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    Watch Conor McGregor land brutal shot on sparring partner in his garden… leaving Ebanie Bridges in awe

    CONOR McGREGOR looked razor sharp in a sparring session held in his GARDEN – leaving the likes of Ebanie Bridges in awe. McGregor is gearing up for his anticipated UFC return and has spent the past year ramping up training.
    Conor McGregor looked razor sharp in a sparring sessionCredit:
    Ebanie Bridges was in awe of McGregor’s sparring clipCredit: @ebanie_bridges
    McGregor and Bridges have struck up a friendshipCredit: Instagram @ebaniebridges
    During the Covid-19 pandemic, with restrictions on public gyms, the Irishman built a fully-sized UFC cage on the site of his mansion.
    And McGregor still uses it to this day as he released footage from a recent sparring session.
    He captioned it: “The double goat, I have the full scale octagon in my garden with the canvas covered in billion dollar businesses.”
    In the clips, McGregor lands a series of stinging counter shots and one kick to the stomach had his sparring partner wincing in agony.
    His comment section was full of praise, with boxing legend Evander Holyfield replying: “Ok then.”
    Ex-champion Bridges followed up with three fire emojis and one lovestruck face.
    The Aussie has struck up a close friendship with McGregor and is even sponsored by his Forged Irish Stout beverage.
    McGregor’s return to the cage has continued to be delayed since his last fight in July 2021, when he broke his leg.
    Most read in Boxing
    The former two-weight UFC champion, 35, had eyed the headline spot on the historic UFC 300 card on April 13.
    But he then brazenly announced he would return on June 29 against Michael Chandler, 37, in a middleweight bout.
    Seven sports stars who started an OnlyFans including ex-footballer and British boxing icon
    UFC president Dana White was quick to shut down McGregor’s claim and even said his comeback fight was more likely pushed back till the winter.
    And White recently spoke out to try and clarify the confusion behind McGregor’s dragged out talks to return.
    He told Kevin Iole: “Only Conor knows [when he’s ready].
    “These are questions for Conor McGregor, not me. I know he’s training. I don’t know what level of training he’s doing.”
    White added: “I don’t know what level of kicking he’s doing right now. I don’t know any of that stuff.
    “I need to know the guy’s in a full camp and he’s ready to go. Conor McGregor has a movie coming out.

    “He’s got businesses that he’s built. It’s a completely different dynamic when you’re dealing with a guy that has this kind of money.”
    McGregor is in training for his UFC returnCredit:
    The UFC star has not fought since July 2021Credit: More

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    I worked in McDonald’s after leaving uni – now I make six-figure salary after turning football side hustle into my job

    OLLIE JENKS has come up trumps after turning his love of football nostalgia into a lucrative career selling player cards.Rather than get his stickers in a twist during the Covid lockdown, he used the extra time online to collect them and become a TikTok phenomenon.
    Cards for players like Beckham and Messi fetch huge sumsCredit: TikTok @paolo.panini
    Ollie Jenks’ finds from around the world go back six decadesCredit: TikTok @paolo.panini
    The former University of Surrey media student, 32, has unearthed a David Beckham Rookie card from 1996 worth £7,000 and also sold a Grade 10 signed Lionel Messi card for £3k.
    Ollie, from Devon, worked in McDonalds when he had little idea what career to pursue.
    But then his addiction to footie facts and figures took him back to the future – via vintage cards and stickers.
    Ollie fronts told card-breaking channel Paolo Panini, whose posts include a four-hour live stream on Friday that averages 35,000 viewers.
    He told SPORTbible: “We grew quite rapidly over the first six months… in the first year, our sales were around the £300,000 mark.”
    And he revealed how his obsession set in at school where he beat all the teachers in the Fantasy Football Leagues – eventually emerging as a vocation where he searches for tiny pictures from the past.
    Ollie said: “My earliest memory is going to a swap shop at Exeter’s Westpoint Arena for the 1998 Premier League sticker album
    “It was a bit of a weird experience as it was in a giant cowshed. The idea of the event was to swap your duplicates for ones you need, but it stank of cow c**p, to be honest.
    Most read in Football
    “I also fell in love with the story arcs of a player’s ups and downs throughout their career, especially in the ’90s or ’00s, when it felt like anything could happen.”
    He finally settled in Dublin, working with foreign students – only for Covid to force him into new ideas.
    He said: “I wanted to combine my love of storytelling and what I knew about ’00s football, so Team Of Our Lives was born – a niche 2000s-based football podcast.”
    In particular, Ollie switched from making short football documentaries on YouTube to an even more popular form of social media in 2020.
    He said: “I uploaded a few of those vintage pack-opening videos from the podcast to TikTok and it blew up.
    “Seeing so many people interested in football nostalgia was huge, and with some modern rare cards going for big money I attempted to make a living out of it.”
    Ollie now calls himself a Football Treasure Hunter and explained: “Some of the greatest players such as Pele have football cards that could be worth as much as $1.3million (about £1m).
    “So there is real value to be had in finding rare packs that have been sealed for 50 years and potentially finding some footballing history – that’s why I love it so much.”

