Today in 1702 The Daily Courant, England’s first national daily newspaper was published for the first time. In 1818 Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley’s novel Frankenstein (or The Modern Prometheus) was published.
Malcolm Campbell who pioneered attempts to reach the limits of speed, was born today in 1885. He was the first man to build a machine especially for the purpose of setting new speed records on land and water. His creation, Bluebird, became synonymous with speed and the name was carried on in the craft developed by his son Donald. Malcolm died in December 1948.
On the day in 1892 the first public basketball game took place at Springfield, Mass, USA.
Finnish athlete Matti Sippala was born on this day in 1908. His main event was the javelin, in which he won the silver medal at both the 1932 Olympics and the 1934 European Championships, but he was also a good pentathlete, breaking the unofficial world record in 1931. Sippala defeated javelin world record holder Matti Järvinen at the Finnish Olympic trails in 1932, throwing 70.02. At the Olympics in Los Angeles, however, Järvinen dominated, throwing beyond 70m five times with a best throw of 72.71m. Sippala, who had strained his back in training, threw 68.14m on his first attempt, 4 cm less than Germany’s Gottfried Weimann. In the sixth and final round Sippala threw 69.80m, moving from fourth to second place as Finland swept the medals. Sippala threw his personal best, 70.5 m, in Riga in 1934. At that year’s European Championships in Turin he won another silver medal with 69.97m, again behind Järvinen who broke his own world record. In addition to the javelin, Sippala competed in combined events. He won silver in the decathlon at the 1930 Finnish championships, but never reached the international elite in that event. In the non-Olympic pentathlon, however, he won several national titles; at the 1931 Finnish championships he scored 4083 points and defeated Olympic decathlon champion Paavo Yrjölä in a close competition as both exceeded Martti Tolamo’s unofficial world record of 4011.
In 1911 a crowd of 39,146 watched first-division Bradford City beat second-division Burnley 1-0 in the FA Cup. The Valley Parade Ground has not played host to such a large crowd since that day and so has the longest standing attendance record in the Football League.
Luis Hernandez, Mexican figure skater was born today in 1984. He is the current and 6-time Mexican National champion. Representing Mexico at four World Championships. In 2008, he placed 15th at the Four Continents Championships. Highest finish ever by a male skater from Mexico. He previously competed at the United States Figure Skating Championships, placing 7th as a novice in 2002 and 11th in 2003.
Four times British Open golf champion, South African Bobby Locke died in 1988.
Born in 1990, Ayumi Morita, Japanese tennis player. She reached her career-high ranking of 42nd in the world on June 6, 2011 and is currently the fifth highest ranked Japanese player in the world at world No. 153. At Junior level, she reached a career high ranking of No. 3. Morita is known for strong and consistent two-handed groundstrokes which she hits very flat. She is also regarded as very tough mentally for a young player, often showing great resolve to win close matches despite a lacklustre serve. Morita is one of the most successful Fed Cup players of recent times with a 23–14 match win record for Japan.
Iolanda Balaș, Romanian Olympic champion and former world high jump records holder died at the age of 79 on this day in 2016. Born on 12 December 1936 , she was the first Romanian woman to win an Olympic gold medal and is considered to have been one of the greatest high jumpers of the twentieth century.
On this day in 1881 Andrew Watson (1856-1921) makes his Scotland debut as the world’s first black international football player and captain. Watson is widely considered to be the world’s first black person to play association football at international level. He played three matches for Scotland between 1881 and 1882. Arthur Wharton was commonly thought to be Britain’s first black player, as he was the first black professional footballer and the first to play in the Football League, but Watson’s career predated him by over a decade.
At St George’s Park, Port Elizabeth, in 1898 Test Cricket was played in South Africa for the first time. The host nation, led by O R Dunnell, entertained the England team skippered by Aubrey smith in the first of two tests. England won the first Test by eight wickets after dismissing South Africa for just 84 runs. The England captain, Smith, later found fame as a Hollywood actor.
The BBC televised its first athletics meeting in 1938 when they covered the annual Oxford versus Cambridge match from the White City.
Today in 1967 Austria’s Reinhold Bachler ski jumps 505 feet.
