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Pope employs Cheshire tattoo removal specialists

When the Vatican needed some serious help to restore ancient works of art there was only one place to go.

They turned to a company in Cheshire that specialises in removing tattoos.

Many of the works needed centuries of dirt removed and the special laser technology is perfect for the job.

Our correspondent Rob Smith has this remarkable story.


United star Hernandez suffers 'broken collarbone'

Hernandez - faces a lengthy lay-off Credit: PA Pictures

Manchester United striker Javier Hernandez was taken to hospital after suffering an injury while playing for Mexico against Honduras in a Gold Cup warm-up match on Wednesday night.

According to reports, the 27-year-old has suffered a broken collarbone, although the Mexican Football Federation has yet to confirm the nature of the injury.

"We have no report, all I know is that he has gone to hospital," coach Miguel Herrera said on the federation's website. "We have not yet seen the results.''

Hernandez was hurt shortly before half-time in a collision with Honduras defender Brayan Beckeles and signalled for help before being substituted. The match finished goalless in Houston.

A significant injury will not only rule Hernandez out of the Gold Cup but also complicate his attempts to secure a move away from Old Trafford after a season out on loan with Real Madrid, who declined to take up an option to make the move permanent.

ELECTRIFYING - your views of the lightning storm

Lightning over Bolton Credit: Ashley Prince, Bolton
Robbie Kirk, Newton Le Willows Credit: Robbie Kirk, Newton Le Willows
Kelsey Thomson, Burnley Credit: Kelsey Thomson
Rob Stevens, Bury Credit: Rob Stevens, Bury
Jasmin Dawson, Rochdale Credit: Jasmin Dawson, Rochdale
Tricia De Grae, Urmston Credit: Tricia De Grae, Urmston
Nick Coleman, Urmston Credit: Nick Coleman, Urmston
Tom Nokes, Oldham Credit: Tom Nokes, Oldham

Girls and women urged to take up football on Merseyside

Toni Duggan a trailblazer for women's football Credit: PA

It 's hoped the England football team’s success at the Women’s World Cup will encourage a growth in the sport.

Female football is the fastest growing format of football on Merseyside. Liverpool County FA have more than 170 female grassroots football teams across Merseyside who have teams ranging from under 7s through to adults playing five a side to 11 against 11 at various indoor or outdoor football facilities.

Liverpool County FA have just completed the Merseyside Game Changer which included a complete review of female football in the area including school, grassroots, recreational football and the Female Talent Pathway.

350 footballers are involved including girls as young as 5. They were consulted by the County FA on what changes and developments could be made to improve female football. The overall findings from the Game Changer highlighted they want to be treated the same as their male counterparts and be given the same opportunities to play football, access to better playing and training facilities and increase promotion and media coverage o help change the perception of the game and increase participation rates in Merseyside.

Helping to change the perception of female football are the four players who've just been flying the flag for Merseyside in the Women’s World Cup in Canada - Fara Williams, Toni Duggan, Alex Greenwood and Jodie Taylor. Fara is an adopted Scouser, and has played football in Merseyside since 2004 with Everton Ladies and her current club Liverpool Ladies. Liverpool born Toni Duggan (Manchester City) and Alex Greenwood (Notts County) started their careers playing with Everton Ladies in their Centre of Excellence and they both progressed into the first team, and Jodie Taylor from Birkenhead (Portland Thorns) began playing the game with Tranmere Rovers Ladies and has played in America, Sweden and Australia.

Female Football in Merseyside has benefited from £30,000 of investment from various external funding agencies including the Football Foundation, Sport England and the People’s Postcode Trust during the 2014-15 season.

Anna Farrell, Football Development Officer for Liverpool County FA said, “Female Football is the fastest growing format of football in Merseyside and the achievements of the Lionesses in Canada is only going to increase awareness and help us change perception of the game locally and nationally.

“The FA has recently launched the #WeCanPlay which aims to canvass the support of 100,000 girls and parents as part of its drive to boost participation and change the way girls/parents view the game.


All children need uniform and sports kit - charity

Charity says all children need uniform and sports kit Credit: PA

A charity is hoping to break the cycle of child poverty by making sure that all children have the school uniform and sports kit they need, if their parents can't afford it.

The 'Wood Street Mission' wants local businesses to help fund the million pound scheme in Manchester and Salford over the next four years.

It doesn't want a negative experience at school to impact on their future ambitions.

There are 55,000 children living in poverty in Manchester and Salford. Doing well at school is crucial if they are to grow up and break the cycle of poverty. But too often their parents struggle to afford school costs like uniform and sports kit which negatively impacts on children’s experience of school.

We want to grow a fund in partnership with the city’s professional firms and businesses which will help children fit in and achieve in school so they grow up to fulfil their potential and contribute their skills and talents to our growing economy. That’s in everyone’s interest given the high economic and individual cost of child poverty.

– Roseanne Sweeney chief executive of Wood Street Mission

We want to make communities better places in which to live, work and learn. As an employer we draw skills and talents of people from different backgrounds. This scheme will help children be more engaged and reach their full potential.

– Steve Hayes-Allen, Regional Head Northern UK BNY Mellon which is helping fund SmartStart Manchester & Salford

Holidaymaker injured in Tunisia back home in Lancashire

A holidaymaker from Lancashire who was hit by a terrorist grenade in Tunisia has arrived back home in Darwen.

Carol Wearing has told Granada Reports how she was separated from her daughter as they were forced to run for their lives.

She's been talking to our correspondent Ashley Derricott on the day some of the Britons who lost their lives were brought back to the UK:

  1. Border

Police launch murder investigation into Windermere death

Credit: PA

Police have launched a murder investigation into the death of a man in Windermere today.

Two local men, aged 26 and 31, and two women who were visiting the Lake District, aged 48 and 15, have been arrested on suspicion of murder.

They are currently being questioned by Police.

Officers were called at 2.04am this morning to Brookside, Lake Road.

The man was pronounced dead at the scene.

Police are appealing for witnesses.

This death is still unexplained but detectives and officers are working hard to establish exactly what has happened.

“We urge the public to get in touch with any information that may assist the investigation.

"We would particularly like to speak to anyone who was in the area at the time or who heard an altercation.”

– Superintendent Rob O’Connor

The area around the scene is closed while enquiries are ongoing.

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