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SBD Global/June 29, 2012/People and Pop Culture

Names In The News

English footballer and free agent MICHAEL OWEN, whose ManU contract ends on Saturday, has switched agents. Owen, who had been managed by Wasserman Media Group, will now be repped by former Umbro Exec SIMON MARSH, who has been a close friend of Owen since he signed for the brand as a 15-year-old (London DAILY MAIL, 6/27). ..The Rugby Football Union said that England's CHARLIE HODGSON and LEE MEARS retired from int'l rugby, while ANDY FARRELL returned to coaching staff of the England rugby union national team. Hodgson played fly-half at Saracens and Mears played hooker for Bath, who combined to make 80 appearances for England (London DAILY MAIL, 6/27)....Chinese Basketball Association Beijing Ducks and former NBA player STEPHON MARBURY is now a "published author." His autobiography, Wo Shi Ma Zheng Wei (I am Commissar Marbury), "will hit Chinese bookstores on June 30." The book is being written alongside Chinese journalist WANG MENG, who covers basketball for Beijing newspaper Titan Sports Weekly (NIUBBALL.com, 6/28). ... New Zealand Rugby League CEO JIM DOYLE became the most recent figure linked to the vacant role of ARL Commission CEO this week. He jumped "to the head of the queue" following a meeting with Commission Chair JOHN GRANT last week (THE AUSTRALIAN, 6/29).

GAMES TIME: The Int'l Press Centre at Olympic Park now includes the JOHN RODDA Press Workroom. Rodda served as the Guardian's athletics and boxing correspondent for more than 36 years before he died in '09 at the age of 78. He also covered every Games between '60-92. LOCOG Chair SEBASTIAN COE said that Rodda opened up the "world of sports politics to him and played an influential role in helping to advise on how to negotiate the corridors of power" (London GUARDIAN, 6/27). ... MUSE, the "stadium-filling rock trio" has been chosen to provide the official song for the London Olympics. The track, Survival, will be played throughout sports sessions at official venues for the games, such as when athletes enter and during the build-up to medal ceremonies. The band's main songwriter MATT BELLAMY said, "I wrote it with the Games in mind as it expresses a sense of conviction and determination to win" (London TELEGRAPH, 6/28). 
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