    He reckons the most expensive packs currently in circulation are from the 1970 World Cup – including late legends Sir Bobby Charlton, Eusebio and Pele, plus Franz Beckenbauer.
    A complete album from that tournament in Mexico recently sold at auction for more than £2k. More

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    I’m a Premier League star and champion of Europe – but I almost became a FARMER and still train on potato fields

    FOOTBALLERS tried many different things to keep in shape during the pandemic, but Jarrod Bowen trained on a FARM.Bowen has become a hero at West Ham since he joined the club from Hull City in January 2022.
    Jarrod Bowen trained on a farm during the pandemicCredit: Getty
    He won the Conference League with West HamCredit: Getty
    The forward scored on his first start for the club in a 3-1 win over Southampton.
    Bowen, 27, would have to wait a while for his next as the Covid-19 pandemic put a stop to football across Europe.
    During the break from football, he maintained his fitness by training on a farm.
    Bowen claimed that the ground on a farm has helped him with muscle injuries.
    He told BBC Radio 5 Live: “It’s a bit like running on sand, but a bit thicker.
    “I’ve found it really good for muscle injuries and, because I’ve had weak ankles, to work on them and stabilise them.
    “But also because it is really tough to train on because you feel so slow, when you go running on the grass you feel like you’re a sprinter.
    “It’s been my training method for years with my old man.
    Most read in Football
    “He is pretty old school, he doesn’t want me to just go running round a normal field doing football runs, he wants me to run around a potato field with weights in my arms.”
    Bowen also admitted that after rejection from clubs such as Aston Villa, Tottenham and West Brom he came close to quitting football.
    If he had he would have opted for a career in farming.
    He added: “Maybe in another life I could have been up all night on the farm. The way of life back home is very country-orientated. There’s a lot of farms.
    “There’s a lot of routes you can go…and football isn’t usually a route you go down.
    “I used to go to the farm with grandad. Now it’s my uncle who owns one. I’d like a farm but when I speak to him, it’s too much hassle.
    “The thought of it, ‘oh yeah, I want a farm to do things’, is better than the actual reality.”
    Luckily for West Ham, Bowen did get his break at non-league side Hereford and then Hull City.
    Bowen became one of the top performers in the Championship which saw the Hammers swoop in with a £25million offer.
    Read more on The Sun
    Since joining the East London outfit, Bowen has become one of the star players and scored the winning goal in the Europa Conference League final last season.
    The forward has also earned a call-up to the England team and made his debut against Hungary. More

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    Emery’s Aston Villa could become the nation’s new Leicester and include players you might actually enjoy a pint with

    IT’S been eight long years since Leicester City shook the world.Since Jamie Vardy was having a party, N’Golo Kante was covering 30 per cent of the world’s surface and manager Claudio Ranieri was ringing his imaginary bell, while babbling ‘dilly ding, dilly dong’.Happier times, those. Before the pandemic, Brexit, the European Super League plot and the Saudi invasion of elite sport. And pretty much all of us loved Leicester back then.
    John McGinn celebrates his winner vs ArsenalCredit: Getty