Dragutin Topić, Serbian High-jumper was born on this day in 1971. He is a World junior record holder with 2.37m when he won World Junior Championships 1990, three weeks before his win at European Championships. In the same year Topić received the Golden Badge award for best athlete of Yugoslavia. He has set five national records, and claimed four national titles for Yugoslavia in the men’s high jump event. He was a member of AK Crvena Zvezda where he spent almost entire carrier. Topić was still competing in 2012, and has one of the longest careers in high-level high jump, since he holds not only World junior record with 2.37m, but also World masters record for the ages over 35 (2.31m set in 2009), and over 40 years of age (2.28m set in 2012). He has competed at six Olympic Games between 1992 and 2012, as well as at seven World Championships.
In 1984 British ice dance team Torvill and Dean become the first skaters to receive nine perfect 6.0s in a World Championship.
On this day in 1986 Susan Butcher wins the 1,158 mile Iditarod Trail sled dog race.
Born on this day in 1987 Jessica Hardy American breaststroke and freestyle swimmer. Hardy won a bronze medal in the 4×100m freestyle and a gold medal in the 4×100m medley relays at the 2012 London Olympics. She has won a total of twenty-eight medals in major international competition, fourteen gold, nine silver, and five bronze spanning the Olympics, World and the Pan Pacific Championships.
English and British Olympic 110m hurdler Lawrence Clarke was born on this day in 1990. He notably finished fourth at the 2012 London Olympic Games 110m Hurdles Final. He is the son of Sir Toby Clarke, 6th Baronet and is the heir apparent to the baronetcy.. He served as Captain of the Great Britain Athletics Team at the 2015 European Athletics Indoor Championships and was coached in Bath by Malcolm Arnold, the former coach of Colin Jackson and John Akii-Bua. He is currently coached in Paris by Giscard Samba Koundys.
Wendy Toms made history as the first woman to officiate at a Football League game, she was selected as the fourth official for a third-division game between Bournemouth and Reading in 1991.
The former Cardiff City and Wales full-back Alf Sherwood died in 1991 aged 66. He played for Wales 41 times between 1947 and 1957.
On this day in 2000 41 year-old Neville Southall appears in goal for Bradford after their regular goalie, Matt Clarke, fell downstairs at home.
Sir Terence David John “Terry” Pratchett died on this day in 2015 aged 66. An English author of fantasy novels, especially comical works. He is best known for his Discworld series of 41 novels. Pratchett’s first novel, The Carpet People, was published in 1971. The first Discworld novel, The Colour of Magic, was published in 1983, after which he wrote two books a year on average. His 2011 Discworld novel Snuff was at the time of its release the third-fastest-selling hardback adult-readership novel since records began in the UK, selling 55,000 copies in the first three days. His final Discworld novel, The Shepherd’s Crown, was published in August 2015, five months after his death. Pratchett, with more than 85 million books sold worldwide in 37 languages, was the UK’s best-selling author of the 1990s. He was appointed Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in 1998 and was knighted for services to literature in the 2009 New Year Honours. In 2001 he won the annual Carnegie Medal for The Amazing Maurice and his Educated Rodents, the first Discworld book marketed for children. He received the World Fantasy Award for Life Achievement in 2010. n December 2007, Pratchett announced that he had been diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer’s disease. He later made a substantial public donation to the Alzheimer’s Research Trust (now Alzheimer’s Research UK), filmed a television programme chronicling his experiences with the disease for the BBC, and also became a patron for Alzheimer’s Research UK. Pratchett died surrounded by his family and with his cat on his bed.
100m at first televised athletics meet on BBC
On this day in 607, the 12th recorded passage of Halley’s Comet occurred.
The annual University Golf Match, commonly known as the Varsity Match took place for the first time today in 1878. The match is contested between the Full Blue golf teams from Oxford and Cambridge universities. The first match took place at Wimbledon Common, courtesy of London Scottish Golf Club, which hosted the fixture for 19 years until it moved to Royal St George’s Golf Club in 1897. The match was contested by four singles matches, and used the holes up method of scoring. Oxford, led by Horace Hutchinson, won by a margin of 24 holes. Up to and including 2013, 124 University Golf Matches have been played. This fixture is the oldest amateur event in golf; the first Amateur Championship was played in 1885. It is also the oldest team event in English golf. Scottish team matches were common after 1849, and included St Andrews University matches against Fife artisan clubs. The Varsity Match was most recently contested in March 2016, at Royal West Norfolk Golf Club, and was won by Oxford by a margin of 10-5, making it a record breaking 7 in a row, for the men and a Cambridge victory for the ladies.
