BBC BLOGS - Tom Fordyce

Flood eyes leading role in England revival

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Tom Fordyce | 14:16 UK time, Monday, 5 November 2012

Toby Flood, you might think, relishes every single moment centre-stage.

It isn't just his occupation: England fly-half, he is almost certain to start in that most scrutinised and pivotal position in the forthcoming autumn internationals. It's his genealogy: both grandfathers noted film and television actors, maternal grandmother the same.

It's even spelled out on his passport. Flood's middle names are Gerald - after the paternal grandfather who starred in Dr Who, Steptoe and Son, and Patton - and Albert Lieven, his mother's father, who played the villainous Flashman's father in 'Tom Brown's Schooldays' and a whole range of Nazis in a number of war-time pot-boilers.

It's as if he were born for the spotlight. Except, in reality, nothing could be further from the truth.

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London Olympics finally kick off

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Tom Fordyce | 20:19 UK time, Wednesday, 25 July 2012

"How did the London Olympics of 2012 begin, Grandpa?"

"In Cardiff, lad, with a toot on a whistle, and without a flame or cauldron in sight."

"Whatever, Grandpa. What really happened?"

For all the talk of opening ceremonies, flag-bearers and celebrity cauldron-lighters, the start of the biggest sporting celebration ever staged in Britain was both reassuringly familiar and a touch surreal.

Fully 53 hours before Danny Boyle's much-anticipated spectacular in Stratford, an American referee named Kari Seitz walked to the centre circle of the Millennium Stadium, signalled to the 22 women from Great Britain and New Zealand's football teams and stepped away as GB number 14 Anita Asante swung back her right foot and touched the ball to Kelly Smith.

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Win puts Wiggins among Britain's greats

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Tom Fordyce | 16:56 UK time, Sunday, 22 July 2012

Even though we should really be rather accustomed to seeing Bradley Wiggins in yellow by now, there was still something wonderfully unreal about watching him cruise up the Champs-Elysees on Sunday, bike, helmet and jersey all the same bright jaune, to become Britain's first ever winner of the Tour de France.

These sort of Parisian valedictions are not supposed to feature the British in any other than a supporting role. That a scrawny ginger kid from Kilburn has grown up to win his sport's greatest prize is one of the more remarkable tales British sport has produced.

It might even be the most laudable of all. "I may be a bit biased," admitted Sir Chris Hoy earlier this week, "because Bradley is an old team-mate and a great guy. But if he gets to that finish line it will be as good as anything any British athlete has ever done."

These are mighty claims, and lead to the sort of arguments that slander legends and end friendships. Yet the context, manner and meaning of Wiggins's golden July give Hoy's words a resonance that is hard to ignore.

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