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Sail the world: Coming home

After almost two years at sea, the tall ship Lord Nelson has been in Halifax, Canada, getting ready for the final leg of her voyage around the world.

On board are 50 sailors, able-bodied and disabled people, who've helped to take her to 30 countries on all seven continents.

ITV Meridian reporter Richard Jones has followed the ship's story since she left the UK in October 2012 and has been in Canada to meet the men and women who've risen to the challenge of crewing a tall ship at sea.

Could Ronaldinho be heading to the South?

Non-league Basingstoke Town bidding for Ronaldinho Credit: Adam Davy/PA Wire

Non-league Basingstoke Town have made a cheeky bid to sign Brazil World Cup winner Ronaldinho.

The 34 year old is now a free agent after leaving Brazilian side Atletico Mineiro.

Basingstoke - who play at the town's Soccer AM Stadium - are reportedly in touch with the player's agent in a bid to attract him to the Conference South.


Sail the world: Conquering earth's most hostile seas

The Lord Nelson's voyage around the world was designed to take her the right way around the world, dodging the worst of the weather, and following traditional sailing routes.

But there was no avoiding the notorious Southern Ocean, acknowledged to be the sailing equivalent of climbing Mount Everest.

On board, the ship's navigator Marcin Dobrowolski turned cameraman and filmed the epic passage which took the ship around Cape Horn and then further south to Antarctica.

Richard Jones has been following the story of the ship since she left the UK, and used Marcin's pictures for this special report on the Lord Nelson's biggest challenge.

Sail the world: The final voyage

It's almost two years since the tall ship Lord Nelson left the UK on her maiden voyage around the world. She's the first vessel specially designed to be jointly crewed by able-bodied and disabled people.

Her 50,000-mile voyage has involved a thousand sailors and has taken her to South America, Africa, the Far East, Australia, New Zealand, and the Southern Ocean.

ITV Meridian reporter Richard Jones has been following the story of this epic adventure since it started in Southampton in October 2012.

He's been aboard the ship in Cape Town, and sailed on her as she took part in a tall ships' race from Sydney to Auckland.

Now he's been back to catch up with the crew as they prepare for the last leg of the voyage back to the UK.

New race competitors yell: 'We are Sparta!'

How do you fancy wading through chest-deep muddy water, running up hills carrying sandbags, climbing ropes and hurdling fire pits?

Certainly not your average Sunday afternoon stroll but, as Andy Dickenson found out, there's very little that's average about the Spartan Races held in Sussex this weekend. He spoke to race director Dan Tuffnell and head coach Richard Pringle.


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Paul Gascoigne determined to beat alcohol addiction

Former England footballer Paul Gascoigne said he can overcome the demons which saw him admitted to hospital in a drink-fuelled stupor.

Paul Gascoigne. Credit: Chris Radburn/PA Archive

The 46-year-old, whose legacy on the pitch has been overshadowed by alcohol and drug attractions, was treated in a Dorset hospital when he suffered a relapse last week after spending the previous seven months clean.

He told the Sunday Mirror: "I know I can overcome this. I am an alcoholic so I am taking one day at a time, but I will get there."

The former Tottenham Hotspur player said he turned to drink after being served with an eviction notice on his flat in Sandbanks, Poole, and described his latest relapse as a "blip".

He told the newspaper: "Up until a few weeks ago, I was doing great. I have an illness and I had a bad moment. Now I want to make sure it doesn't happen again."

Mixture of results for Meridian's football teams

There were several draws today as teams from the south kicked off their football season.

Saints beat West Ham 3-1, winning their first Premier League game under their new manager Ronald Koeman.

Brighton and Hove Albion's Lewis Dunk (second left) is congratulated by his team mates after his goal Credit: EMPICS Sport

Brighton were not so lucky, as they finished with a 2-2 draw against Charlton.

Reading won 1-0 when they played at Middlesborough and Swindon drew 1-1 with Coventry at home.

Swindon Town's Raphael Rossi-Branco celebrates his goal Credit: EMPICS Sport

Bournemouth took on Norwich and drew 1-1 while Crawley lost 2-1 to MK Dons.

AFC Bournemouth's Eddie Howe salutes fans after their 1-1 draw Credit: EMPICS Sport

Saints off to flying start with 3-1 win against West Ham

Morgan Schneiderlin scored twice to ensure Southampton won their first Barclays Premier League game with new manager Ronald Koeman.

Saints beat West Ham 3-1 at Upton Park and they started brightly as Pelle and Shane Long, a £12million signing from Hull, stretched the Hammers' defence.

Morgan Schneiderlin scored twice to secure the win Credit: PA Wire

Graziano Pelle, signed for £8million from Koeman's old club Feyenoord, wrapped things up with seven minutes left.

That sparked a rush to the exits for the home fans, following a second home defeat in the space of a week for manager Sam Allardyce whose team were knocked out of the Capital One Cup on penalties by Sky Bet League One side Sheffield United.

Francis Benali one week into his 'Big Run'

Now former Southampton defender Francis Benali is one week into his 'Big Run' which sees him running to every Premier League ground in the country.

The challenge, which aims to raise more than one million pounds for Cancer Research means he has to complete around 50 miles every day for three weeks.

Yesterday he arrived at Burnley from where he spoke to us about what had been a difficult day.

For more information on the run and how to donate click here

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