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Saints in Europa League action

Jay Rodriguez scores from the penalty point Credit: PA

Jay Rodriguez scored his first goal in almost 17 months as Southampton were held to a draw by FC Midtjylland in their Europa League play-off tie.

The England international had been out with a serious knee injury for much of that time and the relief was there for all to see as he emphatically thumped home an equaliser from the penalty spot to secure a 1-1 draw.

It was a returning Saints player who opened the scoring as Tim Sparv put Midtjylland ahead just before half-time, giving his side the advantage ahead of the return leg in Herning next week.

Finland international Sparv was part of the same youth side as Gareth Bale, Theo Walcott and Adam Lallana but never made it into the Saints' first team and although he did not celebrate he would have enjoyed his moment.

Saints hit back with an early second-half penalty, with Rodriguez slotting home his first goal since he struck twice in a 4-0 win over Newcastle on March 29 2014 - leaving the tie finely poised ahead of the return fixture.

Southampton boss Koeman conceded it was not a good result but praised his players for their second-half performance. He told BT Sport Europe: "It's not a good result at home, 1-1, but we had five or six very good chances. We have to look to ourselves and learn from tonight and to do things better next week."

Man due to go on trial for rape goes on run from court

Jack McRae Credit: Hampshire Police

Police are searching for a prisoner due to go on trial for rape, who has absconded from custody whilst at Southampton Crown Court.

Jack McRae, 23, was at a preliminary hearing for the upcoming rape trial having been transported from prison.

He disappeared from the court room at around 10.51am yesterday morning.

He was wearing a grey t-shirt and dark trousers with a belt.

Five-figure sum for man who became seriously ill on cruise

A man in his 80s who nearly died after contracting Legionnaires' Disease on a cruise has received an out-of-court five figure settlement from the ship's operators.

A week after the ship sailed from Southampton for the Cape Verdi Islands, Frank Standen - from Tunbride Wells in Kent - had to be airlifted into intensive care.

John Ryall spoke to the Standens and their lawyer Clare Pearson from legal firm Irwin Mitchell.

Cost-cutting plans see libraries at risk of closure

Five libraries in Southampton are under threat of closure as the city council looks to save money.

Burgess Road, Cobbett Road, Millbrook, Thornhill and Weston libraries will be axed unless volunteers come forward to run them as 'community-led initiatives'.

Cobbett Road Library, one of the five threatened with closure

The decision as to whether the proposals will be accepted will be made next week on 18 August.

The council says it is part of wider plans to improve library services and ensure the majority of people in the city will be less than two miles away from a library.

They say if plans go ahead, resident who use the five libraries will still be able to access online services.

The recommendations follow a 14-week public consultation.

Nationally, library services have changed over recent years and we will decide where the future of ours lies next week.

The consultation showed that Southampton can have an efficient library service if we implement the preferred option.

– Cllr Satvir Kaur, Southampton City Council


Woman seen throwing kitten out of car

This six month old kitten was thrown out of a car in Holbury Credit: RSPCA

A woman has been seen throwing a kitten out of a car before driving off near Southampton. At about 6:10pm yesterday evening a silver Vauxhall Zafira shaped car with a black roof box was seen by a fellow driver pulling into the entrance of St. Bernard’s Church on Southbourne Avenue in Holbury.

A female then opened the car door and threw the young kitten out of the vehicle before quickly driving off. The terrified six month-old kitten was picked up by the person in the car behind before being taken to a local vet practice.

“Luckily this shocking turn of events had been witnessed by another considerate and quick-thinking driver who turned around and went to immediately find the poor kitten. Although clearly shaken by being abandoned in this manner, the kitten is in good health and should make a good recovery. I find it very bizarre that someone would want to dump their own pet like this - it is so callous and cold. These people have shown no thought for the damage they could have caused, for the kitten’s welfare or for her state of mind. It would have been very distressing for her.”

– Penny Baker, RSPCA Inspector

Anyone with any further information about this incident is being urged to contact the RSPCA inspector appeal line immediately on 0300 123 8018.

The RSPCA is a charity and we rely on public donations to exist. To assist our Inspectors in carrying out their vital work please text HELP to 78866 to give £3 (Texts cost £3 + one standard network rate message).

