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Sports News Archive - 2005

Look back at the sports news in Staffordshire in 2005


Cannock for England --- Cannock defender Scott Cordon has been confirmed in England's 18-man squad for the European Nations Hockey Championship in Germany later this month after successfully recovering from a hand operation. The 25-year-old proved his fitness at a training camp and two matches against Scotland in Edinburgh last week. 8/08/05

Barmy in Stafford --- The England cricket supporters group, The Barmy Army, based in Stafford, played a match among themselves for once this afternoon. The action was at Stafford Cricket Club and will raise money for Leukaemia research. 6/08/05
Burton beat City Burton Albion continued their build up to the Conference campaign with a 3-2 win over a Manchester City Eleven. Over 1200 were watching at the Pirelli Stadium.

Stoke get former star --- Stoke City have signed the former Manchester United winger Luke Chadwick. He's joined the club from Premiership side West Ham United. See our Stoke City pages for more.

July 2005

Part ends Phil's dream --- Stoke on Trent darts star Phil Taylor's quest for Grand Slam glory was ended by former world champion John Part in a Blackpool thriller. 'The Power', winner of this year's World Championship, Premier League, UK Open and Las Vegas Desert Classic, had not lost a match at the Stan James World Matchplay since 1999 - a run of 27 successive victories. But the Canadian produced a late surge in their quarter-final showdown to open up a four-leg lead, and he closed out a famous victory with double one.
It was a bad night all round for Staffordshire arrows as Colin Lloyd was a 16-13 winner over Newcastle-under-Lyme's Adrian Lewis. Afterwards Lloyd commented: "I was up for it and prepared for a game like that. I think Adrian had started to feel the pace and the heat up there on the stage." 28/07/05

Cannock for England --- Two and "a half" Cannock players feature in England's European Nations Hockey Team squad. Cannock's Scott Cordon has been given until August 7th to recover from a hand operation which has kept him out since April. Squad: J Ebsworth (gk), M Daly, R Moore (Surbiton); N Brothers (gk, Schwarzweiss Neuss); R Alexander, J Stedman (Old Loughtonians); J Clarke, R Mantell (Reading); B Garrard (capt, Klein Zwitserland); J Goudie, G Kirkham, A Wilson (Loughborough Students); B Hawes (Amsterdam); B Marsden (Barcelona FC); B Middleton, A West (Cannock); J Tindall (Old Georgians).

Phil heads for grand slam --- Stoke on Trent darts star Phil Taylor kept alive his grand slam dream with a 10-4 win over Jamie Harvey in his opening game at the Stan James World Matchplay. Taylor, who has won all four major Professional Darts Corporation titles this year, needs just to triumph at Blackpool, and then in October's World Grand Prix to complete a clean sweep in televised events.

Simply the strongest! 23/07/05
Northampton's Adam Townsend was crowned UKSC Ultimate Strength Challenge winner for 2005 after a gruelling afternoon at Hanley Park in Shelton, Stoke-on-Trent. (For more on this story, click "Audio/Video link" at the top right hand of this page)

Toe-st the champions 23/07/05
A Staffordshire husband and wife made it a family affair today by carrying off the men's and women's titles at one of Britain's more bizarre sporting events.
Tyre recycler Paul "The Toeminator" Beech, 34, made it a hat-trick of wins in the 12th World Toe Wrestling Championships, held this year at the Bentley Brook Inn, in Ashbourne, Derbyshire. He was joined for the first time by his 37-year-old wife, Heather "Mrs Toeminator" Beech, who saw off her sister Alison Redfearn in the final. In his final, Mr Beech, from Burton-upon-Trent, Staffordshire, beat five-times previous winner Alan "Nasty" Nash, a chicken whisperer from Stoke-on-Trent.
The Toeminator said: "This was one of the toughest competitions yet but this year I've been doing extra training and it's toe-tally paid off." The event dates back to the 1970s when regulars at the Olde Royal Oak Inn, in Wetton, Staffordshire, tried to devise a game in which Britain could be successful...

Gradi goes to eastern --- Europe Crewe have signed tall Slovakian centre-forward Pavol Suhav.

