BBC Crimewatch to feature murder of Andrew tonight

You may remember a story we published back in February about the murder of 18-year-old Everton supporter Andrew Johnson. The perpetrator is still free. Andrew’s family have been in touch to let us know that BBC’s Crimewatch programme is going to cover the incident in the hope that it can help police solve the crime.

The programme will be on tonight, on BBC1 at 9.00pm.

Our original article is below, please try and watch the programme tonight (or record it if you are out) and try and see if there’s anything at all you can do to help.

Help Andrew’s family get justice
Written by Jim Boardman
  
Tuesday, 07 February 2006
Andrew JonesAlmost
three years ago, in March 2003, 18-year-old Andrew Jones died after
being attacked in Liverpool City Centre. Nobody has been brought to
justice yet for the murder of this young man.

His parents and
family have set up a website where you can find out more about what
happened. It serves both as a tribute to Andrew and as a means of
hopefully helping to bring the perpetrators to justice.

Andrew was an Evertonian, but instead of joining in with the usual banter about who are the better side he’s no longer with us.

The
website has already been featured on Everton websites, but Andrew’s
family have asked if Liverpool websites would be willing to mention it.
We hope that you can find some time today to read Andrew’s site and if
you feel you can do anything at all to help then please do so.

As Andrew’s dad Andy says, “I am sure you will agree that at times like this, football rivalry is put aside.”

Justice for Andrew Joneshttp://www.justiceforandrewjones.com/

Rest in Peace Andrew.

Continue reading BBC Crimewatch to feature murder of Andrew tonight

Dudek victim of £100k burglary

One of the heroes of Istanbul, goalkeeper Jerzy Dudek, has been the victim of a major burglary at his home. Dudek was omitted from the Polish squad for the World Cup and was on holiday back home in Poland at the time the burglary took place. Perhaps most upsetting about the crime for him will be the fact that irreplaceable football memoribilia and souveniers were part of the haul.

He’s estimated that a total 120 items were stolen, including items like his European Cup winners medal from 2005. He’s also lost goalkeeper’s gloves and over 100 shirts worn by him for significant games, such as one from the 2002 World Cup finals and his Worthington Cup Final shirt from 2005. The thieves also got away with a small plasma TV and two gold rings, along with two watches – a £2,500 Rolex, and a Cartier one presented during his Dutch playing days and engraved with the words, “100 Years of the Dutch Football Association”.

More valuable perhaps in money terms perhaps was the player’s £65,000 Porsche Carrera car. It’s said to be extremely distinctive, having Polish plates, left hand drive, and black alloy wheels to match the black bodywork.

According to the Liverpool Daily Post, Merseyside Police feel the items, estimated value totalling £100,000, may turn out to be offered for sale either on the internet or through local dealers. Police want anyone who spots anything for sale to report it. 
Continue reading Dudek victim of £100k burglary

Dudek’s victim of £100k burglary

One of the heroes of Istanbul, goalkeeper Jerzy Dudek, has been the victim of a major burglary at his home. Dudek was omitted from the Polish squad for the World Cup and was on holiday at the time the burglary took place. Perhaps most upsetting about the crime for him will be the fact that irreplaceable football memoribilia and souveniers were part of the haul.

He’s estimated that a total 120 items were stolen, including items like his European Cup winners medal from 2005. He’s also lost goalkeeper’s gloves and over 100 shirts worn by him for significant games, such as one from the 2002 World Cup finals and his Worthington Cup Final shirt from 2005. The thieves also got away with a small plasma TV and two gold rings, along with two watches – a £2,500 Rolex, and a Cartier one presented during his Dutch playing days and engraved with the words, “100 Years of the Dutch Football Association”.

More valuable perhaps in money terms perhaps was the player’s £65,000 Porsche Carrera car. It’s said to be extremely distinctive, having Polish plates, left hand drive, and black alloy wheels to match the black bodywork.

According to the Liverpool Daily Post, Merseyside Police feel the items, estimated value totalling £100,000, may turn out to be offered for sale either on the internet or through local dealers. Police want anyone who spots anything for sale to report it.

