Don Valley’s end, a sacking and a street knifeman

Don Valley Stadium
Don Valley Stadium
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07.09.2013

My back-pain was a baby boy

Shocked mum Fatima Williams was rushed to hospital with back pain - and minutes later gave birth to a baby boy with a single push.

The stunned 39-year-old from Sheffield had no idea she was even pregnant.

She thought she had simply put on weight - and only weeks before going into labour was told by a GP her painful stomach cramps were muscle spasms.

The proud mum to baby Mason told The Star she is all right - but was very shocked at first.

“It will be something to tell him when he’s older, that he was my surprise baby!” she said. “It is remarkable.”

07.09.2013

Motorpoint Arena’s multi-million pound makeover

The multi-million pound Motorpoint Arena makeover aim was to ensure the venue has the wow factor as it takes on the £80 million Leeds Arena.

The spend helped the Motorpoint retain its crown as the biggest indoor concert venue in Yorkshire.

Additional seating, improved toilet facilities, and other tweaks increased the capacity to 13,600 - 100 more than Leeds Arena.

It also boasts improved food and drink outlets, complete with new menus and locally-sourced fresh food.

Bosses are confident the changes will ensure the 22-year-old venue, bringing in an estimated £20 million a year to Sheffield’s economy, will not lose business or bigger names to Leeds.

General manager Rob O’Shea said of Sheffield’s flagship concert and events venue: “Since the last customer left the Arena following the sell-out Michael Buble show on June 28, it has been all hands on deck to ensure this summer’s multi-million pound refurbishment was on time.

“I am proud to report that all the building works are complete - the building is looking fantastic and we are ready and excited to host our first event with the Steelers v Nottingham ice hockey fixture on Sunday.”

Boyband JLS, TV spin-off show Dancing On Ice, and comics Russell Howard and Lee Evans have Leeds and Sheffield dates on their upcoming tours, allaying fears acts may opt for Leeds as their only Yorkshire stop.

26.09.2013

Campaigners fail to save Sheffield’s Don Valley stadium

Don Valley Stadium closed this September - and could soon be demolished - after campaigners were turned down in their bid to have it registered as an asset of community value.

A Save Don Valley Stadium group, led by former 400m runner Lewis Samuel and Don Valley’s head coach Rob Creasey, had hoped to be able to run the venue themselves.

But on September 25, Sheffield Council confirmed the bid had failed.

Council director Paul Billington said in a statement: “The Friends of Don Valley Stadium group’s application was assessed against the legislation as set out by the Government, and did not meet the criteria to warrant Don Valley Stadium being registered as an asset of community value.

“But what we would like to say is this does not mean we are not wanting to look at other ways we can work with this group and other interested parties and we have offered to meet the group again to talk about what is next for the stadium.

“The council now has no budget to keep it open, no money to mothball it and no offer of money from anyone else.

“Therefore the next decision for council has to be to consider demolition.

05.10.2013

Shamed footballer jailed for violance

Disgraced Sheffield Wednesday striker Gary Madine is counting the cost of drunken violence after being jailed.

The 23-year-old, who signed for the Owls in 2011, twice ‘lashed out’ when drunk on nights out ‘with little, if any, thought for the consequences’.

Jailing him for 18 months, Judge Rodney Jameson QC, said: “When sober there is no reason to suppose you would misbehave, but I have to sentence you for serious offences which reflect the other side of your character.

“The side which comes out when you are in drink, which causes unprovoked violence causing serious injuries to innocent members of the public.”

Madine, who has a previous conviction for knocking a man unconscious in a Carlisle pub, punched Wednesday fan Daniel Beresford in the Paris Bar, Carver Street, Sheffield city centre, in February 2012 - breaking his victim’s nose.

Four weeks later, he punched bricklayer and Sheffield United fan Reece Hall in the city’s Viper Room club on Carver Street, shattering Mr Hall’s cheekbone.

Madine, of Middlewood, Sheffield, was jailed at Leeds Crown Court after being found guilty by a jury following a week-long trial last month.

He arrived at court dressed in jeans, a hooded top and carrying a bag of belongings to take to prison.

12.10.2013

Blades boss sacked

Sheffield United sacked manager David Weir after just 124 days in charge following the club’s disappointing start to the League One season.

Weir, who took over at Bramall Lane on June 10 after United failed to win promotion from League One, won just a single league match in charge of the club.

The former Scotland international and Everton and Rangers captain left Goodison Park to take over at United on a three-year contract.

His tenure started well with a 2-1 home win over Notts County on August 2 but United could pick up only two points from the subsequent nine league games.

The decision comes after Weir had been under increasing pressure with the Blades having lost five of their previous six matches.

Assistant manager Lee Carsley also left the club.

“Chris Morgan has been asked and agreed to take an interim role in charge of Sunday’s team.

He knows the players and, with Darren and Travis, will be doing his upmost to get a return to winning ways,” added a club spokesman.

Saudi Arabian Prince Abdullah bin Mosaad had purchased 50 per cent of the club’s shares from owner and chairman Kevin McCabe in September and gave Weir his full backing.

16.10.2013

Machete maniac on the rampage

A killer knifed a butcher to death and left a shopworker fighting for his life, wielding a machete on a terrifying rampage through the streets of Rotherham.

The victim - named as Parvaiz Iqbal, a dad aged 40 - owned the Bismillah Food Store and Halal butchers on Grosvenor Road, Eastwood.

He was stabbed to death at his shop before his attacker turned on another member of staff at the store, leaving him with serious injuries.

Terrified worshippers who had just attended a service at the local mosque discovered the horror unfolding, and tried in vain to save Mr Iqbal’s life.

They dialled 999 as the knifeman then fled through Eastwood and Rotherham town centre with a bloody machete, smashing car and shop windows as he went.

A suspect was eventually caught by police with Tasers, in front of aghast passers-by, in a Tesco car park a mile away.

A 27-year-old man was last night being questioned on suspicion of murder.

Chief Superintendent Jason Harwin, leading the investigation, said the tragedy was a shocking event - that thankfully doesn’t occur every day in Rotherham’. Friends of the shopkeeper - known locally as Parv - described him as a family man who was courteous, kind and always smiling’.