Soccer – Greatest ‘Save’ Ever …

Posted on September 6, 2018. Filed under: Sports |

Wikipedia – 1970 World Cup …

Playing at pace, Brazil were putting England under enormous pressure. An attack was begun by Captain Carlos Alberto who sent a low ball down the right flank for the speedy Jairzinho.

The Brazilian winger sped past the Left-Back and crossed the ball into the six-yard box – where Pelé connected with a powerful downward header so as to make the Ball bounce over Banks and into the net.

Sure that his header was placed to perfection, Pelé immediately shouted “Gol!” (Brazilian Portuguese for goal).

The split-second allowed Banks one conscious thought – that the shot was impossible to catch – and the only way to prevent Pelé from following up on the rebound would be to parry the ball over the bar.

The ball bounced two yards in front of the goal-line, and Banks managed to make contact with the ball with the fingers of his right hand, and rolled his hand slightly to angle the ball over the crossbar.

Banks landed in the inner netting of the goal but knew he had saved the goal. Banks then rose to his feet to defend the corner – and broke into laughter after the following exchange:

I thought that was a sure goal.” (Pelé)
“Me too.” (Banks)
and – “You’re getting old, Banksy – You used to hold on to them.” – Bobby Moore.

Pelé and numerous journalists and pundits, would later describe the save as the greatest in the history of the game.

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Fitness Freak Army General …

Posted on August 12, 2018. Filed under: Personalities, Sports |

Maj Gen Vikram Dogra, 17 P00na Horse, is sure a Physically Fit Guy …. ..

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A Woman 80 Yrs Young !!! …

Posted on July 22, 2018. Filed under: Sports |

She drove a 20 yr old car from Cape Town to Cairo – telling Border Guards she was headed for London to have Tea with the Queen …

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Greatest Soccer Game Ever …

Posted on July 13, 2018. Filed under: Sports, The Germans |

Forget the Brazilians and the Argentinians – Pele and Maradona – the Greatest World Cup Final or any Soccer Game ever Played was the World Cup 1954 Final – Germany vs Hungary.

Hungary had hammered Germany 8 – 3 in a Game leading upto the Final. But Now

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Usain ‘Lightning’ Bolt – A Legendary Career Ends …

Posted on August 24, 2017. Filed under: Sports |

At the IAAF World Championships in London, it was for Usain ‘Lightning’ Bolt with his unique trademark winning pose, a heartbreaking end to an outstanding track and field career.

Running the final leg of the men’s 4×100 relay for Jamaica, Bolt failed to finish when a cramp in his left hamstring led him to pull up just after s teammate handed him the baton. Bolt collapsed on the track.

This is the first time since 2008 that a team other than Jamaica won the event at a major meet.

The eight-time Olympic gold medalist didn’t remain on the ground for long – with help he limped across the finish line and offered the crowd a tearful wave. Having run 23 championship races since 2008, this was only the fourth time Bolt failed to win.

And so now he is a legend ala ……

Bob Mathias. At 18 he won the Decathlon in London and was so exhausted in the mud and rain that he swore he would never come near a track and field ground. Yet come 1952 and there again he won. Sadly he was not allowed to compete in 56 because inadvertently he had broken the amateur rule.

Daley Thompson In 1984 and 88 equalled Mathias feat but could not make it for 92 due fitness problems.

Greg Louganis. He’s the only man to sweep the springboard and platform event at consecutive Olympics. He won four gold medals in all, though it is the gold he won after cracking his head on the springboard during the preliminary rounds in 1988 that everyone remembers most.

Al Oerter remains a Great winning the gold in four back to back Olympics.

For some reason Carl Lewis and Michael Phelps who won more Gold Medals than any, do not match the public adulation of those mentioned above – and of course Jesse Owens.

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The USAIN BOLT of 1936 …

Posted on October 31, 2016. Filed under: Sports |

The year was 1936.

Amidst the rise of the Nazi party and a growing feeling of Aryan supremacy, the greatest sport event on earth was held in Berlin. That was when the world witnessed the birth of a legend. .Jesse Owens won 4 gold medals despite facing extensive discrimination due to the    color of his skin..