Staffordshire swimmer dies --- Transplant games medal winner Lesley Hadley has died after her car collided with a lorry.

Rock it Robert --- Rock from Armitage in Staffordshire made his Open Golf championship debut this year finishing with a 3 under. His final position was 67th.

Nelsons go for it --- Ashleigh Nelson, the fourteen-year-old from Stoke on Trent, has smashed the under-15 100 metres British record at the English schools championships. Meanwhile her brother Alex Nelson, in the 100 metres, is the fastest junior in the world this year. (For more on this story, click "Audio/Video link" at the top right hand of this page)

Goalie goes 17/07/05
Manchester United's latest signing - Stoke's reserve keeper Ben Foster - says he hopes to break into the United first team within 2 years after signing from City. Foster becomes the first player since Jimmy Greenhoff almost 30 years ago to make the move to Old Trafford in a deal worth around 2.5 million pounds.

Calendar date at Pirelli Burton Albion's first ever game at their new Pirelli Stadium (17/07/05) ended in defeat to league two side Chester City. Over thirteen hundred saw the Brewers lost one-nil. Albion moved from their old ground Eton Park into the brand new Pirelli at a cost of £6.4 million.

Special effort --- Efforts are being stepped up in Staffordshire to try to ensure that young people with disabilities can take part in a wide range of sports and activities. More than 350 youngsters from across the county have been in Burton for the county Special Schools Youth Games (17/07/05), where events included athletics, hockey and football. The county's active-sports manager Joanne Appleby says it's vital that young people with physical or learning disabilities get this kind of chance.

Short chess 8/7/05
Britain's only chess grandmaster will be taking on thirty of the West Midlands finest players simultaneously today in a special exhibition match. Nigel Short - the only Briton to have challenged for the world chess title in the past one hundred years - will take up the challenge from dozens of players from the Lichfield and Walsall clubs. The event is part of this year's Lichfield festival.

No drought for Taylor in Desert Classic --- Newcastle's Phil 'The Power' Taylor has won the Las Vegas Desert Classic for the third time, and edges ever closer to becoming the first darts player to win the 'grand-slam' of televised darts events.  He beat long-time rival Wayne Mardle 6-1 in little over an hour of play.

Chris gets the Carib style 6/7/05
Chris Birchall of Port Vale made football history, becoming the first white man to score a goal for Trinidad and Tobago. He scored his country's opening goal against Honduras. See Birchall profile on our Vale pages

Robbie and Lee - doctors! 5/7/05
Two sportsmen from Staffordshire have been made honorary doctors at a ceremony today. The Paralympic gold medallist Lee Pearson and former Port Vale midfielder Robbie Earle have both been given doctorates by Staffordshire University. The awards are given to people who've made a real difference to their area of work.

Local students go for Special gold --- Four students from Newcastle-under-Lyme College have been selected to play basketball at the forthcoming Special Olympics National Summer Games in Glasgow. Between 2nd-9th July, Nisha Balu, 21, from Trentham, Nicola Hunt, 24, from Hanley, Gemma Moss, 20, from Longton and Matthew Valentine,19, from Birches Head will compete against other teams from England, Wales and Scotland to bring home a gold medal for North Staffordshire. The Special Olympics are as big as the Commonwealth Games with over 2700 athletes, 1200 coaches and 1500 volunteers.

June 2005

Castle fall at semi-final --- Korfball teams from across the UK converged on North Staffordshire Sports Club for Korfall Castle’s annual tournament, which the host club was seeking to retain. But Castle Korfball’s bid fell apart in a dramatic semi final Penalty shoot-out in a tense match with Manchester which had ended in a 3-3 draw. The tournament was won by a classy Nottingham Outlawz, who defeated Manchester 8-5 in an entertaining final. Stoke Spitfires also enjoyed a successful event, finishing a creditable 10th in a tournament. 25/6/05 See more about korfball on our "Other Sports" pages

