In Britain, we do like to have a good old moan about our lot when it comes to sport, whether it’s Wayne Rooney’s captaincy or if Kevin Pietersen should be in the England Cricket team. But when we take a step back and have a look, we’re actually quite spoilt. Here are just 6 of our most glorious sporting British moments.
1966, England Win the World Cup
Surely the pinnacle of British sporting achievement, England’s World Cup victory of 1966 is entrenched in the memories of pretty much every football fan in England, even those that didn’t witness it in the first place. And no one can say that England didn’t win their first World Cup in style, scoring four against the mighty West Germany including the first and only World Cup Final hat trick from Geoff Hurst. And yes, the third goal was definitely over the line.
1984, Torvill & Dean’s ‘Bolero’
The Sarajevo 1984 Winter Olympics was the stage for one of the greatest moments in British sporting history in a sport that has otherwise failed to be a refuge of success for British athletics. Torvill and Dean’s ‘Bolero’ routine captured the imagination of a nation, receiving perfect scores from the judges and being the catalyst for the spin-off TV show ‘Dancing on Ice’ as well as seeing the figure skating pair make an appearance on another British institution, Mr Bean.
2001, David Beckham Free Kick vs Greece
The nation called and Becks delivered. 2-1 down to Greece and only seconds away from failing to qualify for the 2002 World Cup, it all came down to a last-gasp free kick from England’s then-Captain. David Beckham became synonymous with the stunning trademark free-kick and provided English football with one of its most defining moments. Unfortunately, England were knocked out of the World Cup in the quarter finals by eventual winners Brazil, by THAT Ronaldinho goal. We still think that he didn’t mean it.
2003, Paula Radcliffe Breaks Marathon Record
A sports star whose career would have been even more sparkling had injuries not proven a frequent thorn in her side, Paula Radcliffe is perhaps best known for providing British sports fans with a defining moment in the field of distant running. 2002 proved a successful year for Paula Radcliffe, whose victory at the London Marathon was simply a practice run for setting the world record time of 2:17:18 at the Chicago Marathon on 13 October 2002, smashing the previous record by a minute and a half. Radcliffe went on to win BBC Sports Personality of the Year in what is definitely her best personal year.
2005, England Reclaim the Ashes
The 2005 Ashes series caught the attention of the British public, with England winning the Ashes for the first time since 1987, and they did it in style. A series that went all the way to the fifth game, the 2005 Ashes series made household names of Andrew Flintoff, Kevin Pietersen and Steve Harmison as test cricket proved that it could excite just as much as football.
2013, Andy Murray Wins Wimbledon
A moment that everyone could rejoice in, in 2013 an emotional Andy Murray finally won Wimbledon after what had seemed like an eternity. A titanic clash between tennis giants, Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray ended in three sets with Murray beating the world number one 6-4 7-5 6-4, in the process winning the first of what we all hope will be many Wimbledon titles. Wimbledon’s importance has seen years of blind optimism from British tennis fans, which hasn’t exactly been backed up by a culture of success, so Murray has now given fans hope for a new champion who can put Britain back on the pinnacle of Tennis success. Here’s hoping.
Has this stirring selection of British triumphs made you feel all proud to be British? Do you have any moments of British sporting history that stick in your mind? Let us know in the comments section below!