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Live Reporting

Caroline Chapman and Stephan Shemilt

All times stated are UK

Get involved

  1. Post update

    That's it for another Sportsday, join us again on Thursday for all the breaking news, the best of social media and a look ahead to the weekend's Premier League action.

  2. Premier League play-off race continues


    Adrian Lewis

    Adrian Lewis and defending champion Raymond van Barneveld will hope to move closer to securing Premier League play-off places tonight.

    Both men play twice in Birmingham this evening, including a meeting between the pair in the final match of week 13.

    Lewis and Van Barneveld are a point behind Phil Taylor in the group table. Taylor occupies the fourth and final play-off spot and will take on world number one Michael van Gerwen tonight.

  3. Millwall 'ethos' returns under Harris


    New Millwall manager Neil Harris has helped the club rediscover its identity, according to former Lions defender Matt Lawrence.

    After a short spell in caretaker charge, 37-year-old Harris was named as manager of the relegated Championship side on Wednesday - a day after their demise to League One next season was confirmed.

    "Millwall fans don't always ask for winning football but they ask for pride and passion," Lawrence told BBC London. "They were unsuccessful under Ian Holloway and Steve Lomas before him. Neil has instilled the Millwall ethos."

  4. Not always an irrelevance

    American Football

    Marty Moore

    It can't do much for your self-esteem to be described as 'Mr Irrelevant' but that is the title that awaits the 256th and last pick in the NFL draft, which concludes on Saturday.

    That said, it need not be an albatross. Ask Marty Moore, who became the first 'Mr Irrelevant' to win a Super Bowl ring with the New England Patriots.

    He's been speaking to Sporthour on BBC World Service.

  5. Howe wants to win Championship title


    Eddie Howe

    Bournemouth boss Eddie Howe says after effectively sealing a Premier League place the club would now love to finish the job with the Championship title.

    Watford hold a one-point advantage over Bournemouth, ahead of the Cherries' final game at Charlton on Saturday.

    But after missing out on the title when earning promotion from Leagues Two and One, Howe now wants some silverware.

    "Of course you do (want the title)," the 37-year-old told BBC Radio Solent. "That's been a frustration for us."

  6. Price must be right for Benteke - Sherwood


    Aston Villa forward Christian Benteke will only be allowed to leave if he wants to go and the money is right, manager Tim Sherwood says.

    Benteke has scored 10 Premier League goals in 25 games this season and there has been speculation about his future.

    "It would have to be a lot of money for anyone to take him from us," said Sherwood, who does not want to sell the in-form Belgium international. "He'd be too expensive for a great deal of clubs in the Premier League."

  7. Farah to run in Birmingham


    Mo Farah

    Mo Farah will race over 1500 metres at the Birmingham Grand Prix in June, organisers have announced.

    The double Olympic champion over 5,000m and 10,000m will step down in distance for the Diamond League event on June 7 as he looks to hone his finishing speed ahead of the World Championships in Beijing in August.

    The race will be the first time the 32-year-old has competed over 1500m since he broke the European record by clocking three minutes 28.81 seconds in Monaco two years ago.

  8. Qatar sack boss


    Djamel Belmadi

    Qatar have relieved former Manchester City and Southampton midfielder Djamel Belmadi of his duties as national coach just over a month before the start of their joint 2018 World Cup and Asian Cup qualifying campaign.

    The Qatar Football Association said: "We're currently on the look-out for a new coach. We thank Mr Belmadi for his services and co-operation. We got some very good results in his stint as coach. He was one of our finest coaches."

  9. Wedding over Warriors for Mantellato

    Rugby League

    Hull KR wing Josh Mantellato, the top points scorer in Super League this season, will miss Friday's game against Wigan Warriors because he is best man at his brother's wedding in Australia.

    The 28-year-old has scored 94 points in 11 league games this season, but told the club about the wedding when he joined them.

    "The player flew to Australia after Saturday's game against Catalans to take part in the ceremony and will be back in England this Sunday," said a Hull KR statement.

  10. Redfearn wants Thompson back at Leeds


    Neil Redfearn is keen to stay on as head coach of Leeds next season but wants suspended assistant Steve Thompson reinstated in his role.

    When Thompson was suspended without explanation earlier this month, Redfearn, 49, said he would decide on his own future at the end of the season.

    Banned owner Massimo Cellino will return to office on Sunday and Redfearn, who believes the Italian has yet to decide whether or not to keep him, expects to hold talks next week.

    When asked if he would ask the club to reconsider Thompson's position, Redfearn said: "Definitely. That's got to be resolved."

  11. Simmonds to move north


    Ellie Simmonds

    Four-time Paralympic champion Ellie Simmonds is to relocate to British Para-Swimming's National Performance Centre in Manchester to finalise her preparations for Rio 2016.

    The 20-year-old from Walsall, who won her first Paralympic gold medals in Beijing aged 13, has spent the last 18 months in Loughborough after leaving Swansea.

    Simmonds said: "Having spent a very productive 18 months at Loughborough with my coach Steve Bayley, we both agree that it is now time for me to move into the next phase of my preparations for the Rio Paralympics."

  12. Durham lights installation approved


    Durham Riverside Emirates ICG

    Floodlights are set to be installed at Durham's Emirates ICG allowing it to stage World Cup matches in 2019.

    Councillors approved six 55-metre tall floodlights which will allow the county to hold day-night international fixtures, having already hosted Test and one-day games at the venue.

    Chester-le-Street is one of 10 host Test venues put up for the tournament.

    "World Cup cricket will be coming to the north east," Durham chief executive David Harker told BBC Newcastle.

  13. Blackburn's Raya signs new contract


    David Raya has signed a new three-year contract with Championship side Blackburn Rovers. The 19-year-old Spanish goalkeeper made his solitary appearance for Rovers in the 3-0 win at Leeds earlier this month.

