27th – Miyagiyama Fukumatsu, Japanese Sumo wrestler was born on this day in 1895. He reached the top makuuchi division in 1916 and he was promoted to ōzeki after only 2 tournaments. In January 1920, he won his first championship with an 8-1-1 draw record. In March 1921, he fought against wrestlers in Tokyo sumo. In June 1921, he won the championship with an 8-2 record. In January 1922, he won the championship with a perfect 10-0 record. After winning two consecutive championships, he was awarded a yokozuna licence. He was absent from two tournaments in 1923 due to a phlegmon on the middle finger of his right hand. In January 1926, he won the championship with a 9-1 record. In 1927, Osaka Sumo Association disbanded and its wrestlers merged with Tokyo sumo. At that time, Osaka sumo’s level was very low and he was not considered not to be strong enough. However, he felt he had to save the honour of Osaka sumo as yokozuna. Although his strength had already declined, he fought tooth and nail and won 2 championships in Tokyo sumo as part of the Osaka contingent of wrestlers. The first of these, in January 1927, was the first tournament to be held under the auspices of the Dai Nihon Ozumo Kyokai (now the Japan Sumo Association). After his retirement, he became the 6th head coach of Shibatayama stable. The stable was closed after his death in 1943. Gustave Marius Wuyts who competed in the tug of war and shot putt for Belgian was born on this day in 1903. He competed in the 1920 Olympics he won the bronze medal as member of the Belgian tug of war team. He died on13 January 1979. Schofield Haigh, Yorkshire and England cricketer died today in 1921 aged 49. He played eighteen seasons for Yorkshire County Cricket Club, for England from the 1898/99 tour up to1912, and was a Wisden Cricketer of the Year in 1901. After 1913 Haigh was a coach at Winchester School, where he was responsible for the emergence of Douglas Jardine. He also umpired several first-class matches at the Scarborough Festival after he retired. Haigh died prematurely in Taylor Hill, Huddersfield, as a result of a stroke. South African Test Cricketer Graeme Pollock was born in 1944. This stylist batsman was probably the best left-hander in the world, but politics restricted his test appearances, depriving cricketing fans of a full appreciation of his talent. He played in just 23 Test matches, scoring 2256 runs at an average of 60.97. Today in 1984 Carl Lewis broke the world indoor long jump record setting the new mark to 8.675m. In 1990 Cambridge United became the first fourth division side for 14 years to reach the sixth round of the FA Cup after beating Bristol City. In 1991, Tony Adams played his first game for Arsenal after his release from prison. He led the team to 1-0 win over Shrewsbury Town in an FA Cup tie. In 1994 the 17th Winter Olympic Games closed in Lillehammer, Norway. On this day in 2015 actor, director, photographer and writer Leonard Nimoy, most popularly known as Dr Spock on ‘Star Trek’, dies aged 83 from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, which he had been suffering from for about a year.