On this day in 1935 a three-thousand-year-old archive was discovered in Jerusalem which confirmed biblical history.
Today in 1982 Elaine Zayak landed six triple jumps on her way to winning the world skating championship. At age two, Elaine lost three toes on her left foot as a result of a lawn mower accident. On the advice of her doctors, she began figure skating as physical therapy. Her left boot was stabilized with a wooden mould to compensate for the irregularity in the shape of her left foot. Zayak was the first woman to consistently land many triple jumps in her programmes. At the 1982 World Championships, four of her six jumps were triple toe loops. While she also had triple salchows and loops in her repertoire, they were less consistent. Her skating contributed to the creation of what became informally known as the Zayak Rule, enacted at the 1982 ISU Congress, which states that a skater may not perform the same kind of triple jump more than twice, and for it to be given full credit on both occasions, one of the two triples must be incorporated into a combination or sequence. The rule encouraged skaters to display a greater variety of skills.
The 1948 Lincolnshire Handicap drew a field of 58 horses, the largest number of runners for a flat race in England at that date.
Boxer Joe Bugner was born in 1950. Hungarian born Bugner, who was brought to Britain as a youngster, captured the British, European and Commonwealth heavyweight titles with a controversial win over Henry Cooper in 1971. His potential was never fully realised and perhaps his finest achievement was in taking Muhammad Ali the distance in a world title fight in Kuala Lumpur in 1975.
The former West Indian cricket captain Sir Frank Worrell died in 1967 at the age of 42. His international career for West Indies included 51 appearances and 3860 runs. In the 1945-46 season he and former schoolmate Clyde Walcott put on a then world record 574 (unbroken) for the fourth wicket for Barbados against Trinidad at Port-of-Spain. It was the second time Worrell had been involved in a partnership of 500 or more. Test matches between West Indies and Australia are for the Frank Worrell Trophy.
While competing in the English Amateur Snooker Championship at Aldershot, Hampshire, in 1991, Ronnie O’Sullivan (now professional) became the youngest person at the time to compile a maximum 147 during competitive play. He was only 15 years and 98 days old at the time. He achieved his first major professional success when he won the 1993 UK Championship at the age of 17 years and 358 days, making him the youngest player ever to win a ranking title – a record he still holds. He is also the youngest player to have won the Masters, having captured his first title in 1995 at the age of 19 years and 69 days.
On this day in 2012 25 year-old Alaskan, Dallas Seavey, became the youngest winner of the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race.
Born on this day in 1804 in Leopoldstadt, Vienna was Austrian Romantic composer and violinist Johann Strauss I, also known as Johann Baptist Strauss, Johann Strauss Sr., the Elder, the Father. Famous for his waltzes, which alongside Joseph Lanner, he popularised and thereby set the foundations for his sons to carry on his musical dynasty. He was the father of Johann Strauss II, Josef Strauss and Eduard Strauss, the last of whom had a son called Johann Strauss III. His most famous piece is the Radetzky March (named after Joseph Radetzky von Radetz).
The 1984 Olympic javelin champion Tessa Sanderson, was born in Jamaica in 1957. After making two unsuccessful attempts at the Olympic title she eventually struck gold in Los Angeles in 1984, breaking the Olympic record with her first throw in the final. She was the first Briton, and the first black athlete, to win an Olympic throwing title. She later became a television celebrity.
