21st-On this day in 1878 Middlesex and Surrey cricketer Edward Pooley completed a then first-class record 8 stampings in a match, against Kent at The Oval. On this day in 1911 the Mona Lisa was stolen from The Louvre during the night. Louis Béroud went to visit the masterpiece and found only four iron pegs where the painting should have been in the Salon Carré. Béroud contacted the guards who believed the painting was legitimately missing and was being photographed as part of a marketing campaign. The Louvre was closed for a week to investigate. Guillaume Apollinaire, a French poet, and Pablo Picasso, a French artist were both questioned by authorities. Apollinaire had once suggested the painting should be burnt. To remove the suspicion away from himself, he implicated his painter friend. Both were exonerated. The painting was thought to be lost forever. Nothing more was heard about it for two years. Vincenzo Peruggia, an Italian, had entered the Louvre during regular hours and hidden himself until the museum closed. He hid the painting under his coat and walked out with it. He believed the masterpiece from Leonardo da Vinci should be kept in Italy and so removed it from its French location. Peruggia had a friend who sold copies of the painting and these skyrocketed during the time the original Mona Lisa was missing. Peruggia kept the painting in his apartment for two years before trying to sell it to the directors of the Uffizi Gallery in Florence. The painting was returned to Louvre, but Italians hailed Peruggia as a hero and he served just six months in jail. Today in 1914, at the 20th edition of the US Gold Open, Walter Hagan shot a 290 to take the title. Chris Brasher, the inspiration behind the London Marathon, was born in 1928. Brasher took the gold medal in the 1957 Olympic steeplechase after a controversial race which first saw him disqualified and then reinstated three hours later. His victory gave Britain its first track and field medal for 20 years.  Gillian Sheen, another British Olympian who won gold in 1956, was also born in 1928. She is the only Briton to win a fencing gold medal. German mountaineer and extreme climber Michael Dacher was born today in 1933. In 1979 he and Reinhold Messner climbed the K2 in record time and without oxygen equipment. Basketball player Wilt Chamberlain was born in 1936. One of the most prolific scorers in the NFL, he is the only man to score 100 points in a single game; on 2nd March 1962 at the Hershey Sports Arena playing for Philiadelphia Warriors against the New York Knicks – the final score being 169-147. Born today in 1959, British tennis player Anne Hobbs, who represented Great Britain in the Wightman Cup and Federation Cup from 1978 to 1989. She was ranked as the top British player for periods during her 12-year career and achieved a best WTA ranking of 33 in singles and 6 in doubles. Although primarily a doubles specialist, reaching the final of the Australian Open in 1983 and the US Open in 1984 with Wendy Turnbull and the Australian Open Mixed Doubles in 1987 with Andrew Castle, she won singles titles at Indianapolis in 1983 and in Auckland in 1985 and the British Closed in 1985. She now works as a tennis coach and consultant in sports psychology. Today in 1961 Motown released what would be its first number 1 hit – Please Mr Postman by The Marvelettes. In 1965 Charlton’s Keith Peacock was the first substitute used in a Football League game when he came on for Mick Rose against Bolton. The first substitute to score a goal in the League was Bobby Knox of Barrow, who came on against Wrexham later in the same day. Today in 1986 Ian Botham took a world-record 356th Test Cricket wicket, against New Zealand at The Oval. On this day in 2000, at the 82nd PGA Championships Tiger Woods became the first golfer since Ben Hogan in 1953 to win 3 majors in a calendar year. He tied the to-par record fro the PGA (-18) with Bob May and won the title in a playoff.  In 2016 the 31st Summer Olympics closed at the Maracanã Stadium in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.


