Blog

Big change to the top AEW Dynamite match

Injury absences result in a significant change to tonight's AEW Dynamite line-up. (Author: Gardener)

AEW DynamiteAfter Jeff Hardy and Adam Cole were eliminated from this week's episode of AEW Dynamite, New Japan Pro Wrestling's Darby Allin and Hikuleo have appeared as their backups. AEW announced a ten-man tag team match pitting Cole, The Young Bucks, and reDRagon against The Hardys, Jungle Boy, Luchasaurus, and Christian Cage for Dynamite during Double Or Nothing 2022 (May 29). On Monday, AEW had pulled Hardy and Cole out of the game and instead started promoting an eight-person tag. Allin and Hikuleo are in, with the rationale for the plot being that Khan gives Hardy and Cole permission to choose their respective replacements. Jeff and Cole both miss Dynamite due to injuries. For Hardy, who was reportedly a "mess" at Double Or Nothing, that meant picking the man he was injured against on a recent episode of Dynamite. Cole, meanwhile, is linked to Hikuleo through her connections with Bullet Club. This is Hikuleo's third AEW match since his debut against Lance Archer in July 2021.

Read

Why AEW pulled Adam Cole out of this week's Dynamite

Backstage update on Tony Khan knocking Adam Cole out of this week's AEW Dynamite big match. (Author: Gardener)

weekAdam Cole and Jeff Hardy were both pulled from tonight's episode of AEW Dynamite shortly after Double Or Nothing 2022, where it was announced the duo would be on opposite sides of a 10-man tag pitting the Undisputed Elite against The Hardys , Luchasaurus, Jungle Boy and Christian Cage. After initially booking the 10-man, AEW removed Cole and Hardy and began promoting an 8-man on Monday. Bullet Club's Hikuleo and Darby Allin have since been drafted as Adams and Jeff's respective replacements, bringing the numbers back up. Hardy, on the other hand, was reportedly a physical "mess" at Double Or Nothing when he entered The Hardys' match with The Young Bucks, who were already smashed up from a recent Dynamite contest against Allin. Cole also competed at Double Or Nothing, defeating Samoa Joe to win AEW's first ever Owen Hart Cup men's tournament. He and his real-life partner Britt Baker (who competed in the women's competition) were later killed by Dr. Presenting Martha Hart with her commemorative belts and trophy.

Read

Wardlow served with lawsuit, Ruby Soho/Toni Storm

AEW Dynamite News - Wardlow Served With Lawsuit, Ruby Soho/Toni Storm Wrestling News And Rumors (Author: Gardener)

Ruby Soho/Toni StormDuring Wednesday night's episode of AEW Dynamite, Wardlow was served with a lawsuit over his recent powerbombs against several security forces. Wardlow was served the suit by Mark Sterling on behalf of American Arena Security Professionals. You can check out some highlights from the segment below: Also on this week's episode of AEW Dynamite, Ruby Soho and Toni Storm teamed up to take on Britt Baker and Jamie Hayter. Check out some highlights from this match below: Additionally, New Japan Pro Wrestling has announced several new matches for NJPW Strong Ignition. The event will take place on June 19th in Los Angeles and will include the following matches: *Negro Casas, Adrian Quest & Lucas Riley vs. Ren Narita, David Finlay & Mascara Dorada *Jordan Cruz vs. *Fred Yehi vs. Stray Dog Army Sie You can watch the official preview for the show below: Negro Casas Makes STRONG Debut and More on June 19th! Five fights added to Vermont roster Following last week's announcement of Hiroshi Tanahashi and Yuya Uemura against Hikuleo and Jay White, five more fights have been added to the card for NJPW STRONG's return to Vermont Hollywood on June 19, including a Lucha Libre Legend making his STRONG debut! None other than CMLL legend Negro Casas makes his NJPW STRONG debut at a spectacular trios day in Vermont. He will lead two young stars to come, Adrian Quest and Lucas Riley, who will take on Ren Narita, David Finlay and Mascara Dorada. Dorada and Casas have fought many times in CMLL, but on June 19th they face each other for the first time in the azure blue for an unmissable fight. Taylor Rust will face JONAH in singles in Vermont. After returning to NJPW STRONG last December, Rust wanted to target Tom Lawlor and the STRONG Openweight Championship, but after falling to the Filthy Champion, Rust has yet to find a new direction for the brand. Defeating a big opponent in top dog JONAH would certainly point in just such a direction; can he pull it off? Debutant Jordan Cruz faces JR Kratos at Ignition. Cruz, 25, has made a name for himself among West Coast independents but has met with immense opposition from the Most Feared. Fred Yehi takes on Bateman in Hollywood. The issue between Stray Dog Army's twisted mastermind and STRONG's savageweight Yehi has been brewing for several months. During the Rivals series, Yehi teamed up with the LA Dojo to defeat the Stray Dog Army, making Bateman swear that he would pursue Yehi with added aggression. When the two teams met again in Hollywood, the two only had hateful eyes for each other and a wild brawl ensued between the two. Now they go head-to-head to settle the score. As Bateman battles Yehi, Kevin Knight and The DKC face off against the rest of the Stray Dog Army. As the tag team competition heats up on STRONG, which pair of prospects gets the Duke?

