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Adam Johnson trial pushed back to February 2016

The trial of England and Sunderland footballer Adam Johnson on child sex charges has been put back to next year.

Johnson pictured arriving at court today. Credit: PA

The 28-year-old Sunderland winger has appeared at Durham Crown Court for a hearing which dealt with legal rulings, ahead of a trial which had been scheduled for later this month.

Judge Christopher Prince, the recorder of Durham, accepted that the trial could not take place then, and said it will be heard at Bradford Crown Court on February 10.

The judge said details of Monday's hearing could not be reported, except to say it involved legal and administrative matters.

Johnson, wearing a blue-grey checked suit and white shirt with no tie, was driven to the hearing in a Range Rover, and walked into the court building with a group of men including his legal team and his father.

The defendant, from Castle Eden, County Durham, has already denied three counts of sexual activity with a child and one count of grooming.

Danny Graham donates to save career of fellow player

Sunderland striker Danny Graham has put his hand in his pocket to help save a fellow footballer's career.

What a gesture from Danny Graham. Credit: PA

The 29-year-old Black Cats frontman has donated £2,690 to a fund set up to raise funds to cover the cost of an operation for Gateshead midfielder JJ O'Donnell, who is suffering from the rare foot condition sesamoiditis.

O'Donnell confirmed the news via his Twitter account, tweeting: "I'm not singling Danny out as without everybody donating, I wouldn't have ever reached my target, but a donation like that has left me speechless.

"I've never met Danny, but for him to put an astronomical amount like that towards a fund of a lad who he doesn't know speaks volumes of what a true gentleman he is.


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Sunderland fans to fly banner during Newcastle game

Maybe it would be funny in Sunderland weren't fighting relegation? Credit: @HITCtopcorner

Sunderland fans are reportedly planning to fly a "5 in a row" banner over St James' Park today during Newcastle's match against Spurs.

The Black Cats have beaten Newcastle in their last five meetings, but have problems of their own as they fight to remain in the Premier League this season.

There are also reports that a significant number of Newcastle fans will boycott today's match in protest at owner Mike Ashley's lack of ambition in the transfer market.

Bolasie hat-trick sinks Sunderland

Yannick Bolasie put Sunderland to the sword. Credit: PA Wire

Yannick Bolasie plundered an 11-minute hat-trick as Crystal Palace boss Alan Pardew got his own back on Sunderland.

The DR Congo international struck after 51, 54 and 62 minutes after Glenn Murray had opened the scoring to hand the former Newcastle manager a 4-1 victory at the Stadium of Light, Palace's first ever top-flight win on Wearside. Connor Wickham scored the home side's consolation.

Pardew, of course, presided over four successive defeats by the Black Cats during his spell in charge at St James' Park, and that run was a major factor in the deterioration of his relationship with the Toon Army.

Victory took the Eagles through the 40-point barrier – 25 of their 42 have come in the 12 Premier League games since he took charge.

Premier League team news: Sunderland v Crystal Palace

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