Crio’s Q: Your favourite sporting year

I’ve had cause of late to remember 1984.

I think it is my favourite year – at least for sporting memories.

It’s the year I first experienced an English summer and the chance to join the sporting feasts only dreamed of from afar.

Consider:

At Lord’s I witnessed Gordon Greenidge’s finest knock as he pounded England for 214* and victory. http://www.flickr.com/photos/36394744@N02/3381130599/

At St Andrew’s we traipsed around every day of Seve’s epic Open. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=30comFnFZOs

At Newmarket the July Cup gathered a cracking field yet Chief Singer stamped his class over them. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F3hNqKW76NQ

At Stamford Bridge we saw Chelsea charge to a Second Division Championship in the year that Platini revealed to me the joys of soccer genius.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qza4Gn05DRQ

Of course there was Wimbledon and Twickenham and Wembley and Ascot and Aintree and all of those parts of a sporting pilgrimage.

I was lucky. It was a vintage year. Each of these events were extraordinary; combined they’ve provided me lifelong happy memories of 1984 – my favourite year.

Comments

  1. Also, Australia won the Rugby Yawnion UK Grand Slam in 1984.

  2. John Butler says:

    Crio, I’d nominate 1987 as my personal highlight year.

    Similar to you, I was travelling around Britain.

    Played St Andrews. Went to the ‘Battle of Britain’ at the Oval. Watched Liverpool at Anfield (and survived).

    And on a cold night in a camp ground in Carlisle, watched the Blues beat the Hawks in 30 degree heat to win the flag.

  3. Mic Rees says:

    Mr Crio – 1984

    Good – Some terrific performances from the Dogs in Mick’s first year as coach

    Bad – Cubs fail to advance to the WS after leading Padres 2-0 in the 5 game NLCS

    Ugly – Warwick Irwin becomes first coach in a dozen years to fail to take Port to the finals.

    MCR

  4. Good year ’84. I was born.

    I’d have to say 2007.
    Cats flag
    Aussie’s winning back Ashes (Adelaide Oval in ’06 counts right?)
    Jimmy winning Charlie
    Cadel 2nd in the Tour
    Cats flag
    Year of the Cat all round.

    Did I mention Geelong won the flag?

  5. Phantom says:

    September 490 BC.

    Pheidippides ran the first marathon.

  6. John Butler says:

    Phantom, did you happen to come 2nd?

  7. Phantom says:

    No JB, being a person of Cat like committment and ferocity I stayed on to clean up the scraps.

  8. Tony,
    I saw those feted 1984 Wallabies play London Counties at Twickers…one of the few sporting lowlights of the summer. a dreadful match, it very likely put me off the game ever since. That side, though, had some star names with the Ellas and Campese amongst them.

  9. Dave Goodwin says:

    A personal favourite of mine was 1980, my Grade 12 year. This is because of one amazing memorable long weekend in July. I was picked to play for Darling Downs and Southwest Queensland in the State schoolboy soccer championships which were in Mareeba in Far North Queensland. I was billeted solo with a lovely hospitable family of Atherton Tableland tobacco farmers, elderly chap and his wife, Italian origin and spoke not one word of English. They had a TV though. On the Sunday night starting about midnight, all alone, I watched the epic Borg v McEnroe final (the one with the enormous tiebreaker in the 4th set before my boy Borg finally prevailed with teh most nerveless passing shots you ever saw). Then the Monday night at midnight it was Sugar Ray Leonard v Roberto Duran #1, still the most exciting fight I’ve ever seen. And then on the Tuesday we played FNQ who starred local boy Frank Farina in attacking midfield and we got taken apart 4-1. I was in midfield for us so I had a hand in marking him. I was Carrick and he was Messi.
    However the ‘no contest’ winner of your question about ‘best year ever’ for sport has to be 1999. The secene setter for another great (Olympic) year in 2000. Australia beat South Africa in the semi-final of the Cricket World Cup with the Lance Klusener moments, then took the final. Also in cricket, we had the Gilchrist-Langer partnership in the test in Hobart to beat a good Pakistan side – it defined an era and has there ever been a better partnership? Australia won the World Cup Rugby. Lance Armstrong took his first Tour de France. Hicham El Guerrouj took the 1500 world record to 3.43. Andre Agassi and Steffi Graf were the champions at Roland Garros. Shane Crawford wins the Brownlow and the Kangaroos playing a great brand of footy wipe Carlton in the granny. And most memorably of all, Manchester United got their 2 goals in injury time to beat Bayern Munich 2-1. The only downside I can recall is that all this inclined John Howard to don that yellow tracksuit which he never took off (he used to wear it under the suit in question time).

  10. That’s the stuff Dave!
    Bet you relived 1980 as you typed?
    A great year indeed.

    2000 has fair cred but mine is a personal experience. Not many of those moments resonate strongly with me.

  11. Adam Muyt says:

    All the years Fitzroy hung in were fabulous, up until the middle of the 1994 season. Then an inevitable doom started to settle over the Roys. The rest is history.
    1986 was probably the best of those fabo years, when the Roys had to win a stack of games to make it into the Five. Elimination Final, a one point win in the wet at Waverely over the reigning premiers, Essendon (thanks Micky Conlon for the memories!) followed by a five point pipping of the Swans at the ‘G the following week. At that point I started to think seriously about the BIG SILVER CUP – reality dawned the next week in the Prelim against the Hawks. Ah well, it was a great ride while it lasted.