22nd– The Royal Yacht Squadron of Great Britain put up the One Hundred Guinea Cup in 1851 as the prize for a race around the Isle of Wight between the American yacht America and the British contestant Aurora. The Americans won the race and tool the trophy back to the United States. In 1870 this prize was offered as a challenge trophy under the name of the America’s Cup, now the best-known trophy in international yachting. The Americans dominated the contest before losing it for the first time in 1983. At the 5th US Men’s National Championships in 1885 Richard Sears beat Godfrey M Brinley (6-3, 4-6, 6-0, 6-3). Surrey cricketer Percy Fender, the man credited with making the fastest century in first-class cricket, was born in 1892. On this day in 1930 Australia regained The Ashes on the 6th day of the 5th Test and on the very same day four years later in 1934, they beat England again to regain the trophy by 562 runs, when Bill Woodfull became the only cricket captain to twice regain The Ashes. To add to a happy day for Bill, 22nd August 1934 was his 37th birthday. Today in 1946 Mikko Hietanen won the Oslo marathon in a time of 2:24:55. Diana Nyad, née Sneed, was born in 1949, American author, journalist, motivational speaker, and long-distance swimmer. Nyad gained national attention in 1975 when she swam around Manhattan (28 miles/45 km) and in 1979 when she swam from North Bimini, The Bahamas, to Juno Beach, Florida (102 miles/164 km). In 2013, on her fifth attempt and at age 64, she became the first person confirmed to swim from Cuba to Florida without the aid of a shark cage, swimming from Havana to Key West (110 miles/180 km). Nyad was also once ranked thirteenth among US women squash players. Today in 1950 Althea Gibson became the first African-American competitor in a US national tennis competition. Despite her growing reputation at the time as an elite-level player, Gibson was effectively barred from entering the premier American tournament, the United States National Championships (now the US Open) at Forest Hills. (While USTA rules officially prohibited racial or ethnic discrimination, players qualified for the Nationals by accumulating points at sanctioned tournaments, most of which were held at white-only clubs.) In 1950, in response to intense lobbying by ATA officials and Alice Marble – who published a scathing open letter in the magazine American Lawn Tennis – Gibson became the first black player to receive an invitation to the Nationals, where she made her Forest Hills debut on her 23rd birthday. Although she lost narrowly in the second round in a rain-delayed, three-set match to Louise Brough, the reigning Wimbledon champion and former US National winner, her participation received extensive national and international coverage. On this day on 1951 the Harlem Globetrotters played in the Olympic Stadium in Berlin before a crowd of 75,052.  One of the finest snooker players of the modern era, Steve Davis, was born in 1957. He turned professional in 1978 and made an immediate impact on the game. In 1981 he beat Doug Mountjoy for the first of his six world titles. He was the first snooker player to win more than £1 million from the sport. Also on this day in 1957 Floyd Patterson knocked out Pete Rademacher in the 6th round to take the heavyweight boxing title.  BBC TV’s Match of the Day showed highlights of the Arsenal v Liverpool match in its first broadcast in 1964.   On this day in 1972, four days before the opening ceremony, Rhodesia was expelled from the Munich Olympic Games by the International Olympic Committee for its racist policies. Two days previously the National Olympic Committees of Africa had threatened to pull out of the games unless Rhodesia was barred. The African nations were demanding Rhodesia’s expulsion on the grounds the country was an illegal regime and members of its team were not therefore British subjects. Today in 1989 Nolan Ryan strikes out Rickey Henderson to become the first Major League Baseball pitcher to record 5,000 strikeouts.  In 1991 Krizstina Egerszegi swam a new 100m backstroke world record, stopping the clock at 1:00.31. Today in 1993 the 4th World Athletics Championships came to a close at Stuttgart, Germany. Arnold Gerschwiler, Swiss ice-skating coach died at the age of 89 on this day 2003. Gerschwiler joined the staff of the Richmond Ice Rink in 1937.  He was head coach there from 1938, and served as director in 1964 until the facility was demolished in 1992. He coached the Czech skater Alena Vrzanova (Aja Zanova), world champion in 1949 and 1950, as well as his own nephew Hans Gerschwiler, the 1948 Olympic silver medallist. He also coached the British skaters John Curry, 1976 Olympic and world champion, and Valda Osborn British champion in 1952 and 1953 and European champion in 1953Gerschwiler was awarded the Order of the British Empire in 1997. He and his brother Jac. were inducted into the Professional Skaters Association’s Coaches Hall of Fame in 2004. On this day in 2015 the 15th World Athletics Championships opened at Beijing, China.


