Michael Jordan yesterday confirmed his retirement from professional basketball, ending an unmatched and magical playing career that shattered records and awed fans worldwide.

In walking away from the game after 13 seasons and at the age of 35, Jordan left behind six world championships for the Chicago Bulls, 10 scoring titles, and a stack of most valuable player crowns,

Ice Hockey

AYR Eagles' recent revival was stopped last night when they were beaten by Sheffield Steelers.

Derek Laxdall fired struggling Steelers ahead after seven minutes and Edinburgh-born Tony Hand made it 2-0 on the power-play five minutes into the second period.

Two more strikes in the third period increased the lead. Only Sam Groleau's late strike lifted the gloom around Centrum.


Bruce Flockhart and Craig Robertson lost out in the opening round of the World Grand Prix tournament in Korea yesterday.

Flockhart was beaten by Indonesia's Irwansya, a man 60 places below him on the world rankings, 15-8, 15-5. Robertson put up a good showing against No.10 seed and Indonesian No.2 Budi Santoso, but lost 15-2, 15-8.


HOME course one-handicapper Andrew Campbell put his local knowledge to good use in winning yesterday's North-East Alliance at Portlethen with a one-over-par 71 for the winter course. Scores:

71 - A Campbell (Portlethen). 72 - G Taylor (Hazlehead), A Graham (Portlethen). 73 - C Nelson (Hazlehead). 74 - G Forbes (Murcar), A Cooper (Auchmill), C Campbell (Grantown on Spey). 76 - M Buchan (King's Link ), D Nelson (Aboyne), J Murdoch (Newburgh).

Handicap: Class 1: 66 - A Graham (Portlethen, 6). 67 - J Murdoch (Newburgh, 9). 68 - N Parker (Murcar, 9), K Ross (Hazlehead, 9). 69 - D Nelson (Aboyne, 7). 70 - A Campbell (Portlethen, 1).


Frenchmen Jean-Louis Schlesser and Richard Sainct strenghtened their overall Dakar Rally leads in the car and motorcycle classes respectively with impressive stage wins yesterday.

Schlesser, took the 490 kilometres twelfth stage, from Nema to Tichit, in 7hr 9min 23sec. amd extended his overall lead to 20min 27sec over Spain's Miguel Prieto.

In the motorcycle section, Sainct increased his lead to 2min 40sec over compatriot Thierry Magnaldi.

Pools payout

Littlewoods. Treble chance: 23 points - #89,670.40; 22 - #748.10; 21 - #49.90; 20 - #9.30. Half-time: 23 - #16,666.65. Four draws: #4.80. Nine homes: #185.75. Five aways: #2,981.00.

Vernons. Treble chance: 22 - #4845.80; 21 - #37.25; 20 - #6.80.

Zetters. Treble chance: 23 - #6586.90; 22 - #40.70; 21 - #3.15; 20 - #0.45. Four aways: #2.40. Eight homes: #2.00. Four draws: #3.70. All draws treble chance: 24 - #8. Lucky numbers: 24, 34, 33, 9, 10, 35.

Brittens. Treble chance: 23 - #1045.20; 22 - #91.45; 21 - #2.10. Four draws: #2.90. Five aways: #13.00. Eight homes: #9.


Scotland's superteams' Welsh Challenge Trophy matches were postponed last night. Glasgow Caledonians now meet Bridgend on January 26, while Edinburgh Reivers have provisionally agreed to meet Caerphilly on January 27.

Mike O'Reilly, of Heriot's FP, has been elected Edinburgh district representative on the SRU.


IN the absence of Tony Gilhooley (City of Edinburgh), who won the East District high jump title with a clearance of 2.06m, David Kidd (Larkhall) won the high jump event with a clearance of 1.95m at the City of Glasgow indoor open graded meeting at the Kelvin Hall last night.

David Beagley (Border Harriers) won the 1500m in 4min.06.7sec, just ahead of Andrew Cassells (Fife), 4-07.3.

Springburn Harriers 3 miles road race, Bishopbriggs. 1, M Paton (under-20) 14min.49sec; 2, J Hendry (under-20) 15-03; 3, J Bell 15-31. Veteran, J Harper 16-38.