Former snooker ace Willie Thorne dies at 66

first_img(BBC) – Former snooker star and BBC commentator Willie Thorne has died at the age of 66, says World Snooker.Thorne was diagnosed with leukaemia in March and was taken to hospital in Spain last week with dangerously low blood pressure.He retired from professional snooker in 2001 and for many years was a respected BBC commentator.Thorne reached two World Championship quarter-finals during his career and won the 1985 Mercantile Credit Classic.He twice reached a world ranking of seven and spent 20 years among the top 32, before moving into a commentary career spanning more than 30 years with BBC, ITV and Sky.With snooker’s popularity soaring during the mid-1980s, Thorne featured in a group of leading players who joined Chas and Dave to perform their song Snooker Loopy, which reached number six in the UK charts in 1986.A GoFundMe page set up to help pay for his treatment had passed £17 000 by Tuesday afternoon, when it was disclosed he had been placed into an induced coma.His carer, Julie O’Neill, wrote on the page yesterday: “It is with a very heavy and broken heart that I have to officially announce that at 01:55hr this morning Willie Thorne lost his battle and passed away.“Willie went into septic shock and was not responding to any treatment so the decision was made by the hospital to turn off the machines.“I was with him all the way to his end and reading out messages to him from people. He passed away very peacefully and without pain, listening to his children saying they love him. That gives me some comfort in this difficult time.”Known as Mr Maximum, Thorne was the third player to reach the landmark of 100 centuries and made a 147 in the 1987 UK Championship.‘A marvellous snooker player and a lovely man’Archive interview: I’d much rather play the attractive game – Willie ThorneBorn in Leicester, Thorne was a long-term friend of ex-footballer Gary Lineker and the former England and Leicester City striker said he was “deeply saddened” by the news.Writing on social media, the Match of the Day presenter added: “One of life’s great characters. A marvellous snooker player and a lovely man, who’s potted his final black much too soon. RIP Willie.”Crowd favourite Ronnie O’Sullivan wrote: “Just want to say what a beautiful man, big heart, great company. Had a week in Ireland with him I’ll never forget. Will be missed by a lot of people in the Snooker world. RIP WT.”Former world champion Dennis Taylor, a long-standing colleague of Thorne in the commentary box, said they had “laughed our way around the world for 45 years”, adding: “RIP Great One. That was my name for him. The Great WT. Lots of love to his family.”World Snooker chairman Barry Hearn said: “I had the pleasure of managing the Great WT as part of the Matchroom team in the 1980s. He was a larger-than-life personality and he was a major part of the rebirth of snooker at that time. It’s so sad to hear he has passed away and our thoughts are with his family.”Six-time world champion Steve Davis, part of Hearn’s Matchroom stable, said: “I hope you had a lovely time on the planet, Willie, and any regrets were overshadowed by the fun and games you had and the smiles you put on other people’s faces.”Stephen Hendry, a seven-time world title winner, wrote: “Very sad news today, Willie was one of my favourite people in snooker. I know he had faults and weaknesses (we all do) but he was one of the game’s greatest ever characters, I’ll miss him.”In 2016, Thorne was declared bankrupt after admitting borrowing £1M to fund his gambling addiction.last_img read more

Women’s harriers travel to Minnesota

first_imgThe Badger women’s cross-country team heads up to Minnesota this weekend to participate in the Roy Griak Invitational at the Les Bolstad Golf Course in Minneapolis.This is the first real test for the Badgers this season, and the first opportunity for the leading returning runners to run.”It is always a really strong meet,” head coach Jim Stintzi said. “There will be probably five to 10 teams that are ranked in the top 30 in the country, and I haven’t broken it down, but there are a number of very good teams that will be there. It will be a good test for us.”Not only will it be a good early test for the Badgers, but Les Bolstad also happens to be the site of this year’s Big Ten Championship. However, Stintzi isn’t sure if seeing the course ahead of time is always a good thing.”Sometimes seeing the course is a good thing and sometimes it is a bad thing,” Stintzi said. “You have these preconceived notions going into the Big Ten meet about what the course is going to be like.”Stintzi believes the level of competition present and the opportunity to qualify for nationals is of much more importance.”To ensure at spot at the NCAAs, you have to beat some teams from outside of your region, and typically they have to be good teams,” Stintzi said. “This is one of the meets in which you will get teams from all over the country.”His main focus, however, is to just get a solid race in for the 12 athletes that are going to run.While there is open entry in the women’s race, Big Ten rules stipulate that only 12 athletes can travel with the team.The coach hopes to use this race as well as those leading up to the Big Ten Championship race to get his order set.Stintzi has a bunch of new runners at his disposal for this weekend including Linsey Smith, a fifth-year senior, who sat out last year as a redshirt. But the team will also be without ‘A Havahla Haynes, last year’s number two runner, who is sidelined with an ankle injury.Even with the loss of Haynes, Stinzi is confident in this year’s collection of runners.”I think we’ll be much stronger than last year,” Stintzi said. “I think we will be very competitive in this meet.”last_img read more

