open to extending his stay if they had progressed but still wants to help even if he is not manager. He said: “I would help them, the Prince or anyone, free of charge. I would meet them in London, have a chat and if they want me to do anything any time then I’m only too pleased to do it.“I would do a little bit of stuff if they wanted me to. If I could help in any way then I would give my time because they were fantastic people. I don’t know what full-time (manager) would be but I couldn’t go and live away. I would like to see them get one of their own lads in.“I would have loved to have qualified for the Prince and all the people there. It was a great experience for me, something I’ll never forget and something I’ll treasure for the rest of my life.” Redknapp, also an advisor at Derby, was joined by long-time assistant Kevin Bond and conceded Tuesday’s game in Sydney was a step too far for Jordan.The ex-QPR boss said: “They were on a different level to us. Australia drew 2-2 with Germany, the world champions, and go to play England in a few weeks. “Our lads are great lads but their set-up is on another level. There’s always a gulf, that’s football. “But they were special people. All of the coaching staff stayed up (after the game). They wouldn’t go to bed because our flight was at 6:30 in the morning. They sat with us in the hotel until we left for the airport, even though they were tired.”READ HERE – Harry Redknapp on Alan Brazil Sports Breakfast: ‘Mauricio Pochettino to Manchester United? Why would he want to leave Tottenham?’ Harry Redknapp agreed to take charge of Jordan’s final two Group B World Cup qualifiers last_img read more

Michel Platini: UEFA president ‘optimistic’ of overturning six-year ban

first_img Michel Platini 1 UEFA president Michel Platini expressed his optimism of overturning his six-year ban from all football-related activity, as his Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) appeal began in Lausanne.Platini and Sepp Blatter were punished in December over a 2million Swiss francs (£1.3million) “disloyal payment” made to the Frenchman by the former FIFA president.They were given eight-year suspensions which were reduced by two years in recognition of their services to the game, but both deny any wrongdoing and are challenging the bans in Switzerland.Arriving for the CAS hearing, Platini was quoted by the website of French radio station RTL as saying: “Today it is the start of the match – a new match, a final – and we are all on the same line.“I am optimistic, we will win.Blatter’s appeal against his six-year ban will be heard at a later date.But the 80-year-old former FIFA president attended the hearing to give evidence about the payment he approved for Platini in 2011 as backdated, uncontracted salary.“I was interviewed as a witness of FIFA, I answered questions from FIFA, from the representatives of Mr Platini, and I answered questions from the (CAS) panel,” Blatter was quoted as saying by RTL.“I hope I have given important information in this case, which is of interest to me. I hope my participation helps in finding a solution to this problem.“I found the atmosphere very fair, very correct, and I leave this meeting with a calm conscience.”The verdict on Platini’s case is expected sometime next week.UEFA will be keenly awaiting the outcome as it has delayed presidential elections until Platini’s case is concluded.Angel Maria Villar has been named as UEFA’s acting president, while Gianni Infantino has succeeded Blatter as FIFA president.Platini has already been invited to this summer’s European Championships in France, but the ban from football-related activity would not allow him to attend the tournament in any capacity which could appear official.last_img read more

‘The games have been PERFECT for Vardy’ – Heskey tips striker for England start

first_img1 Jamie Vardy celebrates his equaliser against Wales Emile Heskey has called for Jamie Vardy to start England’s next Euro 2016 clash against Slovakia, following his goal heroics against Wales.Roy Hodgson’s side came back from a goal down to beat their rivals 2-1 on Thursday thanks to second-half strikes from substitutes Vardy and Daniel Sturridge.The duo replaced the ineffective Harry Kane and Raheem Sterling at half-time and proved their worth, with Vardy equalising in the 56th minute before Sturridge fired in in extra-time to seal a crucial three points.England are the only team unbeaten in Group B after two games, and would seal their knock-out stage spot in style with a result against Slovakia in Saint-Etienne on Monday.Whether Hodgson will give Vardy a chance remains to be seen, but former Three Lions frontman Heskey has been disappointed with the Premier League-winning striker’s lack of game time so far at the tournament.“I was a bit disappointed that we didn’t create as many chances against Wales as we should have with our possession, but Harry Kane just hasn’t had the service so far,” the ex-Leicester and Liverpool man told the Alan Brazil Sports Breakfast.“The games have been more geared towards Vardy anyway. In the Russia game, they’re got two slow, aging defenders and plenty of space in behind.“That would have ticked all the boxes for Vardy, so it’s just been a bit of a shame that he hasn’t had the chances to play.”Following their heroics against the plucky Welsh, there have been calls from fans and pundits alike to drop Kane and an out-of-form Raheem Sterling and play Vardy and Sturridge together up front.But Heskey admits Hodgson is unlikely to deviate too much from the starting XI he picked at the start of the Euros.“Roy is a really difficult position now,” he added.“I’d say play Vardy and Sturridge.“They turned it around against Wales by scoring both goals from the bench, so I think they’ve warranted enough to be given a chance for the next game.“But it’s likely that he’s already chosen his starting XI.”last_img read more