23rd-British first-class cricketer and notable international umpire Syd Buller, was born on this day in 1909.  As a player, he was a competent wicket-keeper and lower-order right-hand bat. He played for Worcestershire between 1935 and 1946, having played once for Yorkshire in 1930. In 1939, he was severely injured in the car crash that killed Worcestershire opening batsman Charlie Bull, on the Sunday evening of the Whitsun match with Essex, and missed the next two months of cricket. He made his debut as a first-class umpire in 1951. He umpired in 33 Tests between 1956 and 1969. He was awarded the MBE in 1965. In August 1970, Buller collapsed and died at Edgbaston during a break for rain, when officiating in a match between Warwickshire and Nottinghamshire. A fearless umpire, he repeatedly called Geoff Griffin for throwing, in the exhibition match staged following the early conclusion of the Lord’s Test between England and South Africa in 1960, after Frank Lee had called him during the Test itself. This had the effect of ending Griffin’s Test career. On this day in 1926 at the 40th running of the US Women’s National Championships, Molla Bjurstedt Mallory was victorious over Elizabeth Ryan, winning in three sets; 4-6, 6-4, 9-7.  Australian golfer Peter Thomson was born in 1929. He won a post-war record five British Open titles between 1954 and 1965, including three in succession (1954-56). He later found success on the US Seniors Tour. Len Hutton compiled the highest individual innings in Test cricket against Australia at The Oval in 1938. His total of 364 runs beat Walter Hammond’s old record of 336* and stood until 1958 when surpassed by Gary Sobers. Hutton’s score contributed substantially to England’s total of 903-7 declared, (a Test record), which left Australia in arrears to the tune of an innings and 579 runs at the end of the match. British shot-putter Geoff Capes was born in 1949. The ‘Gentle Giant’, who bred budgerigars in his spare time, was twice Commonwealth Games champion in the 1970s, twice European champion and a three-time Olympian. His British shot put record – 21.68m, which he set in 1980 in Cwmbran, stood until beaten by Carl Myerscough in 2003, however, this mark of 21.98m is not recognised due to Myerscough being subject of a drugs ban at the time. A former policeman, Capes competed in strongman competitions after retiring from athletics. As a strongman, he twice won the title of World’s Strongest Man, was World Muscle Power champion on two occasions, and also had numerous other titles including Europe’s Strongest Man and Britain’s Strongest Man. As a Highland Games competitor, he was six times world champion, first winning the title in Lagos in 1981 and held world records in numerous events. Following retirement from competitive sport he continued to be involved in strength athletics as a referee, event promoter and coach. On this day in 1953 cyclist Arie Van Vliet became the world champion sprinter and Phil Grate set a record for throwing a baseball, reaching a distance of 443 feet 3 inches. Kenyan long-distance runner Benjamin Kipkoech Limo was born in 1974. His races ranged distances from 1500m to 10,000m, but Limo mainly competed in 5000m where he has won international medals. He enlisted for the Kenyan Army in 1993, without completing his schooling and started full-time training in 1996 while based at an army camp in Ngong, near capital Nairobi. He competed in his first race abroad at the 1998 IAAF World Cross Country Championships in Marrakech, Morocco and finished fourth in the short race.He earned his first international medals in 1999. Limo won the 1999 World Cross Country Championships and came second in the 5000m at the World Championships, less than one second behind winner Salah Hissou. His silver medal in the 5000m was earned less than 13 months after he ran his very first race at that distance.In 2002, he won silver medals at the Commonwealth Games and at the African Championships. In August 2005 he out-sprinted Sileshi Sihine to become world champion. He won a bronze medal in the 5000m at the 2006 Commonwealth Games. Benjamin Limo has never participated in the Olympic Games, due to the rule which allows only three athletes from each nation to participate. His nation Kenya having an abundance of good middle distance runners, making it is extremely difficult to qualify. He made his marathon debut in October 2008 finishing 12th at the Amsterdam Marathon. Limo was awarded the 2005 Kenyan Sportsman of the Year award.  Today in 1987 the American male basketball team lost the gold medal to the Brazilian team at the Pan-Am Games in Indianapolis, the score was 120-115.  On this day in World Athletics Championship history two meets were opened; 1991 in Tokyo and 2003 in Saint-Denis, France while in 2009 those held in Berlin came to a close. Dutch cyclist and mountain biker Annefleur Kalvenhaar died today aged 20 in 2014. She won the U23 European Cyclo-cross Championships in 2013. She began her career at the age of 13. She participated for the first time in a World Cup in 2012. In Houffalize and La Bresse she finished in second place in the top 10.She died in Grenoble, France, due to an accident during a UCI World Cup XCE race in Méribel, France. She fell during the XC-eliminator, a mountain-bike race where 4 participants race a short track. She fell hard on a bridge, and was taken to hospital by helicopter, where she died the next day. Today in 2015 English Indycar driver Justin Wilson suffered a head injury when he was struck by a large piece of debris from the car of race leader Sage Karam, during a crash at Pocono Raceway in Long Pond, Pennsylvania. He died the following day from his injuries, he was 37 years old.


