Multiple Grand Slam Winner, Sharapova Retires From Tennis

(FILES) In this file photo taken on January 28, 2019, Russia’s Maria Sharapova thanks supporters after defeating Australia’s Daria Gavrilova during their match at the St. Petersburg Ladies Trophy tennis tournament at Saint Petersburg’s Sibur Arena.  OLGA MALTSEVA / AFP

 

Five-time Grand Slam winner Maria Sharapova, one of the world’s most recognisable sportswomen, on Wednesday announced her retirement at the age of 32.

“Tennis — I’m saying goodbye,” Sharapova said in an article for Vogue and Vanity Fair magazines.

“After 28 years and five Grand Slam titles, though, I’m ready to scale another mountain — to compete on a different type of terrain.”

Sharapova burst onto the scene as a supremely gifted teenager and won her Grand Slams before serving a 15-month ban for failing a drugs test at the 2016 Australian Open.

The Russian former world number one’s ranking is currently 373rd.

Sharapova has hardly played in the past year because of long-standing shoulder problems.

When she did play she lost as many matches as she won and was dumped out in the first rounds at Wimbledon, the US Open and, most recently, the Australian Open in Melbourne.

Sharapova shot to fame as a giggly 17-year-old Wimbledon winner in 2004, the third-youngest player to conquer the All England Club’s hallowed grass courts.

‘Tennis gave me life’ 

She became world number one in 2005 and won the US Open the next year.

“One of the keys to my success was that I never looked back and I never looked forward,” Sharapova said on Wednesday.

“I believed that if I kept grinding and grinding, I could push myself to an incredible place.”

But in 2007 Sharapova began her long on-off battle with shoulder trouble.

She would win the 2008 Australian Open before a second shoulder injury kept her off tour for the second half of the season, missing the US Open and Beijing Olympics.

In 2012, the Siberian-born Sharapova captured the French Open to become the 10th woman to complete a career Grand Slam. She added Olympic silver to her resume that year.

Her 2014 French Open title was another high after a dispiriting injury low.

More fitness troubles followed before the bombshell announcement of her positive test for the banned heart drug meldonium.

Always a fighter — the seven-year-old Maria and father Yuri left for the US in 1994 with just a borrowed $700 to their names — Sharapova returned to the sport in 2017.

“In giving my life to tennis, tennis gave me a life,” Sharapova said in her retirement missive.

“I’ll miss it every day. I’ll miss the training and my daily routine: Waking up at dawn, lacing my left shoe before my right, and closing the court’s gate before I hit my first ball of the day.

“I’ll miss my team, my coaches. I’ll miss the moments sitting with my father on the practice court bench. The handshakes — win or lose — and the athletes, whether they knew it or not, who pushed me to be my best.

“Looking back now, I realize that tennis has been my mountain. My path has been filled with valleys and detours, but the views from its peak were incredible.”

AFP

Dutch Hero Sneijder Announces Retirement From Football

(FILES) Wesley Sneijder finished his playing career at Qatar’s Al-Gharafa. Photo: KARIM JAAFAR / AFP

 

The Netherlands’ most-capped player Wesley Sneijder announced on Monday his retirement from football, bringing down the curtain on a trophy-laden career that spanned 17 years.

The 35-year-old, who played 134 times for his country, made the announcement while speaking to the YouTube channel of his hometown club FC Utrecht after having bought a corporate box at their stadium.

“My connection to the town is big. Now I’ve retired from football I want a nice place to share my memories,” he said.

Sneijder, who made his international debut in 2003 aged 19, picked up a World Cup runners-up medal in 2010 as the Oranje were beaten by a dominant Spain in the South Africa final.

His displays earned him the Silver Ball for the tournament’s second-best player behind Uruguay’s Diego Forlan.

Four years later in Brazil he took his side to third place after missing a penalty in the semi-final shoot-out loss to Argentina. He was also named in the Euro 2008 Team of the Tournament despite his team’s quarter-final exit at the hands of Russia.

His run to the 2010 final with the Netherlands came after his finest season in club football, as the number 10 led Inter Milan’s charge to a Serie A, Coppa Italia and Champions League treble under Jose Mourinho.

An Ajax academy graduate in 2002, Sneijder won the Eredivisie title and two Dutch Cups in his five years in the capital club’s first team before moving to Real Madrid, where he linked up with countryman Arjen Robben.