On this day in 1980LOT Flight 7 crashed near Okęcie Airport in Warsaw, Poland with 87 crew and passengers losing their lives. After trouble with the deployment of the landing-gear the aircraft clipped a tree with its right wing and impacted the ice-covered moat of a 19th-century military fortress. On impact, the aircraft disintegrated; a large part of the main hull submerged in the moat, while the tail and parts of the main landing gear landed a few meters further, just before the entrance to the fort. On the scene, a diving team was later trying to recover parts of the aircraft (including some of the engines) from the moat, but it was far too murky; ultimately, the moat had to be drained to allow the air crash investigation team to recover parts of the disintegrated plane. Among the fatalities were Polish singer Anna Jantar, American ethnomusicologist Alan P. Merriam, six Polish students returning home from an AIESEC conference in New York and a contingent of the USA amateur boxing team (22 of whom died). According to the doctors who arrived at the scene, many of the passengers were apparently asleep when the plane hit the ground, but some of them – including many of the boxers – were supposedly aware that they were about to crash, as they held to their seats so strongly that on impact, the muscles and tendons in their arms became severed. Some reports suggested that some of the boxers actually survived the crash and drowned in the moat, but no evidence for this was presented. By ironic coincidence, at the time of the crash, a conference on improvements in air travel safety was being held at Okęcie airport, less than a kilometre away.
Ken Barrington, the former Surrey and England batsman, collapsed and died of a heart attack while touring with the England team in the West Indies in 1981. In his playing days he was a member of the Surrey team that won seven consecutive county championship titles in the 1950s. Barrington also played for England 82 times and scored 6806 runs at an average 58.67.
The 400m Serbian hurdler and national record holder Emir Bekrić was born on the day in 1991. In 2013, Bekrić became the first male track and field athlete from Serbia to win a medal at the IAAF Outdoor World Championships. In the same year he won the award European athletics rising star, as well as golden badge for Serbian athlete of the year.
Born on this day in 1997 Simone Biles, American gymnast who is the 2016 Olympic individual all-around, vault and floor gold medallist. She was part of the gold medal-winning team dubbed the “Final Five” at the 2016 Summer Olympics. She also won the bronze medal for the beam during the Olympics. Biles is a three-time world all-around champion (2013–15), three-time world floor champion (2013–15), two-time world balance beam champion (2014, 2015), four-time United States national all-around champion (2013–16), and a member of the gold medal-winning American teams at the 2014 and 2015 World Artistic Gymnastics Championships. After a break following the Rio Games Biles was included in the 2018 team where she won the US Classic in July and the National championships in August. At the 2018 World Artistic Gymnastics Championships in Doha, Biles became the female gymnast with the most World all-around titles (4) and total World medals (20), as well as the gymnast with the most World gold medals of any gender (14). She also became the 10th gymnast and 1st American gymnast to win a World medal on every event, signifying her all-around dominance
Five cities had submitted bids for the 2022 Winter Olympics by this day in 2014, they were Oslo, Norway; Almaty, Kazakhstan; Beijing, China; Krakow, Poland and Lviv, Ukraine; the winner was due to be selected in July 2015. Oslo withdrew its bid on 1 October 2014, leaving Almaty and Beijing as the 2 remaining candidates. Beijing was selected as host city after beating Almaty by 4 votes, on 31 July 2015.
The Cincinnati Red Stockings, the first professional baseball team, played their first match as professionals against Great Western in 1869.
Test cricket was inaugurated on this day in 1877 when James Lillywhite’s touring England team met the Australians at the Melbourne cricket ground. Charles Bannerman (Australia) made history as the first man to score a century in Test cricket. Remarkably, when the Centenary Test was played 100 years later the result was exactly the same, an Australian win by 45 runs.
Liverpool FC was founded today in 1892.
In 1927 the first Women’s Boat Race between the University of Oxford and the University of Cambridge took place on The Isis in Oxford.
Playing for Wales against England at Highbury in 1920, Billy Meredith of Manchester United became the oldest person to play international soccer. He was aged 45 years and 229 days at the time. He played for both Manchester clubs during his 26-year career which also included 48 caps for Wales.
