Monday, June 22, 2009

Sporting moments define my life

It's 30 degrees with a clear blue sky and slight cooling breeze - yet I've just eaten my lunch inside in front of the TV.

Wimbledon starts today and the BBC were showing highlights of last years final between Nadal and Federer.

It's billed as probably the greatest ever final and possibly the greatest tennis match ever. Even watching the highlights and knowing the result I still found myself spellbound and exclaiming aloud when some of the winners were hit.

It made me realise that although my memory has gone to pot I can still vividly recall where I was and what I was doing during epic sporting events.

1975 - The thrilla in Manilla, Ali beats Frazier again

1977 - Nicklaus & Watson at Turnberry, the dual in the sun

1980 - Borg v McEnroe, the 5 setter

1981 - Headingley, Bothams ashes

1985 - The crucible, Davis misses the black and Dennis Taylor is champion

1990 - Turin, England lose to Germany and Gazza can't contain his tears

Thee are all well known and generally regarded as classics but, of course, I have personal favourites too - particularly those I have seen live (Klinsmann's dive, Seve winning the matchplay, Maradonna in a Spurs shirt).

I guess it's a little sad that if someone asks what I was doing in a certain year I immediately search for a sporting reference point but I'd bet my bottom dollar that I'm not alone.


Chris Stead said...

You criticise my spelling - at least I can spell Maradona and Manila.

That said, I agree with your point - or maybe I'm just as sad as you. I would add to your list;

Bruno v Witherspoon 1986

Red Rum gets up to beat Crisp 1973

Nicklaus wins the Masters at 46 1986

United beat Bayern Munich in the last minute. 1999

Gareth Edwards scoring the greatest try of all time for the Baa Baas 1973

Stuart Pearce penalty v Spain - 1996

Let's face it - sport is just brilliant, and there is nothing sad about that.

graham downie said...

Wow, was it really 1973 that Red Rum beat Crisp?

I was just 12.

My earliest National memory is of Red Alligator. I've just googled it and that was in 1968.

I didn't realise that Foinavon was just the year before. I don't really remember Spurs v Chelsea from 1967 either.

I do remember WBA in the cup final but not Utd in the European cup.

That's it as we know it began hazily in 1968!

Chris Stead said...

Red Alligator was my very first bet. My Grandad put on 6p Ew and it won at 100/6. From memory he gave me half a crown which is probably fair enough since it was all his money.

I've often suspected that it was that half crown that caused all the problems.

Obviously I remember the European Cup as it was the day I started supporting the mighty reds. However my clearest sporting memory of 1968 was the Mexico olympics. I can remmber loads of it. I used to come downstairs in the morning before anyone else was up and watch highlights from the night before.

My clearest memories of that olympics are David Hemery, Kip Keino and Chris Finnegan and less surprisingly the black power stuff. I also was playing with our gas fire one morning and set fire to the carpet. I managed to put it out and moved the rug to hide the burn. Unsurprisingly (I was 6) I didn't get away with it.