The average team wins at home 63 percent of the time and on the road just 37 percent of the time. But the differential is much smaller for France and even smaller for Switzerland. In fact, France lost the past two finals it hosted, in 1999 and 2002.Andrew Flowers contributed to the analysis of data supplied by the International Tennis Federation. This story appears in ESPN The Magazine’s Nov. 24 The State of Football Issue. The farther Cup teams have to travel, the worse they perform (though traveling between 501 and 1,000 miles seems particularly tough). Luckily for Roger & Co.: Lille is just 325 miles from the Swiss capital of Bern, minimizing the French advantage. Roger Federer holds a record 17 Grand Slam titles, but there’s one trophy he’s still itching to lift: the Davis Cup. Starting Friday, he gets his best chance yet. In his first Davis Cup final, the 33-year-old ace and his Swiss teammates will battle the French in Lille, France.Yes, playing away from home significantly diminishes the win probability for the Swiss. And because Davis Cup rules dictate that the host country gets to choose the playing surface, Federer will be forced to compete on clay, his least favorite type of court — without much practice, after a back problem kept him sidelined until a short session Wednesday.But the good news for Federer is that Lille is a lot closer to home than Melbourne, where he lost to the Australians in 2003, the only other time he made a Cup semifinal. Plus, Switzerland is one of a handful of major teams to maintain a winning Cup road record since the modern era began in 1972.Of course, the second-ranked Federer is simply better most days than any of his Lille opponents. (France is led by No. 12 Jo-Wilfried Tsonga.) And he’s so popular globally that he takes home-court advantage with him when he travels. Consider Roland Garros. “When he plays a French player,” says France’s Gilles Simon, “[the crowd] is 50-50, and I’m like, ‘Guys, what’s going on?’ ”The Swiss aren’t likely to feel that much love in Lille. But they still have plenty on their side to get the job done. Here’s a closer look at the factors in their favor. Federer’s 37–7 Davis Cup singles record is even more impressive when you consider that he’s been even better on the road than at home—especially in Europe, where he’s won his past 15 matches.
Seung-hwan OhSTL1944+1.3 Dario AlvarezTEX201+0.3 Robby ScottBOS228-0.4 Tanner ScheppersTEX101+0.2 Hansel RoblesNYM422-0.2 Tony WatsonPIT1664+0.1 Jason GrilliTOR332-0.6 Alex Colome23259105 Alex ColomeTB2352+1.7 Anthony SwarzakCHW1000+1.5 Mychal GivensBAL1223+1.2 Gabriel YnoaBAL001+0.0 Rubby De La RosaARI011-0.4 Addison Reed2115568 Source: Baseball-REFERENCE.COM Neftali FelizMIL850-0.7 Daniel CoulombeOAK123-0.6 Sergio RomoLAD230-0.8 Boone LoganCLE003+0.0 Greg Hollland1828141 Casey LawrenceTOR010-0.4 Wade DavisCHC1501+2.2 Johnny BarbatoPIT010-0.4 Brandon KintzlerMIN1932+1.8 Tony CingraniCIN423-0.2 Raisel Iglesias21161065 Asher WojciechowskiCIN100+0.1 Brad PeacockHOU101+0.2 Darren O’DayBAL832+0.2 Brandon Maurer1519246 James PazosSEA924+0.6 Brad Hand232131510 Chad QuallsCOL210+0.0 Rafael MonteroNYM131-1.0 Miguel CastroBAL101+0.2 Will HarrisHOU1630+1.3 Tyler PillNYM010-0.4 Cody AllenCLE1242+0.5 Domingo GermanNYY010-0.4 Edwin Diaz2113668 Jumbo DiazTB643-0.6 Ryne StanekTB013-0.4 Chad BellDET001+0.0 Jorge De La RosaARI1041+0.1 Hector RondonCHC721+0.3 Stefan CrichtonBAL010-0.4 Yusmeiro PetitLAA1012+1.2 Aroldis ChapmanNYY602+1.0 Brett CecilSTL1322+1.1 Joakim SoriaKC1942+1.5 Peter MoylanKC403+0.6 Ryan DullOAK422-0.1 Jonathan BroxtonSTL120-0.6 Mike MontgomeryCHC1211+1.4 Jeurys FamiliaNYM412+0.2 Keone KelaTEX831+0.2 Jacob BarnesMIL1843+1.2 Blaine HardyDET121-0.6 Adam ConleyMIA010-0.4 Erasmo RamirezTB712+0.7 Source: Baseball-REFERENCE.COM Jose AlvarezLAA553-1.1 Alex ClaudioTEX625+0.2 Chris DevenskiHOU1663+0.2 Craig KimbrelBOS1920+2.3 Trevor RosenthalSTL1661+0.1 Luke GregersonHOU632-0.2 Nick WittgrenMIA611+0.5 Jandel GustaveHOU010-0.4 Warwick SaupoldDET012-0.4 Austin BriceCIN300+0.4 Juan NicasioPIT846-0.3 Justin GrimmCHC201+0.3 Scott ObergCOL613+0.6 Roberto Osuna1622033 Emilio PaganSEA110-0.2 Felipe RiveroPIT2722+3.2 J. C. RamirezLAA020-0.7 Enny RomeroWSH1336+0.8 Kirby YatesLAA/SD321-0.3 Fernando SalasNYM554-1.2 Daniel HudsonPIT444-0.9 Nick VincentSEA1214+1.5 Kenley Jansen25211089 Scott AlexanderKC320-0.3 Ryan MadsonOAK1231+0.7 Frankie MontasOAK110-0.2 Andrew MillerCLE2531+3.0 Taylor RogersMIN1323+1.3 Marc RzepczynskiSEA404+0.6 Craig Kimbrel1923566 Brad BrachBAL2130+2.2 Pedro StropCHC1113+1.2 Bryan ShawCLE1122+1.1 Casey FienSEA/PHI320-0.3 J. J. HooverARI622+0.2 Vidal NunoBAL010-0.4 Oliver DrakeMIL421-0.2 Tommy KahnleCHW1171-0.9 Grant DaytonLAD112-0.2 Joe SmithTOR1411+1.8 Fernando RodneyARI1943+1.4 Cam BedrosianLAA613+0.5 Shane GreeneDET1033+0.4 Blake ParkerLAA1031+0.4 Matt AlbersWSH924+0.6 Luke JacksonATL100+0.1 Ryan BuchterSD1252-0.1 Felipe Rivero276111312 Danny FarquharTB832+0.1 Derek LawSF1131+0.5 Chase WhitleyTB641-0.6 Chasen ShreveNYY622+0.2 Bryan MorrisSF300+0.4 Greg HollandCOL1820+2.2 Brandon MaurerSD1570-0.5 Kevin SiegristSTL811+0.8 Chris RusinCOL823+0.6 Ben HellerNYY001+0.0 Josh CollmenterATL020-0.7 FIREMAN APPEARANCES Jake McGeeCOL832+0.2 Matt BarnesBOS1053-0.2 Steve CishekSEA211-0.1 Sam DysonTEX/SF1271-0.8 Richard BleierBAL311+0.1 Wade LeBlancPIT132-1.0 Zach PutnamCHW200+0.3 Jhan MarinezMIL/PIT320-0.3 The Dodgers have managed Jansen’s opportunities smartly, but he also deserves credit for making the most of every one of them — literally. Jansen has 25 goose eggs on the season, but no broken eggs, our term for when a pitcher enters the game with an opportunity to earn a goose egg but is charged with at least one earned run instead.1Jansen does have one “meh,” which is when a pitcher enters the game in a goose situation but is awarded neither a goose egg nor a broken egg because a run was scored yet not charged to the reliever. The record for most goose eggs in a season without a broken egg is held by Brad Lidge, who had 34 goose eggs and no broken eggs in 2008.As a result of this perfect conversion rate, Jansen leads baseball with 3.6 goose wins above replacement (GWAR) and is on pace for 6.5 GWAR, which would make for one of the top half-dozen relief pitching seasons of all time. Rivero and Miller are second and third in GWAR this season. You can find goose-egg statistics for these and all other relief pitchers in the sortable table below. Wandy PeraltaCIN1020+0.7 Dustin McGowanMIA201+0.3 AJ RamosMIA1132+0.4 Cory GearrinSF721+0.3 Corey Knebel2614698 Addison ReedNYM2143+1.5 Chase De JongSEA010-0.4 Deolis GuerraLAA720+0.3 Mike DunnCOL602+1.0 Arodys VizcainoATL1652+0.5 Tony ZychSEA432-0.5 Jose TorresSD231-0.8 John BrebbiaSTL001+0.0 Luis GarciaPHI611+0.5 Steven OkertSF637-0.3 Tyler ClippardNYY486-2.3 Austin PruittTB300+0.5 Liam HendriksOAK731+0.0 Kyle BarracloughMIA1031+0.3 Oliver PerezWSH514+0.4 Joe BiaginiTOR432-0.5 Shawn KelleyWSH620+0.1 Josh OsichSF224-0.5 Pat NeshekPHI1613+2.0 Jordan LylesCOL210+0.0 Brandon Kintzler1924222 Josh SmokerNYM722+0.3 Tom WilhelmsenARI112-0.2 Ross StriplingLAD641-0.6 George KontosSF743-0.5 Randall DelgadoARI500+0.8 Dominic LeoneTOR323-0.3 Brian DuensingCHC300+0.4 Fernando Rodney1922035 Junichi TazawaMIA220-0.5 Adam WarrenNYY521+0.1 Joely RodriguezPHI524+0.0 PITCHERGOOSE EGGSSAVESMULTI-INNINGRUNNERS ONTIE GAMES Rob ScahillMIL110-0.2 Roberto OsunaTOR1641+1.1 Danny BarnesTOR621+0.2 Evan ScribnerSEA020-0.7 Justin WilsonDET1940+1.5 Diego MorenoTB010-0.4 Parker BridwellLAA001+0.0 FIREMAN APPEARANCES Mike MinorKC1621+1.8 Matt GraceWSH112-0.2 Drew StorenCIN322-0.3 Joaquin BenoitPHI1370-0.7 Aaron LoupTOR326-0.3 Jerry BlevinsNYM1246+0.2 Jared HughesMIL811+0.8 Tyler DuffeyMIN811+0.9 Dellin BetancesNYY1341+0.6 Fernando AbadBOS500+0.8 Carlos EstevezCOL100+0.2 John AxfordOAK120-0.6 Sammy SolisWSH120-0.6 Sean DoolittleOAK823+0.5 Corey KnebelMIL2652+2.0 Ryan TeperaTOR1420+1.5 Blaine BoyerBOS310+0.1 Edwin DiazSEA2141+1.7 Andrew Miller25214128 Donnie HartBAL313+0.1 Jeremy JeffressTEX131-0.9 Tyler WilsonBAL111-0.2 Jose AlvaradoTB743-0.4 Nate JonesCHW410+0.2 Brad ZieglerMIA412+0.2 Save leaders avoid many clutch pitching opportunitiesTop save pitchers through 2017 All-Star break Blake WoodCIN231-0.8 J. P. HowellTOR010-0.4 Joe BlantonWSH320-0.3 Bud NorrisLAA1160-0.5 Josh FieldsLAD321-0.3 Travis WoodKC331-0.6 We shouldn’t get too carried away here. With the possible exception of the Astros’ Chris Devenski — who leads the majors with 52.2 relief innings but whose effectiveness has diminished as the season has worn on — none of these pitchers are being used in the Goose Gossage mold of the 1970s, when