Leonid Yengibarov was born on this day in 1935. A Soviet clown and actor he was born in Moscow to an Armenian father and a Russian mother. He started his career as a boxer. In 1955 he joined the State School of Circus Art, Clownship department. He graduated from Circus school with skills in juggling, acrobatics, and hand balancing. After graduation in 1959 he moved to Yerevan and joined the Armenian state circus. He was one of the first Soviet clowns to create the poetic, intellectual clownery, which made spectators think, not only laugh. Leonid Yengibarov, ‘the clown with sad eyes’, revolutionized the art of clownery by introducing lyrical tones into traditional buffoonery and grotesque sequences. After initial incomprehension, his popularity grew immensely. After that he was invited to work in cinema. His first film, A Path to the Arena, was in fact about himself. By the end of the 1960s he was known as one of the best clowns in the country and in the countries of the Eastern bloc, where he was permitted to travel. His circus career came to a halt in 1971: he left the State Circus when his partner was banned from international touring. He created a Variety Pantomime Theatre (Estradniy teatr pantomimi) instead. However officially he was forbidden to call his company “theatre”, only allowed to use the term “troupe”. He managed to stage only a single piece, “Star Rain” before his untimely death from a massive heart attack in 1972 at the age of 37
In 1947 Neil McBain became the oldest person at that date to play in the Football League when he kept goal for New Brighton at the time; he was forced by a goalkeeper shortage to go in goal. Considering his age – 51 years 120 days – the score-line of 3-0 to Hartlepool seems respectable.
American jockey Cash Asmussen was born in 1962. A winner of the Eclipse Award for top apprentice at the age of 17 in the 1979 season, with a total of 263 winners, he came to Europe in 1982. At Chepstow in 1993 he made history as the first American jockey to ride a winner for Her Majesty the Queen.
On this day in 1968 Bob Beamon set an indoor long jump record of 27 feet 2¾ inches.
Joanne Wise, British long jumper was born on this day in 1971. In 1998, she won the Commonwealth Games gold medal in Kuala Lumpur. She also competed at the Barcelona Olympic Games in 1992 and the Sydney Olympic Games in 2000. An excellent junior, she was AAA’s Junior champion at Under 15, Under 17 and Under 20 levels. She also won two English schools titles. In 1987, she finished fifth at the European Junior Championships in Birmingham. The highlight of Wise’s junior career came in 1988 in Sudbury, Canada at the World Junior Championships, when she won a bronze medal with a wind-assisted jump of 6.69 m. Both world and European junior titles were won by Wise’s long time domestic rival Fiona May. She went on to finish seventh at the 1989 European Juniors in Varazdin (6.16m) and ninth at the 1990 World Juniors in Plovdiv (6.14m). In 1992, Wise competed at her first Olympic Games but had a disastrous time in the qualifying round, managing only 5.87 m for 26th overall. At the 1993 World Championships, she was 23rd in the qualifying round with 6.20m. After struggling with injuries, Wise entered the best phase of her career at the 1997 World Indoor Championships, finishing fourth with 6.70m, which tied the UK indoor record of Susan Hearnshaw set in 1984. She missed the bronze medal by just one centimetre. Later that same year, she narrowly missed the final at the World Championships in Athens. In 1998, she became the Commonwealth Champion with a jump of 6.63 m, ahead of Jackie Edwards and Nicole Boegman. In 1999, at the World Championships in Seville, she finished fifth in the final with a jump of 6.75m, just short of her lifetime best of 6.76m, which she had set in Malmö two weeks earlier. Wise competed at her second Olympic Games in Sydney, 2000, failing, by just one centimetre, to reach the final. She was also twice AAA’s Champion (1999 & 2000), three times AAAs Indoor Champion (1992, 1997 & 1999) and was twice UK Champion (1992 & 1997). Wise’s indoor best of 6.70 m, remained the UK indoor record for fifteen years, until 2012, when Shara Proctor jumped 6.89m.
In 1990, playing for New Zealand against Australia at Wellington, Richard Hadlee took five wickets in an innings for the 100th time in his career.
At Sam Sebastian, Spain,in 1991 the Ukrainian pole-vaulter Sergey Bubka became the first man to clear 20 feet (6.2m) indoors with a vault of 6.14m or 20 feet 1¾inches.
