19th – Czechoslovak athlete Emil Zatopek was born in 1922. An outstanding distance runner, winning 10,000m at 1948 London Olympic games and four years later at Helsinki took gold in 5,000m, 10,000m and the Marathon. His wife Dana, who coincidentally was born on the very same day, won gold at Helsinki in the Javelin only hours after Emil had won the 5,000m. American tennis player Rosie Casais was born today in 1948, although winning over 90 tournaments, mostly for doubles, she was seemingly overshadowed in singles play by Margaret Court and Billy-Jean King. However, she will be remembered best for her work for the betterment of women’s tennis. She was a motivating force behind many of the changes that shook the tennis world in 1960s and 70s. She was a relative of the cellist Pablo Casals.


20th – The first organised motor-cycle race took place on this day in 1896 when eight riders race the 476 miles from Paris to Nantes and back, the winner being M. Chevalier riding a Michelin-Dion averaging 22.61mph. Race horse trainer and former National Hunt jockey Fred Winter was born In 1926, his illustrious career as a jump-jockey included two Grand National wins, on Sundew in 1957 and Kilmore in 1862 as well as two Cheltenham Gold Cups and three Championship Hurdles. He was top National Hunt trainer eight times between 1971 and 1985. Chris Marron of South Shields scored ten goals in a 13-0 win over Radcliffe Welfare United/Borough in an FA Cup qualifying round match in 1947, claimed to be an FA Cup record that still stands today. Terry Fenwick of Tottenham Hotspur was jailed for four months on a drink driving charge in 1991. Ray Floyd won the GTE North Classic on the US Seniors Tour in 1992, having won the Doral Ryder Open on the Regular tour six months earlier, he became the first man to win on both the Regular and Seniors’ Tour during the same season.


21st – The former West Indian cricketer Sir Learie Constantine was born in 1902. An earlier High Commissioner for Trinidad and Tobago, he became the first black peer in 1969. Sir Learie played for the West Indies 18 times and is one of the few men to perform the hat-trick and score a century om a first-class cricket match, which he did against Northants in 1928. He died in 1971 at the age of 68. The Republic of Ireland beat England by 2 goals to nil at Goodison Park in 1949, thus inflicting the first defeat on the home side by a visiting team from outside the United Kingdom. Rocky Marciano knocked out Archie Moore in the ninth round of their title fight at New York’s Yankee Stadium in 1955 to retain his world heavyweight crown. This was the last of Marciano’s 49 professional fights and his sixth title defence as he announced his retirement seven months later. He remains the only former world heavyweight champion to end his professional career with a 100% record – 49 fights, 49 wins (43 of those were knockouts). Richard Todd threw an NFL record 42 completed passes during a game for the New York Jets against the San Francisco 49ers in 1980


22nd – The so called ‘Battle of the Long Count’ occurred during the Jack Dempsey-Gene Turnney world heavyweight title fight at Soldier Field, Chicago, in 1927. The bout was a return, Dempsey having lost his title to Tunney exactly twelve months before. A crowd of over 100,000 paid $2.5 million to see the fight, which turned into one of the most controversial in boxing history. In the seventh round Dempsey sent Tunney crashing to the canvas and then stood over his prostrate opponent. Referee Dave Barry refused to start the count until Dempsey has retreated to a neutral corner. Dempsey, unaware of the Illinois State Athletic Commission rule which required him to do this, eventually complied. The delay to the start of the count meant that Tunney was on the canvas for around 15 seconds, enough time for him to collect his wits and get to his feet. Tunney went on to win the fight on points and prevent Dempsey becoming the first man to regain the title. Dempsey said afterwards that he had been ‘robbed of the championship’. Born on this day Sir Henry O’Neil de Hane Segrave, an early British pioneer in land and water speed records. Seagrave set three land and one water record and was the first person to hold both titles simultaneously and the first person to travel at over 200mph in a land vehicle. Seagrave died in an accident in 1930 shortly after setting a new world water speed record on Lake Windermere. The Seagrave Trophy was established to commemorate his life.


23rd – The first set of baseball rules were drawn up by Alexander Joy Cartwright jnr in 1845. The heavyweight boxing contest between Gene Tunney and Jack Dempsey at the Sesquicentennial Stadium, Philadelphia, in 1926 attracted 120,757 spectators, the largest crowd ever seen at a boxing match. Tunney won the title on points over ten rounds. In 1952 Rocky Marciano won the world heavyweight title knocking out the defending champion, ‘Jersey Joe’ Walcott, in the 13th round at the Municipal Stadium, Pennsylvania. Liverpool equalled the Football League Cup record by beating Fulham 10-0 in the first leg of their second-round tie in 1986. The Fulham officials included the following note in the programme for the second leg ‘In the event of the scores being level after tonight’s game the reply will be on……’ Optimism or what!!


24th – The St Ledger was run for the first time in 1776 at Doncaster. The oldest of the five Classic races, the first St Ledger was won by the 2-1 favourite Allabucilia, ridden by J Singleton. There were only five runners. The race is named after Anthony St Ledger, the leader of the City Fathers of Doncaster, who came up with the idea. Lottie (Charlotte) Dod, the youngest Wimbledon champion at 15 years and 10 months, was born in 1871. She won the ladies’ singles title five times, in 1887-88 and 1891-93. She gave up tennis at the age of 21 to concentrate on golf and became British Women’s Champion at Troon in 1904. She was also a first-rate archer and an international hockey player. Jim Bakken kicked an NFL record seven field goals in a game while playing for St Louis against Pittsburgh in 1967. In 1975 Phil Bennett scored an international rugby union record 34 points for Wales against Japan in Tokyo. At the Seoul Olympics in 1988 Canadian sprinter Ben Johnson ‘won’ the 100m in a world record time of 9.79secs. The record was disallowed and the medal taken away when drugs tests proved that he had taken performance-boosting anabolic steroids. Europe retained the Ryder Cup in 1989 following a 14 all draw with the United States at The Belfry, it was only the second tied match in the Cup’s history. Tom Kite of America registered the biggest individual win in the competition over 18 holes by beating Howard Clark 8 and 7 (only since 1961 have all matches been played over 18 holes).


25th – The former Indian Test cricket captain Bishen Bedi was born in 1946. He is second only to Kapil Dev as India’s most prolific wicket taker with 266 victims in 67 tests to his credit. The giant Sonny Liston knocked out Floyd Patterson in the first round of their world heavyweight contest at Comiskey Park, Chicago in 1962. Patterson was the first man to lose the heavyweight title in the first round. The re-match ten months later was a carbon copy with Liston winning again in the opening round. Nelson Piquet beat Alain Prost and Nigel Mansell to the chequered flag in the first European Grand Prix at Brands Hatch in 1983, a new event in the schedule of world championship races