I should point out, of course, that these are my twenty most memorable moments in sport from 2000-2009. They won’t be yours. But my goodness, there are some moments here that make those long winter nights in between worth persevering with.
20: David Beckham scores against Argentina from the penalty spot (2002)
A nation holds its breath. Could there be anything more dramatic, after the history between the teams and the player, than a penalty, by David Beckham, against Argentina, in the World Cup?
19: Rafael Nadal beats Roger Federer in the Wimbledon final after five hours (2008)
Has there ever been a better game of tennis? By the time this finished, past 9pm, it had become more than just who was the better tennis player. It was a matter of who was the most superhuman.
18: Inter Milan vs Ipswich Town in the UEFA Cup: a tie to remember (2000)
Town’s reward for the astonishing fifth-place Premiership finish in 2000-2001 was a UEFA Cup run which eventually ended at the hands of the mighty Inter Milan, but not before this 1-0 win at Portman Road.
17: James Anderson and Monty Panesar hang on for dear life to draw against the Aussies (2009)
See? Great sporting moments don’t have to be about winning. I love this amateur video above, which really shows the reaction from the crowd after the world’s worst batsman and his not-that-much-better mate batted out 12 overs to draw the First Test in the Ashes. Some further Googling will turn up Ricky Ponting trying not to be too grumpy afterwards.
16: Padraig Harrington wins The Open Championship – his first “major” (2007)
A really nice guy, and great to see an Irishman win the Open, but the real reason this got in was my totally speculative 25-1 bet on Padraig Harrington to win the tournament at the start of 2007. I still don’t know why I did it, but the winnings funded my sports betting for the next two and a half years.
More tomorrow folks!