'Paralympics beats Premiership'
THE Bishop of Bristol has contrasted the spirit and courage of the Olympics and Paralympics with the return of Premiership football.
Writing on his blog on the diocesan website, Bishop Mike Hill, right, hailed the impact of the Olympians on the spirit of the nation and said the national game "doesn't really compare very favourably in my book".
"I couldn't help feeling the gulf between the spirit of the Paralympics and the start of the new Premiership season," said Bishop Mike, commenting on the feud between QPR defender Anton Ferdinand and Chelsea captain John Terry, which started with claims that Terry had racially abused Ferdinand. Terry was cleared of the allegation by a court earlier this year but on Saturday attention was focussed on the refusal of Ferdinand to shake his hand or that of Terry's team-mate Ashley Cole, who had testified on his behalf.
"So many inspiring stories of fortitude and bravery lay behind the amazing Paralympics."
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Contrasting the London 2012 Games with the weekend's Premier League grudge match, he said: "Forget the football, attention was focused on whether John Terry and Anton Ferdinand would shake hands before the QPR and Chelsea match, following Anton Ferdinand's accusation that Terry had racially abused him last season."
Earlier the Bishop praised the "almost faultless" summer of sport.
"The Olympics and the Paralympics seem to have given the nation some kind of fresh self-confidence," he said. "I confess to a kind of low-grade depression now it's nearly all over."