Read

The best AEW star returns with AEW "Dynamite".

Today's AEW "Dynamite" experienced several memorable moments during the show, including the return of a former TNT champion. (Author: Gardener)

AEWToday's AEW "Dynamite" experienced several memorable moments during the show, including the return of a former TNT champion. As previously mentioned, Johnny Elite returned to AEW “Dynamite” tonight and challenged every person on the AEW roster to wrestle him. After he entered, a video segment started showing Miro in a dimly lit room. He explained that he returned to redeem the fans and bring them back to the kingdom of God. After moving in, Miro played the attacker and didn't let Johnny Elite cause much offense throughout the match. After his signature pump kick and "game over" submission hold, Miro clinched the win in his second leg. As previously mentioned, Lana took to Twitter earlier and explained that for some reason she felt the urge to watch tonight's episode of AEW "Dynamite" and hinted that her husband might return. Miro's last match was at AEW Full Gear in November 2021, where he suffered a loss to Bryan Danielson. It was also revealed during his time out of the ring that earlier this year he signed a four-year contract extension with AEW that will keep him with All Elite Wrestling through at least early 2026.

Read

MJF update, two confirmed injuries, CM Punk's first match as champion

AEW Dynamite makes its California debut tonight at the Kia Forum in Inglewood (Los Angeles), California. The headliner sees CM Punk in [...] (Author: Gardener)

MJFGiven that it's the first episode since Sunday's Double or Nothing pay-per-view, it looks like the company is pulling out all the stops to load up the card. The headliner will see CM Punk in action for the first time since winning the AEW World Championship as he teams up with FTR to take on Max Caster and the Gunn Club. Punk, Dax Harwood and Cash Wheeler all partied in the ring on Sunday night after the show went off the air. Friedman was apparently written off AEW TV on Sunday night by being crushed and carried on a stretcher by Wardlow, after which Tony Khan declined to comment on all the drama that surrounded MJF throughout the weekend. Friedman is reportedly set to meet with Khan today to discuss his contract situation, something the young star hasn't been afraid to speak out about in recent months. During Double or Nothing, the company announced that The Undisputed Elite would face The Hardys, Jurassic Express, and Christian Cage in a 10-man tag match during Dynamite. Both Jeff Hardy and Adam Cole were pulled from the match when Khan later confirmed both sustained injuries. They have since been replaced by Bullet Club's Darby Allin and Hikuleo. Cole's injury appears to have originated sometime during the Owen Hart Cup final against Samoa Joe. Meanwhile, Hardy is reportedly still suffering from pain from his match with Allin a few weeks ago and looked noticeably sluggish in the Hardys' match against The Young Bucks on Sunday. Max Caster and Gunn Club * The Young Bucks, reDRagon and Hikuleo vs. Jurassic Express, Christian Cage, Matt Hardy and Darby Allin * Wardlow's first night in the AEW roster AEW returns to pay-per on June 26 with the Forbidden Door event -View Back, the company's first crossover with New Japan Pro-Wrestling.

