2nd the first Test match hat-trick by Australia’s Fred Spofforth occurred in 1879 – against Lord Harris’s England at the MCG. He dismissed Vernon Royle, Francis MacKinnon and Tom Emmett in three successive deliveries. This was the highlight of a brilliant bowling performance which brought him 13 wickets for 110 runs. Lillian Leitzel, German acrobat and strongwoman, was born today in 1892. She performed for the Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Bailey Circus. Her father was a Hungarian army officer and theatre performer and her mother a Czech circus acrobat, although well-educated and prepared to follow a career as a concert pianist, she joined her mother’s acrobatic circus group, the Leamy Ladies. On February 13 1931, during a live performance in Copenhagen , she fell to the ground from her rigging  when the swivel that held the rope in place fractured and snapped. She was rushed to hospital by unfortunately died two days later, aged 39. In 1930 Jim Dyet playing for the non defunt King’s Park scored eight goals against Forfar in a Scottish second-division match. It was Dyet’s League debut and a one-time British League record, King’s Park ran out 12-2 winners. In 1939, a crowd of 118,567 watched Rangers play Celtic, which was the then biggest gate for a football game in Britain. However the corresponding fixture in 1971 produced one of the worst disasters in British sporting history.   Sixty-six football supporters were killed and 145 injured when a crush barriers collapsed at the Ibrox Park stadium in Glasgow. Initial reports suggested the tragedy, which happened on stairway 13 of the stadium, and was caused when hundreds of Rangers fans started to leave the match early believing Celtic had won. Jimmy Johnstone had scored for Celtic with just a minute to go, but Colin Stein scored an equalising goal for Rangers during injury time causing a huge roar to erupt inside the stadium. According to eye-witnesses, fans attempting to get back up the stairs after hearing the roar collided head-on with those coming down the stairs. A public inquiry later discounted the initial version of events and it is now believed the crush was caused simply by the downward force of so many supporters leaving at the same time. The momentum of the crowd meant that once people started to fall, there was no way of holding the mass of bodies back. The disaster remains the worst in the history of Scottish football and is surpassed only by the Hillsborough tragedy in British football. The Test debut of Shane Warne, vs India at Sydney took place in 1992. The Japanese golfer Yoshiro Hayashi died today in 2012 aged 89. He turned pro at the age of 16 and continued with 12 post-war wins. Hayashi was considered one of the big top four Japanese golfers along with Isao Aoki, Masashi Ozaki and Akiko Fukushima. Also passing away on this day but in 2015 was Derek Minter, English former Grand Prix motorcycle and short-circuit road racer. A versatile rider, he rode a variety of machinery between 1955 and 1967 at increasing levels of expertise and in varying capacities and classes. His best season was in 1958 when he finished the year in fifth place in the 500cc world championship.  In 1960, Minter won the North West 200 race in Northern Ireland. In 1962, he won the Isle of Man 250cc Lightweight TT.


3rdBorn today in 1861 was the English tennis player William Renshaw, a former World number 1 he was active during the late 19th century. He won 12 Major titles during his career and was one of the most successful male players in the history of the Wimbledon Championships, winning the singles title a record seven times (shared with Pete Sampras and Roger Federer) and a record six times consecutively from (1881–86). Additionally he won the doubles title five times together with his brother Ernest. The right-hander was known for his power and technical ability which put him ahead of competition at the time. He was the first president of the British Lawn Tennis Association. One of America’s top sportsmen, ice hockey player Bobby Hull, was born in 1939. Twice winner of the coveted Hart Trophy, he scored 610 goals in the NHL and in his 1600th game in 1978 he scored his 1000th point. No man to that point had scored 1000 points in so few games. Scottish rugby union international Gavin Hastings was born on this day in 1962.  He has played for Watsonians, London Scottish, Cambridge University, Scotland and the British and Irish Lions and was one of the outstanding rugby union players of his generation, winning 61 caps for Scotland, 20 of which as captain. He played fullback, and captained the Lions on the tour to New Zealand in 1993 (after playing in all three tests in the 1989 tour to Australia). Michael Schumacher was born today in 1969, the German racing driver is a seven-time Formula OneWorld Champion and is widely regarded as one of the greatest Formula One drivers of all time. He was named Laureus World Sportsman of the Year twice. He won two titles with Benetton in 1994 and 1995 before moving to Ferrari where he drove for eleven years. His time with Ferrari yielded five consecutive titles between 2000 and 2004. In December 2013, Schumacher suffered a serious head injury while skiing. He was airlifted to a hospital and placed in a medically induced coma, having suffered a traumatic brain injury. He was in the coma for six months from 29 December 2013 until 16 June 2014. He left the hospital in Grenoble for further rehabilitation at the University Hospital (CHUV) in Lausanne.  