He won the La Liga title in 2008 before making the move to Inter a year later, winning that famous treble before a succession of injuries saw him moved on to Gala, where he picked up two more league titles and three Turkish Cups in four years.

He finished his playing career at Al Gharafa in Qatar’s top-flight.

AFP

I’m The Only Person In Nigeria Who Was Retired Twice – Festus Marinho

 

Festus Marinho, the first Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) says he is the only Nigerian worker who was retired twice from service.

He made this claim on Monday during a valedictory service in honour of the outgoing GMD of the corporation, Maikanti Baru in Abuja, the nation’s capital.

“On the day of my dismissal, the Federal Government sent me a letter of retirement. The following year, the Minister also sent me another letter of retirement. So apparently, I’m the only one in Nigeria who was retired twice,” he said.

According to him, it takes 17 years for someone to go on statutory retirement from the state-owned oil corporation.

The former NNPC boss recalled that when he was invited for the programme by Baru, he was pondering on what address to deliver.

READ ALSO: Kyari Takes Over From Baru As 19th Group MD Of NNPC

He, however, revealed that he was inspired by a speech made by the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, in which the speaker said: “Ladies and Gentlemen, I concur with what has been said.”

Mr. Marinho’s remark drew admiration and applause from the cheering crowd and journalist who witnessed the handing over ceremony at NNPC’s amphitheater.

Marinho also praised Baru for his achievement recorded so far while at the helm of affairs, saying “You did a good job.”

Marinho served as NNPC’s Managing Director from 1977 to 1979 and also served a second term from 1984 to 1985.

He spent several years in the corporation and he is credited with crafting the institutional framework and international standard practices being used in the corporation till date.

Ghana Captain Gyan Backtracks On Retirement After Presidential Plea

 

Ghana national team captain Asamoah Gyan on Wednesday reversed his decision to retire from international football, just weeks before the Africa Cup of Nations.

The striker said Monday he was quitting the national team after he was angered by coach Kwasi Appiah’s plan to strip him of the captaincy for next month’s finals in Egypt.

But President Nana Akufo-Addo intervened on Tuesday by telephoning the Turkey-based player, urging him to make himself available for selection.

Gyan in a statement said he has accepted the president’s request and was ready for the tournament.

“A presidential request is one that cannot be disregarded… I have taken the request of His Excellency Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo in good faith, and will make myself available for selection by coach Kwasi Appiah,” the 33-year-old forward said in a statement.

READ ALSO: 14 Schools Participate In Day Two Of Channels Int’l Kids Cup

“My desire to help Ghana end the over three-decade-long wait to annex the AFCON trophy still burns strong and I remain committed to serving this great nation and the people of Ghana,” he added.

The tournament, expanded to 24 teams for the first time, kicks off on June 21.

The Black Stars are in Group F with defending champions Cameroon, Benin and Guinea-Bissau.

Gyan made his international debut at the age of 17 against Somalia in 2003.

He is Ghana’s all-time leading goalscorer with 51 goals in 106 appearances for the national team.

He has also featured at three World Cups, in 2006, 2010 and 2014.

AFP

Ghana Captain Gyan Retires Ahead Of Africa Cup Of Nations

(file photo) Al-Ahli’s Asamoah Gyan kicks the ball during the AFC Champions League group stage football match between UAE’s Al-Ahli and Saudi Arabia’s Al-Taawun on March 13, 2017, at the Al-Rashid Stadium in Dubai. STRINGER / AFP

 

Ghana national team captain on Monday announced his retirement from international football just weeks before the Africa Nations Cup.

Gyan said his decision had been taken as a way to protest a plan by coach Kwesi Appiah to deny him the opportunity of captaining the Black Stars in next month’s Africa Nations Cup in Egypt.

“Upon consultation with my family and team… if the decision of the coach is to give captaincy of the tournament to another player while I am named in the team for the tournament, I wish to recuse myself from the tournament,” the 33-year-old player said in a statement.

READ ALSO: Austrian Formula One Legend Niki Lauda Dies At 70

“I also wish to retire from the national team permanently,” added the Kayserispor striker.

Gyan is retiring just ahead of the Africa Nations Cup which kicks off on June 21.

The Black Stars are in Group F with Cameroon, Benin and Guinea-Bissau.

