How the Olympics hacked off the Marshes

For Johnnie Walker, a sprightly 80 this year, it is the sort of skill that makes it worth getting out of bed on a freezing Sunday morning.


On a roped-off show pitch on Hackney Marshes, a fascinating contest is unfolding between local side Phoenix and FC Tripimeni in the London FA Sunday Challenge Cup – and Phoenix striker Nico Muir has just rounded the goalkeeper to score a goal that would grace any game at any level.

“This is perfection,” says Walker, chairman of the Hackney and Leyton Sunday league. “You’ve got two good teams out there, the pitch is perfect. That is why I’m still here. I wouldn’t turn up every week and watch bloody rubbish.”

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CNN, Opinion

London basks in Olympic glory

If voters in the United Kingdom were offered the chance tomorrow, in a snap referendum, to change the name of the nation to “Team GB” the result would hardly be in doubt.

Such is the mood of euphoria fostered by the country’s gold medal-winning performers, and London’s successful staging of an Olympic Games that some had predicted would become the latest in a long tradition of Great British cockups, that a country more used to wallowing in sporting failure is waking up to the unfamiliar feeling of giving itself a collective pat on the back.

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