Welsh rugby union player Mervyn Davies died on this day in 2012 at the age of 65. He won his first cap for Wales in 1969 against Scotland, going on to play 38 consecutive matches for Wales and scoring two tries. During this period Wales won two Grand Slams and three Triple Crowns. He went on the British and Irish Lions tours to New Zealand in 1971 and to South Africa in 1974, playing in eight tests. In a total of 46 international appearances for Wales and the Lions he only ended on the losing side nine times. Tall and slight of frame, he grew a Mexican moustache to make himself appear more aggressive on the rugby field. He was nicknamed “Merv the Swerve” and is considered to be the greatest Number 8 that Wales has ever produced and one of its greatest at any position. His career was ended by a subarachnoid hemorrhage suffered when captaining Swansea against Pontypool in 1976. He had collapsed during a game on another occasion, four years earlier, and had been wrongly diagnosed with meningitis. Following the second incident he was a patient in the University Hospital of Wales for several months, and received goodwill messages from all over the world. In a poll of Welsh rugby fans in 2002, Davies was voted both Greatest Ever Welsh Captain and Greatest Ever Welsh Number 8. In 2001 he was inducted into the International Rugby Hall of Fame. He was a smoker and was diagnosed with lung cancer (adenocarcinoma) in November 2011.
Ratu Seru Rabeni, Fijian rugby union player died at the age of 37 today in 2016. Playing as a centre or wing, he was renowned in both club and international level for his physicality and bone crunching tackles, earning him the nickname “Rambo”. His death was attributed to heart failure.
William Henry Monk the English organist, church musician and music editor who composed popular hymn tunes, including one of the most famous, “Eventide”, used for the hymn “Abide with Me” was born on this day in 1823.
Frantz Reichel, French sports administrator, athlete and journalist was born in 1871. Reichel’s father was the treasurer of the French Union of Athletic Sports Societies (USFSA) and the chief press officer at the 1894 Sorbonne Congress, where the Olympic Movement was founded. He later succeeded Pierre de Coubertin as secretary-general of the USFSA. His son was a talented runner, who won French titles in the 110m hurdles (1891), cross country (1890 and 1891) and the 1km walk. In 1892 he set a national record in one-hour run at 16.611km. At the 1896 Olympics he failed to reach the 400m final. It is unclear whether he placed second or third in the preliminary round of the 110m hurdles. He did not run in the final anyway, as he was busy assisting Albin Lermusiaux in conducting the marathon race. At those Games, besides running, Reichel also worked as a journalist for the French magazine Vélo. At the 1900 Olympics Reichel competed in rugby and won a gold medal with the French team. He was later selected as the captain of the French rugby team in an international match in 1906. Reichel was a highly respected rugby player in France, and after his death a championship for young rugby players, Championnat Reichel, was established in his honour. Later in life Reichel became a sports administrator and the secretary general of the USFSA. He also founded the French Boxing Federation and the Fédération Internationale de Hockey (FIH), serving as its president from 1926 to 1932. He was also a member of the French National Olympic and Sports Committee and headed the organizing committee of the 1924 Paris Olympics. Reichel remained active as a journalist, and became the first European journalist to fly an airplane, assisting Wilbur Wright in his distance record for flights with a passenger. He co-founded the Association Internationale de la Presse Sportive (International Sports Press Association) and served as its first president from 1924 until his death in 1932 aged 61.
The first female boxing match took place in Hill’s Theatre in New York on this day in 1876. For this contest, two variety show artistes; Nellie Saunders, the Irish-born wife of pugilist James Saunders and Rose Harland, an English-born dancer both trained for a few weeks before participating in a “sparring match with boxing gloves”. They fought in front of “an appreciative but noisy audience” and Saunders won by a single point before the women “left the stage arm-in-arm”.
In 1872 the first FA Cup final was contested between the Wanderers and the Royal Engineers. A crowd of 2000 at the Kennington Oval saw the Wanderers’ striker Betts score the only goal of the game.
In 1991 Simon Hodgkinson kicked five goals for England against France in the rugby union International Championship, taking his tally to a championship record at the time of 60 for the season. The final score in the match was 21-19 to England.
The Lithuanian figure skater Inga Janulevičiūtė was born today in 1995. She is the 2014 Lithuanian national champion. Janulevičiūtė qualified for the free skate at the 2014 European Championships and finished 18th. She was the first reserve for the ladies’ event at the 2014 Winter Olympics, having finished 13th at the 2013 Nebelhorn Trophy.
On this day in 2012 Indian batsman Sachin Tendulkar became the first cricketer to score 100 international centuries.
Rose and Saunders
On this day in 1877 Billy Midwinter complete Test cricket’s first 5-wicket haul at the MCG , in the first innings of the first Test.