Gyan made his international debut at the age of 17 against Somalia in 2003.

He is Ghana’s all-time goal scorer in the national team with 51 goals in his 106 appearances.

He has also featured in three World Cups — 2006, 2010 and 2014.

AFP

George Groves Announces Retirement From Boxing

George Groves. Credit: @SkySportsBoxing

 

Former WBA world super-middleweight champion George Groves has announced his retirement from boxing four months after losing his WBA belt to fellow Briton Callum Smith.

Groves, who became world champion at the fourth attempt when he beat Russia’s Fedor Chudinov in Sheffield in 2017, said he wanted to go out at the top.

“I don’t want there to be a time where I’m ‘too old’ to box on, or where an injury retires me in or out of the ring,” he said in a statement on his Instagram account.

In his fight prior to the Chudinov bout Groves, 30, beat Eduard Gutknecht — the German suffered a serious brain injury that left him in a coma and unable to fight again.

Groves offered a “prayer” for Gutknecht.

“He was put into an induced coma for three weeks and bravely fought his way back to consciousness. He lives in Germany with his wife, three children and a full-time carer,” said Groves.

“This fight brought home the realisation that boxing can have brutal consequences. After this, I truly felt like my fighting days were numbered. After winning the WBA world title I decided to only continue fighting while it felt necessary.

“After the birth of my second son last year and losing in the final of WBSS (World Boxing Super Series), I knew the desire to fight had left me.

AFP

Andy Murray Breaks Down In Tears, Reveals Retirement Plan

Andy Murray of Great Britain breaks down during a press conference in Melbourne on January 11, 2019, ahead of the Australian Open tennis tournament. William WEST / AFP

 

A tearful Andy Murray on Friday announced he would likely retire this year due to severe pain from a hip injury, saying next week’s Australian Open could be the last tournament of a glittering career.

The former world number one and three-time Grand Slam winner broke down at a press conference in Melbourne as he said the pain had become almost unbearable.

“I can play with limitations. But having the limitations and the pain is not allowing me to enjoy competing or training,” the emotional Scot said.

Thirty-one-year-old “Sir Andy,” said he would like to finish at his home Grand Slam in Wimbledon, but ruefully admitted he might not make it that far.

He will be remembered as the first British man to win Wimbledon in 77 years and as a player who battled his way to the top in a golden era for the game alongside Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal.

“Wimbledon is where I would like to stop playing, but I am not certain I am able to do that,” he said.

“I’ve been struggling for a long time. I’m not sure I can play through the pain for another four or five months.

“Pretty much done everything that I could to try and get my hip feeling better and it hasn’t helped loads.”

He pulled out of last year’s Australian Open to have hip surgery and only returned in June at Queen’s Club in London.

He ended the season at Shenzhen in September after only a handful of appearances to concentrate on working his way back to full fitness.

But he was knocked out in the second round on his return at Brisbane last week and called it quits on Thursday after less than an hour of a practice match in Melbourne against Djokovic, with his movement clearly hampered.

“I think there is a chance the Australian Open is my last tournament,” he said.

While he intends to begin his opening-round match against 22nd seed Roberto Bautista Agut next week, how his body withstands potentially gruelling five-set clashes in energy-sapping heat remains to be seen.

“I’m going to play. I can still play to a level, not a level I’m happy playing at,” he said.

‘Legend of a bloke’ 

One of the so-called Big Four, along with Federer, Djokovic and Nadal, who have dominated the game for years, Murray’s ranking has slumped to 230.

He hasn’t reached a Grand Slam final since winning his second Wimbledon title in 2016, but has nevertheless enjoyed a glittering career since turning professional in 2005, with not only three Grand Slam titles, but two Olympic gold medals and 45 ATP crowns.

Notably, in 2013 Murray became the first British man to win Wimbledon for 77 years, ending the nation’s obsession with finding a champion to follow in the footsteps of Fred Perry.

Top Australian coach Darren Cahill, who until recently was mentoring world number one Simona Halep, said Murray was an example of the never-say-die attitude that separated the best from the average.

“When you search for examples of ’emptied the bucket to be as good as they could be’ there should be a picture of Andy Murray sitting under that quote,” he tweeted.

“Remarkable discipline for training, competition, sacrifice, perfection, a little crazy but a legend of a bloke.”

