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The Sunday Stroll: 23 October, 2011

October 23, 2011

Tragedy befell British motorsport last weekend, with Dan Wheldon killed during the final IndyCar meeting of the season. He was involved in a frightening 15-car pile up in the early stages of the Las Vegas Indy 300, on a track which earlier in the week a number of fellow drivers had voiced concern about the size of the field and the speeds being reached. Wheldon, a father of two and popular with his fellow drivers, has been one of the few Brits to enjoy success in America, winning the prestigious Indy 500 in 2005 and 2011, as well as the overall drivers’ title in ’05. Our thoughts go out to his family and friends…

In his honour the remaining drivers drove through the tears to take part in a poignant five-lap salute to the Englishman, whilst Danny Boy and a bagpiped Amazing Grace were played over the PA system…

Here’s Dan winning the Indianapolis 500 for the first time in 2005; he was the first Englishman to claim the prestigious race and ‘taste the milk’ since Graham Hill in 1966…

There is an auction being organised by fellow driver Graham Rahal to raise money for Dan’s wife and kids. Famous sportsmen and women, celebrities, and businesses have come together to donate an astonishing array of items, ranging from a two-seater ride around Indy to a four-ball (possibly with Rahal!) at TPC Sawgrass, and you can find more information on it via these links:

Twitter: @DWheldonAuction

http://www.danwheldonmemorial.com/

Auction to benefit Wheldon Family Trust, on IndyCar.com

Following coach Warren Gatland’s astonishing admission that he considered cheating in the World Cup semi-final defeat to France, the Welsh took on Australia in the 3rd place play-off on Friday. Always a hollow fixture, the Aussies emerged victorious although lost Quade Cooper to a serious knee injury. Not the best of World Cups for Quade, eh…

Two-time World Champion and Ferrari driver Fernando Alonso giving up??? Surely not??…

Anyways, F1 is off to India next – new territory for the sport and it’s fans. Here’s a 3D (sort of) track guide from Red Bull’s Mark Webber…

Eventful night in the Europa League on Thursday. Celtic’s Cha Du-Ri produced a contender for own goal of the season with this peach…

Can’t help but wonder if the goalie could have made it back there! Anyways…

Tottenham’s Roman Pavlyuchenko scored this screamer of a free-kick against Rubin Kazin…

Stoke City’s opponents Maccabi Tel Aviv had Yoav Ziv sent off for kicking his boot at the linesman. Genuinely…

Meanwhile Fulham’s Moussa Dembélé saw red after this disgraceful bit of playacting by Wisła Kraków’s Argentinian midfielder Gervasio Núñez. Dembélé pushes him on the shoulder and he goes down clutching his face as if shot by a sniper (as this amusing article portrays). This Rivaldo-esque act ofunsportsmanlike conduct left numerous pundits calling for a lengthy ban for Núñez (see below), in the hope it might rid the game of such pathetic and embarrassing cheats…

And in light of Yoav Ziv’s escapades, it would seem the other form of football is getting in on the official-assaulting act…

In the Champions League, Arsenal recorded a decent win away to Marseille, a result that pleased manager Arsène Wenger as it shows his team ‘are slowly getting there‘. Anyways, here’s ‘keeper Wojciech Szczęsny and young winger Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain enjoying a game of table-tennis. With a frying pan, naturally. Next time Sczczczzssnnsseyyy & co. get to use a Steve Bould signed photo-frame…

Lionel Messi…

Emile Heskey…

Interesting goal celebration from Mexico here – shooting your teammate in the head. The club fined the duo after it drew criticism…

Here’s Thierry Henry getting sent off over in the MLS last weekend…

Modern stewarding & policing, Man City style. Old man ends up on the ground…

Here are a couple of Wolves fans “celebrating” their side’s 0-2 defeat to rivals West Brom last weekend. Relieving the disappointment, shall we say…

In MotoGP last weekend, Jorge Lorenzo was unable to race after a warm-up crash which saw him lose a finger (eventually successfully reattached). Here’s the injury…

Aaand here’s the marshall entrusted with the unfortunate job of trying to find the remnants of Jorge’s digit…

Meanwhile at the Sepang meeting this weekend, young Brit Bradley Smith suffered a cracked collarbone after crashing in practice on a wet part of the track which the marshalls had failed to put warning flags out. They were fined £15,000 by race direction for their misdemeanor, although that will be scant consolation to Smith, who suffered his injury when sliding into another bike that had already gone down…

The 2012 Tour de France route was officially released on Tuesday, with British sprinter and last year’s Green Jersey winner Mark Cavendish proclaiming his delight at a Tour which would appear to have seven or eight stages that are flat enough to be winnable for him. More information can be found on the Tour website via this link, but if you understand French – and like cycling! – then have a peek at this…

With two Time Trials likely to decide the Tour, expect fellow Brit Bradley Wiggins to be within a shout of a podium come Paris…

Meanwhile, here is a postman holding his own whilst cycling with the in-training Rabobank team…

Skip to the end of this clip to see Mark Selby quite literally chucking in the towel against Ding Junhui. Poor etiquette obviously, but amusing…

And we leave you on a good note. Fenway Park rises to aid an autistic man singing the Star-Spangled Banner. Quite touching…

As ever, thanks for reading folks…

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