28th – Born on this day in 1824 was Jean-Francois Gravelet better known the world over as Charles Blondin and who rightly earned the reputation as the greatest “funambulist” of his time. Upon first glance that term would seem to imply fun, but in fact it indicates activities involving great personal risk. Literally translated into English, funambulist means tightrope walker, and Gravelet took that popular performance art form to previously unachieved heights. Gravelet became interested in high wire acrobatics at a very early age. In 1829, when he was five years old, a circus troupe performed near his home, and Gravelet became enthralled by the tightrope walker. It was the first time he had ever seen anyone attempting such stunts. He was so impressed that he felt compelled to try and accomplish the same kind of feats. Almost immediately after he returned home from the circus, Gravelet erected a makeshift tightrope in his back yard, using two chairs as supporting structures, and tried to master the skill of rope walking. In 1851 he was recruited by an agent for William Niblo, the famed theatrical promoter, to perform with the Ravel Troupe of family acrobats in the United States at Niblo’s Garden. Gravelet then toured America with the troupe that, at one point, performed in New York City, working for P. T. Barnum as part of the world-famous circus impresario’s “Greatest Show on Earth.” During this period, Gravelet assumed his stage name, Charles Blondin, which he selected, in part, because of his blond hair. Blondin toured with the Ravel Troupe for several years. In 1858 the itinerary took him to Niagara Falls, located near the United States/Canadian border in upstate New York. Seeing this enormous natural wonder for the first time, he became obsessed with the idea of crossing the gorge on a tightrope. He finally achieved that ambition in 1859, when he became the first person ever to walk a rope across Niagara Falls. It would prove to be the greatest feat of his career, and it garnered him international renown.Not long after his Niagara Falls accomplishments, Blondin retired to Ealing, England, located near London. Now a rich man, he moved his family into a large home that he christened “Niagara Villa.” But he did not remain inactive for long. In 1861 Blondin honoured the request of the Prince of Wales and performed in London at the famous Crystal Palace, where he recreated his various Niagara Falls stunts (e.g., somersaults, walking on stilts) against a painted backdrop of the North American landmark. Throughout that year and the next, he made numerous noteworthy international appearances as he toured the United Kingdom and Europe. He always drew enormous crowds whenever he appeared. Blondin kept performing into his seventies, and became a living legend on an international scale. Demonstrating that an old performer can indeed learn new tricks, he developed a cycling act on the tightrope. Though he was comfortably settled in his Ealing home, he could still be persuaded to make occasional trips to the United States and Europe. In 1882 he responded to a request to perform in the United States in a series of exhibitions in Staten Island, New York. He made his final appearance in 1896, the year before he died, in Belfast, Ireland. Despite placing himself at great danger throughout his career, Blondin died peacefully in his bed at his Ealing home on February 19, 1897. He was 75 years old. The cause of death was listed as diabetes. In 1914 Huddersfield established a rugby league record by beating Swindon Park Rangers 119-2 in the first round of the Northern Union Cup (now the Challenge Cup). They scored 27 tries and kicked 19 goals. Major Holland scored 39 points. The current highest score is 132-0 by York City Knights v Northumbria University in 2011. Golf commentator Peter Alliss was born in 1931. The son of Ryder Cup golfer Percy Alliss, Peter followed in his father’s footsteps and also represented Britain in the competition (until 1979 the Ryder Cup was contested between Britain and the US, rather than Europe and the US). A respected golf expert and teacher, German-born Alliss won the Open titles of Portugal, France and Spain (twice), as well as the British PGA title on two occasions and also represented England in the World Cup on 10 occasions. Barry McGuigan was born today in 1951. The Ulsterman, known as ‘The Clones Cyclone’, turned professional in 1981. In 1985 he beat Eusebio Pedroza to win the WBA featherweight title and end Pedroza’s seven-year-reign as champion. After two successful defences, McGuigan lost the title to Steve Cruz in the Las Vegas heat. Djamolidine Abdoujaparov, former professional road racing cyclist from Uzbekistan was born today in 1964. A sprinter, nicknamed “The Tashkent Terror”, as he was so ferocious in the sprints. His unorthodox and often erratic sprinting caused a number of crashes. He competed at the Olympic Games on two occasions; in 1988 for the Soviet Union and in 1996 for Uzbekistan. Born in Tashkent the family were forcibly deported to Uzbekistan during Soviet rule. A graduate of the Soviet sports programme, he came into his prime just as his country gained independence; after initial difficulties (including Uzbekistan’s not being affiliated to the UCI, which caused problems with the Cycling World Championship) he signed for a Western professional team and became one of the world’s top sprinters. He had numerous tussles with Laurent Jalabert in the Tour de France’s green sprinters jersey competition in the early 1990s. In 1991 Abdoujaparov won the competition despite a spectacular crash during the final stage on the Champs-Élysées in Paris, where he collided with the barriers 100 m before the finish and somersaulted into the air. Despite still holding enough points to win the sprinters’ jersey, he had to cross the line unaided. Members of his team picked him up, put him back on the bike, and he rode slowly over the last few meters, medical staff walking alongside him. In his last complete tour in 1996, Abdoujaparov achieved a mountain breakaway for his last stage win, unusual for a sprinter. After failing a drugs test in 1997 he retired from cycling. On this day in 1970, American Caroline Walker set a new female world marathon record of 3:02:53 which she ran at the inaugural Trail’s End Marathon in Seaside, Oregon. Colin Milburn, the popular Northants and England cricketer, died suddenly at the age of 48 in 1990. In 1993 Tom Kite became the first golfer to win $8million in a career on the US PGA Tour. Three different Winter Olympic Games came to a close today; in 1960 the 8th Games held at Squaw Valley in California, in 1988 the 15th Games held at Calgary and in 2010 the 21st Games held in Vancouver, both Canadian hosted Games.
