Top Ten Sporting Moments

I wrote a version of this a few years ago but seem to have lost it so time for an updated list. It’s always difficult doing these sort of things as upon publishing you’ll get some smart arse say “What about this event” or “that’s not a sport” or “I think this etc”. All valid points but this is MY list. By all means comment on my choices but if you disagree then write your own!

10 – 1999 UEFA Champions League Final

By May 26th 1999 Manchester United had already won the domestic premier league and FA cup and were going for an unprecedented treble. I was watching at The Cork in Felixstowe and was in a round with Watty and Pommy. As the 90th minute approached Man Utd were trailing 1-0. It was my round. I’d head for a shit and get the beers on the way back. When I came out of the toilet the crowd in the pub were going berserk. Sheringham & Solskjaer had both scored injury time goals. United had won the treble. On hindsight should this really count as I never really witnessed it? 

09 – Beckham’s equalizer v Greece. October 6th 2001

Next on the list is David Beckham’s free kick against Greece in the final qualifying game for the 2002 world cup. A Saturday afternoon in the Labour Club watching a very poor England performance who were seconds away from elimination (well a two legged play-off). 3 minutes of injury time had been played when England got a free kick. Up stepped Beckham. the rest as they say is history……

08 – Garry Pratt runs out Ricky Ponting

I will never ever get tired of watching this. From the greatest Ashes series of all time came the run out of the Aussie captain from England’s substitute fielder. Ponting had a melt down and England won the test to go 2-1 up and ultimately winning the ashes. Lovely stuff.

07 – Daley Thomson 1984 Olympics

The man that destroyed a million Spectrum keyboards. To be good at one thing is special. To be good at ten? Super human

06 – Ronnie O’Sullivan 147 to win semi of UK Open 2007

Ronnie was 7-5 down and clawed his way back to 8-8 in the first to 9. He secured the match with a 147. There’s so many “Ronnie” moments I could have chosen but to win a semi-final with a 147 in the deciding frame is pure genius. 

05 – Bob Willis 8 for 43

Whilst Ian Botham takes all the plaudits for his heroics in 1981 to help England win the Ashes for me the highlight was RGD Willis taking 8-43 

04 – England win the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019

A Sunday with mates and beer. Oh and Ben Stokes. In what was really a nondescript final until the last couple of overs England managed to snatch victory from the claws of defeat. Overthrows, Stokes’ deflections, no-one quite sure of the rules and Scottish folk getting upset on Twitter. This had to be the greatest cricketing moment of all time?  

03 – Ryder Cup 2012

Otherwise known as the Miracle of Medinah. It was also the first of the now customary Verso Ryder Cup Sundays. On Saturday evening the Ryder cup had been lost. The USA were 10-6 up needing only 4 1/2 points to win. The bookies stopped taking bets. The beef was in the oven and beers in the fridge ready for the mates coming round. Parky and myself still believed.

Wins for Donald, Poulter, McIlroy, Rose and Lawrie put Europe ahead only for the two Johnsons to swing the pendulum America’s way once more. Garcia for Europe and Dufner for USA put the scores EUROPE 12 v 13 USA with 3 games still being played. A convincing 3&2 from Westwood meant we needed just the one point to retain the trophy. That duly came when Kaymer beat Stricker. It was all over. A half point from Molinari was the icing on the cake giving Europe a 14 1/2 to 13 1/2 – An amazing day

02 – Torvill & Dean win gold in Sarajevo 84

Until recently this was the greatest ever sporting moment. Two people at the top of their game. Totally peerless. If you want perfection then watch this video. Absolutely stunning. 

01 – Stokes v Australia in the Third Ashes Test 2019

And here we are at number one. Ben Stokes’ 135 not out. I watched the first session of the 4th days play at my house. Wasn’t expecting too much but with Stokes still in at lunch we had a chance. Ed and myself walked to Labour Club for a couple of pints. As each over went by the more we fancied our chances. Then one by one the wickets began to tumble. When we were 9 down with Stokes on 61 and us needing near on 70 to win it was a case of one more pint then off we go.

Stokes had other ideas. He hit anything and everything that was bowled at him. 6 after 6 followed and Ed and myself were getting quite excited. Finally the winning four was hit and we’d just witnessed the greatest match winning century of all time. 

Even the moany old bastards in the Labour club who kept telling us to shoosh each time we clapped and cheered a boundary couldn’t dampen our spirits.

That was pretty special………