Field smarts, finesse thrust Rice into expanded attack role

first_img Related Stories Orange beats Hofstra, Holy Cross in scrimmages with early burst, depth Kevin Rice saw himself as a college basketball player. On the court, he displayed the same seasoned knack for positioning and finishing that helped him excel on the soccer and lacrosse fields.There was only one problem with that, though. Rice is just 5-foot-8.“I never wanted to say it couldn’t happen,” Rice’s father Steve said. “But I just felt that if he wanted to play at the highest level of a sport that would have to be lacrosse because of size.”Entering his sophomore season for Syracuse, Rice is set to play regular, meaningful collegiate minutes for the first time in his career. He’ll do so in his preferred feeding role from behind the net, orchestrating attacks with the skill, vision and quick first step that stays sharp regardless of his size. He started Saturday’s scrimmage against Hofstra and helped key the Orange’s early dismantling of the No. 17 Pride.Rice played just six games last year, and while he doesn’t tell his father about his blossoming starting prospects, when asked what the biggest change in his game from last season is, his answer was simply playing time.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textHe’s bulked up in preparation, but it’s his finesse and attacking instincts that are allowing him to challenge for a place in SU’s starting lineup.“Even last year as a freshman he was comfortable when he was given a shot,” junior attack Derek Maltz said. “I think the coaching staff and some of the older guys on this team knew what he was capable of doing.”In the first four minutes of the scrimmage against Hofstra, the Orange put the Pride under intense pressure, wildly dashing around Hofstra’s goal.Rice picked out Luke Cometti, who was losing his man and darting toward the goal. Rice tossed a simple pass to Cometti, who put the Orange up 1-0.He calmly exchanged passes with Billy Ward and JoJo Marasco behind the net, and found defense-splitting cutters Cometti and Maltz around the crease.The early goals showcased the time Rice spent in the fall practicing extra shots and cuts with Maltz, but it was also the product of a childhood full of watching his sisters Adrian and Stephanie practice, coached by their father. Car-ride conversations with his father, talking through different scenarios, plays and passing combinations sharpened his touch for the game.“You can find ways to beat defenders even when they’re more athletic than you are by knowing your sets and knowing the skillsets of the guys you’re playing with,” Rice said.Though Rice isn’t physically imposing, he has a pair of 6-foot-3, 200-pound targets in Cometti and Maltz constantly slashing in and out of the slot to feed.With four minutes remaining against Hofstra on Saturday, the Pride was within two goals. Hofstra left its starters on late against a reserve mix for SU, and the Pride was threatening to spoil an otherwise dominant Syracuse performance with a late push.Then SU head coach John Desko sent out some starters. Rice peaked around the left side of the net and scored a goal for his third point of the day.“He’s kind of a quarterback guy behind the goal,” Desko said. “He’s got very good vision, he can finish the ball and with some of the guys being lefties, he’s a righty back there giving us some balance.”Even against faster defenders, Rice’s first few steps are shifty enough to give him separation. And in his renewed natural role, a few steps are all he needs.“He came in this fall, he worked harder than most guys would ever work over the summer,” Maltz said. “He really wanted to come in and make an impact and he’s been doing that since day one.” Comments Published on January 29, 2013 at 11:34 pm Contact Jacob: | @Jacob_Klinger_center_img Facebook Twitter Google+last_img read more

USC alumni pass state bar at highest rate of CA schools

first_imgThe Gould School of Law had the highest pass rate for graduates taking the July California Bar Exam for the first time out of all law schools in the  state, according to statistics posted this week.Of alumni taking the test for the first time, 91 percent passed. This compares with an 89 percent pass rate for graduates of Stanford Law School and an 87 percent pass rate for U.C. Berkeley’s Law School graduates.Kate Mock | Daily TrojanOf all first-time takers, 69.4 percent passed the bar exam.“For the last three or four years the top three schools have been us, Stanford and Berkeley,” Gould Dean Robert K. Rasmussen said. “This year was just our turn to lead the pack.”Students do not specifically prepare to pass the California Bar Exam in the vast majority of their classes, Rasmussen said.“Our goal is to encourage our students to think rigorously, be innovative and effectively communicate,” Rasmussen  said. “It turns out that those skills translate very well toward excelling on the California Bar Exam.”Rasmussen said the class of 2011 represented its alma mater well.“I’m very proud of the accomplishments of our students,” Rasmussen said. “They were a great group of students and are a great group of alumni.”last_img read more