Former star Andy Roddick also paid tribute on Twitter.

“I tip my cap to @andy_murray! Absolute legend. The shortlist of best tacticians in history. Unreal results in a brutal era. Nothing but respect here. I hope he can finish strong and healthy,” he said.

Murray said he had an option of another operation on his troublesome hip, but it was more about his quality of life after hanging up his racquet.

“That’s something I’m seriously considering right now,” he said.

AFP

Ex-Chelsea Star Drogba Quits Football

 

Ivory Coast and Chelsea great Didier Drogba announced his retirement on Wednesday after a 20-year career.

The 40-year-old scored 164 goals in 381 appearances for Chelsea, winning four Premier League titles, four FA Cups and the 2012 Champions League, while he is also Ivory Coast’s all-time record goalscorer with 65.

Drogba most recently played for Phoenix Rising in the United Soccer League.

“I wanna thank all the players, managers, teams and fans that I have met and made this journey one of a kind,” he wrote in a statement on Twitter.

“If anyone tells you your dreams are too big, just say thank you and work harder and smarter to turn them into a reality.”

Drogba played club football in six different countries in total, with the majority of his success coming in France and England.

He won the Premier League Golden Boot in 2006-07 and 2009-10, netting 104 times in the English top flight in total, and also scored a dramatic late equaliser when Chelsea beat Bayern Munich on penalties in the Champions League final six years ago.

Drogba’s last game was Phoenix’s 1-0 loss to Louisville City in the USL Cup final on November 8.

AFP

Six Robert Redford Movie Roles For The Ages

In this file photo taken on September 01, 2017, US actor Robert Redford attends the premiere of the movie “Our Souls at Night” during the 74th Venice Film Festival at Venice Lido.
Filippo MONTEFORTE / AFP

 

The legendary Robert Redford — who has said he intends to retire from acting — has done it all: from romantic leads to Westerns to playing the Great Gatsby.

The 81-year-old heartthrob may yet continue his impressive career behind the camera but his days in front of it appear to be over.

From Barbra Streisand’s lover in “The Way We Were” to a renegade cowboy in “The Electric Horseman” to a 70-something voyager adrift at sea in “All is Lost,” Redford has had dozens of memorable turns.

Here is a look at the classic performances that made Redford an American classic:

Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969)

“Don’t tell me how to rob a bank. I know how to rob a bank!”

Redford uttered that key phrase as the Sundance Kid to Paul Newman as Butch Cassidy — the pair played affable outlaws in perhaps the granddaddy of all buddy films.

Tracked by a posse, the handsome, quick-witted and quick-drawing leaders of the Hole-in-the-Wall gang split to Bolivia, where their illicit antics ultimately prove their demise.

The glib humour did not sit well with critics, but the hippy Western was a huge hit with moviegoers and it made Redford a bankable star.

Robert Redford attends a photocall during the 74th Venice Film Festival at Venice Lido on September 1, 2017. Tiziana FABI / AFP

The Sting (1973)

Redford and Newman reunite, this time as con artists in 1930s Chicago where they seek revenge on a big-league mobster by setting up an ambitious scam.

Redford plays a charming but novice grifter in a blockbuster film.

His memorable performance as Johnny Hooker is optimistic and believable as he tries to pull off the big con, and it led to the only best actor Oscar nomination of his career. He lost to Jack Lemmon, but the crime caper won seven other Academy Awards, including best picture.

The Great Gatsby (1974)

This Francis Ford Coppola adaptation of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s masterful 1925 novel was intended to cement Redford’s role as a leading man in Hollywood romantic dramas. The film earned mixed reviews though it was a financial success.

He played the mysterious and decadent Jay Gatsby opposite Mia Farrow’s Daisy Buchanan. The sparks between the two were muted at best, and Redford caught flak for being too dull in a role critics said he should have nailed.

The film nevertheless won two Oscars for costume design and best original score.

All the President’s Men (1976)

Redford bounced back in full force in a stunning portrayal of a presidency in turmoil.

He took on the role of Bob Woodward and Dustin Hoffman played Carl Bernstein in the adaptation of the Washington Post journalists’ book about how the pair uncovered Watergate, which proved to be the biggest political scandal of the 20th Century.

Many critics point to this classic as one of Redford’s most important roles. It was not his first foray into politics though.