star relievers often threw 100 or more innings in a season. This is particularly true for Jansen, whose workload has always been managed carefully. (He’s on pace for only 68 innings this year.) But if teams are still using pitchers such as Jansen, Rivero and the Indians’ Andrew Miller for only 60 to 80 innings a season, they’re increasingly picking the right innings for them to pitch. By contrast, closers such as the Rockies’ Greg Holland and the Twins’ Brandon Kintzler have rarely made fireman appearances but have often been used to close out big, relatively safe leads. Although they have more saves than pitchers like Jansen and Rivero, Holland and Kintzler have fewer goose eggs and have provided less overall value to their clubs. Dan AltavillaSEA331-0.6 Francisco RodriguezDET382-2.5 Jonathan HolderNYY311+0.1 Michael FelizHOU110-0.2 Dan JenningsCHW024-0.7 Koda GloverWSH822+0.4 Edubray RamosPHI2110-3.8 Miguel DiazSD010-0.4 Tyler LyonsSTL011-0.4 Jarlin GarciaMIA002+0.0 Santiago CasillaOAK1452+0.3 Kyle RyanDET210-0.1 Craig BreslowMIN010-0.4 Raisel IglesiasCIN2110+2.7 Eric O’FlahertyATL211-0.1 David RobertsonCHW1631+1.3 Daniel StumpfDET212-0.1 Justin HaleyMIN110-0.2 Josh EdginNYM525+0.0 Bryan MitchellNYY010-0.4 Tony SippHOU100+0.2 Phil MatonSD211-0.1 Kenley JansenLAD2501+3.6 Matt StrahmKC231-0.8 Miguel SocolovichSTL101+0.1 Matthew BowmanSTL1544+0.7 Carlos TorresMIL642-0.6 Andrew ChafinARI146-1.3 Jayson AquinoBAL010-0.4 Robbie RossBOS100+0.2 Brock StewartLAD200+0.3 Jason MotteATL212-0.1 Chris YoungKC100+0.2 Blake TreinenWSH441-0.9 Jeff BeliveauTOR100+0.2 Ty BlachSF101+0.1 Jacob TurnerWSH520+0.0 Logan VerrettBAL400+0.6 Brooks PoundersLAA100+0.2 Dodger closer Kenley Jansen has had a lights-out first half with a 4-0 record, a 0.96 ERA, 57 strikeouts and just two walks allowed in 37.2 innings pitched.He also has only 21 saves, which ranks seventh in the league through the All-Star break. But Jansen has been considerably more valuable to the Dodgers than those save numbers imply. That’s because Dodgers manager Dave Roberts has been deploying Jansen in high-leverage situations that other managers often shield their closers from. Jansen has made 10 multi-inning appearances so far this year. He’s been brought into the game with runners on base nine times. And he’s entered in tied games in eight appearances. l call all of these “firemen appearances” because they resemble how teams used their top relievers in the era a few decades ago when the best relievers were referred to as “firemen” instead of closers.These firemen appearances have not necessarily helped Jansen earn saves; a pitcher can’t earn a save when he enters in a tied game, for instance. But they do provide opportunities for him to earn goose eggs, the new relief-pitcher statistic that we developed this spring. (The short version: A pitcher gets a goose egg for a clutch, scoreless relief inning, including in a tied game.) Jansen has 25 goose eggs, which ties him for third this season. He and his fellow goose-egg leaders — including the Pirates’ Felipe Rivero, who leads MLB with 27 — are routinely making firemen appearances: Chad GreenNYY022-0.7 Ian KrolATL623+0.1 Adam OttavinoCOL1372-0.4 Alex WilsonDET1064-0.7 Matt BushTEX1561+0.2 Kenley Jansen25211089 PITCHER▲▼TEAM▲▼GOOSE EGGS▲▼BROKEN EGGS▲▼MEHS▲▼GWAR▲▼ David HernandezLAA811+0.9 Pedro BaezLAD734-0.1 Jose RamirezATL1241+0.3 Kevin QuackenbushSD110-0.2 PITCHERGOOSE EGGSSAVESMULTI-INNINGRUNNERS ONTIE GAMES James HoytHOU110-0.2 Matt BelisleMIN1333+0.9 Robert GsellmanNYM210-0.1 Ernesto FrieriTEX010-0.4 Sam FreemanATL502+0.7 Zach BrittonBAL600+0.9 Josh HaderMIL100+0.1 Jake JunisKC100+0.2 Giovanny GallegosNYY010-0.4 Jim JohnsonATL1761+0.3 Chris HatcherLAD121-0.6 Xavier CedenoTB013-0.4 Paul SewaldNYM122-0.6 Alec AsherBAL311+0.1 Alex WoodLAD301+0.4 Robert StephensonCIN220-0.4 Neil RamirezNYM012-0.4 Kelvin Herrera1619025 Ken Giles919151 Brent SuterMIL001+0.0 Check out our latest MLB predictions. Luis AvilanLAD222-0.5 Chris BeckCHW002+0.0 Mike MorinLAA101+0.2 Sam TuivailalaSTL320-0.3 Jake PetrickaCHW001+0.0 Hector NerisPHI1542+0.7 Jim Johnson1719206 Wily PeraltaMIL120-0.6 Alex Colome23259105 Ronald HerreraNYY010-0.4 Jose LeclercTEX522+0.1 2017 goose stats through All-Star break Al AlburquerqueKC010-0.4 Mark MelanconSF940-0.2 Carl EdwardsCHC1233+0.6 Brad HandSD2345+1.8 Heath HembreeBOS724+0.4 David PhelpsMIA1171-1.1 Kenyan MiddletonLAA210-0.1 Bruce RondonDET210-0.1 Archie BradleyARI2023+2.3 Brad BoxbergerTB100+0.2 T. J. McFarlandARI501+0.8 Hector SantiagoMIN010-0.4 Koji UeharaCHC1443+0.5 Jesse ChavezLAA010-0.4 Adam KolarekTB010-0.4 Goose-egg leaders pitch in clutch situations, but that doesn’t help earn savesTop goose-egg pitchers through 2017 All-Star break PITCHER▲▼TEAM▲▼GOOSE EGGS▲▼BROKEN EGGS▲▼MEHS▲▼GWAR▲▼ Brad Brach2115236 Antonio BastardoPIT010-0.4 Tommy HunterTB621+0.2 Tony BarnetteTEX630-0.1 Ben TaylorBOS101+0.2 Michael LorenzenCIN1931+1.7 Ken GilesHOU933+0.2 Brandon MorrowLAD010-0.4 Drew SteckenriderMIA010-0.4 Jeanmar GomezPHI721+0.3 Ryan PresslyMIN420-0.1 Jean MachiSEA101+0.2 Kelvin HerreraKC1642+1.1 Joe KellyBOS724+0.4 Ryan GartonTB030-1.1 Hunter StricklandSF1130+0.5 Source: Seamheads.com
Devin Smith might be the best wide receiver Ohio State has. The sophomore playmaker has looked the part through the first three games of the season, catching 13 passes for 233 yards and three touchdowns. He had a one-handed touchdown grab against Miami (Ohio) that will be played on highlight reels for years to come and the game-winning score against California last Saturday. The statistics and big plays might speak for themselves, but they don’t have to anymore. “(Tuesday) at practice, coach Meyer was talking to the team, and he told me that he feels I’m the best receiver in the unit,” Smith said, as he cracked in to a smile. Smith’s quarterback, sophomore Braxton Miller, said he agrees with Meyer. What separates Smith from his teammates, Miller said, is a little bit of everything. “First of all is his speed. He has great hands. I’d say his routes too, the way he gets open, he gets open really fast,” Miller said. Smith’s attributes have certainly been on display during OSU’s first three games this season. What has possibly stood out most, though, has been his ability to go up and pluck balls out of the air. That skill is what allowed Smith to make his one-handed catch against the RedHawks, and it is the cause for one of his two touchdowns last Saturday against the Golden Bears. The skill is not just something Smith possesses; it is something that is preached to all of the OSU wide receivers every day at practice by wide receivers coach Zach Smith, but the sophomore wide receiver probably does it best. “Whenever the ball is in the air, it’s yours. That’s our mentality with this group,” Zach Smith said. “Every time the ball is thrown to us we have to go get it.” Devin Smith has had a few low moments so far this season too, including two dropped passes last Saturday against California. His hands are something he said he works on heavily. “My hands are pretty good. I work on them every single day. Those two drops in the game, it happens. You got to bounce back and my teammates did a great job keeping my head up,” Devin Smith said. While Devin Smith has received a good amount of praise recently from his coaches and teammates, the positive reinforcement has not always been there. Outside of a game-winning catch against Wisconsin, Devin Smith’s 2011 freshman season was fairly unmemorable. He had 14 catches, one more than this year’s total three games into the season, and 294 yards, a mark only 61 yards higher than his current output this season. Meyer said he was not extremely impressed with Devin Smith when he first arrived at OSU. “I did compliment him (Tuesday) because he’s a different guy. He was nothing like this in spring ball,” Meyer said. Devin Smith has come a long way since the spring, and even since the beginning of the season, according to Meyer. “He had a good week. He’s one of … I just hate to say this because they turn backwards sometimes, but he’s really done a nice job. He’s a pleasant guy to be around,” Meyer said. The high praise given to Devin Smith by Meyer this week has made the sophomore wide receiver hungrier for more success. “Ever since (Tuesday), I’ve approached the game differently, now that (Meyer) feels I’m the best receiver on this team,” Devin Smith said. His approach to the game now centers on what he can do to help the team apart from just catching passes. “Just making sure I’m doing everything I can for this football team, no matter what it is – blocking, running routes, whatever it is I can do for this team,” Devin Smith said. Smith’s approach to the game is set to be on display Saturday against Alabama Birmingham. Kickoff is scheduled for noon at Ohio Stadium.
