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100 GREATEST SPORTING MOMENTS

1936-1972   1973-1984   1985-1995   1996-2001

51. Dennis Taylor's black ball finish
29th April 1985, Crucible Theatre, Sheffield
Cue wagging of the finger, kissing of the trophy and brandishing of the snooker cue above the head like Friar Tuck demonstrating the finer arts of quarter staffing

52. McGuigan wins World Title and unites Ireland behind him
8th June 1985 - Loftus Road, London
At the height of the Troubles a unique Irish sporting success, celebrated by Unionists and Republicans alike

53. Becker wins Wimbledon aged 17
7th July 1985 - Centre Court, Wimbledon
…..And becomes the first unseeded champion in the tournament's history (the leaping German was actually five months younger than the teenager who won the Wimbledon Boys' Championship that year)

54. Europe win the Ryder Cup breaking the 28 year US winning streak
15th September 1985 - The Belfry
Sam Torrance sinks the winning putt to take the Ryder Cup out of America for the first time since 1957. 27,000 spectators go berserk and Concorde flies past to execute an unscheduled victory roll

55. Maradona's 'Hand of God' and brilliant second goal
22nd June 1986 - Azteca Stadium, Mexico City
The two sides of the flawed genius illustrated in the same game. For many Argentinians, it's the first handball goal that took the sails out of the Malvinas-stealing "pirates" that gives them the most joy

56. Nigel Mansell's blow out costs him the Formula One Championship
26th October 1986 - Australian Grand Prix, Adelaide
'And look at that! ... that is Nigel Mansell!' - Murray Walker
A flat tyre is a pain at the best of times, but this was ridiculous

57. Pat Cash wins Wimbledon and climbs through the stand
5th July 1987 - Centre Court, Wimbledon
Plain speaking Aussie cuts through All England Club stuffiness to share his moment of triumph

58. Eddie the Eagle goes over the top
19th February 1988 - Calgary
He soars briefly ……then plummets from a great height almost as if he actually was a short-sighted plasterer from Cheltenham and not an Olympic class sportsman at all

59. Drugged Ben Johnson breaks 100m record and becomes Olympic Champion
24th September 1988 - Seoul
…….Not for long, though……

60. Flo Jo wins Olympic 100m gold
September 24th 1988 - Seoul
Red, white, blue and gold painted finger nails raised skyward, Florence Griffiths-Joyner returns from virtual retirement to win the first of her 4 medals in the 1988 games

61. Desert Orchid wins the Gold Cup
16th March 1989 - Cheltenham
After five failures at Cheltenham the nation's favourite grey triumphs in a gutsy finish up the final slope

62. Michael Thomas's last minute goal wins the title for Arsenal
26th May 1989 - Anfield
"It's up for grabs now..." - Brian Moore
With seconds to play Thomas scores Arsenal's second to win the league title with the last kick of the season

63. Martina Navratilova wins 9th Wimbledon title
7th July 1990 - Centre Court, Wimbledon
…And breaks Helen Wills Moody's record for singles wins at the All England Club

64. Ireland reach World Cup Quarter finals
25th June 1990 - Genoa
Jack Charlton's collection of League journeymen beat Romania by penalty shoot-out courtesy of one of the few unquestionably Irish 'Irishmen' in the team, David O'Leary

65. Gazza's World Cup tears
4th July 1990 - Stadio delle Alpi, Turin
The young Gascoigne lunges into a tackle, gets the booking that meant he would have missed the World Cup final if England had got there and bursts into tears - and in so doing wins a new audience for football that changes the game in this country for ever

66. Britain overhaul USA in the 4 x 400m World Championships relay
1st September 1991 - Tokyo
Kriss Akabusi somehow overhauls the supposedly much faster (and certainly much smugger) Americans on the final leg

67. Linford Christie wins 100m gold
1st August 1992 - Barcelona
Eyes on stalks, arms outstretched, Christie becomes, at 32, the oldest man to win Olympic sprint gold

68. Derek Redmond's Dad helps his injured son finish the Olympic 400m Semi- Final
3rd August 1992 - Barcelona
With his son contorted in agony with a snapped hamstring, Derek's Dad helps him round the track in school sports day style so at least he can say he finished the race

69. Ayrton Senna's brilliant first lap of the European Grand Prix
11th April 1993 - European Grand Prix, Donington Park
One by one Senna picks off his rivals in a blistering burst of driving, unhampered by the pouring rain. By the end of the race almost the entire field lagged at least a lap behind him

70. Shane Warne's magic spinning first Ashes ball bowls Gatting
4th June 1993 - Old Trafford
No one really knew what to make of the chubby beach-blonde Warne as he stepped up for his first ball in Ashes cricket. Ten seconds later the ball had spun a foot and a half, a mystified Gatting was trudging pavilion-wards and England were in trouble

71. Brian Lara's 375
18th April 1994 - St John's, Antigua
It took nearly 13 hours to complete, broke Sir Gary Sobers' individual Test match batting record and was dedicated by Lara to the memory of his father

72. Devon Malcolm demolishes South Africa
20th August 1994 - The Oval
South African bowlers live to regret hitting erratic fast bowler Malcolm on the head when he was batting. "You guys are history" he growls and bowls out nine of them in an afternoon

73. Cantona's Kung Fu Kick
25th January 1995 - Selhurst Park
Cue sixth form-style philosophising on the subject of sea food and fishing vessels

74. Jonah Lomu beats England by himself
18th June 1995 - Rugby World Cup Semi-Final, Cape Town
England's lightweights bounce off man-mountain Lomu as he powers his way to four tries. England captain Will Carling's verdict - "He's a freak and the sooner he goes away the better"

75. Nelson Mandela wears a South African rugby shirt
24th June 1995 - Rugby World Cup Final - Ellis Park, Johannesburg
A moment of massive symbolic importance and forgiveness as President Mandela dons the green shirt of the once-hated Springboks

76. Rene Higuita's Scorpion Save
6th September 1995 - Wembley Stadium
Outrageous back flip save that provoked a hundred school boy injuries among those keen to emulate it on concrete school playgrounds