His satirical turn as a hapless US Senate hopeful in “The Candidate” in 1972 raised eyebrows, and Redford had contemplated a run for Senate in the 1970s.

The Natural (1984)

Redford emerged as a sporting star in this classic hero’s story about a rising baseball phenomenon whose lifelong love of the game helps him overcome tragedy and mount a spectacular comeback.

The big-budget spectacle is overindulgent at times, but Redford shines in his scenes in the ballpark.

And while the feel-good Hollywood ending — a Redford home run to win the pennant gives the actor almost mythic status — is the stuff of dreams, author Bernard Malamud’s novel that is the movie’s source material has a far darker ending: the slugger strikes out.

Out of Africa (1985)

Redford portrays untamable and aloof hunter/adventurer Denys Finch Hatton, who engages in a steamy, ill-fated affair with plantation-owning baroness Karen Blixen (Meryl Streep).

The film, which draws from the writings of Denmark’s Isak Dinesen, was a sweeping cinematic spectacle, scooping up seven Oscars including best picture.

Redford and Streep play headstrong, independent spirits contending with a changing Africa and Blixen’s dissolving personal life.

When Streep’s character asks Redford what is wrong with marriage, his answer is devastating: “Have you ever seen one you admire?”

AFP

Robert Redford Announces Retirement From Acting At 81

In this file photo taken on September 01, 2017, US actor Robert Redford attends a photocall during the 74th Venice Film Festival at Venice Lido. Tiziana FABI / AFP

 

Robert Redford, the screen legend and Oscar winner, has announced that he’s retiring from acting at the grand old age of 81, with the upcoming movie “The Old Man & The Gun” his last gig in front of the camera.

The actor, director and founder of the Sundance Institute and its film festival began his career on stage 60 years ago, before moving into TV and film, and eventually into directing.

“Never say never, but I pretty well concluded that this would be it for me in terms of acting,” he told Entertainment Weekly. “(I’ll) move towards retirement after this ’cause I’ve been doing it since I was 21,” he said.

“I thought, well, that’s enough. And why not go out with something that’s very upbeat and positive?”

His publicist Cindi Berger confirmed the article was accurate.

When asked if his prospective retirement would extend to directing, Redford was tight-lipped and his agent did not elaborate.

“We’ll see about that,” Redford told Entertainment Weekly.

In “The Old Man & The Gun,” directed by David Lowery, the California native plays Forrest Tucker, the real-life career criminal whose bank-robbing spree and multiple escapes from prison lasted more than 60 years.

“To me, that was a wonderful character to play at this point in my life,” Redford told Entertainment Weekly.

The film, set for release in the United States on September 28, also stars Oscar winners Sissy Spacek and Casey Affleck.

Lowery told Empire magazine that he felt the “weight” of directing Redford in his final screen role.

“He mentioned that right before we started production,” Lowery told Empire.

“I think the movie is as much about (Redford) as it is about this character. It’s about someone in the twilight of their life, doing something they love,” he added.

“There’s an inevitability to the character that is impossible to separate from Mr Redford himself, and an inherently bittersweet quality.”

Sundance independence

He was born Charles Robert Redford, Jr. on August 18, 1936, in Santa Monica, California, the son of an accountant. His mother died in 1955, a year after he finished high school.

He went to the University of Colorado, but dropped out a year later and subsequently moved to Europe to study art in Paris and in Italy, a formative experience that transformed his political and social awareness.

After returning to the United States, he moved to New York, where he enrolled at the American Academy of Dramatic Art and made his debut as a stage actor.

After a variety of television roles, he moved on to the silver screen, where he found success with romantic comedy “Barefoot In The Park” opposite Jane Fonda, before his major breakthrough in “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid” in 1969, when he was 33.

Subsequent hits as an actor came in “The Sting” (1973) which won him an Oscar nomination; “The Great Gatsby” the following year; “Three Days of the Condor” (1975); and the critically acclaimed “All the President’s Men” (1976) — his sun-kissed all-American good looks making him a household name.

Other majoring acting credits for the man with the sun-kissed, all-American good looks were baseball classic “The Natural” and epic romance “Out of Africa” (1985) alongside Meryl Streep.