Staffordshire "Olympics" Over 1500 athletes aged between ten and sixteen took part in the 2005 Staffordshire Youth Games at Shobnall Leisure Complex and Meadowside Leisure Centre, Burton upon Trent. This year saw the introduction of rowing and canoeing in addition to athletics, aquathlon, badminton, girls cricket, girls football, hockey, netball, girls tag rugby, mixed tag rugby, swimming and tennis. The results can be seen by logging onto www.sportacrossstaffordshire. 18/6/05

Phil on for grand slam --- New Budweiser UK Open champion Phil Taylor defeated Mark Walsh to win this tournament for the second time in three years. However, it will best be remembered for his third televised nine-dart finish - the equivalent of a 147 break in snooker - against defending champion Roland Scholten in their semi-final showdown. Taylor now has the Grand Slam in his sights after winning the World Championship, Premier League and UK Open. But he will have to be successful at the Las Vegas Desert Classic and World Matchplay in Blackpool this summer to give himself a chance of completing the full set at the World Grand Prix in October. 14/6/05

Staffs cricket success --- Having been called into the team as a late replacement, Rob King's unbeaten 120 set up Staffordshire's convincing 153 run victory over Hertfordshire to put Staffs into the quarterfinal of the Minor Counties Knock-Out Cup. See our Cricket Pages. 13/6/05

The Power and The "Dartness" --- Darts champion and Staffordshire local hero Phil Taylor gave an interview to BBC Radio Stoke in which he revealed his strict diets and his close relationship with The Darkness lead singer, Justin Hawkins!

Hard riding Some of the country's top cyclists including a former world champion, several Paralympic medallists and World Cup riders took part in Newcastle Cycle Track Association's Open Meeting at Lyme Valley Stadium. Events included the second round of the National Sprinter's League, tandem racing and juvenile racing. 12/6/05

Brothers in arms --- Mick Gosling from Cannock seized the Britain's Strongest Man title at Dudley Castle, in a competition judged by former world's strongest man Geoff Capes. Mick took the title off his brother Richard in a close finish. The Cannock man will now go onto the European Super Series, before competing for the World's Strongest Man title. Tasks included lifting Atlas stones, carrying iron shields and log pressing in a medieval themed competition. The contest will be screened on Sky TV on July 31. 13/6/05

Potters 'arf --- The Kenyan Simon Tanui picked up the £500 bonus on offer in the Potteries half-marathon after passing the winning tape in under 65 minutes. Coming in behind the runaway winner was Thomas Aboo, while third place went to local Stoke runner Mike Proudlove.  The leading woman was Ethiopian Birhan Dagne. 11/6/05 (For more on this story, click "Audio/Video link" at the top right hand of this page) 

British rider in impressive form --- North Staffordshire's British Paralympic equestrian rider Lee Pearson won two titles at a major international competition in Germany. The event formed a crucial part of the British team's preparations to defend their European Championships team title in Hungary in July. Lee Pearson, a 'double triple' Paralympic gold medallist, won both the individual dressage and freestyle titles in Mannheim competing in the grade III class. The 30-year-old from Staffordshire usually competes in the grade I class, but was competing at grade III against riders with a lower level of disability and with more difficult riding tests. But he still one both classes riding Blue Circle Boy, the horse he rode in Athens. Among the riders he beat in Mannheim were German competitors Bettina Eistel and Bianca Vogel, both silver medallists in grade III competitions in Athens. David Hunter, Performance Manager of GB Paralympic Dressage, said he was delighted with the performances: "It's pretty unique for somebody to ride to grades above their disability level, but Lee is a very talented rider and is capable of riding much more difficult tests than those required for his disability class." 11/6/05

Leslie rewarded --- Leslie Dunn, Stoke City's longest-serving supporter (for over sixty years) received a special award from manager Tony Pulis for his dedication. (For more on this story, click "Audio/Video link" at the top right hand of this page) 

Rangers in funds A pair of fanatical Stafford Rangers supporters are travelling to 158 football grounds across England in the space of just one week to raise money for the club. Ian Saberton, and Ian Preston will visit all 92 football league grounds, all of the Nationwide Conference grounds and all of the grounds that make up the north and south feeder leagues. Mr Saberton said he and his mate were looking forward to the task ahead of them: "We're excited at the moment but I'm not sure if we'll be saying that in a few days," he said. "It's going to be a lot of fun but quite gruelling at the end of the day." 10/6/05