1st March – In 1921 the Australian cricket team captained by Warwick Armstrong becomes the first team to complete a whitewash of The Ashes, something that would not be repeated for 86 years. In 1936 Golden Miller, ridden by Evan William, won his fifth consecutive Cheltenham Gold Cup. On St David’s Day in 1940, Welsh showjumper David Broome was born. He competed in the 1960, 1964, 1968, 1972 and 1988 Olympics and won individual bronze medals in 1960 and 1968 on his best-known horse Mr Softee. In 1960 he was also voted BBC Sports Personality of the Year, and at the 1972 Games served as the Olympic flag bearer for Great Britain. Broome, educated at Monmouth School, and still maintains his stables at Mount Ballan Manor, Crick, near Chepstow in Monmouthshire. He held the individual European title in 1961, 1967 and 1969. In 1970 he won the world title and became Western Mail Welsh Sports Personality of the year. He turned professional in 1973, and in 1978 helped the British team to win the world championship. Broome has won the King George V Gold Cup a record six times on six different horses between 1960–1991, a record yet to be equalled. He has enjoyed most of his success on Irish Sport Horses and he has said his favourite horse of all was Sportsman. Broome is still active in the administration of the sport. In 2013, he became president of the British Show-jumping Association. The reigning world heavyweight champion Joe Louis, known as “The Brown Bomber” announced his retirement in 1949, nine months after making his 25th, and last, successful defence of the title. He came out of retirement the following year to challenge the new champion, Ezzard Charles. This defeat and an eight-round knockout by Rocky Marciano in 1951 persuaded Louis to quit permanently. Today in 1965 the Australian Swimming union (ASU) suspended swimmer Dawn Fraser for 10 years for “misconduct” following a number of incidents at the 1964 Tokyo Olympics. Firstly she marched in the opening ceremony, against the wishes of the (ASU) and wore an older, more comfortable swimsuit in competition, against the wishes of the sponsor; finally she was accused of stealing an Olympic flag from a flagpole outside Emperor Hirohito’s place, obviously against the Emperor’s wishes. She was arrested by released without charge and eventually given the flag as a souvenir. She later denied having swum a moat to steal the flag, telling The Times in 1991: “There’s no way I would have swum that moat. I was terrified of dirty water and that moat was filthy. There’s no way I’d have dipped my toe in it.” The ASU relented on their suspension a few months prior to the 1968 Games but it was far too late at that stage for the 31 year-old to prepare. On this day in 1973 Robyn Smith becomes the first woman jockey in America to win a stakes race when she rides North Sea to victory in the Paumonok Handicap at Aqueduct Race Track in New York. She retired from racing in 1980, the same year that she married actor Fred Astaire, she was 45 years his junior and remained married to him until his death in 1987, At Murrayfield in 1975 a world-record crowd of 104,000 watched the rugby international between Scotland and Wales. Former prolific goal-scorer Dixie Dean died in 1980 shortly after watching his former team Everton lose 2-1 at home to Liverpool in the Merseyside ‘derby’. The footballer Peter Osgood died on this day in 2006 aged 59. Active during the 1960s and 1970s, he is best remembered for representing Chelsea and Southampton at club level. In spite of his talent and goal-scoring prowess, Osgood’s England career was surprisingly limited, with England manager Alf Ramsey apparently disapproving of his playboy lifestyle. As a result, he only won four international caps, without scoring. Osgood made his England debut in February 1970 in a 3–1 win over Belgium. He was a member of the 1970 World Cup squad, making two appearances against Czechoslovakia and Romania.