    Unai Emery celebrates getting one over his old clubCredit: Getty

    Because Ranieri’s miracle men took the impossible dreams of every football supporter who didn’t support a filthy-rich club and played out the ultimate fantasy of winning the Premier League.
    These days, the Foxes are in the Championship, Ranieri is next to bottom in Serie A with Cagliari, while Kante and Riyad Mahrez are taking Saudi dosh and Vardy is a bit-part character in the Wagatha Christie drama.
    Good times are fleeting, but we’ll always have 2016.
    Not just Leicester fans, but all of us who enjoyed the journey from Nigel Pearson’s ostrich rant to Andrea Bocelli singing Nessun Dorma when they dished out the big silver pot.
    In the past seven seasons, there has been no true outsider with a sniff of winning the Premier League crown at any advanced stage of the season.
    Not until the emergence of Unai Emery’s Aston Villa.
    Do I think Villa will win the title? No. If Rodri plays every game for the rest of the season, Manchester City should do it.
    If not, Liverpool are grinding out undeserved wins like the champions of cliche.
    Most read in Football
    And if not them, then Arsenal went close last term and have improved since.
    Those clubs could stage a three-horse title race right down to the wire but, while us lot in the media would obsess about it, most neutrals wouldn’t really care all that much who won.
    City, Liverpool and Arsenal are breakaway Super League ‘snakes’, who sought to smash English football’s pyramid system and thought they were too good to play teams like Villa, Everton, Bournemouth and Fulham — probably the Premier League’s four most in-form teams.
    Manchester United, Chelsea and Tottenham showed that same ­arrogance and they cannot be reminded of it often enough.
    Sure, Newcastle disrupted the Big Six last season and will continue to do so but the oil-rich human-rights abusers who fund Geordie Arabia will never win the nation’s affections.
    Villa’s back-to-back victories over City and Arsenal — the first one impressively dominant, the second more fortuitous — leaves them two points off the top with the season almost halfway through.
    Even if Villa won the league, it would be no Leicester-style miracle. They have more history, money and quality than those 2016 Foxes.
    Ranieri’s men were relegation favourites, with their 5,000-1 price so fanciful that no bookie will ever offer such odds against anyone winning anything ever again.
    Ranieri’s Leicester made everyone believers for a while after their shock title winCredit: PA WIRE
    Villa are former European ­champions, who finished seventh last season, under a serial trophy-winner in Emery.
    But they are still the closest thing to Leicester since Leicester.
    And if they continue to be a part of the title argument, Villa would be a team for the nation — except for supporters of their immediate West Midlands rivals — to coalesce around.
    It’s easy to find things to like about Villa — from the atmosphere of their stately home ground, to an amiable manager who was wronged by plenty of us during his doomed spell at Arsenal.
    John McGinn — man of the match against City and scorer of the winning goal against Arsenal — is one of those rare ­current Premier League footballers you could imagine enjoying a couple of pints with.
    Ollie Watkins is not only an impressive striker but also a thoroughly decent bloke who has worked his way up through all four divisions at Exeter and Brentford.
    Along with Ezri Konsa, he’s a man from the pyramid Villa’s title rivals had hoped to destroy.
    Leon Bailey is a wonderful watch and a perma-smiled dude who seems to cherish his work.
    And Argentinian World Cup-winning keeper Emi Martinez is a lovable rascal who, when ­questioned about Villa’s title credentials by a Match of the Day interviewer, replied ‘I’m a believer, mate’, in something resembling a Cockney accent.
    Not many outside the Villa squad are believers just yet — their away record is patchy and their squad lacks a little depth.
    Read more on The Sun
    But Emery’s team are a force for good in a league too often dominated by sheer wealth.
    And, thanks to Leicester, none of us should ever again completely rule out anything.
    Martinez is a believer tooCredit: gETTY More

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    Who is Jamie Arnold and what crimes did he commit?