Pool Champion --- Stoke-on-Trent can boast another sporting world champion - this time in pool! Potteries-based Gareth Potts beat former champion Chris Melling to win the World 8-Ball Pool title in Blackpool. (For more on this story, click "Audio/Video link" at the top right hand of this page) 

Lee gets his MBE --- Britain's sportsmen turned up Buckingham Palace to receive their honours. Olympic relay gold medallists received their MBEs and Staffordshire's Lee Pearson who won three golds in the equestrian event at the Paralympics received his MBE. 8/6/05

May 2005

Taylor is premier player --- Phil Taylor, the Potteries own darts champion player coasted past Colin Lloyd 16-4 in the final of the first ever Premier League Darts finals. 31/05/05 (For more on this story, click "Audio/Video link" at the top right hand of this page) 
Stoke no comment --- Stoke City Football Club says it won't be commenting on newspaper reports one of its players was involved in a drunken incident at a stag party over the weekend. The Sun reports the Stoke centre-half Michael Duberry was among a group of footballers including the England international Rio Ferdinand who were questioned by the police in Hertfordshire. Stoke City says it's aware of the reports but has nothing to add and wouldn't say if they've spoken to Michael Duberry. 31/05/05

Golfing feat --- An East Staffordshire man has leapt into the pages of golfing history - by scoring TWO holes-in-one at the same course. Jim Mawhinney, a 53-year-old electrician from Stretton, pulled off the feat both times at The Craythorne at the fifth hole - its longest and most difficult hole. Jim says the first time was amazing enough, but the second was unbelievable. 27/5/05

Bye bye Eton --- A blaze of fireworks marked the final match at Eton Park - Burton Albion's home for nearly 50 years. More than 1300 supporters joined VIPs and former players for a nostalgic farewell charity match, in which the Brewers beat former players The Legends 5-3. The Albion moves to its new £6m Pirelli stadium in July. 17/5/05 See our Burton Albion pages for more

Matthew does it in one --- A seven year old boy was celebrating today after hitting a hole-in-one on his local golf course. Matthew Jacques, of Bishop's Wood made the shot at the Ledene Golf Centre near his home. The youngster, who hit his first ball at the age of three, was out for a game with his parents. His mother Gillian said: "Matthew was thrilled to bits. We were just standing there on the third hole, and it went 92 yards, hit the flag and made the pole wobble and then vanished. "My husband could not believe it. He has only ever had a single hole-in-one, and even then he didn't see it go in, so it was a real thrill to be able to watch it." 16/05/05

Rangemore trouble --- The Premier League says fears about the future of the proposed £20m National Football Centre in Burton may be justified. In a submission to an enquiry into the Football Association's workings, the Premier League has savaged the FA, suggesting it cannot manage the redevelopment of Wembley, and might have to abandon the Burton centre. The future of the centre has long been the focus of doubt, but the Premier League's attack lays the reasons for that doubt firmly at the door of the FA, which it says is outdated. 12/5/05

Million dollar man On a trip to Las Vegas, Stoke on Trent businessman Paul Maxfield entered an open Poker championship - and, to his surprise, progressed right through to the final. Three times he had cancelled his flight home as he kept winning in the World Poker Tour Championship, eventually picking up a $1,700,000 - or £900,000. 04/05/05 (For more on this story, click "Audio/Video link" at the top right hand of this page) 

Rocester disaster Players at the Staffordshire football club which has just had the season from hell have been reflecting on the side's performance. Rocester have completed their first season in Unibond Division One without winning a single game, and they've conceded 132 goals. Both are league records. 04/05/05 (For more on this story, click "Audio/Video link" at the top right hand of this page) 

Cannock slip --- In hockey, Cannock made a rare-slip-up going down to arch-rivals Reading 3-2, enabling the Berkshire side to book a place in the European Cup Winners' Cup. But as Cannock had already completed a domestic treble of Super Cup, league and Cup, already reaching the European Club Championships themselves, it has not affected their season. 02/05/05