  14. Robinson grateful for Sussex chance


    Ollie Robinson

    Ollie Robinson has thanked Sussex for giving him a chance to re-launch his professional career following his sacking by Yorkshire last year.

    The bowler left the Tykes following "a number of unprofessional actions".

    Robinson, 21, scored a century and took four wickets on his first-class debut for Sussex in their defeat by Durham.

    "I am grateful to Sussex for giving me another chance. Eight months ago I thought I might not play county cricket again," he told BBC Sussex.

  15. Mertens tributes: Premier League clubs


    West Bromwich Albion on Twitter: "Our thoughts are with the family & friends of Lokeren's Gregory Mertens at this very sad time. #RIPGregory"

    Aston Villa on Twitter: "RIP Gregory Mertens: Our thoughts are with his family, friends and Lokeren colleagues at this very sad time."

    Chelsea on Twitter: "All at Chelsea are saddened by the death of Gregory Mertens. Our thoughts are with his family, friends and Lokeren. May he rest in peace."

    Swansea on Twitter: "Our thoughts are with the family and friends of Lokeren's Gregory Mertens at this very sad time. Rest in peace, Gregory."

  16. Guidetti punished for Rangers slur


    John Guidetti

    Celtic striker John Guidetti has been found guilty and given a warning by the Scottish FA for making an offensive comment relating to Rangers in a television interview.

    The Swede, who is on loan from English Premier League side Manchester City, sang a song on a Dutch TV channel, which appeared to make fun of Rangers' recent financial problems.

    Celtic have yet to comment, but expressed their disappointment when the SFA announced the player was to be investigated.

  17. Hawkins 2-6 Murphy


    Away from the death of Gregory Mertens, the first session of the World Snooker Championship semi-final has concluded, with Shaun Murphy opening up a 6-2 lead over Barry Hawkins.

  18. Belgian footballer Mertens dies aged 24


    Gregory Mertens

    The statement from Lokeren concludes:

    "We realise that these are incredibly difficult moments for Gregory's family. We already offer them our sincere condolences. The club remains in contact with them and will them assist them wherever possible.

    "Gregory, we will miss you!"

  19. Belgian footballer Mertens dies aged 24


    The Lokeren club statement continues:

    "The desperation of everyone in Sporting Lokeren is large: both our young players and our first-team guys, the coaching staff, employees and the board. Gregory had only been at the club for one-and-a-half years, but in that short time his quiet modesty showed himself to be an indispensable person. Now we will have to learn to live with the loss."

  20. Tributes to Gregory Mertens


    Gregory Mertens

    Chelsea attacker Thorgan Hazard, the Belgian who is on loan at Borussia Moenchengladbach, tweets: "Rest in peace Gregory Mertens -24 is too young."

    Belgium and Aston Villa striker Christian Benteke tweets: "RIP Greg you were a good guy!! My sincere condolences to the Mertens family.

    Liverpool and Belgium goalkeeper Simon Mignolet tweets: "RIP Gregory Mertens, strength to family and friends."

    Romelu Lukaku, Everton and Belgium striker, tweets: "Rest in peace Gregory Mertens ... Gone to soon..Life is crazy sometimes man... One day you're here next day you're gone."

  21. Belgian footballer Mertens dies aged 24


    More from Lokeren:

    "On Monday night during the reserve game between KRC Genk and Sporting Lokeren, Gregory suffered a heart failure.

    "Despite the good medical care of our own sports staff and colleagues in Genk, it soon appeared that the situation was very serious. Gregory was treated on the field and transferred to the hospital in Genk. The medical staff has done everything to save Gregory, but they finally had to acknowledge their impotence. Today, at 15:30 BST, Gregory died. The family has been able to say goodbye."

  22. Belgian footballer Mertens dies aged 24


    Mertens' club Lokeren have released a statement on their website.

    "Today something happened that no one could ever suspect or dare. Much too soon, we say goodbye to Gregory Mertens.

    "We are a football club. Everyone in and around the club breathes football. But suddenly something happens when we realise that football is just football. Today is such a time."

  23. The career of Gregory Mertens


    Gregory Mertens

    Gregory Mertens started his career at Anderlecht - his hometown club - in 2004.

    The centre-back went on to play for Cercle Brugge before joining Lokeren in 2014.

    He played in 15 league games this term, as well as against Hull City in the Europa League in August.

    Mertens was capped at Belgian youth level and made seven appearances for the under-21 side.

  24. Belgian footballer Mertens dies aged 24


    Mertens began his career at the country's most successful club, Anderlecht, but moved to Lokeren in January last year from Cercle Bruges.

    He had been capped several times by Belgium at under-21 level.

    Belgium suffered the loss of another young talent in January this year when 20-year-old Junior Malanda of German Bundesliga side Wolfsburg died in a car crash.

  25. Belgian footballer Mertens dies aged 24


    Gregory Mertens

    Mertens collapsed 20 minutes into a game against Genk reserves on Monday. He received treatment on the pitch before being placed in an induced coma in hospital.

  26. Belgian footballer Mertens dies aged 24


    Belgian footballer Gregory Mertens has died at the age of 24, three days after suffering a heart attack while playing for Lokeren's reserves.

  27. Garry Monk news conference

    Swansea v Stoke (Saturday, 15:00)

    It says something about Swansea's season that Saturday's game is "their biggest of the season", according to manager Garry Monk.

    Victory over Newcastle last weekend kept them in eighth place on a record tally of 50 points, three points and one place ahead of Stoke with four games remaining.

    "It's a vital game and probably the most important one of our season," Monk said. "We've been in the top 10 all year and it is important that we consolidate that position. There is a real possibility for us to finish eighth and the highest we have ever finished in the Premier League.

  28. Tim Sherwood news conference

    Aston Villa v Everton (Sat, 12:45 BST)

    @Jam_man9 suggested on Twitter that Aston Villa manager Tim Sherwood would discuss "something about tactics, win ratios and gilets being coats" in his news conference previewing Saturday's game with Everton.