Junior center Amir Williams dunks the ball during a game against Iowa Jan. 12 at the Schottenstein Center. OSU lost, 84-74.Credit: Shelby Lum / Photo editorThe night is darkest before the dawn, and for the No. 24-ranked Ohio State men’s basketball team (16-4, 3-4), that dawn might have arrived.After struggling through a four-game losing streak — the program’s longest since February 2008 — the Buckeyes got back on track with a 62-55 victory against Illinois last Thursday.Freshman forward Marc Loving said just getting a win helped raise spirits in the locker room.“Our moods are definitely a lot lighter than what they were during the four-game losing streak,” Loving said Tuesday. “I would say there’s been a lighter load going into the next game. I feel like a weight’s been lifted off of us, get a little monkey off our back. Going into this next game, we definitely have a mindset that we’ve got to execute and get stops defensively because that’s what we key on.”It’s been more than two weeks since OSU headed into a game off a win, and some players are hoping their problems have been fixed.Junior center Amir Williams, who saw his minutes decline during the losing streak, said a lot of time in practice has been dedicated to two things: defense and shooting.“We spent a lot of time these past few days working on our defense and a lot with our shooting,” Williams said Tuesday. “That’s mainly been a problem that we’ve had in the past, guys were just driving by us and not playing our principles on defense so we just got back to the basics and broke down what we had to do defensively to keep teams from scoring against us and just get up a lot of shots offensively. We’ve been putting a lot of time into shooting the ball.”Williams added that another four-game losing streak has to be prevented at all costs for a team with as high of goals like OSU’s.“We can’t take any team for granted,” Williams said. “This is a tough conference to play in night in and night out so we’re going to continue to build … That four-game losing streak is something that can’t happen to us again. We’re going to have losses and we’re going to win some games but we can’t just not show up to play like we did those last four games.”Next up, the Buckeyes are set to take on Penn State (10-10, 1-6) and will be hoping to contain their leading scorers, redshirt-junior guard D.J. Newbill (17.2 points per game) and graduate-senior guard Tim Frazier (16.5 points per game).OSU coach Thad Matta said despite the Nittany Lions’ record, they will not be overlooked by the Buckeyes.“You look at Penn State, they’ve been in every single game they’ve played this season and had some of the craziest losses I’ve seen in terms of the ball didn’t bounce their way,” Matta said Tuesday. “Obviously Frazier and Newbill have shown, not only this year but throughout their career, that they can go into an arena and get 30 on you … but you get a pretty good feel of who they’re trying to get shots for and we’ve got to do a pretty good job of locking those guys down the best we can.”The last time OSU lost to Penn State was Jan. 10, 2004. Tipoff is scheduled for Wednesday at 7 p.m. at the Schottenstein Center.
Thad Matta addresses the media for the final time as head coach at Ohio State on June 5, 2017. Credit: Courtesy of 97.1 The FanThad Matta was fired Monday because lately the Ohio State men’s basketball team hasn’t won enough games, and it is an honorable reason to be fired. There is no shortage of reasons why college coaches are fired, and failure to win enough games is the best of them. Just think about the last two big-time coaches fired at OSU: Jim O’Brien, who Matta succeeded, and Jim Tressel.Both were removed amid scandal. Both left behind a trail of embarrassment and NCAA sanctions. Heck, turn back the clock a little further and you can even toss beloved Woody Hayes in there, who was dismissed after punching an opposing player. Of course, most coaches in college football and basketball are not fired for scandal, covering up a scandal or assault. Most cases are similar to Matta’s, and the phrases we heard Monday during his farewell press conference have become common parlance. Time for new leadership. A change in direction. Mutually agreed upon. We’ve heard those phrases over and over, but it’s important for fans — especially OSU fans right now — to remember that a failure to win games does not automatically indicate the failure to build a successful program. That is, we cannot simply let our measure of success be banners and win percentage. They are important, but they cannot become the only thing that matters.We’ve seen the effects of that thinking already, and they look like Louisville’s Rick Pitino keeping his job despite his program reportedly hiring escorts for recruits, though he denied wrongdoing. They look like Jim Boeheim, of Syracuse, who actually received an extension in March despite having been suspended two years ago after the NCAA found he “failed to monitor his program” while it racked up violation after violation, including academic misconduct and impermissible benefits. In his 13 seasons leading the Buckeyes, Matta carried himself with grace and integrity, and he built a program with principles and decency. In this column, there is no need to list the number of Big Ten titles he won or how far he took his team in the NCAA tournament. The one stat worth mentioning, Matta brought up himself. “When I got here, we had a 20 percent graduation rate. We’re up to, I think, 88 percent right now,” he said. “To see these guys walk in here and the one-and-dones that we had and those guys fulfilling their dreams. The stories are countless and I don’t want to be up here all day, but I could tell stories that makes me feel good. Just in terms of what we’re able to accomplish, I’m very proud of it.”OSU basketball coach Thad Matta laughs as he answers a question during Media Day on Oct. 10, 2013, at the Schottenstein Center. Credit: Lantern file photoMatta’s former players are proud to call him their coach, too, and many took to social media to share his impact, which speaks volumes about the who he is as a person, not only a coach. “Your enthusiasm, passion, knowledge, and humor are the reasons why I’m glad I made the decision to become a buckeye when I was 17,” wrote Evan Turner, who was the national player of the year under Matta in 2010, on Instagram. “You helped me weed thru a lot of ups and down in order to be the player and man you knew I could become. I’ll forever love you for that and you’ll always be a legend and great man in my book.” “Family aside, no one has done more for my life than Coach Matta,” tweeted Mark Titus, a former walk-on and current writer at The Ringer. “Love that man w all my heart and will forever be indebted to him.” Aaron Craft, one of the most beloved Buckeyes of the Matta era, tweeted, “Man, words can’t describe what Coach meant to me and the program! Wouldn’t have wanted to play for anyone else!”So, yeah, Matta was fired because his team didn’t win enough. His health issues appeared to play a role, and the struggles in recruiting — which tie directly to the ability to win games — were broached during the press conference. In the end, he used to win a lot of basketball games, and recently he didn’t win as many basketball games, so now he lost his job coaching basketball at OSU.Coach Thad Matta talks to his players during a game against on Minnesota Feb. 22, 2014, at the Schottenstein Center. Credit: Lantern file photo“The wins, the losses, those things, they come,” Matta said. “We hit a stretch here that was probably about a five-year stretch as good as anybody in the country in terms of college basketball.” Consider this departure in an age where coaches have been fired for throwing basketballs at players, and where entire athletic departments have been plagued by questions of academic misconduct or, in the case of Baylor, covered up sexual assault allegations against its players, and where coaches have been fired after lying to the NCAA during an investigation. “And I think the last thing that I hope I’m always remembered for is that we always did it the right way,” Matta said. “That to me is something that I want to hold or hang my hat on. That this program was run the right way.” Indeed, Matta built a program the right way, and its sterling reputation remains intact as he departs in the most honorable way a dismissed coach can: because lately he didn’t win enough.
