Early Doors

  • Thiago Silva makes a mess of his Ballon d’Or vote

    It seems a deceptively simple process.

    A collection of 23 candidates are drawn up for the Ballon d’Or by experts from the FIFA Football Committee and by a group of experts from France Football.

    Then captains and head coaches of the men’s national teams as well as international media representatives selected by France Football vote on the venerable 23 and the man with the most votes is the Ballon d’Or winner.

    To guard against footballing hubris there is one main stipulation – a player must not vote for himself. Again, simple enough.

    So when Brazil captain Thiago Silva sat down with

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  • Fan tracks down ex-stars to ‘complete’ 1996 sticker album

    Philippe Albert then and now

    Here at Early Doors we know the pain of falling just short of completing a football sticker album only too well, with the sticker ghost of Dutch goalkeeper Hans van Breukelen still haunting our almost full Italia 90 book.

    Adam Carroll-Smith always thought he had completed the 1996 Merlin Premier League book as a teenager, and indeed used to boast about it, but he suffered "a gut punch" when he found it in the attic recently and realised that he had actually fallen six stickers short.

    He decided that "a great wrong had to be righted" but instead of going straight to eBay or contacting the

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  • Defender scores 40-yarder… against own keeper

    You have to feel sorry for Frickley Athletic's Steven Gardner.

    The defender was turning out for his Northern Premier League side in a match against FC United of Manchester at the weekend, and was putting in a good shift as the sides were still deadlocked at 0-0 after half-time.

    In fact, he'd just got the better of Rhodri Giggs - brother of Ryan and estranged husband of Natasha - as he shut down a potential counter-attack by passing the ball back to goalie Tom Woodhead.

    His back-pass would have been inch-perfect, if only Woodhead had been sitting perched on the crossbar. Unfortunately,

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  • Beckham signs up superstar LeBron to launch MLS team

    David Beckham is teaming up with one of the biggest sporting names in the world to launch his very own MLS team – NBA superstar LeBron James.

    Beckham, who retired this summer at the age of 38 following a glittering career across the globe, has previously been guarded about where he wants to found the MLS team he is contractually guaranteed under the terms of his first deal with the American governing body in 2007.

    But James, a two-time NBA champion and four-time league MVP who currently stars for Miami Heat, confirmed on Monday he has been holding talks with Beckham over creating a team in the

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  • Football Photoshop: What if England win the World Cup?

    Resident Photoshop wizard @BeardedGenius predicts the British press reaction to England's performance at the upcoming World Cup.

    Follow on Twitter @BeardedGenius

  • One customer has been offered his money back after complaining to the publisher about dozens of factual errors in Sir Alex Ferguson's book.

    Hodder and Stoughton have agreed to reimburse the disgruntled fan after 45 factual errors were pointed out in the 402-page book.

    Among the many inaccuracies highlighted were his claim that United had 11 years out of former captain Roy Keane, when it was in fact 12.

    Ferguson - and ghostwriter Paul Hayward - wrote that "Rio Ferdinand excelled against Manchester City in the semi-final second leg [of the Carling Cup] in 2009 at Old Trafford".

    Fair enough, you

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  • Ravel Morrison scores wonder volley in U21 training

    Ravel Morrison’s reputation is once again on the rise after some impressive performances for West Ham this season and on Sunday an England Under-21 training session provided a further glimpse of his talent.


    The midfielder, once sold by Manchester United after they grew exasperated with his attitude and succession of off-the-field problems, stole the show with an outrageous goal during training with Gareth Southgate's side.

    When a cross came in from the right from Jesse Lingard during a training session, Morrison leaped into the air to

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  • Player guilty of horrendous miss in Peru

    We have had plenty of contenders for the worst miss ever on this website, but even so, this effort from Ramon Rodriguez stuck out.

    Rodriguez - a striker, would you believe - was presented with a glorious opportunity during a Peruvian top-flight match between Cienciano and Leon de Huanuco this weekend.

    The 36-year-old was left completely free at the back post to meet a low cross from the left and looked all set to tap home into an empty net.

    However, he leaned back as he struck the ball - a schoolboy error if ever there was one - and somehow managed to lift the ball over the bar from about two

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  • Pussycat Goals! Yeovil to launch own girl band

    (Getty/Yahoo composite)

    Yeovil Town broke into the second tier of English football for the first time in their 118-year history this season, but thus far the Somerset side have not exactly set the Championship alight. With nine points from 15 games, they are currently bottom of the pile and looking like a strong relegation contender.

    However, it's not all doom and gloom for The Glovers, as they will soon have what every football fan truly covets: their own club girl band.

    The troupe of pop performers will soon be assembled to perform at Huish Park before and during games. The Guardian reports:

    [Yeovil] will be the

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  • An FA Trophy game ended in truly bizarre circumstances on Saturday when the match referee was forced off due to injury and a replacement picked from the crowd was prevented from taking over because alcohol was smelled on his breath.

    Colwyn Bay were losing 2-0 to Altrincham when the referee in charge of the fixture between the two Conference North sides fell victim to a calf injury and was unable to continue.

    With only seven minutes remaining at Colwyn Bay’s Red Lion Foods Stadium, an appeal was put out over the loudspeaker for a qualified official to make themselves known in order that the

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