    Not even close.

    Sherwood said Alan Hutton (ankle) could return but the Toffees game comes too soon for Gabby Agbonlahor (hamstring).

    Tim Sherwood

    "Alan is back in training, which is good news for us. We will assess him again on Friday," said the Villa boss.

    "Gabby is still not training. He's done some light work. We are hoping to have him back in full training at the beginning of next week though."

  29. Hawkins 2-5 Murphy


    In the blink of an eye, Shaun Murphy has won the seventh frame with a total clearance of 138. Hawkins had the break, but that was the only he shot he played. There is one more frame remaining this afternoon.

  30. On this day

    Lou Gehrig

    Before he became synonymous with the muscle-wasting disease that took his life in 1941, Lou Gehrig enjoyed an incredible baseball career.

    On this day in 1939, he set a Major League record when he played his 2,130th consecutive game for New York Yankees - a run that started in June 1925.

  31. Hawkins 2-4 Murphy


    Barry Hawkins has once again closed the gap on Shaun Murphy to two frames, dragging their World Championship semi-final back to 4-2. Murphy, though, is already in the balls in frame number seven.

  32. Arsenal starlet's mother banned


    Here's a strange one...

    Arsenal have banned the mother of young player Ainsley Maitland-Niles after she was involved in a training-ground dispute and threatened to withdraw the winger from an under-21 match.

    Police were called and arrested Jule Niles after she confronted executive Dick Law and her son's agent. No charges ensued but she has been subsequently issued with a warning.

  33. Clare Balding show


    Chris Eubank

    We're just going to leave this picture here without comment... Chris Eubank on the Clare Balding show with his son, Chris Jr.

    Watch the full interview with Eubank, his son, Chris Eubank Jr, and former QPR manager Harry Redknapp on the Clare Balding Show, Friday 1 May, 22:00 BST on BBC Two and the BBC Sport website.

  34. Tim Sherwood news conference

    Aston Villa v Everton (Sat, 12:45 BST)

    Apologies if you're still waiting to hear from Tim Sherwood. So are we...

    How about we pass the time by surmising what the garrulous Aston Villa might have to say. Send your suggestions to #bbcsportsday.

  35. Daley 'back to his best'


    Commonwealth Games gold medallist Tom Daley and other British athletes will be competing in the Diving World Series in London this weekend.

    Tom Daley

    The event is being held at the Aquatics Centre, where Daley won a bronze medal in the 10m platform during the London 2012.

    And the Plymouth man said he's "the best, most dedicated and most committed diver" he's ever been.

    You can watch for yourself this weekend. Coverage begins on Friday, 1 May on BBC Red Button and online.

  36. SPFL announces start dates


    Has your team's season fizzled out to nothing? Why not look ahead to next term, with the Scottish Professional Football League having announced the start dates for the 2015/16 campaign.

    SPFL dates
  37. Garry Monk news conference

    Swansea v Stoke (Saturday, 15:00)

    "We're all trying to break into the monopoly of the top six or seven, which is very difficult to do. Between the rest of us, the margins are very small so I look at it as two leagues within the league."

  38. Laidlaw's Edinburgh encounter

    Rugby Union

    Greig Laidlaw

    Scotland scrum-half Greig Laidlaw says he made the right his decision when he left his hometown club Edinburgh to join Premiership side Gloucester last summer.

    The two teams will meet in Friday's European Challenge Cup final, with Edinburgh hoping to become the first Scottish side to win a European trophy.

    "It was the right decision to move away," said 29-year-old Laidlaw.

    "I've really enjoyed it and feel I've played a lot of good rugby this year. I'll need to do that again on Friday."

  39. Pearson apologises


    The journalist at the centre of "ostrichgate", Ian Baker, has just tweeted Nigel Pearson's apology from Thursday's news conference.

    Ian Baker Twitter
  40. #bestbossrant

    Get involved

    We asked you to vote on which managerial rant was the best and 35% of you have gone for Kevin Keegan's "I would love it" outburst.

    You've all let me down. How can it be a proper rant without a swearie?

    At least Sir Alex Ferguson's "You're all ******* idiots" diatribe attracted 12% - the same share as Rafa Benitez's "I want to talk about facts" tantrum.

  41. Mark Hughes news conference

    Swansea v Stoke (Saturday, 15:00)

    Peter Odemwingie and Mark Hughes

    Stoke boss Mark Hughes has confirmed: "Peter Odemwingie will play a big part in the under-21 game on Monday. Possibly after that he'll be good to start."

    The 33-year-old forward has been out eight months out with a cruciate knee ligament injury, but returned as a substitute against Sunderland last week.

  42. Nigel Pearson news conference

    Leicester v Newcastle (Saturday, 12:45 BST)

    Pearson's said sorry and we're all friends again... can we get on with the football now?

    The Leicester manager says that defender Robert Huth and midfielder Andy King are injury doubts for the visit of Newcastle, while David Nugent is out. Jeff Schlupp is available, though.

    "It's important for us to go into the last few games with our destiny in our own hands," Pearson says. "There's still a lot of hard work to be done. At the moment there's a strange perception that there's not. There is."

  43. Pearson apologises


    Nigel Pearson

    Leicester manager Nigel Pearson has publically apologised after his rant at a journalist on Wednesday night, following his side's 3-1 defeat by Chelsea.

    Ian Baker, the freelance journalist who was the subject of the incident, attended Thursday's news conference - which was meant to be concentrating on Leicester's game with Newcastle on Saturday.

    "Apologies," said Pearson. "They wheel us out and I was not happy about losing.

    "I react. Is it pressure? It might be. It's emotion more than anything. I'm not afraid of showing my emotion.

    "I also accept when I've stepped out of line so it is only right to apologise."

  44. Mark Hughes news conference

    Swansea v Stoke (Saturday, 15:00)

    Mark Hughes

    Stoke boss Mark Hughes has started his news conference ahead of their away trip to Swansea.