In September 2014, Schumacher was relocated to his home where he continues to receive medical treatment and rehabilitation privately. In the 1972 Australian Open Ken Rosewall beat Malcolm Anderson (7-6, 6-3, 7-5) and Virginia Wade had the better of Evonne Goolagong (6-4, 6-4). In American Football, Tony Dorsett ran a then NFL record 99yards (90m) from a scrimmage while playing for Dallas Cowboys against the Minnesota Vikings in 1983. Playing for Manchester United Liam O’Brady was sent off after just 85 seconds, the quickest dismissal in the 1st division (now the Premier League). In 1992, Martin Offiah became the most valuable player in rugby league history when he joined Wigan from Widnes for a world record £440,000. Choi Yo-sam, Korean world boxing champion died today in 2008. On December 25, 2007, he successfully defended the WBO Intercontinental flyweight title with a unanimous decision victory over Heri Amol. In the 12th round, Choi was dropped with five seconds remaining, but beat the count and went on to win the fight. He collapsed while still in the ring after the bout and was rushed to hospital immediately after the fight in order to undergo emergency brain surgery. Choi was pronounced brain-dead on January 2 and died on January 3 when he was removed from a ventilator. His organs were donated to six patients with approval from his family. This action led the South Korean Government to award Choi with a medal




4th – Former world heavyweight boxing champion Floyd Patterson was born in 1935. The oympic middleweight champion of 1952, Patterson defeated Archie Moore in 1956 for the heavyweight title left vacant by Rocky Marciano’s retirement, becoming the youngest holder of the title at that time. Patterson lost the title to Ingemar Johansson in 1959, but defeated the Swede a year later to become the first man to regain the title. At Twickenham in 1936, Alexander Obolensky, the son of a Russian prince, on his debut for England, scored two tries, one of which has been dubbed the finest triy ever witnessed at the ground when he raced 50yards (46m0 diagonally across the pitch, beating several All Blacks along the way. The final score was 13-0 and was the first time England had beaten the New Zealand side, in a game which became known as ‘Obolensky’s Match’. The “Obolensky Lecture” is given annually on the subject of rugby, and at Twickenham there is a suite named Obolensky’s in his honour. New Zealand squash champion Susan Devoy was born on this day in 1964. World champion four times, she also won the British Open title seven years in succession, 1984-90. Dot Jones, American actress and retired athlete was born today in 1964. She attended California State University, Fresno, where she set records for shot putt. Jones is also a 15-time world arm wrestling champion. She was a recurring guest star starting in the second season of the musical television series Glee as Coach Beiste, and appeared through the show’s sixth and final season, when she was promoted to starring status. She was nominated for the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series in 2011, 2012, and 2013 for her portrayal of Coach Beiste. In 1967 Donald Campbell, son of Sir Malcolm Campbell, died on Coniston Water in the Lake District while attempting to break the world water speed record in Bluebird. His aging craft somersaulted after hitting the wake from the first run. The 1982 England v Australia rugby international at Twickenham got more publicity than it bargained for when Erika Roe made her ‘debut’, much to the amusement of the packed crowd and millions more watching on television. In 1991 12-year-old Fu Mingxia of China won the women’s world platform diving title to become, at that time, the youngest world champion in any sport.   On this day in 2000 the first British women walk across Antarctica to the South Pole arrived safely, more than two months after starting their record breaking journey. Catherine Hartley said she was “absolutely elated” to have completed the trek, which saw her nine-strong group cover 680 miles (1,094 km) while withstanding temperatures as low as -48C. Fellow walkers Fiona Thornewill and her husband Mike won another record by becoming the first married couple to achieve the feat. The expedition left London on 21 October 1999 for Punta Arenas in southern Chile, flying on to Patriot Hills near the Antarctic coast.