2nd – Marie Rôze the French operatic soprano was born on this day in 1846. She was born in Paris and the age of 12, she was sent from France to be educated in England for two years. She then moved back across the Channel to study with Mocker and Auber at the Paris Conservatoire, where she received the first prize in singing in 1865. That same year, at the age of 16, she made her debut at the Opéra–Comique. Her success there led to engagements with the Paris Opéra, and later in London. From 1876 she worked with the Carl Rosa Opera Company during their UK tours and in Scotland over a ten-year period. She sang more than a dozen roles ranging from Carmen and Manon to Marguerite. In 1877, she was engaged by the Max Strakosch Opera Company and made her American debut on 8 January 1878 in Philadelphia as Leonora in Donizetti’s La favorita. She later toured the United States with the Carl Rosa Opera Company from 1883 to 1889 and was particularly noted for her interpretation of the title role Bizet’s Carmen. In 1890, she set up a music school and taught singing in Paris. She made her farewell tour in 1894. Her son Raymond (1875-1920) was the Director of Covent Garden and a minor composer. His opera Joan of Arc was performed at the Royal Opera House, London, in 1913 and at the Paris Opera (Garnier), in 1917. Marie Roze has received multiple medals for her actions during the German invasion of France. At her passing, the French government ordered a bust of Marie Roze in her role in Galatea to be erected over her tomb at the Père Lachaise Cemetery, and acquired two of her portraits by Alexis Perignon and Paul Emmanuel de Pommayrac. They hang in the Paris Opera Garnier Library and Paris Opera Comique. Two well-known sports personalities were born on this day in 1949. The first JPR Williams, is one of Welsh rugby’s most revered players, playing in the position of fullback, he was noted for his aggressive attacking style. With his long sideburns and socks around his ankles, “JPR” was an iconic figure on the legendary 1970s Wales team. He was capped 55 times and a key player in a Welsh side that won Grand Slams in 1971, 1976, and 1978, and is particularly remembered for his record against England. In 10 tests between Wales and England he scored five tries – exceptional for a fullback – and was never on the losing side. He was also outstanding for the Lions, winning the 1971 series against New Zealand with a long-range drop-goal. In the 1974 ‘invincible’ series against South Africa he again played a major role. He is known for developing the role of the fullback, in particular attacking from a defensive position often following an audacious jump for a high ball. He is also remembered for his part in ‘the greatest try ever scored’. The second, yachtswoman Naomi James sailed around the world single-handed in 1977-78 and during her voyage became the first woman to sail solo around Cape Horn. Another Welshman has a birthday today; Ian Woossnam, who was born in 1958. He was the first British winner of the World Match-Play title, in 1987. In that same year he helped Wales to win the World Cup and in the process also carried off the individual title. He won the US Masters in 1991. Woosnam was a member of eight consecutive European Ryder Cup teams from 1983 to 1997. Despite not winning a singles match he accumulated an overall record of 14 wins, 12 losses and 5 halves in 31 matches. He was a vice captain for the 2002 European team and was elected as captain for the 2006 Ryder Cup, leading Europe to victory over the U.S. 18½–9½ at the K Club, County Kildare, Ireland. Today in 1978 the Czech pilot Vladimir Remek became the very first non-Russian, non-American in space. The Irish sportsperson Cormac McAnallen died on this day in 2004 aged just 24. He played Gaelic football at senior inter-county level for Tyrone, as well as at club level for Eglish St. Patrick’s. With Tyrone McAnallen won the All-Ireland Senior Football Championship in 2003, and twice won both the Ulster Senior Football Championship and National League titles. At underage level he won an All-Ireland Minor and two All-Ireland Under 21 Championships with Tyrone. He also won an All Stars Award for his performances in the 2003 Championship. He played for UCD while studying in Dublin and helped the university win the Dublin Senior Football Championship. McAnallen also played hurling for the Clan’na’n Gael club. While at St. Pat’s Amragh he played basketball and won Ulster Schools ‘A’ basketball titles from Under 14 to Under 19 levels. He also represented Ulster at basketball from Under 14 to Under 17 levels. McAnallen died suddenly in his sleep from an undetected and despite his relatively short career, he won almost every honour in the game. He was often captain of successful teams, and was known as a particularly inspirational captain.