    "We need to make sure we finish the season well. Swansea have achieved their record points haul and we are looking to do that too," he said.

  45. The in-demand 11-year-old


    If you read today's Gossip Column, you will have seen that the Daily Mail reports Arsenal, Chelsea and Spurs are all chasing Luton Town 11-year-old Charlie Patino.

    Hatters boss John Still has been talking to BBC Three Counties Radio about the speculation.

    "It's how football is at the moment but it is what it is," said Still. "The compensation you get for young boys now is nothing so we'll see what happens with that.

    "I'd be more inclined to advise him to go to a Championship club than a Premier League club. He'd get a better opportunity to be a first-team player and go from there. At 10 or 11 you haven't had an education in football yet."

  46. Mayweather v Pacquiao - a guide


    Graphic of the records of Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao

    This weekend, American legend Floyd Mayweather will fight Philippine great Manny Pacquiao at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. It's a bout so big that everybody is talking about it - so it's probably best you know your stuff.

    Wow your hairdresser with tales of Mayweather's wealth and Pacquiao's upbringing; surprise your accountant with massive numbers; embarrass your ex's new partner with your superior knowledge of boxing tactics.

    And be sure to keep this in your pocket at all times if you are attending a dinner party between now and Saturday - you don't want to look like a complete idiot.

  47. Hawkins 0-3 Murphy


    There's no stopping Shaun Murphy in the first session of his World Championship semi-final against Barry Hawkins. The former champ is 3-0 up against the beaten finalist of 2013.

  48. Murray eases through in Munich


    That'll be that, then. Andy Murray has breezed through the first match of his clay-court season at the Munich Open, sweeping aside Mischa Zverev 6-2 6-2.

    The top seed will play Czech Lukas Rosol in the next round, with the Scot hoping to claim his first senior title on clay come Sunday.

  49. Gundogan to leave Dortmund


    Ilkay Gundogan

    Borussia Dortmund have confirmed that midfielder Ilkay Gundogan will not renew his contract, which expires in 2016. The obvious implication is that he will be leaving this summer, with Manchester United among the clubs linked with the combative Germany international.

  50. Terry tops scoring charts


    John Terry

    John Terry's goal in Chelsea's 3-1 win over Leicester on Wednesday was his 38th in the league drew him level with David Unsworth as the highest scoring defender in Premier League history.

  51. Ronald Koeman news conference

    Sunderland v Southampton (15:00 BST)

    Koeman on compatriot and Sunderland manager Dick Advocaat: "He's a man with a lot of experience in difficult circumstances. After Saturday, I wish him the best. He will give them the fighting spirit to stay in Premier League."

    And on his ambitions for the final few weeks of the season: "I'd like to get into Europe. It's good for the players, for the club and for the fans. We know [playing in Europe] would make the Premier League difficult, but that's a problem for next season."

  52. Ronald Koeman news conference

    Sunderland v Southampton (15:00 BST)

    Ronald Koeman

    The last time these sides met, Southampton recorded a staggering 8-0 win.

    "We had unbelievable help from the players of Sunderland. It was so strange," says Koeman of that day.

    "We didn't play really well. We scored great goals, but the game of this Saturday will be totally different. They have two home games and they need two wins. That means a lot of pressure and we have to prepare for that."

    The Dutch coach adds that Dusan Tadic is out of Saturday's game with a groin problem.

  53. Ronald Koeman news conference

    Sunderland v Southampton (15:00 BST)

    Ronald Koeman has not arrived quite yet but the word coming from Southampton is that midfielder Morgan Schneiderlin will miss the remainder of the campaign with injury.

    Could it be that the coveted Frenchman has played his last game for the club?

  54. Flanagan faces another op - reports


    Jon Flanagan

    BBC Merseyside sport are reporting that Liverpool defender Jon Flanagan is out for another six to nine months further knee surgery. The young defender has been struggling with the injury since pre-season and has not appeared in the first team this term.

  55. World Snooker Championship update


    Former World Champion Shaun Murphy capitalises on a Barry Hawkins mistake to go two frames up in their semi-final in Sheffield.

    You can watch all the action from The Crucible via this link, on BBC Two and the red button.

  56. Ask a silly question...

    Clare Balding Show

    On her BBC Two show, Clare Balding asked guest Chris Eubank about his philosophy on life. Big mistake...

    Watch the full interview with Eubank, his son, Chris Eubank Jr, and former QPR manager Harry Redknapp on the Clare Balding Show, Friday 1 May, 22:00 BST on BBC Two and the BBC Sport website.

  57. VOTE: Best managerial rants

    Get involved

    We all love a good rant, and Nigel Pearson's inspired us to think back to some of the greatest managerial meltdowns in football.

    Have a look at this list and then cast your vote for your favourite on the right-hand side of this page, or using the vote tab on your mobile or tablet.

    Sir Alex Ferguson

    We'll shut the vote at 14:45 BST. Here are the full terms and conditions

  58. #bestbossrant

    Get involved

    Not strictly a manager's rant, this one, but it's an entertaining watch nonetheless.

    Neil Lennon answers a journalist's phone during a news conference and is greeted by an angry wife...

  59. Tim Sherwood news conference

    Aston Villa v Everton (Saturday, 15:00 BST)

    Tim Sherwood

    Radio reporters are currently getting up close and personal with Aston Villa boss Tim Sherwood, as pictured by the club's Twitter account.

    We'll bring you all the best news from Sherwood's natter, pre-Everton at home, when we get it.

  60. Murray wins first set in Munich


    Andy Murray has made a solid start to the clay-court season at the Munich Open, taking the first set against Germany's Mischa Zverev 6-2 in 28 minutes.

    Murray is playing his first match in Munich, his first match under the guidance of new coach Jonas Bjorkman, and his first match as a married man.