Pride of Britain nurse retires but continues raising money for sick children

Rosie was made to dress as Ellie' the PICU mascot on her last day!

Just two weeks after hanging up her nurse's scrubs for good you'd think Rosie Mitchell would be looking forward to a restful weekend. But for Meridian's Pride of Britain winner it means she can now spend even more time raising money for critically ill children.

Tomorrow is one of Rosie's biggest events - the annual PICU Funday. It's hosted by the landlady of the Cleveland Arms in Chandler's Ford who has seen first hand how Rosie's charity 'Friends of PICU' helps youngsters. Jade Whitfield's son Jenson was rushed to the Paediatric Intensive Care Unit at Southampton suffering breathing problems when he was a small baby. One of around a thousand children to receive treatment on the unit every year.

"I want to see the unit continue to expand and remain to be one of the best in the country."

– Rosie Mitchell, retired nurse
Rosie was sad to leave the unit but can now concentrate on raising money for PICU

For the past fourteen years Rosie has nursed youngsters like Jenson who require round the clock care from some of the country's best trauma medics. But she quickly realised that the NHS couldn't provide all the specialist life saving equipment the unit needed.

Within eight years of launching the charity, Rosie and her supporters had raised a staggering £1million for the unit. It enabled them to buy medical kit that makes procedures less invasive for the unit's tiny patients as well as three special ambulances, specifically designed to collect critically ill children from across the south coast and bring them to Southampton for urgent treatment. It also helped to pay for accommodation for parents whose children are being treated on the unit so that they can be on site 24 hours a day.

But with much more on the shopping list it's meant that when Rosie hasn't been working on the unit - all of her spare time has been used raising money for it. Her departure from the ward earlier this month was tinged with sadness but Rosie says her passion is for fundraising and she wants to keep the money coming in so that the unit can remain one of the best in the country.

"I was very sad to leave the wonderful unit but I realised I was not as young as I used to be and kept getting stuck on the floor checking drains! Now that I am retired I will have lots more energy to keep on fundraising."

– Rosie Mitchell, retired nurse
Rosie will continue fundraising for PICU Credit: Rosie Mitchell

When Rosie won ITV Meridian's Pride of Britain award last summer it was clear to see how much she meant to the unit. She was nominated by five different people including PICU's medical director, and parents whose children benefit from everything she has done both medically and charitably say she is simply 'one in a million'.

So as this 'one in a million' aims to make her next million, on Saturday July 25th her funday will see pony rides, face painting, bouncy castles, and tombolas and by making many children happy - it should also help to make many others healthy.

PICU Family Funday 10am - 4pm. The Cleveland Bay, Pilgrim's Close, Chandler's Ford SO53 4ST

Family pay tribute to couple killed in A303 crash

A couple killed in a crash on the A303 have been described by their family as "caring, fun, loving and inspirational".

Jon and Judith Woodget, of Lockeridge in Marlborough both died from their injuries after their car collided with a parked lorry in a lay-by on the westbound carriageway on Sunday.

Jon and Judith Woodget

It happened west of the Bullingdon Cross interchange at Sutton Scotney near Winchester.

Police are now in a position to name two people who died following a fatal road traffic collision on the A303 at Sutton Scotney near Winchester on Sunday, July 19.

Mr Woodget, 64, died at the scene and Mrs Woodget, 65, died at Southampton General Hospital the following day, with her family at her side.

John and Judith were adored by their children Matthew, Lucy and Sarah and their four grandsons Theodore, Maxwell, Sebastian and Miles. The hole left in the family is unfathomable. They were a hugely caring, fun loving and inspirational couple. They constantly provided time, energy and help to so many people, from family and friends to the community and beyond.

– Family tribute

New role for iconic phone boxes

The unusual new exhibition space Credit: OneFamily

Southampton is about to get one of the UK’s most unusual art venues thanks to a team of volunteers who have won a £5,000 community award from the OneFamily Foundation.

The K6 Gallery will renovate a pair of old telephone boxes (the iconic, red variety) located in the old town quarter of Southampton, and convert them into an exhibition space.

It will offer a genuine platform for local artists and creative people from within the community to exhibit their work, as well as the ability to curate exhibitions, including the work of the students at Southampton Solent Art Studios.

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