3rd– On this day 1928 Ronnie Dix made history as the youngest person to score a goal in the Football League. He was only 15 years and 180 days old when he netted for Bristol Rovers in their 3-0 win over Norwich in a third division (south) game. In 1936 Australia’s Victor Richardson set a then record during a Test match against South Africa in Durban by holding five catches, the most by an outfielder in an innings of Test cricket. Born on this day in 1951 was the English bassoon and oboe player, composer and political activist Lindsay Cooper. Best known for her work with the band Henry Cow, she was also a member of Comus, National Health, News from Babel and David Thomas and the Pedestrians. She collaborated with a number of musicians, including Chris Cutler and Sally Potter, and co-founded the Feminist Improvising Group. She wrote scores for film and TV and a song cycle Oh Moscow which was performed live around the world in 1987. She also recorded a number of solo albums, including Rags (1980), The Gold Diggers (1983) and Music For Other Occasions (1986). She was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in the late 1970s, but did not disclose it to the musical community until the late 1990s when her illness prevented her from performing live. On 18th September 2013, she died from the illness at the age of 62, 15 years after her retirement. Rugby international Ollie Campbell was born in 1954. One of the most prolific scores in Irish rugby, he accumulated 246 points between 1976 and 1984, a record at the time. The total of 52 points he scored in the 1983 International Championship, including 21 against England was also a record. Top British javelin thrower Fatima Whitbread was born in 1961. She won the world title in 1987 and the following year took the silver medal at the Seoul Olympics to add to her bronze from Los Angeles in 1984. In 1991 Runcorn Highfield’s dismal record of 75 matches without a win ended when they beat Dewsbury. Their run, the worst in rugby league history, went back 28 months during which time they had five coaches! On the day in 2009 The Sri Lankan cricket team was attacked by terrorists while on their way to the Gaddafi Stadium, Lahore on the third morning of the second Test match against Pakistan. Sri Lanka, who were touring Pakistan, had actually stepped in for India who had declined to visit following the Mumbai 2008 attacks. As the team bus crossed Liberty Square, 12 armed gunmen fired at the bus. A minivan following the bus carrying the match officials was also fired upon. Pakistan’s security forces fired back and in the ensuing gun-battle, six Pakistani officers and two civilians were killed. Seven Sri Lankan cricketers: Thilan Samaraweera, Kumar Sangakkara, Tharanga Paranavitana, Ajantha Mendis, Chaminda Vaas, Mahela Jayawardane, and Suranga Lakmal sustained injuries, with Samaraweera and Paranavitana being admitted to hospital because of shrapnel injuries. The team’s assistant coach Paul Farbrace and reserve umpire Ahsan Raza were also seriously injured. The world watched in stunned disbelief as the Sri Lankan cricket team were airlifted from the stadium in helicopters belonging to the Pakistani Air Force. They were put on the next available flight to Colombo. There was widespread criticism of Pakistan’s security arrangements. Some arrests were made with the blame being put on the terrorist agency Lashkar-e-Jhangvi. But from a cricketing point of view, Pakistan’s fate was sealed. Not only were Pakistan stripped of their rights to hold the 2011 World Cup but for six years, no cricket team agreed to tour, and they were forced to play their home matches in neutral territory. It was only last year (2015) that a Zimbabwe team finally visited Pakistan to bring an end to the exile. Today in 2005 Steve Fossett flew the Virgin Atlantic Global Flyer to a world record by completing the first non-stop, non-refuelled, solo flight around the world. Also on the very same day Garry Kasparov announces his retirement from professional chess.
