BBC BLOGS - Ollie Williams

Archives for August 2009

Crowd trouble club-by-club

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Ollie Williams | 10:41 UK time, Wednesday, 26 August 2009

Violence at football matches of the kind witnessed outside and inside Upton Park at Tuesday's Carling Cup match between West Ham and Millwall has been thankfully rare in recent years.

But the Home Office keeps a record of every arrest relating to professional football in England and Wales, as well as banning orders handed out to persistent or serious offenders.

Each year, it publishes a club-by-club breakdown of arrests made, including the type of offence, ranging from ticket touting or pitch invasion to violent disorder or possession of a weapon.

So where do each team's supporters rank?

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Buzzer calamity sounds pentathlon alarm

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Ollie Williams | 07:46 UK time, Monday, 17 August 2009

Fittingly for a sport which has just introduced a combined run-and-shoot event, modern pentathlon shot itself in the foot on Sunday.

Three years from London 2012, in the first World Championship event the capital has staged for 23 years, British pentathlete Katy Livingston was closing in on a gold medal when the show jumping round - the penultimate stage of the final - began.

Livingston, leading the competition and the last to ride, had produced the fencing display of her life and a strong swim to lead the final by some distance.

Hundreds of fans' hearts skipped a beat with every jump as Livingston and her horse cleared the first nine fences, then closed in on the final three. If she registered a clear round, she would have every chance of winning the tournament.

Then all hell broke loose.

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Warm-up weekend's winners and losers

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Ollie Williams | 09:45 UK time, Sunday, 16 August 2009

Who would be an event organiser for an Olympic sport?

The sleepless nights even in 2009, three years from the Games themselves, must be torture.

While the British public aren't yet tattooing the Olympic rings to their chests, organisers know that their sports, other sports, the media, UK Sport, the government, the IOC and others are watching every big sporting event in London from now on.

On Saturday that meant modern pentathlon's World Championships in Crystal Palace, triathlon's World Series in Hyde Park, and basketball's Game On tournament at the O2 Arena in Greenwich.

So how did those events match up, and which Olympic organisers will sleep easiest once their walkie-talkies and lanyards are packed away?

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London's first big Olympic weekend

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Ollie Williams | 09:35 UK time, Friday, 14 August 2009

This weekend, London will experience a miniature Olympics.

While the Modern Pentathlon World Championships are in full swing at Crystal Palace in south east London, top triathletes will be competing in the latest leg of triathlon's World Championship Series, nine miles north in Hyde Park.

If that's not enough, the O2 Arena in Greenwich (once known as the Millennium Dome) is playing host to the British basketball team, who take on Israel, Turkey and Poland.

We've been spending some time with top British stars in each of the three sports ahead of this weekend, which is being billed as one of the first proper tests of London's Olympic preparations to date.

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How the Premier League has changed

Ollie Williams | 09:00 UK time, Thursday, 13 August 2009

Twenty years ago, things were very different.

This time in 1989, The Simpsons had yet to broadcast a single full episode (it'll reach 450 by this Christmas). The Soviet Union was still in one piece, just about. As the football season began, Jive Bunny was number one in the charts.

We've come on leaps and bounds as a civilization since then. Now Tinchy Stryder is number one.

In 1989, you had an outside chance of travelling to a football match alongside some of your team's players on the bus.

Nowadays, unless you live near Robinho, you'd be staggered to discover a Premier League centre forward catching the matchday special from the middle of town.

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