    JAMIE Arnold was found guilty of a racially aggravated public order offence aimed at Rio Ferdinand while he was working as a pundit in May 2021.Here we take a look at the crimes Arnold committed and what Ferdinand has said about them.
    Rio Ferdinand was working as a pundit for BT Sport when Jamie Arnold racially abused himCredit: Rex
    What crimes did Jamie Arnold commit?
    In August 2021 Jamie Arnold, 33, of Norton Bridge, near Stone, Staffordshire, was charged with causing racially aggravated harassment, alarm or distress.
    The crime was committed during a match between Wolverhamption Wanderers and Manchester United on May 23, 2021.
    Arnold was also charged with making homophobic comments towards the referee.
    Rio was working as a pundit for BT Sport when Arnold racially abused the former Man Utd defender at Wolves’ home ground Molineux.
    Arnold’s attack happened at the first game where a reduced number of supporters were allowed in the ground following the easing of Covid restrictions.
    At a hearing in July 2021, Arnold pleaded not guilty.
    Rio was escorted by PC Stuart Ward — the UK’s first dedicated hate crime officer within the football unit — as he arrived at Wolverhampton Crown Court on August 26, 2021.
    Arnold was granted conditional bail after a 25-minute hearing.
    Most read in Football
    On November 1, 2023 Arnold was found unanimously guilty by a jury of racially abusing Ferdinand.
    Senior Crown Prosecutor Alistair Redford said: “Arnold made despicable racist gestures towards a victim who was just trying to do his job.
    “I would like to thank the stewards whose quick-thinking actions ensured they could identify and remove Arnold from the stadium that day, and for Mr Ferdinand and witnesses who came forward to help us build as strong a case as possible.”
    A spokesperson for anti-racism organisation Kick It Out said: “Kick It Out welcomes the guilty verdict handed to Arnold today.
    “It is imperative that perpetrators of discriminatory abuse are held to account for their actions and we hope this result sends a strong statement that racism has no place in our, or in society.
    “We commend the CPS and West Midlands Police for their work securing justice in this case and would urge authorities across the country to take similar incidents of discriminatory abuse just as seriously.
    “We continue to work with partners across football to tackle discriminatory abuse as it happens and to ensure that victims receive the support they need.
    “We would encourage anyone who witnesses discrimination of any sort in future to report it directly to us at Kick It Out.”
    Arnold will be sentenced on December 8, 2023.
    Has Rio Ferdinand spoken out about the crimes?
    At the time of the attack, Rio said: “The last couple weeks, it’s been unreal to see fans back.
    “However, to the Wolves fan who has just been thrown out… you need to be dismissed from football and educated.
    “Come meet me and I will help you understand what it feels like to be racially abused.”
    In response to Arnold being found guilty, Ferdinand said: “I’ve been involved in a Court case in Wolverhampton since May 2021.
    “Today [November 1, 2023] the guy who racially abused me has been found guilty and will now have to face consequences for his actions.
    “Racism will only be eradicated when we all work together as a society.
    Read more on The Sun
    “The prosecution wouldn’t have been possible without all the help/support from the witnesses, Wolverhampton fans and staff that came forward to testify in court.
    “Special thank you to Police Constable Stuart Ward [football hate crime officer], my Family and my team at New Era.” More

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    Sky Sports host Simon Thomas forced to cancel Soccer Saturday appearance with replacement drafted in at last minute

    SOCCER SATURDAY host Simon Thomas will not host the Sky Sports show this afternoon after contracting Covid.The presenter, 50, will be replaced by journalist and broadcaster Caroline Barker.
    Simon Thomas will not be on Soccer Saturday after contracting CovidCredit: Sky Sports
    Caroline Barker has been drafted in as a late replacement for ThomasCredit: Getty
    Speaking on Twitter, he said: “Sadly no #soccersaturday for me today – #Covid has hit the Thomas household.
    “@carolinebarker is in the hot seat today. Go well CB – you’ll be brilliant. See you next week. 🤞”
    Football fans offered their support for Thomas as they wished him a speedy recovery.
    One said: “Get well soon Sir – been a cracking start!”
    Another added: “Hope you’re all feeling better and testing negative soon Simon 🤞⚽️.”
    While a third replied: “You can watch City, Simon, that should cheer you up 🤣🤣 get well soon.”
    Thomas took over from long-standing Soccer Saturday host Jeff Stelling after his 25-year stint as the show’s presenter concluded at the end of last season.
    He broke through as a host of Blue Peter in 1999.
    Most read in Football
    He first began hosting Premier League coverage for Sky Sports at the start of the 2016/17 season.
    Meanwhile, his replacement, Barker, made her name as a BBC Radio reporter.
    Nowadays, she is known as the host of The Totally Football League Show on Sky Sports.
    Barker is also a netball commentator and pundit and has hosted other sporting events such as the Champions League of Darts and NFL International Series.
    The Premier League lunchtime kick-off on Saturday sees champions Manchester City take on title rivals Liverpool at the Etihad.
    That is followed by five 3pm games in the top flight, before Brentford host Arsenal in the late match.
    There is also a full compliment of Football League fixtures as the Championship returns alongside the Premier League following the international break. More

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    What is Charles Leclerc’s net worth?