Read

MJF releases a scathing promo for Tony Khan and demands to be fired from AEW

MJF took to the ring at AEW Dynamite this week to address everything that had been going on behind the scenes over the past few months, which ultimately culminated in his demanding that Tony Khan fire him. He started by talking about being held under a microscope, how not to [...] (Author: Gardener)

Tony KhanMJF took to the ring at AEW Dynamite this week to address everything that had been going on behind the scenes over the past few months, which ultimately culminated in his demanding that Tony Khan fire him. He started by talking about being kept under a microscope, how he wasn't given opportunities when AEW started and how he's expected to hit Grand Slams every time he steps in the ring. He then turned his ire on fans, saying they're nothing but uneducated Marks who keep changing their minds - noting how they called him unprofessional over the weekend and that they kept saying he could in his early AEW days don't wrestle. CM PUNK came out to speak to MJF but MJF walked through the crowd!!! Max then called Tony Khan over and said that he was the second biggest tie in AEW but that Khan was too busy paying ex-WWE guys "who can't tie my boots". He then asked if Khan would treat him better if he was an ex-WWE guy. Friedman then stared straight into the camera and demanded that Khan fire him before firing off a series of profanities. Fans in the ring then began tweeting that Punk came out to try and talk to Max, only for him to walk through the crowd. "I think wrestling thrives when real life meets on screen. Real-life conflict is often just as exciting as any on-screen conflict, which is one of the great things about what brought AEW to the wrestling biz. And now with the launch of AEW, we've been able to bring that back," Khan said in a media conference last week when asked why he let MJF's contract issues find their way into AEW programming. "I think it's exciting what's happening in real life and potential moves and contract negotiations and it adds another element to what is already a very exciting match at Double or Nothing with Wardlow vs MJF who has not only been very vocal about his own contract but his former bodyguard and how he feels about him and how he's tried to stifle his career," he added.

Read

GGWCup East Africa 2020: Women get sporty on their day

A day of fun punctuated by a kaleidoscopic aura in Lugogo provided the perfect picture of activity as Uganda hosted the Global Goals World Cup East Africa 2020 as the world celebrated the women. (Author: Gardener)

