Tuesday, 25 November 2014

1980-81: Anglo-Scottish Cup

By 1980 it was clear to all concerned that the Anglo-Scottish Cup was on its last legs. A distinct lack of concern south of the border had reduced interest in the competition, with the Scottish League understandably unimpressed with the lack of quality teams entered by the English Football League, and as early as September 1980 the rumours began to circulate that this would be the last Anglo-Scottish Cup.

Indeed the 1980/81 edition did prove to be the last knockings of the tournament, yet along the way it did provide a few talking points, including a rare moment of glory for a Derbyshire club, a debut for a 14-year-old, and an embarrassing episode for a Scottish giant.

Monday, 17 November 2014

1984 Formula One World Championship: Lauda v Prost

Half a point. Just half a point. Sixteen races taking in four continents over seven months of intensive competition, and at the end of it just half a point separating the two protagonists. The 1984 Formula One World Championship season would involve a battle between two legendary drivers that would go right down to the wire, the pair finally separated by the tiniest of winning margins. To the winner the spoils, and one last championship to crown his career that was inevitably drawing to an end. To the runner-up, more heartbreak, as for the third year in a row he was denied the title and the chance to be the first Frenchman to win the Formula One World Championship.

Tuesday, 11 November 2014

1986: Viv Richards' 56-ball Test century

When Misbah-ul-Haq recently hit a 56-ball century against Australia in Abu Dhabi he equalled a Test record that had stood for 28 years. That particular innings was played by a man who is an all-time great, one of the five Wisden Cricketers of the Century, and a knight of Antigua and Barbuda. Sir Vivian Richards' assault on a floundering England during the final Test of the 1986 series in the Caribbean was as thrilling and exhilarating as the fast bowling attack the West Indian skipper had at his disposal, one which had pounded England into submission during the series. And to top it all, the record was achieved at St John's, Antigua, the home island of the great man himself.

Wednesday, 5 November 2014

1983: England v New Zealand (Rugby Union)

When it came to the 1983 Autumn international between England and New Zealand, it was hardly a case of England expects. With only two wins in twelve matches against the All Blacks, history was not exactly on England's side, and events in the past twelve months were even less encouraging. No wins and a bottom-placed finish in the 1983 Five Nations was a far from ideal start for the new England coach Dick Greenwood, and with New Zealand looming on the horizon in November, it did not look as if things were about to get better.