24thDuke Paoa Kahinu Mokoe Hulikohola Kahanamoku better known as Duke Kahanamoku was born in 1890, a Native Hawaiian competition swimmer who popularised the ancient Hawaiian sport of surfing. In 1911, Kahanamoku was timed at 55.4 seconds in the 100 yards (91m) freestyle, beating the existing world record by 4.6 seconds, in the salt water of Honolulu Harbour. He also broke the record in the 220 yd (200m) and equalled it in the 50 yd (46m). But the Amateur Athletic Union AAU), in disbelief, would not recognise these feats until many years later. The AAU initially claimed that the judges must have been using alarm clocks rather than stopwatches and later claimed that ocean currents aided Kahanamoku. He easily qualified for the US Olympic swimming team in 1912. At the 1912 Olympics in Stockholm, he won a gold medal in the 100m freestyle and a silver medal with the second-place US team in the men’s 4×200m freestyle relay. During the 1920 Olympics in Antwerp, he won gold medals both in the 100m (bettering fellow Hawaiian Pua Kealoha) and in the relay. He finished the 100m with a silver medal during the 1924 Paris Olympics, with the gold going to Johnny Weissmuller and the bronze to Duke’s brother, Samuel Kahanamoku. At age 34, this was Kahanamoku’s last Olympic medal. He also was an alternate for the US water polo team at the 1932 Games. Between Olympic competitions, and after retiring from the Olympics, Kahanamoku traveled internationally to give swimming exhibitions. It was during this period that he popularized the sport of surfing, previously known only in Hawaii, by incorporating surfing exhibitions into these visits as well. Today in 1908 Tommy Burns knocked out Bill Squires in the 13th to win the heavyweight boxing title. Enrique Juan Yañez González, best known under the ring name Enrique Llanes, was one of the premier Hispanic professional wrestlers in the early days of Lucha Libre when most wrestlers were imported from outside of Mexico, was born in 1919. Llanes held both the Mexican National Light Heavyweight Championship and the NWA World Middleweight Championship during his career. Enrique Llanes is the brother-in-law to Gory Guerrero and uncle to Mando Guerrero, Chavo Guerrero, Sr.,Hector Guerrero and Eddie Guerrero, his brothers Mario and Sergio Llanes also wrestled as did his son Javier Llanes. Keith Savage, former England international rugby union player was born in 1940. He was capped thirteen times on the wing for England between 1966 and 1968. He scored one try for England. He was selected for the 1966 British Lions tour to Australia and New Zealand and the 1968 British Lions tour to South Africa. He did not play in any international matches on the 1966 tour but did play in all four internationals against South Africa in 1968. He played club rugby for Northampton and is now an English teacher in Johannesburg, South Africa. Belgian racing cyclist Roger De Vlaeminck was born in 1947, he was described by Rik Van Looy as “The most talented and the only real classics rider of his generation”. Nicknamed “The Gypsy” because he was born into a family of traveling clothiers, he is known for exploits in the cobbled classic Paris–Roubaix race, but his performances in other “Monument” races gave him a record that few can match. His record in Paris–Roubaix earned him another nickname, “Monsieur Paris–Roubaix” (English: “Mr. Paris–Roubaix“). Scottish golfer Sam Torrence was born on this day in 1953. He will long be remembered by British gold fans for his great play in the Ryder Cup competition in 1985. Jimmy Greaves made his Football League debut for Chelsea against Tottenham Hotspur in 1957. He scored, just as he did on his debut for all the teams he played for at club and international level. On this day in 1963 American athlete John Pennel became the first man to pole-vault 17 feet. In an event that had seen the world record advance less than six inches, to the 16-foot level, over the previous 20 years, and only then after aluminium poles had replaced bamboo ones, John Pennel was in the vanguard of a group of pioneering athletes who transformed the sport in the early 1960’s. Their weapon was the new fiberglass pole, and their impact on the sport was decisive. In one five-month span in 1963, Pennel, a senior at Northeast Louisiana State, personally added more than nine inches to the record, beginning with a 16-foot-3-inch vault at the Memphis Relays on March 23 and culminating with his benchmark-shattering vault of 17 feet 0 3/4 inches (5.20m) at the Gold Coast meet at the University of Miami. For a bit of an ‘ahhhhh sweet’ factor – today in 1967 two penguins from Chessington Zoo were taken on a day trip to a local ice-rink to cool off during London’s sweltering temperatures. As the temperatures in the London area reached nearly 80 degrees Fahrenheit (27 degrees Celsius), Rocky the Rockhopper penguin and his female companion, who did not have a name, joined skaters at Streatham ice-rink to cool off.  Gary Sobers scores his 26th and last Test Cricket century (150) against England at Lord’s on this day in 1973.  On this day in 1984 golfer Pat Bradley set a LPGA record for 9 holes with a 28 at Denver. Denise Annetts at Australia created a women’s cricket record in 1987 when she scored 193 runs in the Test against England at Collingham, West Yorkshire. On this day in 2007 the 11th World Athletics Championships opened at Osaka in Japan and on the same day a year later in 2008 the 29th Summer Olympics closed at Beijing. On the same day it was also announced that the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games attracted the largest global TV audience ever. Between 8th-24th August, 4.7 billion viewers, 70% of the world’s population, tuned in to watch the Games, according to Nielsen Media Research.  In comparison, 3.9 billion watched the 2004 Athens Games, while 3.6 billion followed the 2000 Sydney Games on TV.



