Monday, 15 September 2014

1989 Ryder Cup: Christy O'Connor Jnr

Before 1989, Christy O'Connor Jnr had a strained relationship with the Ryder Cup. Winless in his one previous appearance and then rejected in 1985, he must have felt that his chances of taking part in the ever popular event had long gone. But just when it looked as if the two would go their separate ways, fate decided to play a part in giving O'Connor and the Ryder Cup one last chance at patching up their differences. Beautiful fate.

Monday, 8 September 2014

1989: The decline of Sandy Lyle

February 1989: the start of Sandy Lyle's season on the US tour has continued where he left off in 1988. Two second-place finishes and another in third gives the impression that all is well with Lyle's game, and that he is set for another prosperous year on both sides of the Atlantic. Whether he can repeat his marvellous feats of 1988 is questionable, after all Lyle won the Greater Greensboro Open and then the US Masters, as well as the Dunhill Masters and World Matchplay in a never to be forgotten year. But the early signs are promising.

Fast forward just six months. Lyle is unrecognisable from the man who was ranked world number two and sat third in the US PGA money list. In a relatively short space of time, Lyle's game has dissolved completely, so much so that when Tony Jacklin offers him a place on Europe's Ryder Cup team, Lyle has no other option but to turn it down. How did it come to this?

Thursday, 4 September 2014

1980s: Match of the Day Goal of the Season

Whilst watching the recent 50 years celebration programme about Match of the Day it struck me how big a deal the Goal of the Season award was during my formative years. So this week I am taking a look back on the ten winning goals during the 1980s, a collection of volleys, headers and screamers that I could watch again and again and again.

Monday, 18 August 2014

The making of a sports obsessive

A change of tack this week, as I reveal a bit about my childhood in the 1980s, and the massive part sport played in making me the sporting obsessive that I am today. Some of these tales are cringeworthy - most of them actually - yet I am sure that a few of you might be able to relate to some of the below. If not, then please don't judge me. We were all young once, and I honestly didn't do anyone any harm. I probably annoyed them intensely, mind.

Tuesday, 12 August 2014

1988 US Open Tennis

A look back this week on the final Grand Slam of the 1988 tennis season: the US Open. A tournament which saw the completion of Steffi Graf's glorious year, another win for Mats Wilander and Sweden, more British disappointment, a shock for Martina Navratilova, and the continued rise of Andre Agassi.

This completes my series on the 1988 Grand Slam tennis season:

Australian Open
French Open

Monday, 4 August 2014

1982 Challenge Cup final: Hull v Widnes

The Challenge Cup certainly owed Hull a thing or two come 1982. The club had last won the famous trophy in 1914 (in Halifax), but since then had lost five finals, including three at Wembley, giving strength to the ever growing impression that the team were suffering from a hoodoo when it came to the Twin Towers. Their last final defeat had been particularly galling - a 10-5 loss to bitter rivals Hull Kingston Rovers in 1980 - so as the 1982 final against Widnes approached, Hull had a lot of issues to resolve with the competition.

Wednesday, 30 July 2014

1986 US PGA: Bob Tway

The passing years since 1986 have probably not been too kind to Bob Tway. Think of him now and it is hard not to view him as a one-off winner of a major title, one of the merry band of brothers that includes the likes of Larry Mize, Scott Simpson, Paul Lawrie, Ian Baker-Finch, Jeff Sluman and Michael Campbell. Say the name Bob Tway, and golf fans will probably recall that bunker shot, and mention his name in the same category as Mize, a man who got lucky and eroded another piece of Greg Norman's spirit.