East AfricaGGWCup East Africa 2020: Women get sporty on their day Picture of activities as Uganda hosted the Global Goals World Cup East Africa 2020 as the world celebrated the women. KAMPALA - Forget the gladiator aura of football games as we traditionally know them, with a winner, the ultimate object of passionate sport. Think of the Global Goals World Cup a little differently. The women-only five-a-side tournament, whose East Africa 2020 edition was successfully hosted by Uganda on Sunday, needed adjustments to fit into the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). integrate that aim to change the world. And as the world celebrated International Women's Day, the teams that turned up at StarTimes Stadium in Lugogo in Uganda's capital, Kampala, offered the perfect blend of diversity, creativity, older spirit and youthful promise that contributed to both the global celebration and vision of the Tournament fit global citizenship to merge with football. Yes, I may have mentioned that everyone's a winner, but at the end of a packed Sunday, one team stood out from the rest to claim the highest honor by being crowned the winner of the competition: Hearts-Vision! And for their performance, they will represent East Africa at the Global Goals Finals in New York, USA. Hearts vision crowned as the champions wrapped up a day that had begun with promises of fine weather, making attendees all the more excited. By 8am Lugogo was already buzzing with anticipation and anticipation hung over the stadium, home of local Premier League champions KCCA FC. Indeed, the weather was kind as groups of women in creative, colorful team jerseys walked the stadium's artificial turf. Their presence helped create a kaleidoscopic atmosphere for the event, with each team's ingenuity and style showcased in their uniform attire. This ubiquitous presence of women of all ages and from across East Africa made for interesting observations. To qualify for the Global Goals World Cup East Africa 2020, teams had to select one of the 17 SDGs and take action accordingly. We are talking here about areas such as gender equality, education, poverty, climate protection, decent work and health. You could say that Team Abigail's grandmaz got a lot of attention that day. This group of older women exuded admirable enthusiasm both on and off the pitch. Choosing to play for Goal 8, which aligns with decent work and economic growth, this team of grandmothers and mothers want to "turn their frustration into energy and action for the next generation." On the pitch, they showed themselves flawless in the six-minute duels against their younger opponents. Another special group worth mentioning was the team Deaf Startlets FC who, as their name suggests, are true rising stars. Your choice for goal 5 – on gender equality – aims for inclusion, especially for people with disabilities, such as B. Hearing impairments, just like them. Her team motto "We deserve a better life" speaks astronomical volumes and her participation in the tournament was a refreshing reminder that everyone certainly deserves a better life. I'll walk you through this selection of images captured from the tournament on Sunday: The stage was set for the Global Goals World Cup East Africa 2020 sporting event in progress. They flaunted a wide array of style and fashion, and some extended that creativity to their beautiful faces. Team Abigail's Grandmaz, who plays for SDG 8, added a distinctive touch to their uniform - and just like the other teams, they kept their spirits up. On a warm Sunday morning, Mariam Mpaata, the tournament's local host, addressed the teams. The daily routine started with the registration of the team at 8am, followed by an Entrepreneurship Space Open and the games. National Council of Sports Chairman Donald Rukare and Uganda Tourism Board Chief Executive Lilly Ajarova were also in Lugogo. The local football association FUFA was well represented – with one team. By the way, Ajarova was Team Silverback Divas' goalkeeper and she did well to prevent those goals! If you are interested in African football, you should already know what an impressive force Uganda is in regional football (CECAFA). With 15 titles, Uganda is the most successful team in the CECAFA Cup, Uganda's oldest football tournament. Therefore, for the regional powerhouse, hosting the Global Goals World Cup in East Africa meant that mothers, sisters and grandmothers had the opportunity to experience the unifying factor of football and hopefully use that experience to interest the younger generations. The fans did their part to liven up the atmosphere in Lugogo with bright colors and costumes. Uganda joined the illustrious cast of five African nations to host the Global Goals World Cup. Immediate neighbors Kenya hosted the tournament in 2017 and South Africa in 2018. Team UMWCI Futsal Club (white veils) played for Global Goal 5, which focuses on gender equality. The Uganda Muslim Women Civilization Initiative (UMWCI) is a non-profit organization focused on empowering women to be self-sustaining. The Global Goals World Cup is an amateur soccer tournament open to all women over the age of 18. Eligible players may come from women's groups, corporations, sports organizations or federations, and a group of friends. Typically, a team consists of eight players, five of whom are playing on the field at any given time. Previous editions of the tournament have been held in several other cities around the world, including Copenhagen (Denmark), New York (USA), Bangkok (Thailand), Dubai (UAE), Mumbai (India) and Prague (Czech Republic). . Hosting the tournament provided Uganda with a perfect platform to raise its voice on such global issues as included in the SDGs. Ahead of the event, Mariam Mpaata spoke about the host country's desire to use the tournament to show what the Pearl of Africa is made of. “As a country, we have a lot to show the rest of the world – our beautiful, diverse culture, natural resources and our passion for sport. We want to create a world-class event that our visitors and the world will admire, our organizational skills and our passion for women's football," she said in an interview. The teams turned on their style game. As mentioned, each team chose a global goal it wanted to play for. For example, Team Poverty Alleviation Warriors chose Goal 1, which is about ending poverty in all its forms everywhere. The team attended the Nairobi (2017) edition and said: " Zero poverty is the ideal situation It's the Uganda we want – it's the world we want". Uganda was well represented in Lugogo. Kenya, Uganda's neighbor to the east, was also well represented. And that Kenyan supporter brought took his loyalty a step further by sporting a painting of his nation's flag all over his face, and then it was time for some serious football action. Team Hearts-Vision played for Goal 4, which is about quality education. According to her profile, the team's motto is "In school - not on the street!". They educate youth and provide awareness and counseling on the many challenges children face, forcing them to leave their homes and join the street life in Kampala's slum areas. This is how the team showed up in Lugogo on Sunday. It was a muggy day and the action on the pitch was as intense as the weather itself. Team Abigail's Grandmaz put on a good showing on Lugogo's synthetic surface, with their goalkeeper repeating some goalkeeping moves we usually hear from the Manuel Neuers of traditional football see. Team Centenary Bank Ladies, looking neat in their blue, red and white jerseys (reminds me of the 1998 World Cup in France), played for Gate 1 (No Poverty). According to their profile, this group chose this goal because they want to empower each of their customers and the entire community to fight poverty. Her team motto: “No one deserves to live below the poverty line. The teams came from a wide variety of backgrounds, including the medical world. Before their duels, the teams had the proverbial encouragement to finalize their respective game plans. The women of the Century Bottling Company team were in a great mood and were happy about a group photo. Maybe a signal of your footballing strength to your opponents? Perfect conditions for interactions, football action and photo shoots! Uganda's leading multimedia company Vision Group was also represented. And when it came to the real action, Team Abakazzi Ssi Mere showed they're tough enough to outsmart and overtake any opponent on this pitch. They played for Global Goal 10, which aims to reduce inequality. They entered the tournament to show the world that we are all equal because we all deserve to be looked at in the same way. Tears and tents lined the edge of the pitch as spectators and players alike enjoyed every second, minute and hour of the all-day event. As I mentioned at the beginning of this article, everyone's a winner in the Global Goals World Cup! At the end of the one-day tournament, the unifying factor football was clear. A successful tournament!