25th-On this day in 1804 Alice Meynell essentially becomes the first woman jockey after riding in a 4-mile event in York. Alice owned three large hunting horse and loved to riding to hounds –  riding fast over uneven, unpredictable terrain wasn’t easy in a side saddle, but Alicia did it, and did it very well too.  After losing a couple of ad hoc races to Alice, her bother-in-law Willian Flint challenged her to ride at a real race, namely the Newmarket Race Track. He also named a prize of 1,000 guineas. If he thought that the she’d decline, he was disappointed. Alicia was all too eager to accept. News spread fast and, on the appointed day, a big crowd gathered to see a woman race, not a spectacle you saw every day. The crowd grew so big that the 6th Light Dragoons were called in to keep everyone under control, the crowd behaved, it was the betting that went crazy, with the equivalent of £6 million in today’s terms being placed in bets. In fact, as soon as the match was announced all sorts of bets were placed – on what she would wear, how she wold ride and of course whether she would win or not. Her appearance didn’t disappoint her admirers – She turned up in a dress designed to look like leopard-skin, with blue sleeves, a buff-coloured vest and a blue cap, her adversary was all in white. For the first three miles of the race Alicia kept the lead. “Never,” declared a newspaper, “did a woman ride in better style.” Nonetheless after three miles Flint pushed ahead on his mount, took the lead and kept it. Seeing that all was lost, about 500 yards from the post Alicia pulled up and conceded defeat. Her friends said she bore her defeat with admirable good humour. Actually, she responded to the loss with a rather sharp wit. A letter soon appeared in the York Herald of September 1804, in which she insisted that Flint had not treated her with the proper courtesy. She had wanted to be escorted by a gentleman rider in case the ladies’ side-saddle she used should slip, but this was refused. And at the start of the race, with “some sort of word of command” he had told her, “Keep that side, Ma’am,” depriving her of her whip hand. Really, she pleaded, with such behaviour anyone could win against ladies. She challenged him to race again when she could be mounted on a better horse. Flint accepted but the rematch never took place. In 1875 Captain Matthew Webb made history as the first man to swim the English Channel, he covered the 21miles form Dover to Calais in 21 hours and 45 minutes.  On this day in 1890, the would be start of the England v Australia Test match at Old Trafford was washed out. In 1904 James J Jeffries scored a technical knock-out in the second round of his heavyweight title bout against Jack Munroe.  Today in 1920 Ethelda Bleibtrey became the first American woman to win an Olympic swimming title and also the first woman, from any country, to win three Olympic gold medals. In each of her Olympic victories in Antwerp, 300m, 400m and 4x100m freestyle relay, she set a new world record. One of the best-known football terraces in the world, the Spion Kop at Liverpool’s Anfield stadium, was opened on this day in 1928. Liverpool celebrated the occasion by beating Bury 3-0 in a first-division game. Today in 1948 Don Bradman scored 150 in 212 minutes in his last innings at Lord’s.  On this day in 1960 the 17th Summer Olympics were opened in Rome.  In 1964 Worcestershire, led by Don Kenyon, beat Gloucestershire at Worcester to win the county cricket championship for the first time. In 1968 Arthur Ashe became the first African American to win the US single championships. On this day in 1974 21-year-old Mary Connors was fired from a cannon in Bristol but failed to break the English record for the second time. She aimed to be shot further than anyone else had as yet achieved in England by clearing the River Avon and landing in a safety net. Before the attempt, Ms Connors said she was confident of success. “We’ve been working flat out on the cannon ever since Wednesday (her previous attempt at the feat) and I think we’ve ironed out all the faults,” she said, adding that she was persevering in spite of her previous failure because “it’s a challenge to get to the other side”. She claimed not to have taken out personal insurance for the attempts, but added that she had taken “a few swimming lessons”. In the event they came in handy as Ms Connors again fell short and ended up in the water. Events took a farcical turn when two men in a rescue boat also fell in the water as they attempted to pull her out. The three then had to be rescued by another boat which was standing by with a frogman aboard.  