Coach Thad Matta calls to players. OSU beat Purdue, 63-61, in the first round of the Big Ten Tournament March 13, 2014 at the Bankers Life Fieldhouse. Credit: Shelby Lum | Former Photo EditorThere is never a perfect time to fire the winningest coach in a program’s history. There’s no easy way for Ohio State to move on from the man who took the Buckeyes to the brink of winning their first national championship since 1960. But, the timing of Monday’s firing of now-former coach Thad Matta is particularly bad for OSU.Teams have moved on from the 2016-17 season, are transitioning to the fall and, if necessary, they made a coaching change months ago. No head coach has been hired by a major Division 1 school since New Mexico tabbed Paul Weir as its leader on April 11.The inopportune swap is not lost on OSU Athletics Director Gene Smith, who sat next to Matta at a press conference to announce the end of the three-time Big Ten Coach of the Year’s tenure in Columbus Monday.“No time is optimal, but obviously this time is not the best,” Smith said. “So I need to be sensitive to what I’m dealing with in this window of time.”Since OSU is late to the coaching carousel, it won’t have to jockey with other schools for hot-shot up-and-comers or established coaching talent on the market.But is that a good thing, or does it mean that the coaches who check off both “talented” and “available” boxes do not exist any more? Could the Buckeyes have won over former Dayton coach Archie Miller, who decided to leave the state of Ohio to take over the Indiana program? We’ll never know because OSU’s job wasn’t open when the former Flyers coach was listening to the Hoosiers’ pitch.Established coaches and potential candidates such as Arizona’s Sean Miller, Wichita State’s Gregg Marshall and Virginia’s Tony Bennett are each heading successful programs and have turned down offers from major schools in the past. Given OSU’s lackluster roster and the reality that basketball will never be the university’s most important sport, a fit in Columbus for these coaches is not obvious.Exciting, young coaches such as Xavier’s Chris Mack and Butler’s Chris Holtmann could stay with their programs for another season – both of which bring back talented rosters – and hope to attract a head coach offer from a higher profile school than OSU.Whoever sits in Matta’s former chair in the fall will have a tough job. With just 10 scholarship players, including a former walk-on, and major recent roster turnover, the new head coachBut, it just takes one person to say yes. That’s where optimism should set in. Despite the recent struggles, OSU is still appealing, and there’s an obvious place to start: at the bank.Only two Big Ten coaches – Michigan State’s Tom Izzo and Michigan’s John Beilein – made more than Matta in 2017. But if you thought OSU might be cash-strapped as it is buying out Matta’s next three seasons, think again.The athletic department is flush with cash. It is spending $43 million on building a student-athlete development center and $49.7 million on a wrestling facility, and will also be building an arena for volleyball, gymnastics and fencing. They are also reportedly considering building a hockey arena.If OSU thinks it can hire someone to replicate Matta’s success from his first decade as the Buckeyes coach, it would pay up to do so.At Monday’s press conference, Smith said that he didn’t intend to relieve Matta of his duties when the two met on Friday. If that’s true, the pressure is on for him to act quickly and bring in someone who can find the success on the court that has escaped the program in recent years.Only time will tell if the Buckeyes whiffed on their opportunity to find a worthy replacement for Matta in a timely matter. Perhaps Smith has a master plan to land Miller, Villanova coach Jay Wright or Oklahoma City Thunder coach Billy Donovan.But, maybe he doesn’t.Sometimes, even if the correct decision is made but the window of opportunity is missed, the result is a disappointment. OSU might learn the hard way.Colin Hass-Hill: email@example.com and Twitter @chasshill
Ministers announced in May that the 11-year charter would be subject to a “health check” after five years to ensure that tougher rules are working to prevent a repeat of Jimmy Savile-style scandals, and to avert the rows over large management pay-offs that have dogged the corporation in recent years.Under the plans, this wide-ranging mid-term review would give the government the chance to intervene if the BBC is failing to deliver value for money, or if its new board members and regulators are not doing their jobs.However, officials from the Department for Culture, Media and Sport have been holding talks with BBC executives over limiting the extent of the health check review over the summer. “This review of the BBC charter must have teeth. If the ‘health check’ finds that the BBC is not being effectively regulated or is failing to deliver value for money, or impartiality, the government will have to intervene to take remedial actionAndrew Bridgen Andrew Bridgen, the Conservative MP who chairs the regulatory reform select committee, said he feared the “health check” was being watered down. He warned that the mid-term review must be backed up by the threat of government intervention.“This review of the BBC charter must have teeth,” he said.“If the ‘health check’ finds that the BBC is not being effectively regulated or is failing to deliver value for money, or impartiality, the government will have to intervene to take remedial action.“It is in the interests of the licence fee payer, the viewing public and the BBC itself to have a robust and effective governance system.”The charter would also see the BBC run by a new board from next year and regulated entirely by Ofcom for the first time.Broadcasters have also raised concerns over plans for ministers to directly appoint members of the BBC’s new governing board, claiming that the arrangement will compromise the corporation’s independence.The new board, which will replace the discredited BBC Trust, will be made up of a majority of members chosen by the BBC. However, opponents of the deal have criticised moves which would see ministers choose almost half of the board members.BBC executives have been pressing their case to limit the government’s powers in negotiations with the DCMS over the past four months. Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily Front Page newsletter and new audio briefings. Ministers are preparing to dilute plans for a crackdown on the BBC when the broadcaster’s new charter is published within days. The government is due to unveil the draft deal this month, setting out in detail how the broadcaster will be regulated, funded and run for the next 11 years.But a letter from a minister, seen by The Sunday Telegraph, suggests the government is now ready to cave in to criticism from broadcasting bosses and will move to “sensibly constrain” new rules that would put the BBC on a tighter leash. Lord Alli, a leading media industry figure who set up the television production company, Planet 24, wrote to the government about the draft charter earlier this summer, raising a series of concerns over the planned “health check” and the role of ministers choosing members of the board.The new culture minister, Lord Ashton of Hyde, tried to reassure Lord Alli, saying that he was working “extensively” with the BBC and Ofcom and that “most of the issues you raised” were “still under review and discussion”. In his reply, dated August 18, the minister said: “We are now in discussion with the BBC to determine the precise scope of the health check and how we can provide certainty to the BBC and to Parliament about what will be in and out of scope through careful drafting of the Charter.“I believe that we will be able to reassure you that a health check can be sensibly constrained and can therefore contribute to the success of the next Charter.” Mr Bridgen said he was worried that ministers were planning to limit the scope of the review. “I am concerned to hear that the minister has promised to ensure the review is ‘sensibly constrained’. This undermines the point of having such a health check in the first place.” One source said the BBC had been fighting the government’s plan to use the “health check” to review the way it’s profit-making commercial arm, BBC Worldwide, operates. Ministers had wanted to consider whether the BBC should be required to sell a stake in Worldwide if it was not delivering value for taxpayers.A white paper published in May proposed that the BBC should have a single board and be regulated by Ofcom, the media watchdog, from next year.The reforms are designed to overhaul the confused hierarchies that contributed to scandals over the BBC’s coverage of the Jimmy Savile sexual abuse allegations and huge pay-offs for senior managers.A DCMS spokesman said: “Significant changes have been proposed to the BBC making it much more effective and accountable in its governance and regulation. The health check will help make sure these reforms are on the right track.”A BBC spokesperson said: “The letter makes clear that the Government has consistently stated that the health check should be merely that – a health check – and not a charter review.” Ministers announced in May that the 11-year charter would be subject to a “health check” Credit: 2016 Getty Images
Two women managed to escape from the building before emergency services arrivedCredit:Nick Ansell/PA Wire Two women managed to escape from the building before emergency services arrived and were taken to hospital for treatment for smoke inhalation.The victims were named locally as Alina Kordaszewska, 41, and her 12-year-old daughter Emilia Kordaszewska.Neighbours also named the two women who escaped the blaze as Alina’s teenage daughter Milena Kordaszewska and her mother Alicja Kordaszewska-Tom, 63.Alina’s husband and the father of Emilia and Milena is understood to be Rafal Kordaszewska, also 41. Friends have turned up at the scene to leave floral tributes.Justyna Rogulka and Rafal Bogonos had worked with Alina for eight years at CorpComms, a corporate communication centre.Mr Bogonos said: “It was a shock, a massive shock for all of us. I can’t bear it. They were just a normal family, they were very polite.”I really knew Alina because we have been working with her for eight years. She was such a lovely, bubbly person, She was always smiling. A woman and child, believed to be mother and daughter, have died in a house fire.Emergency services were called to the property in Braintree, Essex, shortly before 10.45pm on Wednesday but the pair were trapped inside and died at the scene, Essex Police said. Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily Front Page newsletter and new audio briefings. Fire ripped through a house in EssexCredit:ESSEX COUNTY FIRE & RESCUE “It is a shame, a real shame, especially before Christmas. I literally spoke to her a couple of days ago and I said how are you doing for the preparation for Christmas?”She said ‘yeah I am still far away’. They have been taken far too soon.”He added: “We have organised a mass in the church today and we hope we are going to gather together as a community and pray.”The police and fire service will carry out a joint investigation, and the road has been closed.A police helicopter, officers, the fire service and ambulance service attended the incident.Frankie Ricci, chairman of Braintree District Council, wrote on Twitter: “My thoughts and prayers are with the family and friends of those caught in the South Street house fire in Braintree. Tragic beyond words.”James Cleverly, Conservative MP for Braintree, wrote on Twitter: “Shocked by the terrible news that a mother and child have died in a fire in Braintree, my thoughts are with their friends and family.”