4th – On this day in 1877 the Russian Imperial Ballet Company stages the first performance of Swan Lake in Moscow. George West scored a then record 11 tries in a rugby league match while playing for Hull Kingston Rovers against Brookland Rovers in the Northern Cup (now the Challenge Cup) in 1905. British motor-racing champion Jim Clark was born in Fife, Scotland in 1936. World Champion in 1963 and 1965, he was unquestionably one of the all-time greats of motor-racing. He died tragically young while racing at Hockenheim, Germany in 1968. Another Scot, the former Celtic and Liverpool footballer Kenny Dalglish, was born in 1951. Scotland’s most capped players with 102 appearances and joint top goal-scorer with 30 goals , he won every honour at club level as a player before going on to manage Liverpool and Blackburn. Dalglish won the Ballon d’Or Silver Award in 1983, the PFA Player of the Year in 1983, and the FWA Footballer of the Year in 1979 and 1983. In 2009 FourFourTwo named Dalglish as the greatest striker in post-war British football, and in 2006 he topped a Liverpool fans’ poll of “100 Players Who Shook the Kop”. He has been inducted into both the Scottish and English Football Halls of Fame. What snooker player Willie Thorne, born in 1954, lacks in tournament wins, the 1985 Mercantile Credit Classic is his only ranking tournament success, he makes up for in personality as one of the game’s most popular players. In 1967 third division Queen’s Park Rangers brought off a shock 3-2 win over West Bromwich Albion in the first Football League Cup final to be played at Wembley. Today in 1975 Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II knights the silent movie star Charlie Chaplin. In 1976 John curry added to his Olympic gold medal by winning the men’s title at the world figure-skating championships. Willi Unsoeld American mountaineer who, along with Tom Hornbein, were members of the first American expedition to summit Mount Everest on May 22, 1963, died on this day in 1979 in an avalanche during a winter climb of Mount Rainier. Unsoeld and Hornbein’s legendary climb was the first ascent from the peak’s west ridge, and the first major traverse of a Himalayan peak. His subsequent activities included working as a U.S. Forest Service Smokejumper, Peace Corps director in Nepal, speaker forOutward Bound, faculty member at Oregon State University and The Evergreen State College and mountaineering guide. The Kent and English cricketer Godfrey James Bryan died on this day in 1991 aged 88. A left-handed batsman and right-arm medium pace bowler, he played first-class cricket between 1920 and 1935. His brothers Jack and Ronnie also played for Kent, though Godfrey was considered the most talented of the three. On this day in 1995 Michael Johnson runs an indoor 400m world record of 44.63s, which is currently held by American Kerron Clement who stopped the clock at 44.57 on 3rd December 2005 in Fayetterville, Arkansas. Yvon Cormier the Canadian professional wrestler died on this day in 2009 aged 70. Competing primarily under the ring name The Beast, he and his three wrestling brothers made up the Cormier wrestling family. He wrestled in many countries but regularly returned to Canada, where he competed for the Eastern Sports Association (ESA) and the ESA-promoted International Wrestling (IW). He also competed in the Calgary, Alberta-based Stampede Wrestling for many years. Cormier was known for his physical strength and intense exercise regimen. He was known to bench press 450 pounds, and he was once recorded as bench pressing 527 pounds. During one photo session, Cormier lifted a telephone pole from the ground and carried it around while posing for pictures. According to one story, he once got upset with a horse that refused to cooperate and knocked it down with one punch. Like his brothers, Cormier was a lifelong ice hockey fan. He also trained horses for harness racing and had six of his own Percheron horses. He had four sons, all of whom are being trained to wrestle, as well as one daughter. In May 2008, Cormier was diagnosed with lymphoma. He underwent treatment but suffered a heart attack soon after beginning. Doctors later determined that the cancer had moved into his bone marrow.