On this day in 1990 Li Hui Rong of China set a woman’s world triple jump record when she hop-stepped and jumped 47 feet 8½ inches.  American Carl Lewis set a new 100m world record time of 9.86 seconds during the world athletics championships in Tokyo in 1991. In that race the world record, African record, and European record were broken by Carl Lewis, Frankie Fredericks, and Linford Christie respectively. The then world record holder Leroy Burrell, who was second, also bettered his previous mark of 9.90 seconds while Ray Stewart set the Jamaican record for the event. How many of these times were subsequently down to possible drug enhancements is a matter of record and not one that I have time to go into here…..  The first human to walk on the moon, Neil Armstrong, died aged 82 on this day in 2012. This day in the following year, 2013 Gylmar dos Santos Neves, known simply as Gilmar, Brazilian footballer who played goalkeeper Corinthians and Santos and was a member of the Brazil national team in three World Cups, died at the age of 83.  He was elected the best Brazilian goalkeeper of the 20th century and one of the best in the world by the IFFHS. He is remembered for his sober style on the pitch and his peaceful personality. In the book by Alex Bellos, Futebol: The Brazilian Way of Life, it is reported that Gilmar is named after his parents, Gilberto and Maria. Gilmar was the starting goalkeeper for Pele’s world-famous Santos and Brazilian national teams of the 1960s. Therefore, he’s famous around the world as “Pele’s goalkeeper.” In 1998, he was awarded the FIFA Order of Merit.



26th-The first recorded ascent of Triglav, the highest mountain in Serbia, was achieved in 1778, on the initiative of the industrialist and polymath Sigmund Zois. According to the most commonly cited report, published in the newspaper Illyrisches Blatt in 1821 by the historian and geographer Johann Richter, these were the surgeon Lovrenz Willomitzer (written as Willonitzer by Richter), the chamois hunter Štefan Rožič, and the miners Luka Korošec and Matevž Kos. According to a report by Belsazar Hacquet in his Oryctographia Carniolica, this happened towards the end of 1778, by two chamois hunters, one of them being Luka Korošec, and one of his former students, whose name is not mentioned. Surrey batsman Percy Fender made the quickest 100 in first-class cricket against Northamptonshire at Northampton in 1920, rattling off the runs in 35 minutes. His record was equalled by Lancashire’s Steven O’Shaughnessy in 1983. Hungarian water polo player. Kálmán Markovits was born in 1931 and competed in the 1952, 1956 and 1960 Olympics. Markovits was part of the Hungarian team which won the gold medal in the 1952 tournament. He played six matches and scored three goals. Four years later he was a member of the Hungarian team which won again the gold medal in the 1956 Olympic tournament. He played six matches and scored at least three goals (not all scorers are known). At the 1960 Games he won the bronze medal with the Hungarian team. He played four matches and scored one goal. Showjumper Malcolm Pyrah was born in 1941. Twice winner of the King George V Gold Cup at Wembley, his best-known horse was Towerlands Anglezark. German Olympic weight-lifter Gerd Bonk as born in 1951.He won a silver medal at the 1976 Olympics, a bronze medal at the 1972 Games, set two world records and achieved numerous other top-three ranks at World Championships and European Weightlifting Championships. He was also a master mechanic. On this day in 1963 the West indies beat England 2-1 to become the first holders of the Wisden Cricket Trophy. German light middleweight boxer Torsten Schmitz was born in 1964. He represented East Germany at the 1988 Olympics. Schmitz was an amateur standout and fought in several notable European tournaments, compiling a record of 215-35. Dutch field hockey player and two-time Olympic gold medallist Jacques Brinkman was born in 1966.  With the national squad he won his Olympic golds in the 1996 and 2000 Games. Brinkman made his debut on May 1st 1987 in a friendly match against West-Germany. As a midfielder, he played 337 international matches for Holland, in which he scored 84 goals, making him Holland’s most capped player. Brinkman surpassed the previous record holder Cees Jan Diepeveen, in 1998. He won the Hockey World Cup in 1990 and 1998, and also the annual Champions Trophy (1996, 1998 and 2000). In the Dutch League he played for Kampong, Amsterdam H&BC and Stichtse Cricket en Hockey Club. Since the summer of 2003 he has been head coach with his former club from SCHC, Bilthoven.In 1971 Bobby Orr signed a five-year contract with the Boston Bruins, worth one million dollars, it was the first million-dollar contract in NHL history. The most tragic Olympic Games in living memory opened in Munich in 1972. The Games would be marred by the deaths of 11 Israeli athletes at the hands of Arab terrorists. Malin Therese Alshammar, Swedish Olympic swimmer was born in 1977. She won three Olympic medals, 25 World Championship medals, and 43 European Championship medals. She is a specialist in short distances races in freestyle and butterfly. She is coached by former Swedish swimmer Johan Wallberg. She is the first female swimmer and the third overall (after Lars Frölander and Derya Büyükuncu) to participate in six Olympic Games.   