    CHARLES Leclerc is one of the top competitors in Formula One, having finished as runner-up in the drivers’ standings for the 2022 season.Here we look at the Ferrari man’s salary, career and net worth.
    In 2023 Charles Leclerc has the third-highest salary in Formula OneCredit: Splash
    Who is Charles Leclerc?
    Charles Marc Hervé Perceval Leclerc was born on October 16, 1997 in Monte Carlo, Monaco.
    His nickname in Italy is ‘il Predestinato’, which translates to ‘The Predestined’, and was given to him by F1 commentator Carlo Vanzini.
    He competed from an early age in karting, becoming French Champion in 2009, winning the Monaco Kart Cup in 2010, the CIK-FIA Academy Trophy and the Junior World Cup in 2011.
    Leclerc was the top rookie in Formula Renault in his first season, and then also in Formula Three the following year.
    In 2016 he won the GP3 Series before dominating the 2017 season of FIA Formula Two.
    He was spotted by Nicolas Todt in 2010 and joined the Ferrari Driver Academy in 2016.
    Charles entered Formula one in 2018 with Alfa Romeo Sauber F1, before moving to Ferrari in 2019, where his teammate was four-time World Champion Sebastian Vettel.
    Following seven pole positions, 10 podiums and two victories, Leclerc finished fourth in the 2019 World Championship and extended his contract with Ferrari until 2024.
    Most read in Motorsport
    The 2020 season was below the Monegasque driver’s expectation as finished on the podium on just twice, finishing 8th in the drivers’ classification.
    In 2021, Charles secured two more pole positions and a podium.
    In 2022 he had an excellent season, finishing as runner-up behind Max Verstappen in the drivers’ standings.
    Aside from racing, Leclerc has recently hit the headlines after embarking on a career in the music business.
    He released his debut single titled AUS23 (1:1) in April.
    The four-minute classical song features Leclerc, 25, playing the piano.
    And the Monegasque driver has enjoyed a fast start after venturing into the world of music.
    According to ESPN, Leclerc spent time inside the Top 10 of the Worldwide iTunes song chart following the release of his song.
    The title of the track, AUS23 (1:1) is a tribute to the Australian Grand Prix, where the song was born.
    Leclerc did not start playing the piano until the Covid-19 pandemic, but has “fallen in love with the instrument” after spending time playing it.
    The Ferrari star said on his Spotify page: “I’m excited to share with you a piano song that I’ve been working on, born out of my passion for music and created as a way to disconnect from racing and relax in between races.
    “I’ve created this song around the Australian Formula 1 Grand Prix which is why I called it AUS23 (1:1). This is the way we call the Australian Grand Prix in my Formula One team and thought it would be a nice connection to the racing world.
    “After posting a story on Instagram of me playing that piano piece I had composed, I had a lot of positive feedback from the fans that inspired me to record it, making it easier for fans to enjoy my music.
    “My love for music has always been there, but it wasn’t until the pandemic that I started playing the piano.
    “With more time at home, I decided to buy a piano and learn to play. Since then, I’ve fallen in love with the instrument and find myself playing it whenever I’m at home.”
    Charles has also hilariously put himself forward to represent Monaco at next year’s Eurovison.
    The country withdrew from the 2007 edition due to poor results and three failures to qualify.
    But on hearing the news Monaco could be back for the 2024 Eurovision Song Contest due to the launch of TV Monaco and its membership with the European Broadcasting Union, Leclerc took to social media to offer his services.
    On X, formerly Twitter, he wrote: “I’m ready 🎤.”
    What is Charles Leclerc’s net worth?
    Reports of Leclerc’s net worth vary dramatically.
    At the bottom end EssentiallySports puts it at $12million (£9.7million).
    In the middle CelebrityNetWorth judges it to be $40million (£32.3million).
    Whereas at the other end of the spectrum Sportskeeda believes Charles has amassed a whopping $125million fortune (£101million).
    What is Charles Leclerc’s salary at Ferrari?
    Leclerc’s 2023 salary at Ferrari is reportedly $36million (£29million).
    Read More on The Sun
    This makes him the third-highest earning racer in F1.
    Unsurprisingly, the two drivers ahead of him are Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton. More