    2001 was wonderful from a sporting perspective; it kept me sane and happy after my personal life turned turtle. Lions unbeaten from Round 10, through the rest of the home-and-away, then onto Granee Day and sheer, bloody joy. 2002 wasn’t a bad season either but the Grand Final was torture. And yes, Pie-people, Rocca’s behind was a goal – I was right behind it. Tough!!!!! :) 2003 was fantastic, concluding with a beautiful beat up of a meek-and-mild creampuffed Pies in the Grand Final.

  12. Ben Footner says:

    If memory serves me correctly 1998 was very memorable for South Australian sport. Besides Adelaide’s premiership, the 36’ers won the NBL Championship and the Thunderbirds the netball. Far from the current situation that’s for sure!

  13. Alovesupreme says:

    I’ve given this a lot of thought, Crio, because I don’t have an obvious standout year. I haven’t (yet) seen any big international event, and barely any interstate. So spectator memories for me are (boringly) about Grand Finals, although I did make it to Makybe Diva’s 3rd Melbourne Cup.

    So what has made my year’s special have been personal achievements and experiences in what I stress has been a very modest sporting career.

    1963: I played on several VFL grounds, Victoria Park, Brunswick Street (where I’ve more recently umpired), Western (Whitten) Oval, Glenferrie, Punt Road, Junction Oval, and memorably a quarter on the MCG. I was 19th man (pre-interchange) and that probably ranked me too highly. I also watched my brother play on the MCG, and a few weeks later saw my first VFL GF – the Geelong win over Hawthorn that has been so feted last week.

    I do think this is a marvellous idea for a topic. There’s a fine book edited by Nick Hornby, which collects various fans’ reminiscences of their best year as a football supporter.
    For me, that’s probably 1982, with 1995 as runner-up

  14. Alovesupreme says:

    Adam,
    I meant to respond to your reference to the 1986 Finals Series. My mother was fanatically Fitzroy, and continued traipsing after them on public transport as their nomadic existence took her to Junction Oval, Princes’ Park, Victoria Park, and in their death throes to Whitten Oval. She was there for the inaugural match at Waverley, and the penultimate game against Richmond at the MCG.
    I still think that those few weeks in 1986 were just about the best days of her life, which ended (at 96) last year. Unlike you and many others, she was never reconciled to the Brisbane take-over, so she didn’t find pleasure in 2001.

  15. I made a 100 for North Pilbara in the 1984 WA country Week C-grade grand final against Yilgarn, which we won.

  16. Dave Nadel says:

    I really need two years to answer this question Crio. Obviously as a Magpie fanatic 1990 was my best football year. Collingwood’s Finals Series last year was more triumphant and possibly better football but it doesn’t compare with breaking a drought that you have waited 32 years to break.

    Not much of great sporting interest occurred in 1990, but 1989 had been something else. First there was the Ashes in England. I watched a lot of late night TV as “the worst side Australia has sent to England for years” proceeded to win the Ashes 4-0 and commence a winning streak that last for 16 years.

    Later in the year the Oakland A’s won the World series. It is probably the last they will win unless Major League Baseball brings in a Salary Cap. The As actually played in the the 1988 and 1990 World Series matches as well but lost both. This was because they really only had two champion starting pitchers and to win a World Series you need four. Except in 1989, when the Series between Oakland and the San Francisco Giants was interrupted by an earthquake before Game Three. This led to a ten day postponement of the Match. As a result, Dave Stewart and Mike Moore, who had pitched in Games one and Two, were available to pitch in Games Three and Four. As a result The As won the series 4-0.

    So in about 16 months I had seen my (national) cricket team win the Ashes against the predictions of the English cricket scribes, my Baseball team win a World Series that they probably shouldn’t have won and my footy team win a long awaited Flag.

    1989-90 was very good sporting year(s)

  17. Yeah, the Hornby edited book has some great stories – personal reminiscences. Its not a tick box comp. 1984 just all fell in to place for me.
    1973 = Bays flag
    1982 = Kingston Town’s Cox Plate

    dates are triggers

  18. Brother David says:

    1986 – won our first footy flag in the Adelaide ammos A6 with the Lutherans and our punting club made enough cash to put on a keg at our house (rental full of drop out uni students) Lanavon at Morphetteville – go you good thing.
    I also enjoyed all those years prior to 1990 when Collingwood lost grandfinals.

  19. Ramon Dobb says:

    1990!!!!! By the length of the Flemington straight.

    Played in my first (and only) A Grade Cricket Flag (and made a few runs) in March.

    Watched my first Mighty Pies premiership win in September.

    Doesn’t get any better than that.

  20. each to their own!

  21. Ramon Dobb says:

    Ooops, make that October!

  22. budge58 says:

    1985 is it for me. Premierships for Glenelg and the Bombers. Saw Law Society win the Irish Derby at the Curragh and also Rainbow Quest win the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe on protest over local favourite Sagace. Also remember watching Boris Becker win his 1st Wimbledon from a pub in Ireland and got to several games at Stamford Bridge and other London venues and cricket at Lord’s.

  23. 1983

    Man Utd won the FA Cup and I was at each of their games in that years Cup run. Magic.

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