Season of Sport

Jul 03,2018

Greatest Sporting Moments In History

It's set to be a spectacular season of sport and you've got a front-row seat to enjoy best of the action at our hotels – all you have to do is book our exclusive Season of Sports package.

With so many great sportsmen competing at the highest level, we are sure to witness some incredible moments of sporting history this year. But how can we forget about some of the great moments we’ve had in the past? Here are some of the best.

The Championships, Wimbledon

It was back in 1877 when the first Wimbledon took place in London and since the tournament has witnessed some incredible moments.

The Greatest Wimbledon Final

In 2008, the much anticipated face-off between Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer led to one that many would come to call the greatest – and most dramatic – finals in the history of tennis. During the match, their rivalry (you can call it ‘Fedal’, like the fans) came to a head when they battled for 4 hours and 48 minutes – the longest Wimbledon final in history. Nadal managed to snatch the title during the fifth set, ending the game at dusk. 

Sisterly Rivalry

Another match that saw tensions flying was when Serena and Venus Williams (boasting the most legendary sibling rivalry in tennis) came to fight it out on the Wimbledon courts in 2002. After Venus beat her in the semi-finals the year before, Serena clinched her first Wimbledon title following a tense final. Although the sisters appeared fierce on the court, Serena said “We’re sisters, bottom line” – what a power duo.

FIFA World Cup

A legend was born in 1930 when the Federation Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) organized the first World Cup, hosted in Uruguay. Ever since, FIFA World Cup has entertained fans every four years in June and July, except for 1942 and 1946, as a result of World War II. 

Game Of The Century

During the 1970 World Cup semi-finals in Mexico City, Italy and West Germany went head-to-head in what some people call the ‘game of the century’. As the full-time whistle approached, Italy was holding on to a meagre one goal lead over West Germany. With only one minute to spare, German left-back Karl-Heinz Schnellinger dashed into the penalty box and successfully struck an equalizer, forcing the game into extra time. What followed was an impressive succession of goals, bringing the score to 3-3. At this point, tensions were high, as the referee was on course to decide the victor with a coin toss. Fortunately for Italy, striker Roberto Boninsegna raced down the left flank and scored the winning goal, grabbing a place in the final against Brazil. Although the game was played almost half a century ago, it’s one of the great World Cup games that will stay in fans’ memories for years to come.

Hand Of God

In 1986, during the World Cup quarter-final between Argentina and England in Mexico City, one of the most controversial moments in football history shocked audiences around the world. Only six minutes into the second half, Steve Hodge (of England) kicked the ball high, defending the goal from Argentina’s strikers Diego Maradona and Jorge Valdano. In the flurry, Maradona leapt up over the England goalkeeper and appeared to punch the ball into the goal with his left fist. The referee claimed not to see the violation and the goal was allowed, much to the despair of England supporters. This incident is now referred to as the ‘hand of God’ after the (in)famous Argentinian player described his disputable goal as “a little bit with the head of Maradona and a little bit with the hand of God”. 

To stop such injustices happening ever again, FIFA introduced the Video Assisted Referee (“VAR”) system for the first time, this year. VAR has already helped referees reach more correct decisions, but it has also drawn criticism for being inconsistent and prone to mistakes. What would the World Cup be without a touch of contro–VAR-sy on the pitch?

British Open Championship

It was just another day in 1860 Scotland when the Golf Open Championship came to be. All it took was eight professional golfers playing three rounds of the Prestwick Golf Club’s 12-hole course in one day. Initially, the prizes included a £10 purse to be shared among the winner and runners up, as well as the ‘challenge belt’, which was awarded to the victor. Nowadays, the winner receives the Claret Jug and around £1.84 million after completing a 72-hole event. 

Barefoot Blowout

Jean van de Velde may not have emerged victorious during the 1999 British Open Championship, held in Angus, Scotland, but that doesn't mean that his round in the final was any less forgettable. The prodigal French golfer was on course to win, ahead by three shots on the final tee, until he scored a triple-bogey seven  – three strokes over a par 4 hole –  at the 18th hole. In fact, it went down in history as the worst golf meltdown, as shot after shot missed their mark. But the biggest surprise was when Van de Velde’ shot landed in the Barry Burn river, he took off his shoes and socks and hopped right in. Although his round shocked and entertained the viewers and commentators, he eventually lost out to Scottish Paul Lawrie.

An Emotional Final 

Since becoming a professional player when he was 20 years old, Tiger Woods’ name has dominated the golfing scene. However, it was his 2006 win that stays in so many people’s minds. Two short months after Woods’ father passed away, he made a vow to win the British Open Championship title for him – and he did, with an amazing final round on the unfamiliar course. After an impressive victory with a 67 and two-stroke win, he broke down in tears and dedicated his win to his father. That’s what you call a dramatic final.

Your Front-Row Seat To The Season Of Sports

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