The Isle of Barra has come together as “one big family” to celebrate the life of 14-year-old Eilidh MacLeod, the “dear, beautiful” teenager who died in the Manchester bombing.Most of the 1,000-strong population turned out for the schoolgirl’s funeral at the church of Our Lady, Star of the Sea, overlooking the picturesque village of Castlebay.Fr John Paul MacKinnon told mourners it was important to remember that Eilidh was the “happiest she had ever been” on her birthday treat trip to see Ariana Grande.The teenager’s coffin was led by her father Roddy as it was piped through the village. Following the service there was a procession to the teenager’s burial across the causeway to the neighbouring island of Vatersay where she grew up.The church was full for the funeral Mass, which was also relayed to a packed Castlebay Hall. Eilidh, a talented piper and popular schoolgirl, was in Manchester with her friend Laura MacIntyre, 15, who was seriously injured in the suicide bombing and is still recovering in hospital.The service began with a recording of Eilidh playing “Both Sides the Tweed” on the bagpipes.Fr MacKinnon said she had “packed a lot of life into 14 happy years”, adding: “That’s so important for us to remember today. Eilidh was a happy girl, she had 14 happy years and in the last few days of her life she was the happiest you could ever imagine. Mourners at the Church of Our lady, Star of the Sea in CastlebayCredit:PA “Even though there is a great sadness here today, there is a great thankfulness to God for blessing us with Eilidh’s life. Our loss is heaven’s gain.”Eilidh’s family were said to have been overwhelmed by the “great generosity and love” they have received since losing the teenager.The service was attended by John Swinney, the Deputy First Minister and a floral tribute was sent to the Hebridean island by Andy Burnham, mayor of Manchester, and Ian Hopkins, Chief Constable of Greater Manchester Police. The order of service for Eilidh MacLeod’s funeralCredit:PA Businesses on the island shut as a mark of respect and to allow staff to attend the funeral. Mr and Mrs MacLeod said they had lost their “darling daughter” in the cruellest way possible and added that they wanted her funeral to be a “real celebration of her life and the wonderful person she was”.They said: “Eilidh’s infectious personality touched everyone she met and it has been a privilege and an honour to have her as our daughter. We will always remember her as a truly beautiful girl inside and out, eternally young, love by all and forever in our hearts”.Nicola Sturgeon, the First Minister, said before the service that everyone in Scotland would join her in “sending our heartfelt sympathy to Eilidh’s family and friends ahead of what will be the most difficult day imaginable”.She added: ”Everything that I’ve heard, seen or read about Eilidh shows that she was a vivacious, fun-loving young woman with a bright future ahead of her, and I know that the community on Barra will pay her a fitting tribute. Her family are in my thoughts.” Eilidh MacLeodCredit:PA An officer lays flowers on behalf of Andy Burnham, mayor of ManchesterCredit:PA Their message said: “We may not have known you, but you will forever be in the hearts and thoughts of all at Greater Manchester Police and the people of Manchester.”Eilidh’s body was flown home on Sunday, arriving in a small chartered plane, carrying her parents Roddy and Marion, that landed on the island’s beach runaway. “The last thing in Eilidh’s life was happiness. She had spent a wonderful weekend away from the island, going shopping, going to nice cafes, going to the cinema and then going to her pop idol’s concert, Ariana. She was the happiest she had ever been and that’s what we hold on to today, the happiness of Eilidh’s life.”Those memories of Eilidh will live on in all our hearts. Every year of her life was precious to us and we thank God for blessing us with her precious life.”He added: “Roddy and Marion were blessed with a beautiful daughter, Shona and Laura were blessed with a wonderful sister, our island was blessed to have such a young talented girl growing up on it. Barra’s community has been fundraising for the families of both victims. Money is to be donated to Eilidh’s favourite charity, Cobhair Bharraigh, a local home-based support service and day care centre.They said she was “a loving sister” who loved socialising with friends, and who had an “unsurpassed” love of music.The large procession following the hearse to Vatersay passed Eilidh’s school en route, where the island’s green and white flag was flying at half-mast. Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily Front Page newsletter and new audio briefings.
Bruce Forsyth on Play Your Cards RightCredit: London Weekend Television/REX FEATURES Sir Bruce Forsyth on Sunday Night At The London Palladium in 1959Credit: ITV / Rex Features Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily Front Page newsletter and new audio briefings. Sir Bruce cemented his place in the hearts of the nation following his stint as the host of ITV’s Sunday Night at the London Palladium in 1958.He also hosted the BBC flagship show The Generation Game from 1971 to 1977 and again at the beginning of the 1990s. At its peak, the show attracted more than 20 million viewers.He started his career in showbiz at the age of 14 with a show called Boy Bruce, the Mighty Atom and made his first television appearance as a child in 1939. Returning to the stage at GlastonburyHe was a crowd-pleaser to people of all ages and at the age of 85, Sir Bruce stepped out on to the stage at Glastonbury in 2013 to a standing ovation where he performed a host of classic songs and teased the Rolling Stones frontman Sir Mick Jagger.He returned to the stage for the first time in nearly two decades with his live one man show at the London Palladium in March 2015, where he was hailed as “a legend” and greeted with a standing ovation.Later that same year, Sir Bruce suffered a serious fall at his Surrey home.The entertainer underwent surgery and, after tests were carried out, doctors discovered that he had suffered two aneurysms. Sir Bruce never allowed the arrival of cult and alternative comedians, with their often coarse material, to influence his own traditional type of comedy which continued to draw in viewers by the millions. He remained a sure-fire, non-stop ringing cash register for the TV companies, particularly the independent ones.And he boasted, with some justification, that his performances appealed not only to the older generation, but to youngsters as well. But Sir Bruce had never been more popular. And in 1995, the year after his final Generation Game appearance, he received a Lifetime Achievement Award for Variety and three years later he was awarded an OBE. He was to be awarded a CBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List, 2005. The Apprentice and Question Time. Lady Wilnelia said at the time she hoped he would be able to perform again, but added: “He doesn’t want to do anything publicly until he’s 100% well. I respect that.” Sir Bruce was a father-of-six, with five daughters from his first two marriages and one son from his last and current marriage, which was to Puerto Rican former Miss World, Wilnelia Merced.The couple married in 1983 and have remained devoted to each other ever since. Show more He underwent surgery in 2015 after he suffered two aneurysms, which were discovered when tests were carried out following a fall at his Surrey home.The veteran entertainer has been out of the limelight for a while and last year was too frail to attend the funeral of close friends Ronnie Corbett or Sir Terry Wogan.He announced that he was leaving Strictly Come Dancing in April 2014, after nearly 10 years as the presenter of the show.Over the years he had showed no signs of slowing down and in 2013 stepped out on to the stage at Glastonbury to a standing ovation, where he performed a host of classic songs and teased Rolling Stones frontman Sir Mick Jagger.Video highlights of a career that spanned generations TV companies had no fears about their ratings when Sir Bruce was on the screen. He excelled as a singer, a dancer and a comedian and was also – although this was not widely known – an accomplished jazz pianist, often appearing with Sammy Davis Jr. One of his Palladium roles, refereeing the Beat the Clock feature, gave a hint of Sir Bruce’s future TV career: he went on to host some of the most popular TV game shows of the entire 1970s and 1980s.He appeared with many top names, including Tommy Cooper, Dudley Moore, Harry Secombe and Frankie Howerd. This last partnership developed into a series known as Frankie and Bruce. Sir Bruce also regularly appeared in sketches with sports stars, including boxer Henry Cooper, jockey Scobie Breasley, swimmer Anita Lonsborough, former tennis champion Fred Perry and snooker player Joe Davis.Subsequently, he was to reign supreme at the helm of the BBC flagship show, The Generation Game, from 1971 to 1977 and again at the beginning of the 1990s. At its peak, the show attracted more than 20 million viewers.And although his television appearances were prolific, Sir Bruce also appeared in several successful films, including Bedknobs and Broomsticks (1971) and Star! (1968).His ITV series Play Your Cards Right was a huge success, although it ended with an uncharacteristic sour note, when he accused his bosses of taking the show off without telling him, even though it was drawing audiences of around the 14 million mark. “I think I’ll be completely at peace when it does happen to me because I’ve been so lucky. I’ve had a wonderful career,” he told Radio Times.He also recalled the pain his family went through, when his brother John died in the Second World War.How he spent his later yearsSir Bruce was a father-of-six. His first marriage to Penny Calvert in 1953 produced three daughters.In 1973, he married his television co-host Anthea Redfern and would regularly ask her on screen to “Give us a twirl” and “What do you do, my love?”