In part 1 we covered the 10th best to the 6th bets sportsmanship moments which included tennis, ice-hockey, boxing, weightlifting and athletics. Now we announce the Top 5, starting with football….
5. A Sombre Yet Beautiful Football Moment
And it’s not World Cup 2014 (which had so many wonderful moments of sportsmanship like Ghana’s goal celebration when they shocked the world by taking a 2-1 lead against Germany, or the graciousness of Brazilian fans – see World Cup Sportsmanship Moments here).
The number 5 moment of 2014 great sportsmanship is a little more sombre, in fact, sad but beautiful… and a real demonstration of the brotherhood of football. April 2014 was the 25th anniversary of the 96 Liverpool fans who died in the tragic Hillsborough crush in 1989. The brotherhood of football came together to pay its respects.
So many other clubs sent messages, tweets and posts, other clubs displayed posters and banners including their closest rivals and neighbours, Everton FC (with their manager Martinez making a wonderful speech), Nottingham Forest, Manchester City, Barcelona, Borussia Dortmund and many more. Borussia’s 80,000 crowd gave a spine tingling rendition of ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’ – watch this spine tingling rendition of YNWA. The brotherhood of football shares the pain and sadness.
4. Rugby Beating Adversity
Lindsay Hilton is a truly extraordinary inspirational Canadian rugby player. She is limbless. Yes a limbless rugby player who inspires others. Lindsay is a quadruple amputee and she plays scrum half for her women’s rugby club, Halifax Towers. You just have to see the video of this woman because I cannot describe, and you cannot imagine, what this would be like.
So when you feel a bit down or thinking ‘maybe I’ll give training or the game a miss’. Don’t miss it. Think of Lindsay who is determined to play despite the extreme challenges she faces every time.
3. Afghanistan Rugby
With WRC 2015 upon us and many sportsmanship moments like the All Blacks insisting their players remain grounded by cleaning their own dressing rooms or the lovely moment when English rugby international hooker, Tom Youngs (Leicester), tweeted to Northampton’s monster prop, Salesi Maafu (who had punched Youngs in the face), ‘good shot mate, go well in the final’ (after Maafu apologised on twitter & offered to buy him a pint). Great sportsmanship moments – no moaning nor whining just getting on with it. However, the top rugby sportsmanship moment and, our overall 3rd best moment of 2014 was another group of rugby players, on the other side of the world, the Afghanistan Rugby Federation.
The Afghanistan Rugby Federation’s goals are:
‘to replace guns with rugby balls,
resistance fighters with sportsmen
to use rugby union to unite a nation that has been devastated by war’
The Afghan senior men’s 7s team got the final in West Asia 7s. The kids love it. The girls love it. The guys love it. The ARF is simply amazing. They need support too. So their ongoing commitment to play rugby is testimony to the original principles of Olympism founded by the Ancient Greeks: ‘to educate man in both mind and body ….. to compete in sport rather than war….to make new friends…… (see our 4 minute Olympism video). We salute all Afghans playing rugby.
2. Golf – American Golfer Disqualifies Himself
In 2nd place, is a young American golfer called Jason Millard. In June of this year, his dream came true. He qualified to play in the lucrative US Open. But five days later he disqualified himself because he thought he might have played a foul shot.
Touching the sand in the bunker before hitting the ball is a penalty. He thought he might have. When he asked his playing partner and the officials they all said that he didn’t and that he was ok . But young Jason said: “I didn’t see anything for sure but I felt something and I saw a small indentation. I was actually in the act of making my swing when I thought I saw it. It was like a blur. That image keeps popping in my head. I really don’t know 100 per cent, but I couldn’t find peace about it. For five days I practised and I couldn’t get it off my mind. I thought about it every single second of the day. It ate away inside of me.”
After five days of soul-searching, Millard rang the United States Golf Association and called the penalty on himself, believing that he “may” have inadvertently broken the rules while playing his third shot on the 18th hole of Colonial Country Club’s North Course – his 27th hole of the day.
What is even more, remarkable is that he is still not even sure that he committed a penalty at all. But his sporting integrity and honour is such that he didn’t want to risk his honour and integrity and so he effectively disqualified himself and withdrew from the big time & fulfilling his golfing dream. Remember the name, Jason Millard, we wish him well in 2015.
1. Snooker’s Snooker Beats Finalist But Delivers Winner Of 2014 Sportsmanship Moments
Here it is, the number one sportsmanship moment of 2014. The UK Championship final between young Judd Trump & the great, now 5 times winner, Ronnie O’Sullivan, just a few weeks ago in December was, what many are saying, the greatest snooker final ever.
Judd Trump came back from 9-4 down to 9-9 making breaks of 120 and 127 to level the contest. But Trump was finally lured into playing a foul, from an O’Sullivan snooker in the last frame & O’Sullivan went on to win 10-9. The number one sportsmanship moment came seconds later and it lasted for several minutes. When Judd Trump stood up and conceded the final frame to O’Sullivan….
Trump wasn’t distraught, he seemed elated with the high level of intense competitive ….. Trump shook hands with O’Sullivan and unveiled a real warm smile as he spoke, for several minutes with O’Sullivan at the end. As they talked, his big smile demonstrated great dignity in defeat and real comradery. Technically Judd lost but, in reality, he demonstrated what’s important in sport , regardless of the result, give it your very best & never ever forget to enjoy the battle and enjoy the moment (& Judd Trump did just that). Congrats to Judd Trump – winning the Great Sportsmanship Moment of 2014.
Read also PART 1 : Top 10 Sportsmanship Moments (nos. 10 – 6).
Here is the full interview from the Phil Parry Show on BBC Radio London 97.9FM (including the unedited, low volume, pre-amble!).
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