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New England Football Kit Unveiled

The kit the England football team will wear for Euro 2012 this summer has been unveiled to a mixed reception. According to kit makers Umbro, the new kit (seen above) is steeped in tradition and English history, taking inspiration from everything from the St George's flag, to the 1966 World Cup winning team.

The shirt is the first ever to be purely white and red. The traditional blue badge has been replaced by a red one, therefore matching the colours of the country's flag. The shirt also sports an unusual collar, which looks far more like the kits of the 1960s than of this century. Supposedly the red design of the collar was "inspired by Sir Alf Ramsey's [the only manager to have won the World Cup with England] iconic 1966 jacket and the St George's flag".

However, this is not even the most ridiculous statement about the kit, as Umbro go on to describe the new shorts as "shaped to move with the player and give minimal interference during the game". Nice.

For all the grand statements are inspiration and tradition, ultimately the only thing that matters is, does it look good? Though the new design has certainly been met by a mixed reception, in our opinion, it is the best England shirt in years. Simple, elegant, classy.

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The Football Season Gathers Pace

This weekend saw the latest round of football fixtures for the FA Cup in England. It brought the normal mixture of upsets (or ‘Cupsets' if you like that sort of thing), giant killings and rivalries, cutting the competition from 32 teams, to just 20 still standing. The competition that each year goes against all football betting hasn't disappointed this year.  

The FA Cup is the oldest football competition in the world and is very much a part of English history and culture. A huge range of teams are allowed to enter, meaning everyone from the best in the country to local amateur sides have a chance to enjoy the ‘magic of the cup' (a favourite phrase of football commentators and journalists).

This year, some of the country's most successful teams have been drawn against each other, meaning that whilst Manchester United and Manchester City (who won it last year- above) are both out, teams like Crawley and Stevenage are going strong.

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Death of Gary Speed Shocks Football World

The football world is in shock after the 42-year-old manager of the Wales football team was found dead on Sunday morning. Despite appearing on BBC programme ‘Football Focus' just the day before, Gary Speed was found hanged in his family home.

Tributes from friends and colleagues have been pouring in, as everyone struggles to come to terms with Speed's unexpected suicide. The sentiment repeated over and over is one of complete shock. Even to those closest to him, Speed appeared a happy man, with a loving family and a new career showing plenty of early promise.

Glittering Career

Speed had enjoyed a long and glittering football career in England, playing in the Premier League for Leeds, Everton, Newcastle, Bolton and Sheffield United. He was the first player to reach 500 Premier League appearances and still holds the record as the outfield player with most caps for Wales.

After finally retiring last year, he took on the role as Wales manager in December 2010, and the team were starting to show impressive progress under his control.

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Olympic Football Named ‘The Albert’

After more than 12,000 suggestions, the name for the London 2012 Olympic football has been chosen. And the winning name is....'The Albert'.

Adidas, who are to make the ball, ran a competition inviting anyone and everyone to send in their ideas for names, before eventually choosing the name suggested by Robert Ashcroft- a 45-year-old from Derbyshire. Whilst the connection between a football and the name Albert may seem a little odd, it is actually from cockney rhyming slang, where ‘Albert Hall' (pictured above) means ‘ball'. For this reason, Mr. Ashcroft believed "The Albert was the obvious choice for me. It made perfect sense to name a ball with the rhyming slang heritage."

An Adidas spokesman agreed, revealing that:

"The London 2012 Games are becoming synonymous with the East End of London and it was important to us that the name reflected this strong heritage - 'The Albert' creates mass appeal to the British public as well as creating global intrigue."

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