Continue reading Dudek’s victim of £100k burglary

Bellamy flies in for talks, Kuyt and Alves deals “close”

As Craig Bellamy reportedly cuts short his holiday to fly from Greece and speak to Rafael Benitez, developments in Germany today could have an impact on another Liverpool striking target. Bellamy is desperate to impress Rafa Benitez and so earn his dream move to Anfield.

With both teams already qualified for the next stage, Holland and Argentina are only playing for the group winner’s spot. Dutch coach Marco van Basten is therefore expected to give a runout to some of his other players, including Feyenoord striker Dirk Kuyt and Liverpool’s right wing-back Jan Kromkamp. Kromkamp is said to be hoping for a move back to Holland after the World Cup, Liverpool are looking at bringing Kuyt to Anfield as one of the two new strikers they are aiming for.

Reports (which may be deliberately misleading) coming from Anfield are that Liverpool won’t be buying both Kuyt and Bellamy without making money from sales first. With a bid already made, Bellamy looks set to be the player bought if Rafa can afford only one. Kromkamp’s performance today may just tip the scales in his favour for that move back home and would help Liverpool to raise those funds. A good performance from Kuyt could also see his value rise.

However the feeling is that Liverpool have already agreed a fee with Feyenoord for Kuyt, believed to be in the region of £10m. Kuyt’s preference was always for the Champions League football on offer from Liverpool. Djibril Cisse’s sale would have paid the biggest part of that fee, but now he’s only moving on loan some reshuffling of finances will need to be done.

Finally for now on the transfer front, we are hearing that the move by the Reds to sign Daniel Alves from Sevilla is very close to a conclusion. The gap between the two club’s valuations of the player is now all but closed. The player clearly wants to become a Red and Sevilla will allow the deal to go ahead before the end of the month.
Continue reading Bellamy flies in for talks, Kuyt and Alves deals “close”

Reds to face German side in pre-season

Liverpool’s pre-season preparations are to include a friendly against Bundesliga side FSV Mainz 05 in August. The German club finished in 11th place in the Bundesliga last season.

Last season’s pre-season plans were thrown up in the air after Liverpool were forced to play from the first qualifying round in the Champions League, but there’ll be no such problems this season. The Reds can plan games to suit their own needs.

The game will be played on Friday August 4th which means it will be one of the last games before the new season proper gets underway. Liverpool say that tickets are only going to be made available from FSV Mainz, none will be sold by LFC.
Continue reading Reds to face German side in pre-season

Rafa: I’ll talk to Craig to see if he’s right for us

Rafael Benitez says that he wants to find out just how passionate Craig Bellamy is about the possibility of playing for Liverpool. Liverpool have had a bid accepted for the player and Rafa says they’ll speak to him once he’s back from his honeymoon.

Rafa explained: “We have an agreement which allows us to talk to the player. He is on holiday, but we will talk over the next few days.”

Speaking to the official Liverpool FC website, Rafa said he knew that the player was good enough ability-wise, now it was a case of checking out other factors before the deal went any further: “I know the player’s qualities very well. He is a very good footballer and now we need to see if he has the passion to play for our club. I don’t think this will be a problem because he is a Liverpool fan, so I think it will be easy for him.”

Further to what Rafa said, Bellamy is known to have been a fan of the Reds since childhood and this would be dream move for him. Rafa’s just got to be sure that Bellamy has the right temperament and attitude to fit in. Djibril Cisse complained about being played on the wing for Rafa, a similar complaint to one that led to an alledged bust-up between Bellamy and Graeme Souness when he was a Newcastle player. Rafa wants to make sure Bellamy will play for the team and not for himself.
 
Rafa reiterated that the player’s talent was not in question: “I will be talking to him to express my ideas. He has the ability, the pace and the talent we’ve been looking for and now we need to talk about other things.”

Continue reading Rafa: I’ll talk to Craig to see if he’s right for us

Official: Reds have Bellamy bid accepted

Blackburn Rovers have confirmed officially that they have received and accepted a bid from Liverpool for striker Craig Bellamy.

