Sun, Apr 14, 2019 - Page 11 News List

SPORTS BRIEFS

Agencies

SOCCER

‘Anfield Iron’ dies at 74

Former Liverpool captain Tommy Smith, who led the Merseysiders to success and gained a reputation as one of the game’s toughest tacklers, has died aged 74, the club said on Friday. Smith, known by supporters as the “Anfield Iron,” played 638 games for Liverpool, winning four league titles, a European Cup, two FA Cups and two UEFA Cups. He captained the Reds for three years and scored 48 goals from 1962 to 1978, including one in the 1977 European Cup final, when Liverpool beat Borussia Moenchengladbach 3-1 to lift the trophy for the first time. Having joined the club as a schoolboy, he was fast-tracked into the first team by former manager Bill Shankly, who once famously said of Smith — a true hard man in an era when tough tackling was encouraged and admired — that he “was not born, he was quarried.” Smith was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease in 2014 after caring for his wife, Susanne, who died after suffering from the same condition.

BASKETBALL

Lakers dump coach Walton

The Los Angeles Lakers on Friday continued their clear-out after a disastrous first season following the arrival of LeBron James by terminating the contract of head coach Luke Walton. The club said that they had mutually agreed to part ways. Walton had been coach since 2016, building a 98-148 record. The Lakers have failed to reach the playoffs for the past three seasons. On Tuesday, Magic Johnson surprisingly quit his post as Lakers president. Johnson was reportedly unhappy at the prospect of firing Walton. “They are losing one of the best human beings in the NBA,” Warriors coach Steve Kerr said. “They are losing somebody who the players believe in and the players want to play for.” Among the candidates for the Lakers job is Tyronn Lue, who coached James in Cleveland, and Philadelphia 76ers assistant Monty Williams.

FOOTBALL

Lawyers spar over video

William Burck, lawyer for New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft, on Friday asked a Florida judge not to make public a video that led to the billionaire being charged in a prostitution sting at a massage parlor. Media companies including ABC and ESPN clashed with Kraft’s defenders, saying that the judge would violate Florida’s public records laws by suppressing the video of Kraft receiving sexual services. Burck argued in Palm Beach County Court that surveillance footage should not be released to the media because it would violate Kraft’s privacy rights, compromise his right to a fair trial and interfere in an active criminal investigation. “It’s basically pornography,” Burck told Judge Leonard Hanser. “There’s no interest in actually seeing the video unless you have a prurient interest in seeing the video.”

CRICKET

Player found guilty of rape

An Australian player has been found guilty in England of raping a sleeping woman. Alex Hepburn sobbed after the verdict was returned by jurors at Worcester Crown Court in central England. The 23-year-old, who was born in Western Australia and moved to England in 2013 to pursue a cricket career, also faces another count of rape. Prosecutors said that Hepburn began to rape the woman while she was asleep after getting into a bed in his apartment. Hepburn and his teammates at English county team Worcestershire had set up what was described in court as a “sexual conquest game” on WhatsApp. Hepburn had been “fired up” by his desire to win the competition, prosecutors said.

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