Record of the year: Europe, The Final Countdown

IF the year was 1986 then perhaps the synth rock of The Final Countdown by Europe, the Swedes with big hair, would be the record of the year. When trying to decide the record that captures what 2016 was all about it is those songs inspired by big European dreams that make the final countdown.

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2016 has been a year of political shocks and upheavals and it also took one of the greatest artists of all time when Prince died in April. Other icons, from music, sport and politics, have all passed away throughout the past 12 months, seemingly abnormally so, leading to some to claim the past year has been one of the worst ever. Continue reading

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Team GB, petty nationalism and sporting reality

DID Wales “block” Team GB from competing in women’s football at the Rio Olympics as the leader of the Welsh Conservatives claims?

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Jess Fishlock, of Wales, controls the ball during a 0-0 draw in a friendly international with the Republic of Ireland

After all “Great Britain had qualified” according to the BBC commentator as Germany kicked off the final that would see them claim the gold medal by beating Sweden two goals to one. Continue reading

The Glasgow golden girls and Wales’ greatest athletes

WALES has enjoyed one of its best ever Commonwealth Games but will female driven success mark a shift in perception of women’s sport in Wales?

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Kirsty Wade (821) running the 1,500m at the 1986 Edinburgh Commonwealth Games

The Olympic cyclist Nicole Cooke has previously said the BBC should be obliged to give equal coverage to women’s sports but another Welsh athlete who can lay claim to the title ‘Welsh sporting great’ has disputed what can appear to be an easily accepted notion that sportswomen receive less recognition than their male counterparts. Continue reading

Millennium Magic – my stadium highlights

RIP up the grass at the Millennium Stadium and replace it with a hybrid natural/artificial fibre surface, seems like a good idea – and a convenient prompt to pick the greatest matches played on that much maligned turf. a7a7a7;”>Embed from Getty Images

The iconic Cardiff city centre venue is now in its 15th action packed year and in that time human kind has moved on to accept a world-class playing surface won’t grow in a giant darkened fridge but science has been able to deliver an alternative.

Here I’ve picked what I consider to be the greatest moments from 15 years of sporting action on the 7,412 movable pallets of hallowed grass that make up the home of Welsh sport (or rugby at present). Continue reading