. That marriage produced two daughters, but was dissolved in 1982.In 1983, he married the Puerto Rican former Miss World, Wilnelia Merced, who would later become Lady Wilnelia. There was one son from this marriage.In his later years, Sir Bruce spent much of his time relaxing in Puerto Rico. He was an avid golfer, proclaiming in Who’s Who that his handicap was 10. He regularly played at Wentworth Golf Club, very close to where he lived. Reports in 2016 also claimed the TV stalwart would be announcing his retirement from the entertainment industry but his manager said that Sir Bruce had made “no formal or informal decision” about leaving showbusiness.The star once gave his thoughts on death, saying: “As I get nearer to it, I fear it less because with the tiredness one gets at times, you think, ‘Is it just like having a nice long sleep?’ I wouldn’t say I fear it. Lady Wilnelia last year told the Mail On Sunday’s You magazine about her husband’s health struggles following his life-saving surgery.She said she found it difficult to think about a future without the man she’d been married to for 36 years.”I don’t think about it too much. I hope I’ll be prepared somehow, but it doesn’t feel real. He’s the man I fell in love with because his brain is there.”He has a bit of a problem moving, but we still laugh and talk. I pray, I believe. The main thing is that he’s doing well. The pain is more emotional; sometimes we cry, but mostly we laugh.”The Puerto Rican 1975 Miss World winner spoke about how he enjoyed spending time with his grandchildren and still had a keen interest in TV, watching the Olympics, One of his most surprising appearances was hosting an edition of the TV hit show Have I Got News For You in 2003. The show was built round him and included a very politically incorrect item called The Iraqi Play Your Cards Right. Ian Hislop, one of the regulars on this programme, said later that only Sir Bruce could have got away with this – and successfully.The Strictly Come Dancing eraAnd in 2004, when in effective semi-retirement, Sir Bruce was brought back to host a new version of an old programme: Strictly, Come Dancing.This was a huge tribute to a man whose essential style of entertainment, although basically unchanged, had remained as fresh and popular as ever it was. He hosted that programme with all the verve and energy of a man half his age. Indeed, as a sprightly, lithe 80-year-old, with the slogan “keep on dancing”, he was hosting the huge BBC TV hit, Strictly Come Dancing. He demonstrated that, even at that age, and beyond, he could still sing with gusto and dance with professional verve.In that show, which became a national Saturday-night institution, he regularly drew attention to his age, modifying one of his already famous catch-phrases to “I’m not doddery – doddery I am not …” inciting the audience to join in.The TV shows that made him famousHis principal claim to fame before that was probably his hosting of the long-running and highly-successful TV series The Generation Game. But he was no less popular in Play Your Cards Right and in Bruce’s Price is Right.His energy was as phenomenal as his catch-words were infectious. Nearly every performance began with the greeting: “Nice to see you … to see you nice!” Or when a contestant in one of his many game shows excelled himself, Sir Bruce would chant: “Didn’t he do well?” He was no less renowned for his poses as a man of muscle. Bruce Forsyth and Tess Daly presenting the final of the BBC programme Strictly Come Dancing in 2012Credit: Guy Levy/BBC He took part in the 2012 Olympic relay when he carried the torch outside the BBC’s White City buildings in west London, which stand on the site of the White City Stadium that hosted the Olympics back in 1908.Having to pull out of a live show due to illnessSir Bruce, the frontman of Strictly Come Dancing since it launched, pulled out of a live show in October 2013 after being taken ill with flu.Before that, the much-loved star last missed a programme through illness in 2009.Sir Bruce announced he was leaving Strictly Come Dancing in April 2014.Show producers regularly scheduled rest weeks during the series to help Sir Bruce cope with the workload of fronting three months of weekly live programmes. Sir Bruce Forsyth with his wife, WilneliaCredit: David Hartley/REX/Shutterstock Sir Bruce Forsyth, the veteran television star, has died at the age of 89.In a statement, his manager Ian Wilson said: “It is with great sadness that the Forsyth family announce that Sir Bruce passed away this afternoon, peacefully at his home surrounded by his wife Wilnelia and all his children.”A couple of weeks ago, a friend visited him and asked him what he had been doing these last eighteen months.”With a twinkle in his eye, he responded “I’ve been very, very busy… being ill!” Unfortunately, not long after this, his health deteriorated and he contracted bronchial pneumonia.”The family would like to express their thanks to the many people who have sent cards and letters to Bruce wishing him well over his long illness and know that they will share in part, the great, great loss they feel.”There will be no further comment at the moment and it would be much appreciated if the privacy of Sir Bruce’s family is respected at this most difficult time.” Sir Bruce was hospitalised in March and spent five nights in intensive care at St Peter’s Hospital in Surrey after developing a severe chest infection, according to reports. Even into his 70s and 80s, he danced with as much vigour as a man half his age and although he good-naturedly teased his contestants on the game shows, with his rapid-fire wit, he was always careful never to humiliate them.Born into a Salvation Army familyBruce Joseph Forsyth-Johnson was born into a Salvation Army family in Edmonton, north London on February 22 1928. He attended the Higher Latimer School, Edmonton, but his heart, even as a small boy, was in show business.At the age of 14, he left the family home and was touring Britain as The Boy Bruce – The Mighty Atom. He made his broadcasting debut in 1942 and was an instant hit. He told one BBC interviewer: “I want to be famous and buy my mum a fur coat.”He played the ukulele, the accordion and the banjo with equal prowess and spent some 20 years performing in church halls, sleeping in luggage racks and waiting for the big break. He did a two-year spell at London’s famous Windmill Theatre – “We never closed” – and appeared in several double acts.How he became Britain’s highest-paid entertainerWhen he received the call in 1958 to host Sunday Night at the London Palladium, Sir Bruce was on the verge of leaving showbusiness. He was booked for two weeks, but stayed for five years, by which time he was Britain’s highest-paid entertainer, earning £1,000 a week. BBC Director-General, Tony Hall said: “Sir Bruce was one of the greatest entertainers our country has ever known. He has delighted millions of people and defined Saturday night television for decades, with shows like the Generation Game and, most recently, Strictly. His warmth and his wit were legendary.”I’ve never seen anyone quite like him when it comes to performing in front of a crowd. He had a remarkable chemistry with his audience – that’s what made him such an amazing professional and why he was so loved.”He has been part of all of our lives, and we’ll miss him dearly.” Bruce Forsyth at his home on the Wentworth Estate near Virginia WaterCredit:Clara Molden A star who was brash, but never vulgarHis comedy, although often brash, was never downright vulgar. And Sir Bruce disliked the cult of “reality TV”, saying that it involved no “performance” as such and was often offensive.He once said: “Although I am cheekier now than I was 40 years ago, I’m not downright dirty. It really is lavatory humour and sexual where it is not even a double entendre. It’s just dirtiness for the sake of it. I don’t do that and a lot of people respect that.” From Generation Game to Strictly: How Sir Bruce made his mark on British TVSir Bruce Forsyth was one of the most talented, versatile and popular TV entertainers of his generation.He was knighted in the Birthday Honours of 2011 after his supporters, including many MPs, had campaigned for several years for him to be awarded this honour.With his witty asides, his cheeky smile and his displays of mock outrage, Sir Bruce topped the bill wherever he went for well over half a century.He was still performing with as much zest as ever right into his 80s.