In 1981, he won an Academy Award for his directorial debut on “Ordinary People” and has a string of other directing credits, including “A River Runs Through It,” in which he starred alongside a young Brad Pitt, and “Quiz Show.”

Also in 1981, he founded the Sundance Institute in Utah for aspiring filmmakers, disaffected with Hollywood’s commercialism and lack of diversity.

The annual Sundance film festival is one of the most influential in the world and has fostered more than a generation of independent directors.

Despite his fame, Redford has led a largely private life and steers clear of many award shows and public film festivals. A passionate conservationist and environmentalist, he has often spoken up for social responsibility.

In 2002, he won an honorary Oscar as an actor, director, producer and creator of Sundance. To date, he has also won six Golden Globes and one BAFTA.

In 2016, he was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the United States’ highest civilian award, by Barack Obama.

He married his first wife, Lola Van Wagenen, in 1958. They had four children, one of whom died as an infant. They divorced in 1985 and he married second wife, German artist and long-term girlfriend Sibylle Szaggars in 2009.

AFP

Italy Great, Buffon To End 17-Year Juventus Career

Juventus’ Italian goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon gives the thumb up during the UEFA Champions League quarter-final second leg football match between Real Madrid CF and Juventus FC at the Santiago Bernabeu stadium in Madrid. JAVIER SORIANO / AFP

 

Juventus goalkeeper, Gianluigi Buffon, announced on Thursday that he will leave the Turin giants after 17 years but did not as expected declare the end of his playing career.

Buffon, 40, captained Juventus to a seventh straight Serie A title and fourth consecutive Italian Cup triumph this season.

“To end this adventure with two new victories was important,” the Italian told a press conference at the Allianz Stadium.

“Saturday will be my final match with Juventus.”

The former Parma goalkeeper will make his 640th Serie A appearance against Verona in Turin.

Buffon said he would like to take more time to reflect on his future which could be either on or off the pitch.

“What am I going to do? Saturday, I’m playing a match and it’s the only thing that’s certain,” he continued.

“Until 15 days ago, I was sure to stop playing, but I received some exciting proposals, both on and off the pitch. Off the pitch, the most interesting was made to me by (Juventus) president (Andrea) Agnelli.”

“Next week, after a few days of calm reflection, I will make a definite and certain decision.”

According to the Italian press Buffon has received offers from top European clubs including Liverpool, Real Madrid and Paris Saint Germain.

It was a rollercoaster season for Buffon with Italy failing to qualify for the World Cup finals for the first time in six decades.

His final Champions League game ended in another fiasco last month as he raged into the night at the referee after being sent off late in a semi-final defeat by Real Madrid.

He is facing a UEFA ban for his verbal abuse of English referee Michael Oliver who he said had “a rubbish bag for a heart” and should “sit in the stands with your wife, your kids, having your drink and eating your crisps”.

Italy’s most capped player with 176, Buffon could make his international farewell on June 4 in a friendly against the Netherlands.

Buffon holds the record for going 974 minutes in Serie A football without conceding a goal and has kept 300 clean sheets in 655 competitive club matches.

AFP

Two-Time Super Bowl Champion Linebacker, Harrison Retires

James Harrison

 

James Harrison, a two-time Super Bowl champion linebacker with the Pittsburgh Steelers during 15 NFL seasons, announced his retirement on Monday in an Instagram post.

Harrison, who turns 40 on May 4, posted photographs of his children with the caption: “I’ve missed way too much for way too long… and I’m done. Many thanks to my family, coaches, the fans, and everyone who played a role in my football life. #2ndAndFinalRetirement.”

Harrison, who made a brief retirement in 2014 before rejoining the Steelers weeks later, finished with 793 tackles, including 84.5 quarterback sacks, in 193 NFL games.

Known for delivering hard hits, Harrison began his NFL career with Pittsburgh in 2002 and helped the Steelers capture the Super Bowl in 2006 and again in 2009.

In 2009, Harrison returned an interception 100 yards for a touchdown on the final play of the first half to give the Steelers a 17-7 lead on the way to a 27-23 triumph over Arizona.

After a season with Cincinnati in 2013, Harrison returned to Pittsburgh and stayed until last December, when he was released by the Steelers after appearing in only five games.

The New England Patriots signed Harrison three days later and used him in a key role in their run to the Super Bowl two months ago, when the Patriots lost to Philadelphia 41-33.

AFP