  61. Hawkins 0-1 Murphy


    Former world champion Shaun Murphy has made a good start to the semi-final against Barry Hawkins, rolling in a break of 92 to win the first frame at the Crucible.

    Murphy, by the way, is wearing a blue combo, broken by the red back of his waistcoat. Snazzy.

  62. Post update

    Phil McNulty

    BBC Sport chief football writer

    "And this is not the first incident involving Pearson this season after he was fined £10,000 and served a one-match touchline ban for "using abusive and/or insulting words towards a spectator" after he was criticised in the home loss to Liverpool.

    "He then grabbed Crystal Palace's James McArthur by the throat after a touchline collision and also aimed verbal abuse at a journalist at the end of another press conference following the goalless home draw to Hull City in March.

    "Leicester City, as a club, could not be more welcoming and accommodating - sadly this latest incident has created headlines of the wrong sort and Pearson must accept responsibility."

  63. Pearson reaction


    Phil McNulty

    BBC Sport chief football writer

    "The sad consequence of Leicester City manager Nigel Pearson's bizarre post-match behaviour was that it actually overshadowed what was a very good performance by his team, even in defeat against champions-elect Chelsea.

    "It is inevitable that there will be cut and thrust between journalists and managers in press conferences that might lead to heated exchanges - but this was something different.

    "The question from journalist Ian Baker to Pearson about criticism of Leicester was civil, reasonable and came towards the end of a briefing in which the tone of questions about Leicester was very positive, even if the manager was in spiky mood from the start.

    "Pearson's reaction was a churlish, out of proportion, ham-fisted attempt to belittle his questioner and sadly even carried an air of bullying which reflected badly on the 51-year-old."

  64. Tim Sherwood news conference

    Aston Villa v Everton (Saturday, 15:00 BST)

    Still no sign of Sherwood...

    The former Tottenham manager has won five and drawn five of his 11 games in charge of Villa but that doesn't excuse tardiness.

  65. John Carver news conference

    Leicester v Newcastle (Saturday, 12:45 BST)

    John Carver has won only two of his 16 games in charge of Newcastle, and it's pulled the Magpies in the relegation mire.

    John Carver

    They now face fourth-from-bottom Leicester on Saturday.

    "Four weeks ago Leicester were dead and buried but Nigel has turned them around and they are in with a chance of staying up," Carver said of his Foxes counterpart.

    "It's the biggest game of the weekend, and huge for both sides. We need to stop this rot and get a result."

  66. Newcastle United news conference

    Leicester v Newcastle (Saturday, 12:45 BST)

    Newcastle United boss John Carver have been speaking to the media before his side's game with Leicester.

    First up, some team news.

    "Siem de Jong is ready for this weekend, after playing 90 minutes for the Under-21s, but he's not ready to start," said Carver. "Paul Dummett and Moussa Sissoko coming back into the group this week has given us a lift."

  67. A right Pudding...



    Here's a warning for any football fan who thinks it's a good idea to run on to the pitch topless and perform somersaults...

    Charlie Sumner, 20, did just that during Reading's FA Cup quarter-final replay with Bradford City last month. In front of a live BBC One audience, the Reading supporter - nicknamed "Pudding" - executed four front flips before stewards huckled him away.

    At Reading Magistrates' Court on Thursday, a banning order for three years was imposed. He was also fined £265.

  68. Cowley named new Braintree boss


    Conference club Braintree Town have named Danny Cowley as their new manager.

    The 36-year-old, who was in charge at Conference South club Concord Rangers, succeeds former West Ham and England midfielder Alan Devonshire, who parted company with Braintree earlier this month.

  69. World Championship semi-finals


    The first of the last-four ties is getting underway at the Crucible, with Shaun Murphy facing fellow Englishman Barry Hawkins. Watch it live here.

  70. 'See you tomorrow, Nigel...'


    Ian Baker's Twitter

    Journalist-of-the-moment Ian Baker rounded off Wednesday night's news conference duel with Nigel Pearson by saying "Thanks Nigel, see you tomorrow".

    Ahead of round two at 14:00 BST, he told BBC Sport that the Leicester manager is "always a challenge" to interview.

    And in a piece for the Express, Baker says Pearson is "engaging company" off-camera and "a real man-manager and intelligent guy".

    He added: "I'm not sure if I will get an apology - I am not expecting one but I will have the grace to accept it if one is offered."

  71. Tim Sherwood news conference

    Aston Villa v Everton (Saturday, 15:00 BST)

    Aston Villa

    The scene is set, now we're just waiting for Tim Sherwood to arrive...

  72. Murray delayed


    We're still waiting for Andy Murray to take to court for his match with world No 653 Mischa Zverev in round two of the BMW Open in Munich. The latest missive from the organisers is that the world No.3 and top seed will not get underway before 13:20 BST.

  73. Boyce and Curran sign County deals


    Liam Boyce of Ross County

    Ross County have extended the contracts of strikers Liam Boyce and Craig Curran until the summer of 2017. They have been instrumental as County have lifted themselves off the bottom of the Scottish Premiership to the brink of avoiding relegation.

  74. Football


    Phil McNulty

    BBC Sport chief football writer

    Oleg Blokhin

    One of the media highlights of Euro 2012 was the reaction of then Ukraine coach Oleg Blokhin when he was questioned by a local journalist after their defeat to England in Donetsk.

    The notoriously combustible Blokhin reacted to what he regarded as hostile question by inviting the journalist "outside for a man talk" - making his point even further by pointing towards the door and offering up some comedy shadow boxing with clenched fists just to let it be known the meeting could go beyond some "man talk."

    The offer, politely and very wisely, was declined.

  75. Inzaghi close to Milan exit?


    Filippo Inzaghi is on the brink of becoming the third AC Milan coach to be sacked in little more than a year, after the 3-1 humiliation at home to Genoa.

    Italian media are reporting that youth team coach Cristian Brocchi could take over for the final five matches of the season, in an attempt to save the club from further embarrassment.