Read

Serie A champions Milan have been sold to American investor RedBird for $1.3 billion

MILAN (AP) - Less than two weeks after celebrating AC Milan's league title with [...] (Author: Gardener)

Serie AMILAN (AP) - Less than two weeks after celebrating AC Milan's league title with thousands of fans, Gerry Cardinale is poised to become the new owner of the legendary Serie A club. Cardinale is the founder and managing partner of American investment firm RedBird Capital Partners, which has signed a tentative deal to buy Milan for 1.2 billion euros ($1.3 billion). Milan said on Wednesday that RedBird is expected to complete the purchase from American firm Elliott Management by September at the latest. The announcement comes 10 days after Cardinale was pictured at celebrations in the Piazza del Duomo in front of the city's famous cathedral after the Rossoneri won the Scudetto. "I had the opportunity to be a fan and I went out to the piazza for the celebrations and no one knew who I was," Cardinale told reporters Wednesday. It touched me as a fan and I have to say it reminded me of the responsibility we have to be good stewards of this incredible club.” It was Milan's 19th Serie A title but their first in 11 years . Cardinale spent Wednesday morning chatting with Milan directors and visiting the club's museum. "We spent a couple of hours walking around the museum and I was really impressed with the history on display," he said. "And my job is to be a good steward of this incredible team." RedBird also has a stake in Fenway Sports Group, which owns English Premier League side Liverpool and the Boston Red Sox in the United States. RedBird is set to become Milan's fourth owner of the team within five years. US-based hedge firm Elliott has owned Milan since 2018 after the club's former Chinese owner failed to repay part of a loan. Former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi controlled Milan for more than 30 years before selling it to the Chinese group in 2017. "I think there's a tremendous virtue in continuity," Cardinale said. “I think the Elliott team, the management team here, have done a phenomenal job over their tenure and I want to continue on that path. It's a success story. I want to win. Well, sport today is different from when I was 25 years ago. Sport is big business today, there is a lot of capital flowing into sport, our job is to be responsible stewards, not just stewards.” Milan had finished sixth a few months before Elliott took over. "When Elliott acquired AC Milan in 2018, we inherited a club with a tremendous history but with serious financial problems and mediocre sporting performance," said Gordon Singer, Elliott's managing partner. “Our plan was simple: create financial stability and bring AC Milan back to where they belong in European football. "As we make this remarkable transition to the next chapter of AC Milan, I would like to express our deepest humility, pride and most importantly, our gratitude for the experiences we have shared with each member of the AC Milan family." Elliott, who will retain a minority stake in the club, appeared ready to sell Milan to a Bahrain-based private equity firm, but exclusive negotiations recently ended after failing to reach a commercial agreement with Investcorp. "I want to thank Gordon Singer and the entire Elliott team for the tremendous work they have done over the past four years to rebuild Milan and return it to its rightful place at the helm of Serie A," Cardinale said . "RedBird's investment philosophy and team-owned track record have shown that football clubs can be successful on the field and sustainable off the field."

Read

West Ham star Kurt Zouma, 27, did 180 hours of community service

Disgraced West Ham footballer Kurt Zouma has been sentenced to 180 hours of community service and banned from owning cats for five years for kicking and hitting his Bengali pet. (Author: Gardener)

