Sunday, 28 July 2013

Sporting partnerships

The 1980s were littered with double acts, some great, others less so; the Two Ronnies, Little and Large, Cannon and Ball, Chas and Dave, Kylie and Jason, Crockett and Tubbs, the list goes on. This week I am going to take a look at some sporting partnerships of the decade, including tales of success and failure, arguments, romance, and record breakers.

Sunday, 21 July 2013

1985 Ashes: Richard Ellison

The 1985 Ashes series was all square with two to play when an unlikely hero arrived on the scene to write his very own brief chapter in the history of Anglo-Australian clashes. With all eyes trained on potential match winners in Botham, Gower, and Border, Richard Mark Ellison stepped forward to play a significant role in regaining the urn for England, and as a ten-year-old boy recently converted to the marvellous spectacle of Test cricket, I was enraptured by the rise of this new star.

Monday, 15 July 2013

1987 Open Championship: Nick Faldo

It is one of the standard components of the numerous talent shows thrust upon us today to hear about a contestant's "journey". You know, the usual tear-filled drivel, typically accompanied by some nauseating soundtrack, highlighting the highs and lows of a competitor's route to where they are now. Had the concept existed in sport in 1987, then for a certain Nick Faldo the back story would have been lengthy and drawn out. For long parts it could have played out with the Road To Nowhere in the background.

Monday, 8 July 2013

1981: First Ashes Test

Friday May 30, 1980: Ian Botham can do no wrong. Before leading England to a three-wicket victory against the West Indies in the Prudential Trophy, Botham was appointed as Test captain for the first two matches of the West Indian summer. His promotion from the ranks was very much based on the school principle of naming your best player as captain - at the time Botham averaged 40.48 with the bat and 18.52 with the ball in his 25 Test match career - and the hope was that Captain Beefy could drag his team with him. Oh dear.

Tuesday, 2 July 2013

1989: Australia v Lions Third Test

Try as they might, in the run-up to the deciding Test the Lions could not escape the accusation that the tactics they had employed during the Battle of Ballymore had been over aggressive. The Australian press rounded on the tourists and they were not alone. Coach Bob Dwyer questioned some of the injuries received by his players (a total of 25 stitches in all), and captain Farr-Jones, although openly stating that he saw nothing untoward with the Lions methods, sounded a warning prior to the decider in Sydney: "To me, basically, it's open warfare. They've set the rules. They've set the standards. As far as I'm concerned, if the officials aren't going to control it, we're going to have to do something about it."