    Inzaghi said on Wednesday night he wanted to continue, but that he was expecting to learn his fate "by tomorrow".

  76. Snooker not equal - Evans


    Reanne Evans, the 10-time ladies' champion, has criticised World Snooker chairman Barry Hearn's efforts to close the gender divide in the sport.

    Evans failed in her bid to play against the men at this year's World Championship, losing in qualifying.

    "Barry says it is equal opportunity but it is not", the 29-year-old told Radio 4's World At One programme.

  77. Nacewa to rejoin Leinster

    Rugby Union

    Leinster have announced that Fiji international back Isa Nacewa is to rejoin them for next season.

    Nacewa, 32, previously spent five years with Leinster, helping them to three Heineken Cup final triumphs and a PRO12 title.

    "As soon as we became aware that he was keen on a return, it was something that we have worked hard to get over the line," Leinster head coach Matt O'Connor said.

  78. 2000 Guineas

    Horse racing

    Cornelius Lysaght

    BBC horse racing correspondent

    "2000 Guineas plans coming together: Ryan Moore to ride Aidan O'Brien-trained Gleneagles and trainer's son Joseph on Ol' Man River, Paul Hanagan on Hamdan al Maktoum's Greenham 2nd Estidhkaar (one of four Richard Hannon-trained hopes) and Dane O'Neill on Intilaaq."

  79. Davies out for rest of season


    Ben Davies

    Tottenham and Wales left-back Ben Davies is out for the rest of the season after having surgery on the shoulder he dislocated at Southampton last weekend.

    The 22-year-old has made 14 Premier League appearances for Spurs since joining from Swansea last summer.

  80. Derbyshire's Godleman suspended


    Derbyshire batsman Billy Godleman has been banned until 13 May under the England & Wales Cricket Board's directives.

    Godleman was reported for throwing the ball near a player, umpire or official in an inappropriate and dangerous manner during Derbyshire's game with Gloucestershire.

    The left-hander received six penalty points, added to the three he received in September last year, triggering the ban.

  81. #bestbossrant

    Get involved

    Jim McLean

    Managers ranting is one thing, but what about being attacked by one?

    That was the fate suffered by BBC Scotland's John Barnes in 2000 when he asked legendary former Dundee United manager - then chairman - Jim McLean about the future of boss Alex Smith.

    Wee Jum didn't like the question so stepped menacingly towards Barnes and out of shot before an ominous thud is heard...

  82. Weber to stay on as Blaze coach

    Ice Hockey

    Coventry Blaze coach Chuck Weber has signed to stay with the Elite League Play-Offs champions for another season.

    After his success in leading the Midlands side to their first trophy in five years, the 42-year-old American is aiming for more silverware in 2015-16.

    "I am excited to be back for another year and build on the strong finish from last season," he said.

  83. Get involved #bestbossrant

    Jay: Rafa Benitez should win the #bestbossrant contest hands down. Which other manager bothered to prepare a rant in advance - in writing?

    Peter Hatch: Jim McClean, Dundee Utd chairman: 'Don't offer me that again...'

    Sean Williamson: Mark Grew after Port Vale fell apart in the second half at Leyton Orient in 2007.

  84. Zimbabwe confirm tour of Pakistan


    Zimbabwe have confirmed that they will tour Pakistan in May, the first time a Test-playing side has visited the country since the Lahore terrorist attack on the Sri Lanka in 2009.

    Since then, Pakistan have played most of their 'home' fixtures in the UAE, but have hosted tours of Associate ICC members Kenya and Afghanistan.

    Zimbabwe will play three ODIs and two T20s and will then host Pakistan in August.

  85. Liverpool owners 'must stay strong'


    Liverpool's owners should avoid knee-jerk reactions to a disappointing season, says the club's former chief executive Rick Parry.

    A 1-0 defeat at struggling Hull means the Reds are unlikely to qualify for the Champions League next season. They will also finish without a major trophy for the third straight season.

    "You have to stay strong. You've got to stick to your principles and not be blown this way and that," said Parry, chief executive at Anfield until 2009.

  86. #bestbossrant

    Get involved

    Call off the search, we have a winner...

    Step forward John Sitton, co-manager of second division strugglers Leyton Orient in 1994/95. A documentary crew were following the team during the campaign and were in the dressing room at half-time of a game at Blackpool when this exchange with two players happened...

    "You, you little ****, when I tell you to do something - and you, you ******* big **** - when I tell you to do something, do it.

    "And if you come back at me we can have a right sort out in here, all right? And yer can pair up if yer like, and you can ******* pick someone to help yer, and yer can bring yer dinner n' all. Cos by the time I've finished with yer, you'll ******* need it.

    "Do you ******* hear what I'm saying or not?"

    We hear you, John.

  87. Potter demoted by Dunfermline


    John Potter

    John Potter has been demoted from his position as Dunfermline Athletic manager and will return to his previous role as head coach.

    Potter replaced Jim Jefferies in December, having been groom to succeed the veteran. But, with the Fifers missing out on the promotion play-offs in Scotland's League One, the club have decided to appoint a new manager.

  88. Dortmund keeper apologises to Lewandowski


    Borussia Dortmund goalkeeper Mitchell Langerak has apologised to former team-mate Robert Lewandowski after their goal-mouth collision left the Bayern Munich striker with a fractured cheekbone, nose and concussion.

    Ex-Dortmund forward Lewandowski, who has scored 23 goals in his first season with Bayern, spent Tuesday night in a Munich hospital following the collision with Langerak in extra time during Dortmund's German Cup semi-final win.

    "Robert and I are friends and of course I am sorry for what happened," said Langerak. "I hope he can play as soon as possible. Anyone who knows me knows it wasn't intentional and that I wanted to clear the ball."