Transfer BLOW! Tottenham have £10m bid REJECTED for Dutch starlet

first_img1 Janssen scored a penalty against England in Holland’s 2-1 win at Wembley Tottenham have seen their offer of £10 million for AZ Alkmaar striker Vincent Janssen rejected.The north Londoners are keen to bolster their attacking options ahead of the 2016/17 season and ease the workload on star man Harry Kane.At 22, Janssen is viewed as an ideal understudy to Kane, who has seemed fatigued thus far at Euro 2016 after an arduous season for club and country.Yet Spurs will have to improve their opening offer of £10 million rejected by AZ, with the club’s sporting director Max Huiberts believing the offer to be derisory.  “The difference between the offer and the price we demand was too big,” Huiberts told De Telegraaf.“Spurs have made the only official bid. I’ve read a lot of speculation and been telephoned by other clubs but no one else has any concrete offer.”The Dutch forward was instrumental in his side’s 2-1 victory against England at Wembley back in March, bagging a goal and providing an assist.last_img read more

Jose Mourinho Jr signs for Championship side Fulham

first_img Jose Mourinho Jr: The 16-year-old goalkeeper has penned a two-year contract 1 Jose Mourinho’s teenage son, Jose junior, has revealed he has signed a scholarship deal with Sky Bet Championship club Fulham.The 16-year-old, a goalkeeper who has previously featured for both Chelsea and Real Madrid’s youth teams – clubs managed by his father, said he has put pen to paper on a two-year contract with Fulham.“Proud to say that I signed my two-year scholarship deal with Fulham FC… Thank you to everyone who supported me, I’ll make you proud,” Mourinho junior said on Instagram next to a picture of him signing the paperwork.Manchester United boss Mourinho is busy preparing for his first season in charge at Old Trafford after signing a three-year deal to replace Louis van Gaal at the end of May.center_img Proud to say I just signed my two-year deal with Fulham FC… ❤️ pic.twitter.com/vjK5GVeXLQ— José Mourinho Jr. (@FFC_JM) June 30, 2016last_img read more

Marvels of childhood just don’t seem to age well

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORECoach Doc Rivers a “fan” from way back of Jazz’s Jordan ClarksonSeriously, if Walt was such a kind man, why did he display these unobtainable wonders at the onset of his giddily anticipated weekly “Wonderful World of Disney”? In 1950s America, there were no cheap flights to California. No, we had rotten station wagons and anything located within a 50-mile radius of home as long as it wasn’t the Baseball Hall of Fame because my commie parents hated baseball. Which left Frontier Town, a fly-blown collection of crumbling log forts and cabins thrown up by the side of a highway and meant to profit off the Davy Crockett insanity. Shown in episodes, the fabled series featured Fess Parker as the frontier hero who seriously beat the hell out of all the guys who played him later (including John Wayne and especially Billy Bob Thornton). This while the nation’s youth wore a genocide’s worth of lesser mammal fur and nobody seemed to notice. Years later I saw Parker at his resort in Santa Barbara. I had two kids by then. I was a grown man. And all I could do was gape as Davy said hello to me! “He said hello to me!” I told my young daughters, who had no idea why I was behaving like a bigger idiot than usual. In a way, this is the story of my life. Everything I want, if it comes at all, comes far too late. Cool cars, nearly cool moves – all arrived late. The same can be said of Disneyland. By the time I visited the mother of all roadside attractions, I might as well have been back at Frontier Town, where – this is a true story – we once ran into my sister’s moonlighting math teacher painted like a Sioux chief and smoking a Pall Mall. Still, Frontierland called to me in the same way that duty called Davy and his trusty sidekick, George “Buddy Ebsen” Russell, to their deaths at the Alamo. Only what I had expected in Frontierland had vanished. Where was the stagecoach, the cow with the Mickey spots and the petting zoo? And why was it that everything looked so much smaller than it had appeared on TV? Still, the logs were there and Tom Sawyer Island was there and, while I could no longer use the secret passages or run happily along the famously slightly swaying (but OSHA safe) bridge, I figured that a time would come when I’d have children who would enjoy what I had so tragically missed. Only my children, infected with the electronically generated superheroes of their day, saw nothing in these relics of my day. The log walls, the smell of raw wood and all the wonders bequeathed us by Mark Twain and Davy were as remote to them as the planet Trafalmadore. If they had read of Tom and Huck’s adventures or seen one of the eight films based on the story (the first, in 1907, was viewed by Twain himself), it had made no impression. Adventure then and adventure now are far different things, which is probably why rumors are flying that this integral portion of Frontierland may soon become Pirates of the Caribbean Island. Why not have an adventure based on a movie which is itself based on a ride? Things change as things must and what was once adventure is no more. So why do I feel like the time I went looking for Frontier Town and found nothing left, not even a trace? I want to hear your comments. Connect with me at [email protected], call 310-543-6681 or send a letter to Daily Breeze/John Bogert, 5215 Torrance Blvd., Torrance, CA 90503-4077.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! Editor’s Note: John Bogert is on vacation but has selected some of his favorite past columns to run while he’s away. This one originally was published Oct. 6, 2006. When you think about it, Disneyland is just another roadside attraction. Sure, it’s a really big one and it has been parked in Anaheim since the place smelled more like oranges than Kuwait. Still, no matter what its size, if an attraction doesn’t change, it becomes another Frontier Town. Not Frontierland, mind you, a registered trademark of the Disney conglomerate, but Frontier Town. Frontier Town was what Davy Crockett-smitten 1950s kids in upstate New York had in place of Disneyland. Go ahead, laugh. But that’s what we got instead of the marvelous spinning teacups, the Tomorrowland rocket and the log fort you Kalifornia Kids had right down the wide-open highway. last_img read more