April 2005

Icelandics depart Stoke City football club's main shareholders have announced they're selling their share of the club.  29/04/05 (For more on this story, click "Audio/Video link" at the top right hand of this page) 

Champions Cannock --- Cannock, once again the winners of the English Hockey League, rounded off their league fixtures with a 7-4 victory over Chelmsford. 17/04/05

Cannock consolidate lead --- The race for Hockey's Premier One title was virtually ended today when defending champions Cannock beat arch-rivals Reading 2-1 to claim a six-point lead with three matches to play. Both sides were missing key players due to international commitments and injuries but the midlanders came out on top after taking a 2-0 lead through captain Andy Humphrey's 24th-minute penalty corner and Richard Lane's strike in the 42nd minute. Nick Caitlin pulled one back for the hosts 13 minutes from time but Reading could not find an equaliser. Both sides have now secured places in the end-of-season Super Cup, which is more important in terms of entry to Europe. 03/04/05

March 2005

Football great dies --- The former Ipswich, Wolves and Newcastle manager Bill McGarry, who came from North Staffordshire, has died aged 77 after a long illness. The former England international guided Ipswich to promotion to the First Division in 1968 before moving to Molineux, where he guided Wanderers to the 1972 UEFA Cup final and 1974 League Cup success. His funeral will take place on Saturday in South Africa, and Wolves will hold a minute's silence before their game then - which is, fittingly, with Stoke City. 17/03/05

Tommy remembered --- A plaque has been unveiled celebrating the record breaking cyclist from the Potteries, Tommy Godwin. Tommy set the world mileage endurance record for cycling in 1939 by cycling 75,065 miles in one year; and then went on to cycle 100,000 miles in 500 days. The record still stands today, 66 years on, and has since been declared too dangerous a record for others to attempt to break by Guiness Records officials. Edie Hemmings, 90, unveiled the plaque at Fenton Manor in Stoke on Trent. Her late husband George fought for 30 years to get recognition for Tommy. 14/03/05

Master potter lucks out --- The Stoke on Trent snooker player Dave Harold saw his luck run out in the quarter-finals of the Failte Irish Masters semi-finals in Dublin. Robert Milkins defeated Harold 6-3 with the turning point in frame five, with Harold set to go 3-2 up after being 2-0 down. However, he miscued when leading 57-0 and Milkins stepped in with a 55 clearance. Defeat signalled the end of Harold's recent seven-game winning streak, and he said philosophically: "It had to end some time." On his way to the quarter-finals, he had beaten defending champion Peter Ebdon, and Jimmy White. 09/03/05 Tough on Tracey At the All England Badminton Championships, there was no joy for England's top woman Tracey Hallam from Burton. The European and Olympic quarter-finalist lost in her opening match for the sixth time in eight years as she was squeezed out by Eriko Hirose 11-0 8-11 11-9. 09/03/05

Lucy heads out --- Lucy Pearson, the Staffordshire representative in the England Women's Cricket team, has left with the rest of the squad for the World Cup tournament in South Africa. For more on the World Cup, see BBC Women's Cricket site

Marathon Man off again --- Staffordshire Marathon man Ray Edensor has revealed details of his latest record breaking challenge. The paramedic from Stafford, who set a record of running 20 marathons in the space of a month, will run 200 miles from Hanley to London, then do the London Marathon, all the time wearing a decontamination suit. 02/03/05

February 2005

Lucky Burton --- If a little bit of luck is what you need, then Nigel Clough's Burton Albion could be on track to win the FA Trophy. The club were granted a sucessive home draw in the sixth round, against Woking, after beating Morecambe 1-0 on Saturday at Eton Park in front of nearly 1500 fans. 28/02/05 See our Albion pages

Cannock in final --- Though Cannock needed a golden goal to see off Guildford in the Hockey Cup semi-final, at least they will avoid Reading (who were knocked out by Loughborough Students). Simon Ramsden's penalty corner 13 minutes into extra-time gave last season's runners-up a 6-5 victory. 27/02/05 See our Hockey pages