    Collision in German Cup semi-final
  89. 1985 final rewind


    Steve Davis and Dennis Taylor

    It was beyond midnight when Dennis Taylor lifted his arms aloft in celebration, having potted the final black to seal a remarkable 18-17 victory over Steve Davis in the 1985 World Snooker Championship final.

    Can thirty years really have passed since then?

    Watch a special 'rewind' of the final frame on the Red Button now and follow a live text commentary here.

  90. Mum knows best

    Rugby Union

    Mike Phillips

    Wales scrum-half Mike Phillips says dealing with his mother's response to his off-field antics has been the worst aspect of his career.

    The 32-year-old Racing Metro player has been suspended by Wales and sacked by Bayonne during a 93-cap career.

    "The worst thing is dealing with my mother, really, and there's been a few moments where I've kind of let her down," he told BBC Sport Wales.

    Sounds like you don't want to get on the wrong side of Mrs Phillips.

  91. Famous football manager rants


    It appears Nigel Pearson isn't alone.

    There's been a few rants down the years and here, in a handy three-and-a-half minute video, are some memorable classics.

    You can watch it on this link or by clicking on the highlights tab above.

  92. Alonso heading for retirement?

    Formula 1

    Fernando Alonso

    Fernando Alonso's "frustrations" at McLaren might be a reason the double world champion is hinting at retirement, according to former team-mate Nelson Piquet Jr.

    Alonso, 33, has yet to score a point on his return to McLaren, nor has the team scored points in the first four races.

    The Spaniard recently said "he was looking at other things", and thinking about "different priorities in life".

    And Piquet Jr responded: "He's paid a lot of money to do what he does best and he wants to deliver. But when there are no means to do it you will have a very frustrated person."

  93. #BestBossRant

    Get Involved

    After Nigel Pearson's outburst at a journalist (are we calling it ostrichgate yet?), we want to hear your favourite rants from managers.

    Get involved yourself using the hashtag #BestBossRant on Twitter, or on Facebook on the Match of the Day page.

    Carl Grayson: "Has to be Kevin Keegan's rant! 'I would love it if we beat them!'"

    Sam Robson: "'The game is wrong. The people in charge of the game are wrong. They are so wrong this is frightening.' - Ian Holloway"

    Patrick McKenna: David Jeffrey going nuts about a laser pen.

    David Jeffery

    We've delved into the BBC archives for this one from Linfield boss Jeffrey. It's worth a watch.

  94. I'm very moody - Pearson


    Nigel Pearson

    Nigel Pearson was interviewed by the Guardian last week and had some enlightening things to say about his persona.

    The Leicester manager talked of being "very moody" and of having no time for bad questions in news conferences. He also claimed he is prone to making a "flippant remark from time to time" and that "there's a bit of mischief in there".

    So was his outburst on Tuesday mischief or something more unpleasant? You decide...

  95. ECB contact Stewart


    BBC Radio 4

    Alec Stewart

    Former England captain Stewart also confirmed that he has been contacted by the ECB over the new role of cricket director, with the former wicketkeeper saying he has received a "skeleton" job description.

    "I've said all along that I was interested," said Stewart, the Surrey director of cricket. "I've probably got the best job in domestic cricket, but it would be rude and wrong not to listen to what they are creating at the ECB.

    "Then, you sit back and see. Is it the right job for you, do the ECB think you are the right person for the job?"

  96. Stewart expects Root to captain England

    BBC Radio 4

    Stewart also said that he expects Joe Root to captain England at some stage of his career, but this summer may be too early for the 24-year-old Yorkshire batsman.

    "Joe Root is having a fantastic time with England and he's got a good cricket brain," said Stewart.

    "I'd expect him to be captain at some stage. Whether this summer is a little bit too early, we'll have to wait and see. He's a first pick in all forms and someone who will be around at the 2019 World Cup."

    Joe Root
  97. Morgan should captain v Ireland - Stewart

    BBC Radio 4

    Eoin Morgan should have returned from the IPL to captain England in their one-day international against Ireland next week, according to former skipper Alec Stewart.

    Eoin Morgan

    Morgan will remain part of the Sunrisers Hyderabad squad as a result of a long-standing agreement with the ECB. James Taylor will captain in his absence.

    "For him to miss the game against Ireland is a little disappointing, especially as he's not a first pick in the IPL," Stewart told the Today programme on BBC Radio 4. "When you are captain you should come back and lead. It's something the ECB should look at."

  98. #bestbossrant

    Get involved

    Joe Kinnear

    Today we're asking for your favourite managerial rants. How about this gem from Joe Kinnear on his fourth day (!) in charge of Newcastle in 2008...

    Kinnear, walking into a news conference: Which one is Simon Bird [Daily Mirror journalist]?

    Bird: Me.

    Kinnear: You're a ****.

    Bird: Thank you

    Kinnear: Which one is [Niall] Hickman [Daily Express]? You are out of order. Absolutely ******* out of order. If you do it again, I am telling you you can **** off and go to another ground. I will not come and stand for that ****** ****. No ****** way, lies. **** you're saying I turned up and they ****** off.

  99. Thursday's gossip column


    Morgan Schneiderlin

    Which Premier League club wants to sign Southampton midfielder Morgan Schneiderlin?

    Is Patrick Bamford heading to Newcastle United?

    Who's trying to capture the signature of Luton starlet Charlie Patino?

    Get your football gossip fix right here.

  100. Thompson appointed new Steelers boss

    Ice hockey

    Sheffield Steelers have appointed former Great Britain boss Paul Thompson as their new head coach and general manager on a two-year contract.

    He replaces Gerad Adams, who was released by the Steelers despite leading them to the Elite League title.

    Thompson, 47, was previously with Danish club Aalborg, and said: "I hadn't any intention of returning to the UK but Sheffield and the Steelers, well that's different."

  101. Gregory Mertens update


    Gregory Mertens

    Belgian defender Gregory Mertens remains critical in hospital after he collapsed with a heart-related illness on Monday.