Today in 1897 Cornishman Bob Fitzsimmons knocked our James J Corbett in 14 to take the heavyweight boxing title at Carson City, Nevada. He has already won the world middleweight title in 1891. In 1903 he took the light-middleweight title to become the first man to win three world titles. For 97 years he was the only British-born fighter to hold the heavyweight crown until Lennox Lewis captured it in 1993.
The finest amateur golfer of all-time, Bobby Jones, was born in 1902. He never turned pro and was more than a match for his professional counterparts. He won the British Open three times and the US Open four times. His remarkable ‘grand slam’ of titles in 1930 will surely never be equalled. Jones was also responsible for designing and building the Augusta National golf course, and from there he came up with the idea of the US Masters. He died in 1971 aged 69.
In 1908 Tommy Burns travelled to Ireland to take on the Irish heavyweight Champion Jem Roche in Dublin, a fight that established a world record that still stands to this day. In front of a massive crowd in the Theatre Royal, Burns disposed of Roche at 88 seconds of the first round, the fastest KO in a heavyweight championship fight. It was also Burns 4th consecutive KO and his 10th title defence.
Today in 1979 Wales beat England at Cardiff to capture an at the time unprecedented third successive rugby union Triple Crown.
The Dutch football team FC Lisse were formed on this day in 1981.
The 1983 Cheltenham Gold Cup was dominated by horses from the stable of trainer Michael Dickinson, who saddled the first five past the post.
On this day in 1984, the Boat Race was halted before it even got underway. The 130th running of the annual event was postponed after the Cambridge vessel was in collision with a barge and sank less than an hour prior to the start. It was the first incident of its kind in the history of the world famous boat race, in which students from Cambridge and Oxford universities are pitted against each other. The Cambridge boat, estimated to have cost £7,000, ran headlong into a large moored barge, used by umpires in the middle of the river, shattering the bow section of the vessel. Before an audience of hundreds of spectators gathered at Putney Bridge, the oarsmen were forced to paddle to the side of the river, with bows still and pointed upwards, until it was almost submerged. Most of the crew stepped out of the boat and walked to the side, while others who had to swim back described it as “cold!” The Light Blues took shelter in their boat house and the race was postponed until the next day, when they used a vessel borrowed from the Amateur Rowing Association. The crew had been holding a practice run under Putney Bridge when the accident happened. It was reported the barge had only been moved into position the previous morning but the team had been practising for weeks without it there. The crew refused to blame the boat’s cox, 21-year-old Peter Hobson, who at only 5 feet 4 inches high apparently struggled to see over some of the large rowers. Officials first hoped the race would go-ahead later that afternoon with a substitute boat but by the time necessary alterations had been made to the boat it was decided the tide would have turned. Other suggestions were to run the race in the opposite direction from Mortlake to Putney. The team was reported to have suffered only minor bruises. The race took place the next day with Oxford crossing the winning line first.
Four players received their marching orders (three from Rangers) during Celtic’s 2-0 win in the ‘Old Firm’ clash at Parkhead in 1991.
A week after playing his 700th game for Arsenal in 1992, David O’Leary was sent off for the first time in his career, during a game for the reserve team.
Bolton Wanderer footballer Fabrice Muamba collapses and was rushed to hospital during a football match against Tottenham Hotspur on this day in 2012
Marek Galiński, Polish professional mountain biker, died today in 2014 aged 39 in a car accident. During his sporting career, he won nine Polish national championship titles and a silver medal in men’s cross-country racing at the 2003 UCI World Cup series in Sankt Wendel, Germany. Galinski also represented his nation in four Olympic Games (1996, 2000, 2004, and 2008), where he competed in men’s mountain biking from the time that it officially became an Olympic sport in 1996. Galinski raced professionally for more than five seasons on the JBG2 Professional MTB Team. After his retirement from the sport in 2011, he worked as an assistant coach to both the Polish and Russian mountain bike national teams.
Margaret is a highly experienced and well-respected genealogist, who also works with academics, researchers, PhD students and families both at home and abroad to help uncover many forms of sporting past. Margaret is the Editor-in-Chief of Playing Pasts and has curated the Sport and Leisure History Archive at MMU Cheshire. Margaret is also currently employed as a Research Assistant for Prof Dave Day with a particular emphasis on developing the Playing Pasts "Focus on Fodens" project
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