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    I was saving lives during Covid battle.. but now I’m cleaning up boxing’s lightweight division fighting for world titles

    RHIANNON DIXON spent the Covid saga saving lives in hospital scrubs but now wants to help clean up the lightweight division and win a boxing world title.The Warrington prospect, 28, clinched the respected European title on Saturday night, at Wembley Arena, in just her ninth pro fight.
    Rhiannon Dixon won the European lightweight title on Saturday nightCredit: Reuters
    Dixon has undergone a drastic career transformation after working for the NHS as a pharmacistCredit: Instagram
    Rhiannon Dixon is moving from hero out of the ring to legend in it with her performancesCredit: Instagram
    Rhiannon Dixon finds ring walks embarrassing but will push through to win titlesCredit: Instagram
    During the Covid saga Dixon worked on hospital wards all day and trained at nightCredit: Instagram
    The southpaw only recently turned professional, after working as a pharmacist and often arriving at trainer Anthony Crolla’s gym in the iconic NHS uniform during the most desperate times in lockdown.
    Dixon only started jabbing people with her fists for fun, to help her lose weight and keep fit, but now she is considered a bonafide boxing talent who will push for one of the top belts in 2024.
    It’s been a dramatic turnaround for the life-saver-turned-fighter but she’s loving the drastic transformation.
    She explained to SunSport: “During Covid, professional fighters were allowed to train but I was still working full time so would do shifts at my hospital, on the Covid wards, and then go straight to the gym for training.
    “It was a really hard time because it was going from one extreme to the other. I would be helping sick people all day and then hearing some people in the news claim it was all fake.
    “Training became a great stress reliever and I know I was very lucky because a lot of other people were furloughed or lost their jobs while I was doing overtime in both jobs.
    “But when all that ended I thought I decided, you’re only young once and that I should focus on training full time so I don’t have any regrets later in life. And now we’re off and we will see where we end up.”
    Boxing’s fiercest critics are often people from the medical profession, heroes who treat brain injuries every day and detest the idea that healthy men and women are risking their lives for sport.
    Most read in Boxing
    The Warrington warrior has swapped jabbing patients to jabbing opponentsCredit: PA
    Dixon did a stint working in a Vietnam hospital before she took up boxing seriouslyCredit: Instagram
    Rhiannon Dixon is hoping to clean up the lightweight division and become world championCredit: Getty
    Rhiannon Dixon comes from a sporty family but only decided to turn pro after Covid lockdowns were liftedCredit: Instagram
    But Dixon – who comes from a super-sporty family with a PE-teaching sister and a rugby league pro in brother Andrew – has never had to beat-up her conscience as well as her opponent.
    “We are very well protected with our pre-fight medicals and annual brain scans,” Dixon said.
    “The British Boxing Board of Control does really look after us in that sense.
    “I have never been conflicted about working in medicine and being a boxer.
    “I am nice and friendly outside of the ring, I am very caring person in work and normal life. But when I get in the ring I am just different.”
    There is, however, one aspect of the hurt business that does turn Dixon’s stomach.
    “I hate the ring walk,” she laughed. “I just find them so cringe.
    “I wouldn’t mind entering like the Undertaker wrestler, no music, lights go off and when they switch back on I am in the ring and ready.”
    Dixon is being expertly guided by one of Britain’s most popular retired world champions.
    Million Dollar Crolla was a boy-next-door boxer who clinched the WBA lightweight world title in 2015 front of his adoring Manchester home crowd with a slick back-and-sides and a close shave.
    But, in his new role as mentor to a young stable of rising talent, he has grown flowing locks and added a goatee beard that Dixon has learned to love – slowly!
    She said: “In the beginning I was very anti-long hair on boys but now he has got it shaped he looks cool.
    “He shaved his goatee off the other day and looked like a child but he is growing into that ‘older man’ look.
    Read More:
    “He’s been there and done it all but still gives his time to everyone, he took me on when I was nowhere but he has been my No1 fan all the time. 
    “It shows what sort of character he is and I cannot thank him enough.” More