On this day in 1984 Czechoslovak Zdena Silvaha threw a new women’s discus world record, recording a mark of 74.55m. Today in 1985 the controversial athlete Zola Budd smashed the 5000m world record. The bare-footed runner completed the distance in a time of 14 minutes and 48.07 seconds – 10 seconds faster than the previous record. She came in nine seconds ahead of second-placed Ingrid Kristiansen of Norway – the former 5000m record holder. It was the second time she had broken the 5000m world record. The first time was in her homeland of South Africa in 1984 where her achievement could not be recognized as the country was banned from international sport because of its policy of apartheid. Her participation in the race at Crystal Palace in London was not publicised beforehand to avoid protests by anti-apartheid campaigners. The fast-tracking of South African-born and bred Budd’s application for British citizenship – on the strength of a British grandfather – caused uproar the previous year. Critics said it was a ruse to allow her to compete in the upcoming Olympic Games. Controversy followed her to the event in Los Angeles in 1984 when she collided in the 3000m with US favourite, Mary Decker, who fell and failed to finish. Budd came in seventh. Since then Budd’s cause wasn’t helped by her refusal to publicly condemn apartheid. Protests at her British citizenship did not abate with time and anti-apartheid campaigners sometimes forced Budd off the course during races.  In 1995 Brian Lara completed his 7th Test century at The Oval. Today in 2012 the 15-year-old New Zealand golfer Lydia Ko became the youngest LPGA Tour event winner and the first amateur winner since 1969.



27th – German gymnast Hermann Weingärtner was born today in 1864. He started his career in his hometown Frankfurt at the local gymnastics club Frankfurter Turnverein 1860. Later-on he moved to Berlin to compete for the Deutsche Turnerschaft. He competed at the 1896 Olympics in Athens. Weingärtner was a member of the German team that won two gold medals in the team events, the parallel bars and the horizontal bar. He also won a number of individual medals, taking the gold in the horizontal bar, silver in pommel horse and rings, and bronze in the vault. He competed in the parallel bars, but did not win a medal in that event. His six medals made him one of the most successful competitors at the first modern Olympic Games. After his return to Germany he and most of the other German gymnasts were suspended, because the Deutsche Turnerschaft (at this time the governing body of German gymnastics) boycotted the Olympic games because they considered that competing was “ungerman” (un-German) So he moved back to Frankfurt to manage the open-air swimming pool founded by his father on the Ziegenwerder island. He drowned trying to rescue a person from drowning in the Oder on December 22, 191at the age of 55. The English classical composer and violinist Rebecca Clarke was born in 1886, best known for her chamber music featuring the viola. She was born in Harrow and studied at the Royal Academy of Music and the Royal College of Music in London, later becoming one of the first female professional orchestral players. Stranded in the United States at the outbreak of World War II, she settled permanently in New York City and married composer and pianist James Friskin in 1944. Clarke died at her home in New York at the age of 93 in October 1979. Today in 1890, at the 10th edition of the US Men’s National Championship, Henry Slocum succumbed to Oliver Campbell; 6-2, 4-6, 6-3, 6-1. One of the greatest batsmen of all time, Don Bradman, was born in 1908. He scored 28,067 runs in first-class cricket between 1927 and 1949 and inn 52 Test matches scored 6996 runs at a rate of 99.94 runs per innings. Belgian cyclist Sylvère Maes was born today in 1909. He is most famous for winning the Tour de France in 1936 and 1939. In 1937, Maes left the 1937 Tour de France together with his Belgian team while he was leading the general classification, in response to actions from French spectators and