Kit Shepard

CURRENT: Freelance sports journalist working mainly with The Times and Rugby World

PREVIOUS EXPERIENCE: Rugby Reporter (Reach PLC publications), Sports Editor (Redbrick Newspaper), Writer (Fansided and Vavel)

World Cup 2022: Key dates, fixtures and schedule for Qatar

The Fifa World Cup 2022 will be hosted in Qatar and contested by 32 nations. After more than a decade of allegations, arguments and animosity, the most scrutinised football tournament in history is about to begin. On the pitch, the World Cup remains the pinnacle of the sport and the stakes are as high as ever. When does the competition start? Can England win it? Why is there so much controversy? We answer all the important questions below. • Who will win the World Cup? Play our predictor • Wha

Postcards from the pyramid: Spurs loanee wins battle of the strikers at Portsmouth

Portsmouth and Peterborough United’s meeting was inevitably defined by strikers. Going into the League One encounter, both sides had scored a division-best 13 goals and deployed forwards with contrasting stories. The first 20 minutes at Fratton Park belonged to Jonson Clarke-Harris. Into his 12th season of EFL football with 101 goals in that time, the Peterborough captain overpowered Portsmouth’s defenders, made some deft touches and created the game’s first goal. However, the hosts gradually

From the archives: A handshake for the century in the United States in 1946

The handshake between Jackie Robinson and George Shuba is the antithesis of Thomas Tuchel and Antonio Conte’s full-time spat. Rather than a hotly contested flashpoint over trivial matters, this gesture was understated but became a tool to combat centuries of discrimination. The day was April 18, 1946, and Robinson, 27, was making his minor leagues debut for the Montreal Royals in an away game against the Jersey City Giants. Not for the last time in his fabled career, he was making history — the

Gertrude Ederle breaks new ground with Channel record in 1926

Clad in animal fat, paraffin-sealed motorcycle goggles and a two-piece swimsuit bereft of the modesty expected in 1926, Gertrude Ederle left Cap Gris-Nez in France with women’s sporting history at stake. Some 35 miles later, in the August twilight, the 19-year-old American broke new ground not for her gender, but her species. Ederle had become the sixth person to swim the Channel, joining five men, and did so in a record time of 14 hours and 39 minutes. No caveats, no qualifying statements on h

From the archives: The first postwar ‘British Empire Games’ takes place in 1950

‘We declare that we are all loyal subjects of his majesty the King,” it was proclaimed at the opening ceremony of the 1950 British Empire Games in Auckland. Indeed, as the multi-sport festival began on New Zealand’s North Island, the only sensible conclusion seemed to be that the empire was thriving. There was the name itself: “Commonwealth” was only included in the title from 1954, and “British Empire” would survive until 1970. “Commonwealth Games” was adopted in 1978. There were the measurem

From the archives: English cricket fans get a first taste of Twenty20 Finals Day in 2003

The half-smiles, polite applause and chuckling at the streamers implied that English cricket was a little embarrassed by it all. The inaugural Twenty20 cup finals day, which followed a swift 12-day group stage of five matches each, was held on July 19, 2003, at a sold-out Trent Bridge. Once complete, the remains of the summer could be dedicated to longer and more serious formats. Today, the competition celebrates its 20th finals day — at Edgbaston — and nearly two decades of remarkable change.

FA Cup final bidding to rival Arsenal 1993 cup double drama

For nearly three decades, Arsenal and Sheffield Wednesday shared a unique quirk of English knockout football. Never before or since had the same sides contested the League Cup and FA Cup finals in one campaign, as they did in 1992/93, until Liverpool and Chelsea repeated the feat this year. The duo are still in a bracket of their own. After Arsenal prevailed 2-1 in the 1993 League Cup final, the rematch ended 1-1. That meant an FA Cup final replay, the last of its kind, which the Gunners also e

How fast is your commute?

The London Underground has one distinct feature keeping speeds in check. It is a characteristic that Gareth Dennis, a track design engineer who has worked on projects across the UK, is very familiar with. “There are tight curves everywhere,” he says. “It’s a nightmare of a system, nothing’s straight.” The capital’s Tube routes were generally constructed to mirror the paths of the roads above them, therefore avoiding existing buildings. The result? Where there is a sudden bend in the road, th

Women's Six Nations: how dominant are England and France, and why?