5th – On this day in 1850 The Britannia Bridge which spans the Menai Strait and links Anglesey to mainland Wales was opened. Born on this day in 1886 was Freddie Welsh the Welsh World lightweight boxing champion. Born in Pontypridd and christened Frederick Hall Thomas, he was nicknamed the “Welsh Wizard”. Brought up in a tough mining community, Welsh left a middle-class background to make a name for himself in America. He turned professional as a boxer in Philadelphia in 1905, and spent the best part of his career fighting in the United States, leaving many in Britain to incorrectly believe he was an exponent of an ungentlemanly style of American boxing. Welsh spent much of his career chasing the World Championship title, held in turn by Battling Nelson, Ad Wolgast and Willie Ritchie, failing through a series of events to meet each until a successful encounter with Ritchie in July 1914, when he finally became World Lightweight Champion. Welsh held the title until 1917 when he lost to Benny Leonard, though he continued to fight sparingly until 1922. A keen follower of Bernarr Macfadden’s physical culture, Welsh believed in exercise and healthy living and was a non-smoker and a vegetarian. In the years following the end of his career, bad business choices cost him his fortune, and after numerous health problems as is usually the case – he died in poverty in 1927. Sticking with the Welsh theme – One of the most successful goal-kickers in modern rugby league David Watkins, was born in 1942. A former Welsh rugby union international, he played for his country 21 times and for the Lions on six occasions, which he also captained. A fly-half, he switched to the professional code and soon adapted to the 13-a-side game. His tally of 221 goals for Salford in the 1972-73 season, a rugby league record for the time. He played for the Welsh Rugby League team six times and played in every match of the 1975 Rugby League World Cup and with English club Salford he played more than 400 games over 12 seasons. After he stopped playing Watkins coached rugby league. He was the Wales national team coach and also coached Great Britain, taking them to the final of the 1977 World Cup, which they lost by one point to the hosts, Australia. Watkins was appointed Newport RFC team manager in 1992–93 and later became the club’s chairman when he was awarded an MBE. In 2006 Watkins, along with Falklands War hero Simon Weston, was installed as a patron of the Welsh Rugby League at a ceremony held in the Welsh Assembly. He was managing director of the Cardiff City Blue Dragons. In 2009, Watkins took over the position of Crusaders president from Jonathan Davies. On this day in 1949 Don Bradman played his last innings in first-calls cricket, scoring 30 while playing for South Australia against Victoria at the Adelaide Oval Ernie Terrell, brother of Jean Terrell, a former member of the Supremes vocal group, beat Eddie Machen to win the WBA heavyweight title in 1965. Cassius Clay had captured the title by beating Sonny Liston a year earlier but, because he refused to put a re-match clause into the contract, the WBA withdrew recognition of him as champion. When Clay and Terrell eventually met, the judges were unanimous in declaring Clay (then Muhammad Ali) the winner at the end of the 15-round contest. Born today in 1988 Jovana Brakočević, Serbian female professional volleyball player, who was a member of the Serbia women’s national volleyball team that won the silver medal at the 2007 European Championship in Belgium and Luxembourg. There she was named Best Server of the tournament. She was also a member of the Serbia women’s national volleyball team that won the gold medal at the 2011 European Championship in Serbia and Italy, where she was voted MVP of the tournament. William Alvin Moody perhaps better known by his ring names Paul Bearer, and Percival Pringle III died on this day in 2013 aged 58. He was an American professional wrestling manager, best known for his time in World Class Championship Wrestling (WCCW) and the World Wrestling Federation (WWF, later WWE), where he performed as the manager of wrestlers such as The Undertaker, Kane and Mick Foley.