Kurt ZoumaDisgraced Premier League footballer Kurt Zouma has been sentenced to 180 hours of community service and banned from owning cats for five years for kicking and punching his Bengali pet in a disturbing home video posted on Snapchat. The 27-year-old defender, who earns £125,000 a week, looked mortified when he was told of his sentence at Thames Magistrates Court in east London this morning. West Ham defender Zouma has been pilloried after footage emerged of him shooting the pet around his kitchen before throwing a pair of shoes at it and smacking him on the head, saying: "I swear I will kill it." The Snapchat clip from February this year featured animal lovers and soccer fans laughing and disgusted and was filmed by Brother Yoan. Father-of-four Zouma pleaded guilty to two counts of causing unnecessary suffering to a cat at Thames Magistrates Court in east London last week after accusing the family pet of damaging a chair. District Judge Susan Holdham said: "You both took part in this shameful and reprehensible act involving this domestic cat. “The cat looked up to you to take care of its needs. Zouma was given 180 hours of community service and ordered to pay nearly £9,000 in court costs and was banned from owning or caring for cats for five years. Yoan was ordered to do 140 hours of community service. Former prosecutor Hazel Stevens stood for about a minute to address the court and did not elaborate on the details of the case laid out last week. Trevor Burke QC, representing Kurt Zouma, said the cats were described as being well cared for by a veterinarian. He said Zouma "did not consent" to the production of the film, which was recorded by his brother Yoan and uploaded to Snapchat. The court heard Yoan had 80 followers on Snapchat and only five accounts viewed it before it was deleted minutes after it was posted. A spokesman for the West Ham club said: "West Ham United would like to make it clear that we condemn in the strongest possible terms any form of cruelty or cruelty to animals." Within 48 hours of the footage being released, we handed Kurt the maximum sentence available to the club . In a statement, RSPCA Chief Inspectorate Officer Dermot Murphy said: "We hope this case will serve as a reminder that all animals deserve to be treated with kindness, compassion and respect and that we will not tolerate cruelty from anyone ." Chris Burghes, CEO of animal rights group Blue Cross, said: "This court case was a positive step in the fight against animal cruelty. Now that the sentence has been handed down a five-year ban and community service, there is an opportunity to fundamentally change the way animals are treated in the home and end their use as props or exploitation for social media engagement . "People in positions of influence like the Zouma brothers must never underestimate the power they have in getting others to follow and copy their behavior, for good and in animal pain." Blue Cross is genuinely concerned that social media channels are often used to encourage individuals to seek guidance on animal welfare. "It is always distressing to know when children have directly witnessed animal cruelty, and we must also remember the indirect impact on millions of young people who witness other atrocities that are publicized on social media. Hopefully, the publicity of this case can lead to a sea change in how social media channels monitor disturbing content more effectively and how influencers use their platforms to spread positive animal welfare messages.” The court heard last week that the “ The premeditated" attack was filmed by his younger brother, minor division soccer player Yoan Zouma, 24, who sent him off to a woman he was supposed to go on a date with. Footage showed Kurt Zouma filming the cat he was sitting on chair and approaches it with a slipper before running towards the cat. While carrying the cat at waist level, "Zouma drops the cat, kicks it in the stomach with his left foot and another cat is able to run away," the RSPCA said Prosecutor Hazel Stevens Kurt could be heard laughing in the background while Yoan posted the video with laughing emojis Kurt was heard saying "I'm going to hit it", "You want a fight" and "Where is it? The court heard Hammer's defender Zouma had been subjected to racial slurs and threats, lost a "significant" sponsorship deal with Adidas, was fined £250,000 and has not been selected for the France national team since the excitement arose over footage of that seven people accused of mistreating Zouma were later released by police. Kurt Zouma's cats are now happy and healthy as the RSPCA prepares to move them to a new home after the West Ham star pleaded guilty to animal cruelty over the cat kicking video of disgraced footballer, the charges admitting to animal cruelty. Newly released images show his former Bengal cats, Bonbon and Cherie, playfully roaming their temporary homes as the animal rights organization begins handing them over to new owners. In the 20-second clip, the adorable cat meows softly and can be seen playing with toys while hopping around - just months after a harrowing Snapchat video showed the moment she was brutally kicked by the French footballer . The Premier League star admitted kicking and punching his pet cat in a viral video, sparking a spate of similar animal cruelty attacks, the court heard. The shocking incident came to light after a woman who should have gone on a date with Kurt's brother Yoan saw the footage on his Snapchat, prompting her to sound the alarm and call off their date. The woman, whose name was not released, told Yoan Zouma that she "did not want to associate with anyone" who found his brother's actions funny. The West Ham United defender pleaded guilty to two charges under the Animal Welfare Act when he appeared before Thames Magistrates' Court in east London. Zouma, 27, was forced to apologize after his younger brother Yoan, 24, filmed and shared harrowing footage of him also admitting to an offense during the hearing. Prosecutors also told the court that the footage sparked a spate of copycat attacks that were filmed and shared online, sparking outrage among activists. The court was told disturbing footage of the incident, filmed at Zouma's home and posted by his brother on Snapchat on February 6. It was later seen by a woman who had sent Yoan a message sounding the alarm. Zouma was seen chasing the Bengal cat around his kitchen before throwing a pair of shoes at her and hitting her on the head. Prosecutor Hazel Stevens told the court Kurt Zouma could be heard saying, "I swear I'll kill it, I swear I'll kill it."

