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Essex all-rounder Westley agrees contract extension

Tom Westley is staying with Essex. Credit: PA

Essex all-rounder Tom Westley has signed a new contract with the club and has also been named as the new vice-captain.

The 26-year-old appeared for England Lions this winter and has played 99 First Class games for Essex.

Westley's new deal will run until the end of the 2018 season.

“Tom has been exceptional for us over the past few seasons, and it seems the logical next step in his progression to take on the role of vice-captain.

We are delighted he has signed his new contract. He has an excellent cricket brain, and I believe he will enjoy the added responsibility."

– Chris Silverwood, Essex Head Coach


Victoria Pendelton to appear at Fakenham Racecourse later this month

Victoria Pendelton. Credit: PA

Bedfordshire Olympian Victoria Pendleton will be taking the next step in her amateur horse racing career when she appears at Fakenham later this month.

It'll be the former cyclist's first hunter chase.

Officials at the Norfolk circuit say they're delighted she'll be racing there on February 19.

Victoria Pendleton will appear at Fakenham next week. Credit: PA

"This would be a great occasion for Fakenham and we will make sure we will look after her in true Fakenham traditional and rather eccentric style and in a professional manner.

It's not every day that an Olympic gold medallist comes to our racecourse so we are really pleased."

– David Hunter, Fakenham course clerk

Southend United star Leonard facing long spell on the sidelines

Ryan Leonard will be missing until April. Credit: PA

Southend United midfielder Ryan Leonard has been ruled out for up to three months with a knee injury.

The 23-year-old was injured courtesy of a heavy challenge from Colchester United's Alex Gilbey during Saturday's Essex derby.

Gilbey was shown a straight red card.

Scans have revealed that Leonard sustained medial ligament damage.

VIDEO: Police investigating crowd clash at Essex derby

Police are investigating crowd trouble which occurred at the Essex derby between Southend and Colchester on Saturday.

Footage filmed by a supporter at the game, shows a fan running towards the stand occupied by Colchester United fans.

It appears to show him throwing punches at people in the crowd. The incident took place towards the end of the League One match at Southend's Roots Hall. Police are keen to identify those responsible.

The derby was a dramatic affair on and off the pitch.

The U's will have to cope without midfielder Alex Gilbey for their next three games after he was shown a straight red card for that challenge on Ryan Leonard.

Southend scored three goals in the last ten minutes to secure a three-nil victory over their local rivals.


Chelsea starlet signs on-loan with Norwich City

Norwich City have signed Chelsea striker Patrick Bamford on loan for the rest of the season.

Bamford, 22, spent the first half of the season on loan at Crystal Palace but it ended in controversy when he said his spell there had been "terrible".

The Grantham-born forward has yet to make a first-team appearance for Chelsea but came to prominence during a a loan spell at MK Dons where he scored 18 goals.

Last season he was named as the Sky Bet Championship's Player of the Year after scoring 17 times in 38 league matches for Middlesbrough. He faced his new side in last season's Championship play-off final at Wembley.

Speaking to about his latest loan move, Bamford said:

"I'm really happy to be here, and the sooner I'm able to get involved the better. That's what I want to do personally, but it's also about helping Norwich to get the points required to stay in the league."

– Patrick Bamford
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