Northern Ireland’s Rory McIlroy with the Claret Jug after winning the 2014 Open Championship at Royal Liverpool Golf Club, Hoylake.  Photo:  Owen Humphreys/PA

Having spent over 40 years logging the failures of dead certs and sure things, Vinny Fitzpatrick felt he’d become immune to sport’s capacity to spring(...)

Good job . . . Germany’s Miroslav Klose is congratulated by coach Joachim Löw after their victory over France at the Maracanã in Rio de Janeiro. Photograph: Kai Pfaffenbach/Reuters

Whenever Joachim Löw is asked at a press conference about some episode from the past, he answers that his Germany team pays no attention to history(...)

West German goalkeeper Toni Schumacher (right) jumps past the ball as he gets ready to collide with French defender Patrick Battiston during the 1982 World Cup semi-final in Stockholm. Battiston was carried off the field on a stretcher while Schumacher, unpunished,  resumed play with a goal-kick. Photograph: AFP

The semi-final stage of the World Cup has, on balance, not been particularly kind to France. In 1958, the free-scoring team of Just Fontaine and Raymo(...)