According to the Rovers website, “After a conversation between manager Mark Hughes and the Welsh striker yesterday, the club has now reluctantly given Liverpool permission to speak with Craig – the bid from Anfield having met certain contractual conditions.”

It was widely reported that Bellamy had a clause in his contract allowing him to speak to other clubs if a particular amount was bid for him. It’s believed the clause was for £6million, with some reports saying it had to be from a club playing in the Champions League.

The chairman of Blackburn, John Williams, is quoted on the website saying: “We have made it crystal clear to Craig and his advisors that we want him at Ewood Park. We made him an improved offer before Liverpool declared their interest, an offer that was consistent with our ambition and determination to build on last season’s success.”

With the bid accepted, the sticking points will be whether Liverpool and Bellamy can agree the personal terms. As Williams said: “The decision now rests with the player.”
Continue reading Official: Reds have Bellamy bid accepted

Carra and Luis enjoying World Cup so far

Liverpool’s English and Spanish World Cup players are enjoying the results so far in the tournament.

England have won both their games, and as a result are through to the knockout stages. Their next match is on Tuesday night, where a draw would be enough to see them as group winners. According to what he’s said in interviews, Sven Goran Eriksson will rest two of the Liverpool players who are currently England’s only goalscorers of the tournament. Steven Gerrard and Peter Crouch both picked up yellow cards in the first game, and resting them would ensure they aren’t suspended for the next stage. The cards would also be cancelled if not added to by that stage in the competition.

One of the other Liverpool players in the squad is Jamie Carragher, who got to start in England’s last game in place of the injured Neville. He says he’s hoping to see former Everton player Wayne Rooney back in action on Tuesday. Rooney is the scouser who plays for the same team as scouse-hater Gary Neville of scouse-hating Manchester United, and he has been struggling with a broken metatarsal. Carra says it’s good to have him ready for England: “It’s great to have Wayne back with us. He’s a top player. He hadn’t trained for a while but you wouldn’t think that from training. He hit the bar from outside the box with a volley from a corner and it was something I’ll never be able to do.”

The England squad contains four strikers – Crouch who may be rested, Owen who’s struggling to get match fitness, Rooney who’s coming back from that broken foot and Theo Walcott who’s practically untried at the top level. With that in mind it seems unlikely that Rooney will be kept on the sidelines, as Carra says: “Whatever the manager decides to do, I’m sure he’ll get a run out at some stage on Tuesday.”

Carra’s hoping to be on the field alongside him too, with Neville not looking likely to return to fitness, and hopes to help them to victory, even though a draw is all that’s needed: “We would like to put an end to our poor record against Sweden. Sweden have traditionally done well against us and maybe it is because a lot of Scandinavian players have come to The Premiership. They know us and maybe they know our game well.”

Meanwhile Liverpool’s Luis Garcia believes the number of Premiership players in the Spanish squad has helped his country get off to a good start in the tournament. Liverpool’s midfielder Xabi Alonso scored in Spain’s opening game victory. It’s normally Spaniards and naturalised South Americans representing the national side, but the English based players seem to have made a difference: “It is unusual, and it’s important for us to have so many players working in the Premiership. It has helped us a lot in that our individual experiences can bring something different to our game in general. In England the type of football is different to how teams play in Spain. It gives us a range and a combination of styles.”

Harry Kewell came on as a substitute for Australia in their game against Brazil. The Socceroos were unlucky 2-0 winners.

Continue reading Carra and Luis enjoying World Cup so far

Bellamy deal could go through this week

Liverpool’s attempts to strengthen their squad with two strikers and a winger are still ongoing, but it now looks certain that Craig Bellamy will be playing in a Liverpool shirt next season.

The Blackburn striker is reportedly available for a fee of £6m due to a clause in his contract, but his arrival will cause some concern for some fans. The player’s reputation includes tales of arguments with former managers and other tales that don’t exactly show him in a good light – but one of the managers he argued with in the past is Graeme Souness. Liverpool fans don’t particularly like Graeme Souness the manager either.

Bellamy is (supposedly) a boyhood Liverpool fan, and some reports reckon he’s even willing to take a drop in wages to join up with the FA Cup holders.