The history of the Women’s Six Nations can be told in three tiers. At the top is England. The Red Roses have won 12 of the 20 tournaments contested since the competition expanded to six teams in 2002, including the last three iterations. Trailing them by a small margin is France. Les Bleues have won six of the remaining eight titles and are perennially England’s main rival. And the third tier houses everyone else. None of Ireland, Scotland, Wales, Italy or Spain (who Italy replaced ahead of t

Roehampton and Fulham Juniors look for solutions after Azeem Rafiq case

Rohan Kapadia, director of cricket at Roehampton and Fulham Juniors, knows how Azeem Rafiq feels. A British Asian and one-time club cricketer in Middlesex in his early-20s, Kapadia, 39, learned first-hand that racism is ingrained into cricket. He said: “I hated the drinking culture. I hated the nicknames I got given. “It wasn’t a welcoming environment, at even the higher levels of club cricket. All of my friends who played first-class cricket have similar stories. “Sport takes the really rub

Keely Hodgkinson begins quest for quadruple in Birmingham

Last year brought an Olympic silver medal and a national 800m record but Keely Hodgkinson knows 2022 could be even bigger as she prepares for her first appearance of the season. The Atherton ace produced one of the moments of the Tokyo Games as she stormed from sixth to second on the final lap of a thrilling Olympic final, shattering Kelly Holmes’ record in the process. Now she has the not-so-small challenge of backing it up in a year featuring the World Championships, a home Commonwealth Game

Spurs finally hold United at bay with stoppage-time equaliser

Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester United are just over a quarter of the way into their Women’s Super League seasons, but the late drama that concluded their encounter at The Hive yesterday could be viewed as season defining come the spring. With seconds of second-half stoppage time to play, Ria Percival’s free kick — way too far out for a shot to be considered — eluded everybody and snatched a point for Spurs, sparking joyous home celebrations. United, who had taken the lead courtesy of Alessia

Premiership play-offs race: How it stands with eight rounds to go

Premiership play-offs race: How it stands with eight rounds to go This season’s race for the Gallagher Premiership play-offs is one of the most exciting in recent memory. While Leicester Tigers are the league’s runaway leaders, the next eight teams are separated by just 12 points and the scrap to finish in the top four over the final eight rounds of the season is sure to be full of twists and turns. For the remainder of the season, each round of matches includes multiple games where play-off

Rainford-Brent calls for action over words to end racism in cricket – Sports Journalists’ Association

Ebony Rainford-Brent believes it is time for cricket to stop talking and take meaningful action to eradicate discrimination. Allegations of institutional racism, most notably by Azeem Rafiq towards Yorkshire, have tarnished the sport’s reputation in 2021. Rainford-Brent, the first black women’s cricketer to play for England, admitted at the SJA British Sports Awards that she was tired of only talking about change. She said: “I’m going to be honest, I’m a little bit exhausted by a lot of these

'Chalk and cheese' - Ben Youngs on Tigers' revival under Borthwick

Ben Youngs has not been for a beer with Steve Borthwick, and not just because pubs only reopened last week. "I don't want to go for a beer with Steve,” the Leicester Tigers scrum-half repliedwith a smile. “I want Steve to make me better, I want Steve to make the club as good as possible.” If the Tigers head coach does offer to go for a pint, Youngs would surely be willing. Nevertheless, it is what Borthwick is bringing to the club on the field and in the changing room that is making Youngs

5. Views from the bar and the boardroom

What is it like to be at a Hundred match? Kit spoke to Michael, a bar worker at Lord’s and the Oval, to discover what cricket’s newest competition is offering to spectators. Michael talks about the unusual type of crowd he has seen, the dedicated support for teams and the role of alcohol inside the ground. He also gives a fascinating view of The Hundred from a very casual cricket fan’s perspective, and his opinions will not thrill the traditionalists...

‘I would never run outside by myself’: Sexual Harassment and Sport at UoB | Sport

Content Warning: This article contains references to sexual harassment, sexual abuse and the death of Sarah Everard. ‘It’s one of those things that doesn’t surprise me. It’s so common and you’re so used to it, and that sounds awful because you shouldn’t ever be used to those sort of things.’ The reaction of University of Birmingham (UoB) Cool Runnings coach Eleanor Rees to the death of Sarah Everard will be shared by women across campus. The tragedy, alongside the recent finding by The Guardia

Six Nations Rewind: Reliving six classic encounters

The Six Nations kicks off tomorrow with three typically intriguing clashes, so ahead of another classic campaign, we took a look back at six of the most memorable matches from this weekend’s fixtures on the Six Nations Rewind podcast. To get you up to speed, here is an introduction to each match. One of Italy’s greatest results, the round four match was the last international at a packed Stadio Flaminio in Rome. Italy had never beaten France in the Six Nations and while the comeback win did n

The Selly Sportscast Episode 3 - Ella Franklin-Fraiture! by Burn FM • A podcast on

Welcome to the first episode of Burning Questions - Burn FM's brand new members-based podcast. This week I've invited on our brand new Head of Programming Alex Mason for a classic chat about all sorts - we range from topics such as midlands awareness to the best nightlife spots in Birmingham, and make sure to discuss Alex's own lockdown creativity, whether in her band Honey or with her new solo releases! Most importantly, however, we throw her into the deep end in two quickfire rounds to get to
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