University praised for Latino graduation rates

first_imgThe University of Southern California was named one of the country’s most successful universities at graduating Latino students. According to an analysis completed by the Education Trust and funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, USC has increased its Latino graduation rate by 19 points to a rate comparable to that of Caucasian students.USC is one of eight schools that the foundation uses as a model for graduating Latino students and is the only private institution listed in the report.“Across the country, 51 percent of Hispanic students who start college complete a bachelor’s degree in six years, compared to 59 percent of white students,” the foundation said in a press release.Senior art history major Alan Prieto said the university’s commitment to integrating minority students bolsters its reputation amongst the Latino community.“I think USC puts a lot of emphasis on promoting diversity within the residence hall so students can learn from each other and I think they do it in a way that’s genuine and really efficient to help students be introduced to a learning environment in a metropolitan area,” he said.In addition, Prieto said the school’s efforts to cater to students of specific races fosters a friendly and competitive environment on the campus.“USC offers a lot of programs that are culturally and ethnically specific and I think that helps promote academics,” he said. “I think USC does a better job at being able to provide more opportunities to a wider ethnic pool and looking at applications and looking at the capabilities of each student to fill a quota for a certain demographic.”Many low-income students such as freshman broadcast journalism major Mirian Fuentes come to USC because it provides myriad financial options. The university says more than two-thirds of its students receive financial aid, and Fuentes is on a full-tuition Trustee Scholarship.The Neighborhood Academic Initiative helps prepare low-income students in grades 6 through 12 for college-level work and 41 percent of the program’s graduates thus far have attended USC on full academic scholarships.“I think being a Latina here at USC is really empowering,” Fuentes said. “Especially in my culture, there’s not a lot of expectation to send people to main universities like USC. I feel like as a Latina I have a reputation to represent and make it known to other Latinos in high school that its possible to come here, but its not your race that gets you in as much as your determination.Fuentes said organizations like Destino — a spiritual resource for Latino students — and the Hispanic Scholarship Fund have also help her find her place as a new student.“Being part of Destino has made me really embrace being a Latina,” she said. “I had thought it was something about me I was going to have to change.”Gene Bickers, vice provost for undergraduate programs, expressed his hopes for Latino graduates in a press release.“We want all our students to graduate with academic programs that prepare them to meet their personal aspirations,” he said. “Our success with Hispanic students can be attributed to a holistic approach that brings together faculty, academic advisors and student life professionals to promote engagement and success.”This post has been updated to reflect that Gene Bickers is a male.last_img read more

Port Vale partner with Virtual Pro Gaming to launch esports team

first_imgPort Vale football club has launched an esports team in partnership with Virtual Pro Gaming. The partnership will see the Valiants sign eleven players to compete in the ‘Pro Clubs’ game mode.As part of the launch, fans are encouraged to sign-up and trial for Port Vale’s eleven-a-side FIFA team, with trials taking part in a live game on Saturday January 13th. The squad, once picked, will then compete on a regular basis in the VPG league against other organisations. The matches will be streamed on Port Vale’s YouTube channel on a weekly basis.Port Vale Sales and Marketing Manager, Chris Turner said: “We are excited to become a part of this movement. eSports is an expanding market, and a market that we definitely want to be a part of.“eSports is huge in Asia and it was not going to take long to travel over to us and we are eager to strike whilst the iron is hot and use this to our advantage.“It is also a great way to involve our younger market more.”Port Vale become the second club to join forces with Virtual Pro Gaming after Queens Park Rangers did so last year. It’s fair to say that eleven versus eleven FIFA is not the biggest name in the esports world, with the official FIFA esports format being one versus one. The FIWC, the pinnacle of esports in the football simulation world is played using FIFA Ultimate Team so this marks an interesting move from Port Vale.Esports Insider says: Certainly an interesting move from Port Vale as they enter the realm of eleven versus eleven Pro Clubs FIFA. We’re tempted ourselves to try out on Saturday. Fancy yourself as the virtual Danny Pugh? Get involved and become a Valiant.last_img read more

