Top Ten Sporting Moments

A few years ago, I created a list similar to this one, but unfortunately, I can’t seem to find it. Therefore, it’s time for an updated version. Compiling such lists is always challenging since after publishing, there will always be someone who points out, “What about this event?” or “That’s not a sport,” or “I think something else.” Although these are all valid points, this is MY list. You’re welcome to comment on my selections, but if you don’t agree, feel free to create your own!

10 – 1999 UEFA Champions League Final

Manchester United had secured the domestic premier league and FA cup by May 26th 1999 and were striving for an unprecedented treble. I was present at The Cork in Felixstowe, accompanied by Watty and Pommy. As the clock ticked towards the 90th minute, Man Utd were trailing 1-0. It was my turn to buy a round, so I decided to quickly use the toilet before fetching the beverages. Upon exiting the little boys room, the crowd in the pub had erupted into a frenzy. Sheringham & Solskjaer had both scored in injury time, leading Manchester United to win the treble. In retrospect, I question whether I should consider this a genuine experience as I had missed the actual moment of triumph.

09 – Beckham’s equalizer v Greece. October 6th 2001

David Beckham’s free kick against Greece during the final qualifying game for the 2002 World Cup is up next. I recall being at the Labour Club on a Saturday afternoon, watching a poor England performance that was on the verge of elimination (albeit through a two-legged play-off). With three minutes of injury time already played, England were awarded a free kick, and Beckham stepped up to take it. The rest, as they say, is history.

08 – Garry Pratt runs out Ricky Ponting

Watching this never gets old. It’s a classic moment from the greatest Ashes series in history – when England’s substitute fielder ran out the Australian captain, Ponting, causing him to have a meltdown. This victory propelled England to a 2-1 lead and, ultimately, to winning the Ashes. It’s a delightful memory.

07 – Daley Thomson 1984 Olympics

The person who managed to destroy a million Spectrum keyboards. Excelling at a singular task is remarkable, but excelling at ten? That’s superhuman.

06 – Ronnie O’Sullivan 147 to win semi of UK Open 2007

From being 7-5 down, Ronnie clawed his way back to levelling up at 8-8 in the first to 9. He exhibited his mastery by hitting a perfect score of 147 to seal the victory. Although there were numerous remarkable moments of Ronnie’s, the fact that he won a semi-final with a 147 in the decisive frame reflects his sheer brilliance.

05 – Bob Willis 8 for 43

Although Ian Botham receives all the praise for his heroic contributions in 1981 that led to England’s Ashes victory, my personal highlight was RGD Willis’ remarkable performance of taking 8-43.

04 – England win the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019

Spending a Sunday with friends and beer was made even better by the presence of Ben Stokes. Although the final appeared unremarkable until the last few overs, England miraculously pulled off a win from the jaws of defeat with the help of overthrows, deflections by Stokes, confusion over the rules, and even Scottish Twitter users expressing their displeasure. Could this be considered the most epic moment in cricket history?

03 – Ryder Cup 2012

The event is famously referred to as the Miracle of Medinah, and marked the first of the now customary Verso Ryder Cup Sundays. The Ryder Cup appeared to be lost on Saturday evening as the USA led by 10-6 and required only 4 1/2 points to claim victory. The bookies even ceased taking bets.

Despite this, Parky and myself held onto hope. Europe mounted a comeback with victories from Donald, Poulter, McIlroy, Rose, and Lawrie to take the lead, but the two Johnsons for the USA swung the pendulum back in their favour.

The scores stood at EUROPE 12 v 13 USA with three games remaining, but Garcia for Europe and Dufner for USA kept the tension high. Westwood’s convincing 3&2 win meant that just one point was needed for Europe to retain the trophy, and Kaymer secured that point with a victory over Stricker.

It was all over. Molinari’s half point was the icing on the cake, resulting in a final score of Europe 14 1/2 to 13 1/2 – an amazing day.

02 – Torvill & Dean win gold in Sarajevo 84

This was, until recently, the ultimate sporting moment – a display of unmatched excellence between two top performers. For those seeking perfection, this video is a must-watch, as it is simply breathtaking.

01 – Stokes v Australia in the Third Ashes Test 2019

We’ve arrived at number one – Ben Stokes’ unbeaten 135. I caught the first session of the fourth day’s play at my place, not expecting much. But as Stokes remained at the crease during lunch, hope began to stir.

My friend Ed and I walked to the Labour Club for a few pints, growing more confident with each passing over. Then, one by one, the wickets fell. With Stokes on 61 and us needing nearly 70 runs to win, we decided to have one more drink before leaving. But Stokes had other plans.

He smashed six after six, and Ed and we couldn’t contain our excitement. When the winning four was hit, we knew we had witnessed the greatest match-winning century of all time. Even the grumpy old men at the Labour Club who shushed us every time we cheered couldn’t bring us down. It was an unforgettable moment.

By Verso

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