Monday, 26 November 2012

Sporting firsts of the 1980s

It is always a significant moment in your life when something special happens for the first time. Excluding the obvious life changing incidents - first kiss, first slow dance, first ahem, you know what I mean - there are often occasions in sport alone that stand out as unique and historic. The sporting equivalent of being the first to reach the South Pole, climb Everest, or land on the moon. Now, That1980sSportsBlogger will admit to a little bias on this subject, but the 1980s contained a fair few notable firsts in a decade rich in sporting drama. Some of the below may not seem all that remarkable in this modern era of sport, but I can assure you, back in the eighties some of these achievements left you open mouthed in astonishment. For any of the younger readers, you probably had to be there.

Wednesday, 21 November 2012

1986: Lloyd Honeyghan v Don Curry

The triumph of the underdog is such a key component of sport, after all if the favourite won every single time then where would the fun be in that? Of course if you're on the receiving end of such an upset (the words Walsall, York and Wrexham immediately spring to mind) then you fail to see the romance of the occasion, but to everyone else, the sight of a sporting David toppling Goliath brings a warm feeling to the heart. And if the underdog in question happens to be an English boxer (born in Jamaica) travelling to America, to fight an undefeated and undisputed champion, then the sense of elation felt at such a victory leaves a smile on your face for years to come. Step forward Lloyd Honeyghan.

Monday, 12 November 2012

1984: India v England First Test

England's 1984-85 tour of India was never going to be easy. Thrashed 5-0 at home by the West Indies in the summer of 84, and unable to defeat the Sri Lankans in a supposedly easy one-off Test at Lord's, confidence was understandably low as the plane departed for Asia. A plane that did not contain Ian Botham (opted out) and Graham Gooch and John Emburey (South African rebel tour bans). Without these key players, and with a struggling skipper at the helm - David Gower had a W0 D3 L6 record as captain - expectations were unsurprisingly low for England's hopes in the subcontinent. 

Tuesday, 6 November 2012

1988: England v Australia (Rugby Union)

Sport had an uncanny way of seeping into my consciousness during the 1980s. Take rugby union for example. Sat minding my own business one Saturday in 1985, I soon became engrossed in a Five Nations match between Wales and England at Cardiff. As a 9-year-old English boy, the result that day may have been far from ideal (England lost 24-15), and the mistake made by Chris Martin on that April afternoon was mind-blowingly inept, but the sport had managed to grab my attention, so much so that I was disappointed that it was the final Five Nations match of the season. Mind you, the England team at the time were hardly world beaters, so it probably spared me further embarrassment for a year at least.