Prem clubs already in the red BEFORE £1billion coronavirus hit

first_img6THE MAJORITY of Premier League clubs were facing huge losses BEFORE the coronavirus crisis.Of the 20 clubs in England’s top flight, TWELVE went into the 2019/20 season in the red.⚠️ Read our coronavirus in sport live blog for the latest news & updates66 Chelsea chief Roman Abramovich will want some silverware if he is to put up with financial deficitCredit: Getty – ContributorSunSport reported how Premier League supremo Richard Masters says top-flight clubs stand to lose £1BILLION from the pandemic.Manchester United will be the biggest financial losers of all 20 Premier League clubs if the season is scrapped.Overall, according to figures from the Daily Mail, the Old Trafford club would lose £116.4m.That is made up of £48m from TV cash, £17.6m for matchday revenue and a further £50.8m from commercial and retail.And now The Athletic have studied all the club’s accounts, taking into consideration figures from 2017/18, to work out club’s respective finances heading into the current season.6 Everton owner Farhad Moshiri has bankrolled some pretty extensive rebuildingCredit: Getty6And it makes for grim reading.Over half of the clubs were in the red before a ball was even kicked this season, according to the research.Everton and Chelsea fans won’t like looking at the stats – the Toffees are the hardest hit with a loss of £107m with Roman Abramovich footing a £101.8m deficit at Stamford Bridge.As a result of the coronavirus, you can add in losses of £91m for Chelsea and £42.6m for Everton for the current suspension.Aston Villa are also chasing their tails with a £68.9m loss with £24.2m added on to that as a result of the virus.At the other end of the spectrum, Tottenham and Liverpool, two clubs who recently announced plans to furlough staff, were sitting pretty on profit heading into the campaign.Give now to The Sun’s NHS appealBRITAIN’s four million NHS staff are on the frontline in the battle against coronavirus.But while they are helping save lives, who is there to help them?The Sun has launched an appeal to raise £1MILLION for NHS workers.The Who Cares Wins Appeal aims to get vital support to staff in their hour of need.We have teamed up with NHS Charities Together in their urgent Covid-19 Appeal to ensure the money gets to exactly who needs it.The Sun is donating £50,000 and we would like YOU to help us raise a million pounds, to help THEM.No matter how little you can spare, please donate today come in with £87.4m in the black, while Liverpool, after being blasted for furloughing and then reversing that decision, are £41.9m positive.But an £83m loss for Daniel Levy’s Londoners and an £102.6m deficit for US-owned Liverpool means both won’t come out well from the pandemic.Speaking to The Athletic John Purcell, the co-founder of financial analysis firm Vysyble pulled no punches in his analysis of the state of English football.He said: “The accounts are awful. The numbers had fallen off a cliff for some of the clubs long before this crisis.”And Dr Dan Plumley, a sports finance expert at Sheffield Hallam University, added that “the financial shock of COVID-19 has brought to light just how stretched the industry is and how many clubs live from hand to mouth”.This ties in with Premier League executive Masters’ opinion, believing that there is a real danger some teams could go bust if the lockdown forces the cancellation of the current season.Most Read In FootballTHROUGH ITRobbie Keane reveals Claudine’s father was ’50-50′ in coronavirus battleTOP SELLERGavin Whelan has gone from League of Ireland to David Beckham’s InstagramPicturedAN EYEFULMeet Playboy model and football agent Anamaria Prodan bidding to buy her own clubI SAW ROORodallega saw Rooney ‘drinking like madman’ & Gerrard ‘on bar dancing shirtless’ExclusiveRIYAD RAIDMan City’s Riyad Mahrez has three luxury watches stolen in £500,000 raidNEXT STEPJonny Hayes set to move to English Championship having been let go by CelticTottenham, Newcastle, Bournemouth and Norwich have already turned to the state for help.And FA chairman Greg Clarke fears the sport is in danger of being “decimated” by the coronavirus crisis.It came after a dramatic weekend when the Prem demanded PFA  members  agree a 30 per cent wage deferral but the bid was rejected.6 FA chief Greg Clarke claims England football could be decimated by coronavirusCredit: PA:Press AssociationCORONAVIRUS CRISIS – BE IN THE KNOWGet the latest coronavirus news, facts and figures from around the world – plus essential advice for you and your family.To receive our Covid-19 newsletter in your inbox every tea time, sign up here.To follow us on Facebook, simply ‘Like’ our Coronavirus page.last_img read more