Prince Harry has not yet asked his brother to be his best man, the Duke of Cambridge disclosed tonight as he joked he is “still working” on the diary clash that sees the Royal wedding on the same day as the FA Cup final.The Duke, who is widely expected to perform best man duties at his younger brother’s wedding to Meghan Markle in May, said he had not been officially invited to step up to the role, as he joined a discussion of what makes a “best man”.Asked by footballer Rio Ferdinand about an awkward clash of dates on May 19 which meant the Duke is likely to miss the football, he replied he was “trying to see what I can do” about the situation.The Duke was invited to join a group discussion at the Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM), a charity aimed at preventing male suicide through open discussion which has recently launched a “Best Man Project” celebrating men’s friendship.Roman Kemp, compering, highlighted the Duke’s own role as best man in the coming months. Arguing men can be the worst for opening up, he added: “We’ve got to break that down where it’s ok to talk. Sons, fathers, it’s ok to have that chat. The footballer Rio Ferdinand also joined in the discussion with the DukeCredit:@KensingtonRoyal/Twitter Prince William says he hasn’t been asked to be best man for Prince Harry yet, and will see what he can do re Wembley wedding clash pic.twitter.com/jPCw8zHuug— Hannah Furness (@Hannah_Furness) January 10, 2018 “Someone’s got to be the brave one and take the first step. Say I’m putting it out there: that upset me, or that pissed me off. You’ve got to take that initial step to bring that conversation to a head.”CALM is one of the key charity partners of Heads Together, the campaign led by The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry. Of his own approach to discussing his feelings, following his mother’s death, the Duke continued: “Personally I didn’t want to be a burden. So I knew that if I trapped this inside and it got worse, and inevitably I would get worse in the future and I’d be a burden to my friends and family.”I didn’t want that for my life. I didn’t want the traumatic moment that happened to me to then affect me for the rest of my life and I knew my mother wouldn’t want that for me either.”So I actively went around dealing with it. Talking about it.” CALM recently launched the ‘Best Man Project’ to promote the idea that men do not have to wait until a wedding to prove they are a great friend, encouraging them to be proactive in looking out for their mental health. CALM said: “Being a best man is an honour. The charity is particularly focused on services for men in crisis or distress, in an age where suicide is the single biggest killer of men under the age of 45 in the UK. The Duke has previously spoken of being called to a suicide on his first shift as an air ambulance pilot, and how it has informed his charity work since.Their long-term campaigning is directed at bringing about a culture change to “redefine and open up masculinity, so that over time fewer men will need support at crisis point”. Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily Front Page newsletter and new audio briefings. “Our relationship is closer than it’s been because of the situation we’ve been through,” he said. “Losing our mother at a young age, it’s helped us travel through that difficult patch together. You’re like-minded. You go through similar things, it’s a bond and it’s something you know you’ve tackled together and come out better for it.”That’s the thing about being a best mate, inevitable one of you is sometimes on an up while the other is on a down.”You’re always there for each other and repaying that favour.” “Being a best man is often a shining example of what it means to be a great mate. “From the moment they’re asked, many men display exemplary behaviour – from planning the stag do, to carrying the rings and engineering the laughs while reminiscing to a room full of people.”At CALM, we’re of the belief that you don’t need a wedding to be a best man. In fact you can be a best man all though your life.” Laughing, he replied: “He hasn’t asked me yet, just to clear that up. It could be a sensitive subject.”The Duke went on to speak about his relationship with his brother, emphasising the importance of men speaking openly to one another about their emotions. Prince Harry and Meghan will marry in May on the same day as the FA Cup finalCredit:Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images Europe The Duke of Cambridge meets staff, volunteers, and supporters of the mental health charity ‘Campaign Against Living Miserably’ (CALM)Credit:@KensingtonRoyal/Twitter
“I told her the legal and social implications this would have on her if she showed more people.“It is a small station in Goole and it could have had an embarrassing impact and repercussions for years.”Pc Rachel Eyre told the hearing she had seen Ms Jackson and a colleague laughing over something, but had not known what. She said Ms Jackson later showed her the image. Ms Jackson is alleged to have caused upset and distress to colleagues by showing an explicit image to fellow officers on Sept 23 2016. She denies the three charges against her.The hearing, which is expected to last three days, continues. The sergeant who sent the photo has since been disciplined.Mr Burrell told a misconduct hearing yesterday: “Kate came to me saying that she had been sent this picture. I did not look at it and had no desire to see it.“In the 10 minutes we spoke I told her specifically and categorically not to show this to anyone else. A female police officer who was sent an explicit image of a detective’s penis is facing a misconduct charge after showing the picture to fellow colleagues.Pc Katie Jackson and a fellow officer “had been flirting” before the male colleague sent her the explicit photo.After receiving the image, she was seen “laughing” with colleagues about it but now faces a misconduct charge for sharing an explicit image, despite being told by a senior colleague not to do so.A misconduct hearing was told Ms Jackson received the image from a detective constable while on duty at Goole police station, East Yorks.On receipt of the image she spoke to a sergeant, reportedly saying it was unacceptable but did not want to take matters any further.Det Sgt John Burrell of Humberside Police told her “specifically and categorically” not to show anyone else the picture. Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily Front Page newsletter and new audio briefings. It could have had an embarrassing impact and repercussions for yearsDet Sgt John Burrell of Humberside Police
Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily Front Page newsletter and new audio briefings. Ms Purbrick competed at the World Championships in the US in 1978.Following the 1980 Olympics, Ms Purbrick was a member of the gold medal-winning team at the European Championships the next year. A Tory peer’s affair with a former Olympic showjumper has emerged after she appeared in court accused of daubing the walls of his London flat with pigs’ blood.Lizzie Purbrick, who competed in the 1980 Olympics, allegedly broke into 63-year-old David Prior’s flat in May while he was out.Camberwell Green Magistrates’ Court in south London heard on Tuesday that she is alleged to have painted insults on the walls with two pints of blood.Ms Purbrick, 63, from Wells-next-the Sea, in Norfolk, has denied burgling the flat with intent to do unlawful damage.She is due to stand trial next month, The Sun reported.The alleged incident is said to have happened at Lord Prior’s flat in Kennington, south London, on May 9.Lord Prior is thought to be separated from his wife.The Cambridge-educated Lord is a prominent Remainer and has rebelled against his own party in a bid to derail Brexit.In March, he was among 19 Tories who voted to strip Prime Minister Theresa May of the ability to walk away with no deal. His full title is Lord Prior of Brampton. Lizzie Purbrick with her mount Frederick The Great during the Badminton horse trials in 1983Credit:John Walters/ANL/REX/Shutterstock
Centre Court largely emptied after Nadal’s match, as even those with prized show court tickets could not resist the temptation to abandon the tennis, returning later to watch Kyle Edmund, the British number one, take on three-times Wimbledon winner Nova Djokovic.Monty Parker, 28 and his girlfriend Alex Mahon, 29, had Centre Court tickets but left to watch the England game.“There was no discussion. This is what we’re doing and that’s that,” said Ms Mahon, who works in corporate well being. “He was not going to miss it for anything. I don’t know much about football, but it’s what we had to do.” Huge cheers went up in Centre and Number One Courts and up on the hill when England’s 2-0 victory was confirmed. Edith Macauley, 65, a retired legal executive from Rayner Park, even burst into a spontaneous rendition of ‘Football’s Coming Home’.There had even been split loyalties inside the prestigious Royal Box, where several sporting heroes were guests of honour.Sir Bobby Charlton, who played for England’s 1966 World Cup winning team left after Nadal’s victory to watch the rest of the England match.Not even the ball boys and girls could tear themselves away. During their rest period they were allowed to watch the football on some of the TV screens in their quarters. A football fan streams the World Cup Quarter Final action on a phone during the Simona Halep match on No.1 CourtCredit:James Marsh/BPI/REX/Shutterstock Some of the world’s great players may have been sweating it out on court in temperatures of 31C but tennis played second fiddle to football at Wimbledon yesterday.As the number two seed Rafael Nadal battled Australian Alex De Minaur on Centre Court hundreds of spectators poured out of the grounds of the All England Lawn Tennis Club.Their destination? Wimbledon Village, 15 minutes walk away, where England’s game against Sweden was being shown on screens at bars, pubs and restaurants.Hundreds queued at the gates of the AELTC for pass out bands, allowing them re-entry to the grounds later in the day, before rushing up to Wimbledon village to watch Harry Kane and his men played for a place in the World Cup semi-finals.–– ADVERTISEMENT ––At one stage so many wanted to leave that security guards struggled to keep up with demand for the wrist bands. At the Rose and Crown pub in Wimbledon village there were chants of “get the tennis off” as fans waited eagerly for the football.Clive McCabe, from Twickenham, who had seats on Court One, said: “It’s the most people who have left Wimbledon on middle Saturday between 1pm and 2pm. There’s more people leaving than going in.”On Henman Hill – where fans sweltered on one of the hottest days of the year – dozens kept an eye on the England game with mobile phones and tablets, taking advantage of the AELTC’s wif-fi, while the day’s tennis was being shown on the giant screen in front of them. As Nick Luen, 23, a technical support officer, put it: “Wimbledon is every year, but we’ve never seen England with a chance of reaching the semis of a World Cup in our lifetime. That had to come first.”His friend Amy Rolls, 24, an assistant psychologist, added: “We had to leave to watch the game. We couldn’t have missed it.” Sir Bobby Charlton, who played for England’s 1966 World Cup winning team left after Nadal’s victory to watch the rest of the England matchCredit:Heathcliff O’Malley Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily Front Page newsletter and new audio briefings.
Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily Front Page newsletter and new audio briefings. He said: “There’s some people, famous people, being suddenly accused of touching some girl’s knee, or something, and suddenly they’re being dropped from their program, or something…it’s a witch hunt.”The Telegraph has contacted Liam Neeson’s representatives for comment. Liam Neeson has admitted to carrying around a cosh and hoping to come across a “black b——” to kill with it after his friend was sexually assaulted.The 66-year-old actor said he felt strong urges to carry out a racially-aggravated attack after learning that the man who attacked his friend was black.The Taken star said he had come back home from overseas to find a close female friend had been raped.He has declined to disclose the name of his friend, or to give further details about the attack.Neeson said he felt “ashamed” of his past “awful” urges after disclosing that for a week he walked around hoping someone would provoke him so that he could attack them.”She handled the situation of the rape in the most extraordinary way,” he told The Independent.He explained his mindset at the time, adding: “But my immediate reaction was… I asked, did she know who it was? No. What colour were they? She said it was a black person.”I went up and down areas with a cosh, hoping I’d be approached by somebody – I’m ashamed to say that – and I did it for maybe a week, hoping some black b——d would come out of a pub and have a go at me about something, you know? So that I could kill him.” The actor shared the startling story after being asked about his insight into his character in his new film, Cold Pursuit, who has a thirst for revenge after his son is killed by a drug gang.Neeson said he felt remorse for his actions, explaining: “It’s awful. But I did learn a lesson from it, when I eventually thought, ‘What the f— are you doing’, you know?”He added that he understands the need for revenge because he grew up in Northern Ireland during the Troubles: ” I come from a society – I grew up in Northern Ireland in the Troubles – and, you know, I knew a couple of guys that died on hunger strike, and I had acquaintances who were very caught up in the Troubles, and I understand that need for revenge, but it just leads to more revenge, to more killing and more killing, and Northern Ireland’s proof of that.”All this stuff that’s happening in the world, the violence, is proof of that, you know. But that primal need, I understand.”The actor has become more candid in interviews of late, last year telling Ireland’s Late Late Show that the #MeToo movement had turned into a “witch hunt”.
The People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) is calling for a probe into how the billions Government allocated to the Guyana Sugar Corporation (GuySuCo) since taking office in 2015 was spent.Leader of the Opposition Dr Bharat JagdeoArticulating the party’s position on the matter during a Friday morning press conference was PPP/C General Secretary Dr Bharrat Jagdeo.According to Jagdeo, there are discrepancies between the figures quoted by President David Granger in his January 10, speech that was read in the National Assembly by Prime Minister Moses Nagamootoo and and the recent pronouncements made by Agriculture Minister Noel Holder.Among other things, the President’s speech on the payments to GuySuCo workers outlined that Government was “expending G$48.02 bn in financial support to the industry since 2011 and G$32 billion over the past thirty months – a rate of about a billion dollars a month.”The President attributed the “rate of about a billion dollars a month” as one of the reasons why they “cannot sustain the sugar industry in its current state.”However, according to Jagdeo “when Guyanese hear this figure, they will say, yes, it can’t be afforded because this is a large sum of money…Let’s look at what Holder said on the matter. Holder said ‘over the past seven years, Government pumped $48B in GuySuCo. $600M in 2011, $4B in 2012, $5.3B in 2013, $6B in 2014, $12B in 2015, $11B in 2016, $9B in 2017. So when you add this, you see $48B over seven years. The President said $48B and he added $32B on top of it in his speech,” he explained.Jagdeo further explained that this $32B was then divided by the number of months, resulting in the approximated cost of $1B a month for 30 months.However, the Opposition Leader maintained he has suspicions as the claims by Holder and the President are contradicting.President David GrangerAccording to the Opposition Leader, the President “over inflated the figures by 2 times in his speech to the Nation and Holder gave the accurate figures. And even in those figures, you would see that for the period 2011 to 2014, an average of $4B per year was given subsidy to GuySuCo.“Between 2015 to 2017, $10.6B average and now, that is impossible. Its more than double, almost three times more subsidy they gave in the three years. We need to have a full fledged investigation whether this money was given, how it was spent and knowing the nature of this government, I suspect that a significant part of this money may have disappeared,” Jagdeo asserted.“If this money had gone into GuySuCo we should have seen something different…and we are talking about subsidies increased to three time more when there were no salary increases or payments of API (annual production incentives).”Jagdeo added that the use of sums paid to the Government by the European Union (EU), after the loss of preferential markets, should also be included in the investigation. Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)RelatedPurported $348B EU payment: Figure ‘ten times the sum actually received’- Opposition LeaderJuly 4, 2017In “latest news”EU shuts down Harmon’s $348B sugar rantJuly 4, 2017In “latest news”‘Repackaged’ budget ‘blatantly anti-poor, anti-development’ – JagdeoJanuary 29, 2016In “latest news”
The Tabatinga Creek (flooding in Region 9)Though the flood waters in sections of Lethem and surrounding areas have largely receded, the fifty-nine residents who were evacuated from their homes for safety reasons remain in shelters after nearly two weeks.This was confirmed by both Regional Vice-Chairman of Upper Takutu-Upper Essequibo (Region Nine) Karl Singh and acting head of the Civil Defence Commission (CDC) Kester Craig who related to Guyana Times on Sunday that the affected areas are being monitored.While it is not clear when the various households will be able to return to their places of abode, Vice-Chairman Singh stated that the residents are being allowed to clean their surroundings.“Persons are in the shelter as of today [Sunday]; we are still monitoring the situation. We have cleaning agents including jeyes fluid to give to the affected people to clean their homes and disinfect the surrounding areas before they can go back home,” Singh told Guyana Times.Meanwhile, Lieutenant Colonel Kester Craig told this publication that as the water around Lethem has been receding, there have been no reports of outbreak of diseases.“There are no outbreaks; what we try to do is use preventative measures such as bleach in water and water purification tablets…we monitor the situation continuously and we are in contact with the regional administration under the regional disaster risk management system,” Craig pointed out.He also informed that the Public Health Ministry has a team handling the affected areas with community outreaches with its environmental health personnel which has been providing guidance on the necessary measures persons can take to prevent diseases.Meanwhile, additional flooding remains a cause for worry since the water level could rise again with another heavy downpour. The affected areas included Deep South Rupununi communities such as Karasabai which was cut off from Central Lethem. Regional Chairman Brian Allicock noted earlier this month that a group of toshaos had travelled into the area via boat, using a different route.It was reported several days ago that the Deep South Rupununi’s main access road en-route to Aishalton was partly washed away.Food security is another concern that was recorded since the floods in the Deep South had also destroyed farms. Regional Chairman Allicock noted in early July that some 20 farms were inundated with over three feet of water.The flooding resulted from several rivers, particularly the Takutu River, over topping because of heavy rainfall in the region and over in neighbouring Brazil, which had resulted in over topping of the Rio Brancho River. The CDC had delivered supplies which included water purification tablets, collapsible bottles, detergents and cleaning supplies, beddings and blankets, among other materials. Environmental health personnel offering guidance – CDC Head Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)RelatedRegion 9 floodwaters recedingJuly 9, 2018In “latest news”Region 9 flooding intensifies as waters continue to riseJuly 4, 2017In “latest news”Rescue operations activated in Region 9 as flooding worsensJuly 5, 2018In “latest news”
Rare Earths prices increased 12% over the Chinese May day holiday, according to Lynas Corp and its Mount Weld rare earths composition price passed through the $10/kg mark by jumping from $9.43/kg to $10.58/kg in one week. The company also noted that Baotou mixed rare earths carbonate production has been halted due to water issues and in Sichuan region, rare earths mining and concentrate production have been stopped by local government.In Baotou, Lynas understands the water issues relate to the Government authorities’ tighter supervision to protect the water system of the Yellow River from contamination associated with waste water discharge from local mixed rare earths carbonate plants. The mixed rare earths carbonate from Baotou is the feed for the majority of the rare earths separation plants in China. Lynas estimates that approximately 20,000 t/y of rare earth oxide (REO) may be affected by the shutdown.This supply constraint has been compounded by reports that the Sichuan rare earths regional production has been stopped by the local government due to industry restructuring issues within the region. Lynas understands that the local government had planned to consolidate the small mining and concentration operations into four groups within this region; however it appears this plan has stalled. The consequences appear to be a local government order to cease all production. Sichuan accounts for approximately 25,000 t/y of REO. The actual extent of the shutdown is not yet known and the duration of the shutdown is uncertain.