decisions from the jury. Alice Coltrane née McLeod, was born on this day in 1937, also known by her adopted Sanskrit name Turiyasangitananda or Turiya Alice Coltrane, was an American jazz pianist, organist, harpist, singer, composer, swamini, and the second wife of jazz saxophonist and composer John Coltrane. One of the few harpists in the history of jazz, she recorded many albums as a bandleader, beginning in the late 1960s and early 1970s for Impulse! Records and Universal Distribution. The BBC has transmitted it’s first ever live television pictures across the Channel, on this day in 1950. A two-hour programme was broadcast live from Calais in northern France to mark the centenary of the first message sent by submarine telegraph cable from England to France. British viewers were able to watch the town of Calais “en fete”, with a torchlight procession, dancing and a firework display all taking place in the Place de l’Hotel de Ville. Presenters Richard Dimbleby and Alan Adair gave commentaries on the festivities and interviewed local personalities in front of the cameras. On this day in 1952 Emil Zatopek won his 12th Olympic marathon in a time of 2:23:03.2. British tennis player John Lloyd was born in 1954. He twice won the mixed doubles title at Wimbledon with Australian Wendy Turnbull, but is perhaps better known for his short marriage to top American players Chris Evert. English racing driver Derek Warwick was also born on this day in 1954. German golfer Bernhard Langer was born in 1957. One of the top money-winners in Europe, he won the US Masters in 1985 and 1993. Australian motor-racing driver Gerhard Berger was born in 1959. On this day in 1960 19-year-old British swimmer Anita Lonsbrough swam a new world and Olympic 200m freestyle record, stopping the watch at 2:49:5, ahead of West German Wiltrud Urselmann. She was also the last British woman to win an Olympic swimming gold until Rebecca Adlington in the 2008 Games, 48 years later. Dutch rower Jeroen Duyster was born in 1966, who won a gold medal with the Holland Acht (Holland Eights) as a coxswain at the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta, Georgia. He is the older brother of former Dutch field hockey international Willemijn Duyster, who won the bronze medal at the same Olympic tournament. Today in 1967 saw the death of The Beatles’ manager Brian Epstein. The 32-year-old was found dead at his Belgravia home by friends. At the time it was not clear how he died but a later post mortem showed Epstein had died of an overdose of sleeping pills, officially deemed accidental, however there is still speculation that it was suicide. Denise Lewis retired English heptathlete, was born in 1972. She won the gold medal in the heptathlon at the 2000 Sydney Olympics. Lewis was honoured as Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in the 2001 New Year Honours. Since retiring from athletics, she has undertaken various television and media work and is now a regular athletics pundit for BBC Television, including during London 2012 and Rio 2016.  Transsexual Renee Richards was barred from competing in the US Tennis Open on this day in 1976. Today in 1985 Mary Joe Fernandez, at the age of 14 years and 8 days became the youngest to win a US Tennis Open match when she beat Sara Gomer in the first round. In 1990 Graham Gooch scored 88 in England’s second innings in the third and final Test against India at The Oval, taking his total in the six Tests that summer to 1058 runs. Sir Donald Bradman’s old record of 974 for a series had stood since 1930. Ironically, Gooch set the new record on Bradman’s 82nd birthday. Today in 2011 the 13th World Athletics Championships were opened at Daegu in South Korea.  Welsh professional golfer and renowned golf course architect David Charles Thomas died on this day in 2013 at the age of 79. He was one of Britain’s leading golfers during the 1950s and 1960s with many tournament victories around Europe, including the News of the World Match Play and the Belgian, Dutch and French Open championships. He was runner-up at The Open Championship in 1958 and 1966. Thomas was elected Captain of the Professional Golfers’ Association during their centenary year in 2001, and in 2006 was recognised for his contribution to golf by being made an honorary life member of the PGA. After retiring from tournament golf due to back and eye problems. Thomas set up a golf course design business. He has designed over 100 courses around the world and his work includes Hacienda Del Alamo, the Brabazon, Derby and PGA National courses at Ryder Cup venue The Belfry. At the 2015 World Athletics Championships Usain Bolt added the 200m title to his earlier 100m win.