Phil darts on --- Stoke's darts ace Phil Taylor last night added another trophy to his impressive collection when he defeated former world champion Andy Fordham 7-1 in the final of the Masters of Darts tournament in Holland.   13/02/2005

Welcome for sports facilities --- A new sports centre in Burton, costing nearly a million pounds, should be open in about a year's time. It'll be built in the grounds of Paulet High School in Stapenhill with the help of a big lottery grant. Alexander Timms, Deputy Headteacher said: "There is no sports hall within easy reach of our community which makes increased participation in sporting activities very difficult. The new sports hall will give us the chance to offer new activities in great surroundings to a high standard." 11/02/2005

Burton win Staffs derby --- Burton Albion are now the sole Staffordshire side left in the FA Trophy. They beat holders and rivals Hednesford one-nil, in front of a crowd of over one and half thousand. Meanwhile Tamworth crashed at home three-nil to the FA Cup giant-killers, Exeter.  05/02/2005

Tracey misses out --- In the English National Badminton Championships, at the Velodrome in Manchester, Burton's Tracey Hallam lost out to Elizabeth Cann from Jersey in the women's final. 05/02/2005

January 2005

Cannock on track for Hockey Cup --- In the quarter-finals of the Hockey Cup, both Cannock and their arch-rivals Reading were victors. Cannock beat fellow Premier One side Old Loughtonians 3-2, with Simon Ramsden scoring the winner from his second penalty corner of the match in the last minute. 30/01/2004

Cannock player recognition --- Great Britain, England and Cannock forward Barry Middleton and former international Tina Cullen have been named players of the year for 2004.  Middleton, a 21-year-old student at Loughborough University, was one of GB's few positives at a disappointing Olympics in Athens and he also helped his club Cannock to the Premier League title and a silver medal at the European Cup-Winners Cup. "I was surprised and honoured to receive the news of the award and at my age to be following in the footsteps of so many of Britain's great players, including seven gold medallists," said the Doncaster-born player who made his senior international debut in June 2003 and has racked up 74 appearances already. 24/01/05

Ascot.. in East Staffs --- Uttoxeter racecourse is hosting a special Ascot meeting because the Berkshire site is being redeveloped. The meeting will include the highest class race ever run at Uttoxeter. 22/01/05

Wheely good for Steve --- An East Staffordshire man who's hoping to compete in the Paralympics in Bejing in 2008 has been given £2,000 to help buy a new race wheelchair. Steve Williamson from Bramshall near Uttoxeter was given the money by Uttoxeter Race Course. 10/01/05

Deano goes --- Crewe Alexandra have sold their prolific young goalscorer Dean Ashton to Premiership side Norwich City. A fee in the region of £2 million prompted the Alex manager Dario Gradi to accept the offer for the Championship's top scorer. Fans are divided in opinion, some believing that Ashton should have stayed until the end of the season, but many believing that Ashton needed to go to a bigger club. See our Crewe Alex News Page. 10/01/05

Athletes head for Melbourne --- A trio of Staffordshire athletes will represent Great Britain at the 20th Summer Deaflympic Games in Melbourne this month. Jonathan Atkinson from Biddulph (a goalkeeper who recently featured on the BBC programme ‘See Hear’) and Lisa Jones, a mid fielder for Stafford Rangers Ladies FC, will be playing football for the Great Britain Men’s and Women’s Teams. Joining them in Melbourne is Brian Korokuwe from Newcastle-under-Lyme who is Team Manager for the GB Deaf Athletics Team.

Another world title --- Phil Taylor, Stoke's own darts world champion, has claimed yet another world title, after Mark 'Flash' Dudbridge, met him in the final of the PDC World Championships. Though clearly tired, Phil battled it out to win his 12th world championship. 03/01/05

Pete ignores hangover! --- The result of the annual Adidas New Years Day Hangover 5 Mile Road Race held in Whatstandwell, Derbyshire was over within the first half mile (reports David Denton). Pete Beynon of City of Stoke AC rushed to the head of the field and was never really challenged as he stretched his lead on the fierce uphill first half of the race. 01/01/05

last updated: 20/09/05
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