    The 24-year-old Lokeren player was given CPR in the first half of the reserve-team game with Genk, and remains in an induced coma on a life support machine.

    Lokeren have decided to let their Pro League game with Westerlo go ahead on Friday as scheduled.

  102. I would walk 50,000 miles


    Kirsty Gilmour's being put through her paces before Rio 2016.

    Kirsty Gilmour

    The British number one women's player is set to embark on a lengthy qualification process, and will clock up almost 50,000 miles over the next 12 months in a bid to reach the Olympic Games next summer.

    The 21-year-old Scot heads to a training camp in Singapore before ranking events in Australia, Indonesia, USA, Spain, Japan, Korea, Denmark, France and Germany.

    Think of the air miles, Kirsty.

  103. St Helens sign full-back McDonnell

    Rugby League

    Shannon McDonnell

    St Helens have signed full-back Shannon McDonnell until the end of next season.

    The 27-year-old Australian played three games for the Super League champions in 2014 before he fractured his jaw and moved to Sydney-based Wests Tigers.

    "It's clear with Jonny Lomax out for the season and Paul Wellens sidelined we need cover at full-back, as well as in the backs," Saints chief executive Mike Rush told the club website.

  104. #BestBossRant

    Get Involved

    Here's some of your best managerial rant suggestions so far:

    Nathan Kennedy: Gordon Strachan after a journalist's phone went off, not seen anything better.

    Joe Hill: Billy Davies at Nottingham Forest giving a post-match press conference BEFORE the match (v Leicester) was pretty special.

    James Clarke: Never forget Paolo's 'Leeeeeeaaaaaggguuueee Onnneeee' rant after subbing the keeper.

    Keep them coming on Twitter via the hashtag #BestBossRant or on our Match of the Day Facebook page.

  105. World Championship


    The semi-finals of the World Snooker Championship begin on Thursday, with four Englishman still in the frame for the title.

    Shaun Murphy and Barry Hawkins will take to the table at 13:00 BST, with Judd Trump and Stuart Bingham following at 19:00 BST.

    Dennis Taylor

    To whet your appetite, BBC Sport will be broadcasting the final frame of the iconic 1985 final between Dennis Taylor and Steve Davis on the red button from 11:40 BST, with accompanying rewind live text commentary on the website.

  106. Sound and fury

    Manchester Evening News reporter Stuart Mathieson tweets: "Nigel Pearson calling a journalist an ostrich? Nothing compared to phoning Fergie every morning for 15 years."

    While the Non-League Paper's Sam Elliott tweets: "Nigel Pearson calling a reporter 'an ostrich' is all very well but he can't top Woking manager Garry Hill who calls us press "the ferrets"!"

  107. QPR news conference

    Liverpool v QPR (Saturday, 15:00 BST)

    Rio Ferdinand is back in training and the former England defender will be in QPR's squad to face Liverpool if he's fit, according to boss Chris Ramsey.

  108. QPR news conference

    Liverpool v QPR (Saturday, 15:00 BST)

    Defiant boss Chris Ramsey spoke to the press this morning, with QPR fighting to escape the Premier League relegation zone.

    "We need to play with the spirit that we have in recent games. We have to be positive and try our best to pick up points.

    "The mood around the camp is still fantastic. Nobody's chin is on the ground. We do believe we can stay up. We know it's going to be difficult but we're all up for it."

    Bobby Zamora

    Ramsey also revealed Bobby Zamora is struggling for fitness for the trip to Anfield.

  109. Sam Allardyce news conference

    West Ham v Burnley (15:00 BST)

    "Players always need to do the best they possibly can, because as soon as you don't reach that you come under pressure. What you have to do is get the results and then that pressure turns to somebody else."

  110. West Ham news conference

    West Ham v Burnley (15:00 BST)

    "We're in a run that we know we should have done a lot better from, but we want to enjoy the next four games by performing well and winning.

    "The true fact of the matter is that we should have nailed our best finish for many years a long time ago. We don't want to be disappointed at the end of the season."

  111. West Ham news conference

    West Ham v Burnley (15:00 BST)

    Big Sam has arrived...

    "Our injury list stays the same," he tells a rapt audience. "Unfortunately there's nobody back from last week which means the same squad and another start for Reece Burke.

    "We're going into the game looking to get the win playing at home. Burnley play a similar way to QPR, who we played last week. We've got to cover the strengths and exploit the weaknesses. We've been a little short on goals so we need that clean sheet that we got last week and take our chances."

  112. #Bestbossrant

    Get Involved

    After Leicester manager Nigel Pearson called a journalist an "ostrich", "stupid" and "daft" during a post-match news conference, we want to hear your favourite managerial rants.

    Get involved on Twitter via the hashtag #BestBossRant and on the Match of the Day Facebook page.

    Paolo Di Canio

    We'll get you started with a classic piece of Paolo Di Canio, circa 2013, during his Swindon managerial days.

    To quote: "I will move my body, my arms, my legs. They cannot send me off."

  113. Sam Allardyce news conference

    West Ham v Burnley (15:00 BST)

    We're waiting for Big Sam to appear for his pre-match news conference. Currently, we're looking at an empty chair. It has nothing to say.

  114. Roberto Martinez news conference

    Aston Villa v Everton (Saturday, 15:00)

    Aaron Lennon

    Everton manager Roberto Martinez discussed the future of Tottenham loanee Aaron Lennon on Thursday morning.

    The England international has three games left of his spell at Goodison Park and Martinez said: "We'll sit down with him and it's a three-way conversation.

    "He's enjoying his football and he fits in really well. I'm sure Tottenham will be pleased with him.

    "We need to three parties to be happy and we all are. Conversations haven't taken place yet. He's got three game to fight for his place."

  115. On this day

    Preston win the FA Cup

    In 1938, Preston beat Huddersfield 1-0 in the first FA Cup final to be televised in its entirety by the BBC.