5thBorn on this day in 1882 was Britain first woman racing driver – Dorothy Elizabeth Levitt, She was holder of the world’s first water speed record, the women’s world land speed record holder, and an author. She was a pioneer of female independence and female motoring, and taught Queen Alexandra and the Royal Princesses how to drive. In 1905 she established the record for the longest drive achieved by a lady driver by driving a De Dion-Bouton from London to Liverpool and back over two days, receiving the soubriquets in the press of the Fastest Girl on Earth, and the Champion Lady Motorist of the World. Levitt’s career reflected that of several of her contemporaries with a meteoric rise to prominence before abruptly vanishing from public engagements and her life after 1910 is undocumented. She was found dead in her bed at 50 Upper Baker Street on 17 May 1922 in Marylebone according to Probate granted on 27 September 1922. The death certificate named her as Dorothy Elizabeth Levi, unmarried, and stated that “the cause of death was morphine poisoning while suffering from heart disease and an attack of measles. The inquest recorded a verdict of misadventure. The former Manchester United footballer Bill Foulkes was born on this day in 1932. He was a member of the team that beat Portuguese club Benfica in the final of the 1968 European Champions’ Cup. Also playing that day, for Benfica, was Eusebio, who was born on the same day but in 1943. European Footballer of the Year in 1965 and the man behind the Portugal’s rise to the top of world football in the 1960s, he helped to establish Benfica as one of the best clubs in Europe. He collected a European Champions’ Cup winners’ medal in 1962, but was three times on the losing side. Patrik Sjöberg, former Swedish high jumper and previous world record holder was born in 1965. With 2.42 metres (7 ft 11.3 in), he holds the Swedish as well as the European record in men’s high jump. His 1987 world record 2.42m – set in Stockholm on 30 June 1987 – is the fourth best in history, and only Javier Sotomayor and Mutaz Essa Barshim have achieved a higher jump. Sjöberg is also a two-time world indoor record holder with marks of 2.38 m (1985) and 2.41 m (1987). Sjöberg has a gold medal from the World Championships in Rome 1987 and has 3 Olympic medals. Two silver medals from Los Angeles 1984 and Barcelona 1992 and one bronze medal from Seoul 1988. Sjöberg is the only high jumper that has won medals from more than two Olympic Games. Today in 1971, Australia and England met in the first one day cricket international at Melbourne. On this day in 1992 Ravi Shastri scored 206 at SCG before being Warne’s first cricket Test wicket. In 2015 the tomb of Egyptian queen, Khentakawess III, was discovered by a team of Czech archaeologists; the queen lived during the Fifth Dynasty and was likely the wife of Pharaoh Neferefre 



6thIn 1930 cricketer Don Bradman scored a world record 452 not out while playing for New South Wales against Queensland. His innings surpassed Bill Ponsford’s old record of 437 runs. Stockport County beat Halifax Town 13-0 in a third-divisor (North) game in 1934. In 1946 Newcastle United beat Newport County by the same score and those both remain in the record book as the biggest winning margin in Football League history. One of football’s greatest managers, Herbert Chapman, died this day in 1934. He guided both Huddersfield and Arsenal to a hat-trick apiece of League championships in the 1920s and 30s. Several well-known sports personalities share this birth date: former Tottenham Hotspur chief executive Terry Venables was born in 1943. Former Welsh rugby international Barry John was born in 1945. Indian cricketer Kapil Dev was born in 1959. Former English international rugby player and coach of the England team Clive Woodward was born in 1956. A year later in 1957, the American golfer Nancy Lopez was born. In 1963 the Kenyan world champion 10,000m runner Paul Kipkoech was born. On this day in 1994 Nancy Kerrigan gained considerable fame beyond the skating world when she was clubbed in the right knee with a police baton by Shane Stant after a practice session at the U.S. Figure Skating Championships in Detroit, an assault planned by rival Tonya Harding’s ex-husband Jeff Gillooly and co-conspirator Shawn Eckardt.  The incident became known as The Whack Heard Round the World. Some of the attack and its aftermath, which took place in a corridor at Cobo Arena, were caught on camera and broadcast around the world, particularly the now-famous footage of attendants helping Kerrigan as she grabbed at her knee wailing: “Why, why, why?” Although Kerrigan’s injury forced her to withdraw from the U.S. Championships, her rivals agreed that she merited one of the two spots on the Olympic team. The USFSA chose to name her to the Olympic team rather than second-place finisher Michelle Kwan. Kerrigan recovered quickly from her knee injury and resumed her intensive training. She practiced by doing complete back-to-back double runs-through of her programs, until she felt completely confident in her ability to compete under pressure. The fame she had acquired from the attack led to further professional opportunities; it was reported that she had already signed contracts for $9.5 million before the Olympics began. Irish professional golfer Christy O’Connor Jnr passed away today in 2016. He turned professional in 1967. The European Tour officially began in 1972, and O’Connor made the top hundred on the Order of Merit in each of its first twenty-one seasons, with a best ranking of seventh in 1975. He won four European Tour events. As a senior he has competed on both the European Seniors Tour and the U.S. based Champions Tour, and has won two Senior British Open titles (before it became one of the senior majors) and two Champions Tour events. In 1992 O’Connor won the Dunhill British Masters at Woburn, his fourth and final European Tour victory, with scores of 71, 67, 66, 66. A weather-interrupted tournament meant that 36 holes had to be played on Sunday. At 44 years, O’Connor was the oldest player in the field. O’Connor played in the Ryder Cup twice. In 1975 he was a member of a losing Great Britain & Ireland team and in 1989 he was part of a European team which tied the match to retain the trophy. His personal record was one win, three losses and no ties. His win over Fred Couples was best remembered for a stunning 2 iron shot on the last hole at The Belfry which he left just 4 feet from the hole. O’Connor was also active in golf course design, being involved in the design of at least 18 courses in Ireland, and many more abroad.