Read

The goalscorer who helped the Blues topple Roma

Celebrating the 50th anniversary of Carlisle United's famous victory over Roma, here are the memories of Tot Winstanley, who scored the Blues' winning goal. (Author: Gardener)

Carlisle50 years to the day, Carlisle United achieved what is arguably the most famous result in their history - a 3-2 win over AS Roma at the Stadio Olimpico. To mark the anniversary, we're repeating our interview with matchwinner Tot Winstanley, which was first published in September 2020. "The memory isn't what it should be, but we'll do our best," Graham "Tot" Winstanley said, before confounding that statement with a long and vivid memory this morning of what, if we're being honest, that was As a result of Carlisle United history, who will always look the most outrageous on the side, it's a scoring that shines in all conditions. Winstanley's status as the man who scored the Blues' third goal at the lofty Olympic Stadium is also unrivalled: To emulate him, I guess you have to find a computer game in which a pixelated United can take on the giants of the Champions League and Serie A. Not without an incredible conspiracy of future events, and until then Winstanley will stand alone as the man, the one man, who clinched the winner for Carlisle in Rome. "Yes, it has to be the highlight from a goals perspective," he said. “I didn't score much, but then again, I shouldn't. I have a few own goals, mind you. I think one day I had a hat trick. Thanks to [goalkeeper] Allan Ross I never made it, but another day..." Their away-game adventures in the Anglo-Italian Cup were attended by a dozen or so die-hard traveling fans, a one-man reporting contingent and a group of Blues players and staff participating in a short and unrepeatable summer of continental football. The competition, a season-ending idea devised by Italian football fixer and agent Gigi Peronace, was created in 1970 and entered two years later by a Blues team in the final stages of its rise. Winstanley, a North East player, had joined Carlisle from Newcastle United in 1969 as they gradually developed their defensive line and he was a fixture in an entertaining side that secured a mid-tier spot in the Second Division in 1971/2. Eventually Alan Ashman returned as manager but manager Dick Young meanwhile took charge as United headed into European competition with optimism. Touring group United traveled to Italy in the summer of 1972 where they faced Roma and Catanzaro in the Anglo-Italian Cup. The Stadio Olimpico hosted the 1960 Olympics, so the Anglo-Italian Cup was a lesser affair for the arena - but it still offered stimulating opportunities for the Blues, whose bid to take part in the tournament had been the last to be accepted from England. "People said it was a Mickey Mouse competition, but we didn't see it that way," Winstanley said. We were at Roma, we got there without getting too shaky knees and we knew we were going to give them a game.” Winstanley knew that because Carlisle was able to play football that was clichéd with England contradicted the heavy hooves. They had players like Stan Bowles, Chris Balderstone, Ray Train, Dennis Martin and John Gorman who believed in their cohesion and had grown accustomed to playing on major stages. More than 18,000 fans turned out for the 9pm kick-off in the dwindling heat. "It was a reasonable goal but that was a lot of people lost in a stadium of this size," said Winstanley. "It's the only stadium I've played in that also had a running track around it. “As part of the setup, they gave you a handful of candy and badges and then balls to step into the crowd. Back then you usually got a ball and didn't kick it into the crowd because it didn't come back. An eventful start on the green side of the fences saw Roma's two-time Italy striker Renato Cappellini wedge a Balderstone penalty with two goals. Carlisle, however, continued with promising inventions. In defence, Winstanley saw them excel against hosts prepared by the decorated Argentinian Helenio Herrera, who had honed the Italian defensive art of catenaccio. "They were typical Italians - played short and sharp," he said. "They didn't have big players, but they were strong and fast. They liked to play with their backs to you because that's what they did: hold the ball. If we paused their attacks, they would just run past you - don't pose a challenge, just get back into their formation, which was unusual for us to play against them. “Nevertheless, it was tailor-made for us. They got a bit of a shock to the system when they broke away from us and saw how well we were able to use it. And let's face it, every time you got the ball, looked up and saw Baldy free, you just gave it to him. He could then easily play it into someone 50 yards away. Left foot, right foot, head on - he could do it all. A lot of people thought he was mentally and physically strong and I think that came from cricket. Just a great player. We didn't have to panic against Roma.” Dick Young's decision to rearrange some things in the second half meant Balderstone moved to the left, Bowles went deeper, Bobby Owen moved into the Italian defense and Martin moved into midfield to accompany Frank Barton. It allowed Martin and Barton to work