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Mansfield Town spread festive cheer

Christmas came early for sick children in hospital in Mansfield today when they were visited by Mansfield Town’s first team squad - who came armed with presents.

Young Stags fans were delighted to come face-to-face with their heroes.

Mansfield Town players will children at Kings Mill Hospital
Mansfield Town players will children at Kings Mill Hospital

Manager Paul Cox said: “At this time of year, it's nice to spread some Christmas cheer to those less fortunate than ourselves. The lads have dug deep and have put their own money into a collection to buy presents for poorly children."

Supporter Steven Bingham tweeted: ‘Just taken my daughter to children’s ward at KMH [King’s Mill Hospital] and bump into the #mtfcsquad! Great to see that side of the game! #stars’

Our region's draw for the 3rd round of the FA Cup

Sheffield United travel to Aston Villa. Barnsley host either Hartlepool or Coventry. Doncaster play Stevenage. Grimsby take on Huddersfield at Blundell Park. The reward for Mansfield if they overcome Oldham is a trip to Anfield.

Wednesday travel to Macclesfield, Hull face Middlesbrough and Leeds go to Rochdale. Those games will be played on the weekend of the 4th and 5th of January.

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Portsmouth 'shocked and saddened' by allegations

Footballer Sam Sodje was filmed claiming to have taken payment to earn a booking while playing for Portsmouth. Credit: PA

Portsmouth spokesman Colin Farmery said: "If these serious allegations are true then we are extremely shocked and saddened by them, as match-fixing of any type goes to the heart of the integrity of the game.

"The player in question no longer plays for the club and we have not been contacted by the authorities, but of course we would cooperate fully with any inquiry."

National

Sodje 'arranged £30,000 yellow in Championship game'

Sam Sodje pictured warming up before a Portsmouth match in March 2013. Credit: Empics

In more secret filming by the Sun on Sunday, Sam Sodje claimed another player would take a £30,000 payment for deliberately earning a booking during a Championship match.

Explaining the scheme to the newspaper's undercover reporter, Sodje said: “This guy came to meet me at my house and it was sorted. That’s how easy it is — it’s nothing. The booking one is easy. This is the best time because it’s Christmas. I can get you four.”

The Sun said it accompanied Sodje to the fixture in question and the unnamed player did indeed pick up a yellow card for "a sliding tackle on an opponent after the ball had already gone out of play".

National

Three people in custody over match-fixing allegations

Three people are in custody after police opened a second investigation into football match-fixing following fresh allegations as a result of an investigation by The Sun on Sunday newspaper.

A National Crime Agency statement read:

Three people are in custody and are being questioned by NCA officers. We cannot comment further at this stage.

National

Footballer claims he took £70,000 for sending off

This video has been removed for copyright reasons.

In secret footage filmed by the Sun on Sunday, former Portsmouth player Sam Sodje claims he took a £70,000 payment for a sending off during a third-tier League One fixture in February this year.

Sodje, who was born in London but represented Nigeria at international level, played three times in the Premier League for Reading in the 2006/07 season.

The National Crime Agency said in a statement they had launched a new investigation as a result of the footage: "We can confirm that The Sun has supplied us with intelligence and an investigation is ongoing."

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Two ex-Premier League stars 'involved match-fixing'

It is understood that two ex-Premier League stars are involved in a police match-fixing probe, according to a Sun on Sunday investigation.

The newspaper claims that one player claimed another agreed to deliberately earn a booking in a recent Championship clash in return for £30,000.

Two 'ex-Premier League stars' involved match-fixing

Leeds United striker Ross McCormack drafted into the Scotland squad

McCormack called up to the Scotland squad Credit: PA Images

The striker was originally left out of the Scotland squad by Gordon Strachan for their friendly internationals with USA and Norway in the next week. But he has now received a late call-up because of an injury to Blackburn Rovers striker Jordan Rhodes.

The 27-year-old will meet up with the Scotland squad today ahead of the game with the USA at Hampden Park on Friday night. Last night he wrote on his Twitter page: "Heading up to be part of Scotland squad tomorrow... Looking forward to the 2 games."

Hull City name-change u-turn

Hull City owner Assem Allam has promised not to change the name of the club - at least until there has been a consultation.

Hull City A.F.C supporters’ campaign group City Till We Die had a meeting today with Allam, during which he made the vow.

The owner controversially announced he wanted to change the name to Hull City Tigers earlier this year as it would "work better in the commercial world".

At the meeting he said he would conduct two to three years of research, and if it was proved there would be no benefit, it would not be changed.

Friends praise Rugby's fab four

It was an historic moment for four brothers from West Yorkshire today.

They were ALL on the winning side of a top-flight rugby match in Australia today.

All four Burgess brothers honed their talent as juniors with Dewsbury Moor ARLFC - friend and former teammate Peter Robinson speaks of his pride at watching all four make history by playing on the same NRL side earlier today.

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