As ever in situations like this the reports are based on truth, with certain embellishments thrown in to keep everyone on their toes. At least two newspapers are reporting the deal as done, although that means very little. Other reports are claiming he’s already signed and had his medical, and then others say that no direct contact has been made between the club and the player yet.

Liverpool now certainly want the player, the player is desperate to come to Anfield. The only sticking points now would be that a fee can definitely be agreed (with or without the release clause) and that the club and player agree on the finer points of a deal that will already have been discussed with the player’s agent.

All being well Bellamy will be a Liverpool player by the end of this week.

Continue reading Bellamy deal could go through this week

Bellamy still a £6m option for Reds

The distraction of the World Cup doesn’t really stop Liverpool fans wondering where the transfers are for this summer, but the lack of any real activity doesn’t mean nothing’s happening.

Liverpool are getting closer to signing Rafa’s first-choice wing-back as we reported yesterday, but the moves for two new strikers haven’t really stalled, despite the way it may feel.

Craig Bellamy is a player who would be a controversial signing amongst Liverpool supporters. Last season’s signing of Peter Crouch caused some dissent amongst those who felt at the time that the £7m fee was too high, but most Reds fans now agree that Rafa knew what he was doing. Those doubts over Crouch were purely over his playing abilities, and in many cases came from people who’d rarely seen him play. With Bellamy there are the same concerns, which may or may not be unfounded, but the attitude problem is what is putting people off.

True or not, Bellamy has a reputation of being a moaning, complaining, highly-strung troublemaker. For Liverpool fans to accept him he needs to be sure that he never gives them reason to believe there is any truth in it. First of all though, Liverpool need to sign him.
Bellamy is reputedly tied to Blackburn by a knot that’s easy to undo if you know how. It’s one of those “get-out” clauses again. Similar to Michael Owen’s £12m one at Newcastle, Bellamy’s is reportedly set at £6m. The problem with the clause in relation to the Welsh international is that the clause doesn’t stay there for good.

As ever with transfer speculation, little bits of information leak out but not always enough to make a full story. The missing bits are then made up or added to. Two different stories we’ve heard about Bellamy’s get out clause both say that Liverpool would need to move by the end of this month. One version says that’s because he’s been offered a new improved contract by Blackburn – more money but the clause gets taken out in return. The latest version is just that the clause expires at the end of this month. Either way it’s pretty clear that Liverpool can’t afford to hang around if they do want to sign him.

Bellamy is just one name linked with the Reds for the two striker purchases due to be made. Defoe, Bent and Kuyt are three other names linked regularly. The problem with who Liverpool do ultimately sign now though is related to the transfer of Djibril Cisse. The £8m they had lined up for Djibril was part of the planning for the new signings of others.

This is where more speculation kicks in. Marseille are saying that Djibs is still their player – he’s going on loan there for next season, even with the injury, and will sign at the end of that if all goes well with his injury. The player is also going to accept a drop in wages which means less for Liverpool to worry about. So how does this move impact Liverpool’s transfer kitty?

The Liverpool Echo claim that Cisse’s injury has put paid to a move for Charlton’s Darren Bent. But because transfers are never paid up front in full the impact may not be as great as some would think. It does make it easier for Liverpool to try and claim they can’t afford huge fees though, and so keeps transfer fees down. It’s possible Bellamy is just being used by LFC to put the frighteners on Charlton.

The Echo say that Rafa sees how Bellamy is good value for money at £6m, even if he’s not the exact player he was originally looking for. The Echo also say that the player’s reputation is causing some debate within Anfield. The strict rules around transfer mean that Liverpool can’t talk to Bellamy until Blackburn give permission. As ever in transfer dealings though the player gets messages over through his agent or friends to keep within the rules. The paper claims he’s “desperate to join the Reds and has even indicated to friends he’d take a pay-cut to move to Merseyside.”

Expect more stories of this nature leaked over the course of the month as the clubs, players and agents all make use of the media to help with negotiations.

Continue reading Bellamy still a £6m option for Reds