7thOne of the world’s best known basketball teams, the Harlem Globetrotters, was founded by Abraham Saperstein of Chicago in 1927. A touring team renowned as much for their comedy routines and showmanship as their undoubted technical skills, they were always greeted on court by their theme tune, Sweet Georgia Brown. One of their best-known players was Meadowlark Lemmon. On this day in 1936 tennis champions Helen Moody and Howard Kinsley volley 2001 times in 1hour and 18mins. The most prolific world record breaker in sporting history was born on this day in 1942; Russia weightlifter Vasily Alexeev, who set 80 official world records. He won eight world and Olympic titles between 1970 and 1977. For breakfast he used to eat a 36-egg omelette! Malcolm MacDonald former English professional footballer, manager and current footballing pundit and journalist was born in 1950. Nicknamed Supermac, he was a strong, powerfully built striker who was famed as a prolific goal scorer. He played for Fulham, Luton Town, Newcastle United, and Arsenal. As well as playing for England, Macdonald is Newcastle United’s fifth highest goal scorer of all-time. Mac Donald also won two of the Football League First Division, now known as the Premier League’s Golden Boots with Newcastle in 1975 & in 1977 for Arsenal as well. Born today in 1954 was Alan Butcher, English cricketer and part of a family known for its strong cricketing connections. Although only selected to play for England on one occasion, he was lauded for his skills in first-class cricket and was named a Wisden Cricketer of the Year in 1991. He became Essex coach in 1993 and coached Surrey between 2005 and 2008. Cricket writer, Colin Bateman noted Butcher was, “a popular and accomplished left-handed opener, unlucky to be consigned to membership of the ‘One Cap Club’… despite consistent county performances and an ability to tackle quick bowlers, Butcher was passed over”. In 1972 the Los Angeles Lakers won their 33rd consecutive game in the National Basketball League (NBA). The Lakers ended the season with a record 69 wins and only 13 defeats and went on to beat the New York Knicks 4-1 to win the NBA title. German swimmer Hannah Stockbauer was born in 1982. She is a World Champion, Olympic and national-record holder and was named the female World Swimmer of the Year by Swimming World Magazine, following her winning the 400, 800 and 1500 freestyles at the 2003 World Championships. She swam for Germany at the: Olympics: 2000, 2004, World Championships: 2001, 2003, European Championships: 1999, 2002 and Short Course Europeans: 1998, 2002. At the 2001 World Championships, she won the 800 and 1500 freestyle and at the 2003 World Championships, she was named Female Swimmer of the Meet, after she won 3 events (400, 800 and 1500 freestyle), setting meet records in the 800 and 1500 (8:23.66 and 16:00.18) and the German Record in the 1500. At the 2004 Olympics, she was part of the Germany relay that won a bronze medal in the 4×200m Free Relay. She retired from competition in October 2005. Lewis Hamilton British Formula One racing driver was born in 1985. He is currently racing for the Mercedes AMG Petronasteam. He is the 2008, 2014 and 2015 Formula One World Champion and 2016 runner-up. In 1987 Kapil Dev takes his 300th Test wicket, at 28, the youngest cricketer to do so. Controversial South African middle-distance runner Caster Semenya was born in 1991. She won the 2016 Olympic 800m gold medal as well as the gold in the women’s 800 metres at the 2009 World Championships with a time of 1:55.45 in the final. Semenya also won silver medals at the 2011 World Championships and the 2012 Summer Olympics, both in the 800 metres. On this date in 1992 saw Imran Khan play his last day of test cricket. Austrian mountaineer, sportsman and geographer Heinrich Harrer passed away in 2006. He is best known for being on the four-man climbing team that made the first ascent of the North Face of the Eiger in Switzerland, and for his books Seven Years in Tibet (1952) and The White Spider (1959).