effectively, endlessly, in a competition whose pattern was being stretched by an experiment with the laws that said a player could only be flagged for offside if he was 18 yards or less from goal afford to. As the Cumbrians' confidence grew Martin equalized in the 78th minute and five minutes later Winstanley found himself in a position which, the longer you sit and think about it, seems hard to believe for any player, even if it's just the makes the slightest pretense to do anything, especially in a Carlisle shirt. "My usual thing," Winstanley said. I guess no one else thought I'd be picked with all the other guys there. Luckily it came to me and I never thought about it, "What do I do with this?" I didn't touch it. I just stepped on it, got my shot right and hit it. Winstanley's shot past goalkeeper Alberto Ginulfi meant Carlisle were unlikely to lead in the 83rd minute and the Italians, who were seldom friendly with the thought of defeat at home, let alone against a little-known team from northern England, were given to it lead to further eclipse before full-time. "Aye," Winstanley said, "they got a little nervous when Stan Bowles started holding the ball on the halfway line. When he started doing that, you were like, 'Jesus, Stan, you finished the game. We're winning, just play!' But that was typical of Stan. Stan Bowles, whose ball-juggling antics were a memorable feature of Carlisle's victory in Rome "In all fairness to the Italians, they take their business very seriously, to the point where you don't have to tease them – they crank themselves. In the end there were handshakes everywhere, but we were the ones laughing, not them - and certainly not their manager, because they were handed over by someone they had never heard of. With their good reputation, Roma only expected to win. But we just went and played, it's that simple." Despite Roma president Aldo Stacchi acknowledging Carlisle's "true and deserved" win, Winstanley recalled sitting on the United bus and watching Herrera being swept away by his supporters received an "almighty stick" before speeding off in his car. Later, Carlisle's players toasted their triumph at their hotel. It was 1,500 lira a pound, which Stan Bowles didn't like very much. "We each bought a round and when Bowlesy gave them the money to pay for his, he got a handful of candy for change. He wasn't impressed at all. And I don't think the waiter was impressed when Stan they yelled back at him." Elsewhere in the hotel, journalist Ross Brewster finally put a phone line to Carlisle and woke his editor, Bill Duckworth, at 3 a.m. with news of the sensational Score of the daily. Also at United's premises, there was a wedding party - "We weren't invited but we bade the boy a farewell," said Winstanley - and a group of enthusiastic blues supporters, including the remarkably dedicated Geoff Thomlinson there were about four guys in the hotel and they slept where they could," Winstanley said. Ross Brewster's report from Rome after Carlisle's amazing win at the Stadio Olimpico She and Carlisle eventually headed south to Catanzaro where Bowles scored a 1-0 win. A week later they welcomed Roma to Brunton Park with a 3-3 draw before they defeated Catanzaro 4-1 in Cumbria. The highlight came at the Stadio Olimpico. Roma, unbeaten apart from their mishap at Carlisle, prevailed 3-1. Winstanley stayed with Carlisle until 1974, returning for a second stint after a break in Brighton and Hove Albion. He settled in the area with his wife Joan and while retirement may have been a long way from that precious day in Italy, he did not consider it beneath his dignity to later find his passion for football in the more modest parks and fields of his adopted homeland . “Those days,” he said of Rome, “were certainly a little different than playing the Briar Bank and the Sheepmount on a Sunday morning. I knew a lot of people there, had a milking round in that area for a while, and when a couple of the guys I knew asked if I'd like a game I thought, 'Well, why not?' Winstanley, who turned around 74 in January 2022, never seemed the kind of man to brag about what he did at a famous continental stadium 50 years ago. He was aware that a national newspaper had once named him one of the top goalscorers for English clubs in Europe, but in a way it was even more special that such a down-to-earth bloke should deliver such a brilliant performance. "It's only you who brings it up these days," Winstanley said when I asked how often the feat came up in conversations. I never thought that my lasting memory of Carlisle would achieve victory in Rome. But really – and I've always said this – the guys who deserve credit are the poor fans who have come all this way.” Those fans, it's safe to say, would willingly share the applause with the players, allowing them to say they saw the blues triumph at the Stadio Olimpico. Winstanley paused, as if for the first time in a short while he was bearing the full burden of that legacy. Then he said, "If you think about it, you've got to stick your chest out a little bit and say, 'That's clever. They won't forget it.” * Adapted from Bolts From The Blues, a book by Jon Colman about 40 Carlisle United goals to remember, published by Vertical Editions, price £14.99.

Read