“The 1-J will not open the market”

first_imgThe legal director of FIFA, the Spanish Emilio García Silvero, stressed that due to the effects of the coronavirus crisis the situation has changed and that on July 1, contrary to what has usually happened “the market will not open “of transfers.García Silvero acknowledged that FIFA cannot extend the contracts already signed beyond June 30 and, therefore, the players could leave their club. However, they could not join another team because the transfer periods are going to change.“FIFA cannot extend the contracts beyond June 30, but the transfer windows will not be the same and the players will not be able to be registered. On July 1, the market does not open,” stressed the Spanish leader in an interview with the Cape Cope program “Playtime”.García Silvero indicated that a player on loan may return to his home club on June 30, when the loan ends. However, your card will not be processed for you to play. “If a loan ends on June 30, the player, theoretically, should return to his club but the registration window would not be open and the card would not be processed,” added García Silvero. The coronavirus crisis that affects the world of football leaves any plan on the market in the air. It remains to be seen when some normality can be restarted and the resumption of some competitions that have yet to end. García Silvero leaves open the possibility that there will be several periods to contract and adapt the needs of the entities. “There may be several windows. It will depend on the start and end of each competition. The idea is that the windows end just before each championship begins and they do not have to coincide”he ventured.The coronavirus crisis has disrupted the sports calendar for the year. It has canceled the Euro Cup and the Olympic Games, among many other events, carried over to 2021. This has meant that the new Club World Cup set for next year has had to be postponed to 2022 or 2023. “The new format for the Club World Cup has had to be postponed. We are still analyzing the date. It is a very exciting process”García Silvero indicated.Third windowThe International Football Federation (FIFA) has indicated that it would “deal flexibly” with the option of a third transfer window on its calendar, due to the current relocation of tournaments due to the COVID-19 pandemic.James Kitching, Director of the FIFA Regulatory Corps, told German ARD television that un third transfer period “could be a possibility” for member federations.“This would be handled with flexibility as long as the total transfer period of 16 weeks is not extended.”, has been nuanced, since the current windows cover a maximum of 12 weeks between seasons and four weeks mid-season.last_img read more

Bolt, Thompson win Sportsman, Sportswoman crowns

first_imgUsain Bolt joined Michael McCallum as the most successful male athlete in the history of the RJR Sports Foundation National Sportsman and Sportswoman of the Year Awards, while Elaine Thompson signed off on a brilliant year with her first hold of the top sportswoman title at Friday’s glitzy ceremony at the Jamaica Pegasus. Bolt, who helped himself to three gold medals at the Rio Olympic Games was as expected handed his seventh Sportsman of the Year award, while Thompson’s double sprint gold, sprint relay silver, 60m World Indoors bronze and 100m Diamond Race victory earned her a first hold on the prestigious award. 110m hurdles Olympic champion and 60m hurdles World Indoor champion Omar McLeod and swimming star Alia Atkinson, who broke the short course 50m breaststroke world record, equalled the 100m breaststroke world record and won three medals at the World Swimming Championships were named as runners-up to the Sportsman and Sportswoman of the Year. Bolt was delighted with his latest triumph and left the stage with a message to the youth.  “I am from Trelawny. I never thought I would be on this stage as one of the greatest ever, hard work pays off so if you want to be great, work towards what you want, never give up. I have gone through a lot but I have never given up once, use me as n example to work to be the best you can be,” Bolt said.  Thompson was thankful for her win. “Huge thank you to my coach Stephen Francis in motivating and believing in me and for investing his time in me. Thanks to my fans in Jamaica and across the world for their invaluable support,” Thompson shared. Super athletics coach Stephen Francis was presented with the Sagicor Iconic Award, while champion trainer Wayne DaCosta was the recipient of the Chairman’s Award. Triathlete Llori Sharpe won the inaugural VMBS Youth Award, while chairman of the RJR Sports Foundation selection committee Mike Fennell was presented with the Global Lifetime Achievement award for his year’s of service to sports administration. The People’s Choice Performance of the Year award went to Calabar’s Christopher Taylor for his anchor leg run, which led his team to a win in the 4x400m Open relay at Champs 2016. Awards were also presented to teams as well as category awards to each sporting discipline.  Certificates of Merit were presented to Douglas Beckford (squash), David Bernard Snr (fitness instruction and cricket), Lawrence Henriques (motor sports), Audrey Thompson (sport in western Jamaica and netball) and Susan Wates (equestrian). Guest Speaker Olivier Gers, the recently appointed CEO at the IAAF hailed Jamaica’s impact and success in international track and field and spoke to the association’s efforts to reform athletics and develop it into a leading global sport.last_img read more