8thJohn “Jack” Broughton, the English bare-knuckle fighter died on this day in 1789. He was the first person to codify a set of rules to be used in such contests; prior to this the “rules” that existed were very loosely defined and tended to vary from contest to contest. His seven rules of how boxing would be conducted at his amphitheatre (the largest and most influential at that time) evolved later into the London Prize Ring rules which are widely regarded as the foundation stone of the sport that would become boxing, prior to the development of the Marquess of Queensberry rules in the 1860s. Broughton inflicted a heavy defeat on George Taylor, who was the head of Figg’s amphitheatre after the latter’s death. As a result of his status in boxing, and with help from a number of wealthy patrons, he opened his own amphitheatre in 1743, in Hanway Road, near Oxford Street. Here, Broughton and his team staged boxing exhibitions. Broughton drew up a set of rules for the sport that were regarded as definitive for around 100 years. The rules stipulated that a round would last until a man went down, and there was to be a 30-second interval between rounds. In 1750 he fought Jack Slack. After 14 minutes of the fight, as a result of a blinding punch, Broughton was unable to see his man, and thus had to retire from the bout. The Duke of Cumberland, Broughton’s patron at the time was said to have lost thousands of pounds on the match. After the fight he closed his amphitheatre, and instead ran an antiques business. Broughton was one of the original inductees of the International Boxing Hall of Fame, inducted as a pioneer of the sport. Boxer Frank Erne was born in 1875. Erne proudly stands as the only Swiss-born boxer ever to hold a world title, becoming lightweight champion in 1899 by beating ‘Kid’ Lavigne. He unsuccessfully challenged for the featherweight and welterweight titles. Born on this day in 1934 was Jacques Anquetil – French road racing cyclist and the first cyclist to win the Tour de France five times, in 1957 and from 1961 to 1964. He stated before the 1961 Tour that he would gain the yellow jersey on day one and wear it all through the tour, a tall order with two previous winners in the field—Charly Gaul and Federico Bahamontes—but he did it. His victories in stage races such as the Tour were built on an exceptional ability to ride alone against the clock in individual time trial stages, which lent him the name Monsieur Chrono”. The Polish fencer Jerzy Kaczmarek was born in 1948 who won a gold medal in the team foil event at the 1972 Summer Olympics. Calvin Smith, once the fastest man on earth, was born in 1961. Smith broke the world 100m record at Colorado Springs in 1983. Shortly afterwards he captured the 200m gold medal at the inaugural world championships in Helsinki, but could only manage silver in the 100m. He retained his 200m title in Rome four year later. The boycott of 1980 prevented his chance of Olympic gold. Mirella van Melis was born in 1979, a retired female track and road racing cyclist from the Netherlands. She started her career as a cyclo-cross rider. The Los Angeles Raiders won their first American Football Conference (AFC) Championship in 1984 by beating Seattle 30-14. They went on to win Super Bowl XVIII by beating the Washington Redskins. 8th January 1990 is a day Cardiff City FC will want to forget. An FA Cup tie with QPR gave the club its biggest pay-day for years – until thieves broke in and helped themselves to over £50,000 in takings. Irma Heijting-Schuhmacher, a freestyle swimmer from the Netherlands who won two medals at the Summer Olympics.passed away today in 2014. After having claimed the bronze medal in the 4 × 100 m freestyle relay in London (1948), she won the silver medal four years later in Helsinki, Finland, in the same event. Individually, she was sixth in the 100 m freestyle at both games.  She also won two gold and two silver medals at the 1947 and 1950 European Championships. In 1950, while touring Australia with Geertje Wielema, Schuhmacher met Johan Heijting, a Dutch animal husbandry specialist who had recently immigrated to Australia. They married on 22 March 1952, and one week after the 1952 Olympics, Heijting-Schuhmacher moved to her husband’s breeding farm near Brisbane.