Thursday, 29 July 2021

1986: Botham's glorious comeback

"Blimey, Beef. Who writes your scripts?" The question asked by Graham Gooch on Thursday August 21 to Ian Botham was a valid one. After all, it was barely believable that a man making his comeback to Test match cricket after a ban would take a wicket with his first ball. But Ian Botham was no ordinary man.

1986 had been a turbulent year in the life of Botham. As the tabloid press circulated around him in the Caribbean attempting to uncover details of his activities away from cricket, on the field things were hardly going smoothly. Hammered 5-0 against the mighty West Indies, the tour ended with Botham suffering at the hands of his great mate Viv Richards, as England's all-rounder tried in vain to equal Dennis Lillee's record for most Test wickets taken.

Tuesday, 13 July 2021

1985 Open Championship: Sandy Lyle

Saturday July 12, 1969: as Tony Jacklin celebrates winning the Open Championship, he hurls his ball into the grandstand at Royal Lytham and St Annes. An 11-year-old boy called Alexander Walter Barr Lyle sits in the grandstand as Jacklin's ball flies towards him.

"It landed just a few feet from me," Lyle would later reveal. "It was at that moment that I decided I wanted to play professional golf, play in the Open - and one day win it." 16 years later, the task of ending Britain's drought in their own championship would land at the feet of Sandy Lyle.