Yhat isn’t the only good to come out of that dark Olympics. There is also the camaraderie shared by Owens and a German athlete, Luz Long. Luz was Owens’ competitor in the long jump but gave him tips on how to do better.

Indeed Jesse had fouled his first two attempts for the qualifying and as he stood worried before attempting his last jump to qualify for the competition, Long walked up to him and told him that he could qualify in his sleep. He asked him to place a kerchief a foot before the jump board and jump from there.

Jesse  Owens did just that and went on to win the gold. Luz won the silver and nothing could stop Luz from hugging and congratulating his friend in full view of the public and the thousands of Nazi sympathizers.

(Picture credits:

Luz later fought in WW2 and was killed, but not before writing his swan song, addressed to Owens. In his letter, you can feel his love for his comrade and the pangs of separation from his family.

This was one of the greatest moments in Olympic history – the forging of a beautiful friendship between two great athletes who were wonderful human beings.

Full transcript of the letter, courtesy the wonderful Letters of Note (emphasis added).

I am here, Jesse, where it seems there is only the dry sand and the wet blood. I do not fear so much for myself, my friend Jesse, I fear for my woman who is home, and my young son Karl, who has never really known his father.

My heart tells me, if I be honest with you, that this is the last letter I shall ever write. If it is so, I ask you something. It is a something so very important to me. It is you go to Germany when this war done, someday find my Karl, and tell him about his father.Tell him, Jesse, what times were like when we not separated by war. I am saying— tell him how things can be between men on this earth.

If you do this something for me, this thing that I need the most to know will be done, I do something for you, now. I tell you something I know you want to hear. And it is true.

That hour in Berlin when I first spoke to you, when you had your knee upon the ground, I knew that you were in prayer.

Then I not know how I know. Now I do. I know it is never by chance that we come together. I come to you that hour in 1936 for purpose more than der Berliner Olympiade.

And you, I believe, will read this letter, while it should not be possible to reach you ever, for purpose more even than our friendship.

I believe this shall come about because I think now that God will make it come about. This is what I have to tell you, Jesse.

I think I might believe in God.

And I pray to him that, even while it should not be possible for this to reach you ever, these words I write will still be read by you.

Your brother,


After the War Owens kept his promise, tracked down Karl, and was the best man at the wedding of the son of the man who wasn’t afraid to embrace him despite fear of persecution.

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Richie Benoud …

Posted on April 10, 2015. Filed under: Sports | Tags: , , |

Richie Benaud had taken over when Australian cricket was at a low ebb. His aggressive captaincy, daring approach and charismatic nature revitalized Australian cricket.

He showed all this and more in the 1960–61 Test series against the visiting West Indians under Frank Worrell, in which the First Test in Brisbane ended in the first tie in Test history.

This came about when Benaud and Alan Davidson rather than settling for a draw, decided to risk defeat and play attacking cricket – which took Australia to the brink of victory.

Australia had fallen to 6 for 92 on the final day while chasing a target of 233 with Benaud and Davidson at the crease. Australia’s chances of winning looked remote at tea when 6 for 109 with 124 runs still needed and only the tail enders left.

However Benaud told the chairman of selectors, the legendary Don Bradman, that he would still be going for an improbable victory.

Both Benoud and Davidson viewed attack as their most effective chance of survival and their attacking partnership took Australia to within sight of the target. Regular boundaries and quick singles took the score to 226 – a seventh-wicket partnership of 134.

Only seven runs were needed with four wickets in hand but time was running out. Benaud hit a ball into the covers and attempted a quick single but a direct hit from Joe Solomon saw Davidson run out.

Australia needed six runs from the final over in which Benaud was caught and the last two wickets fell to run outs while gaining the equalizing run.

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For Horse Lovers …

Posted on January 18, 2013. Filed under: Sports |


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Greatest Boxer Ever – Sugar ‘Ray’ Robinson …

Posted on June 21, 2012. Filed under: Sports |

Sugar Ray Robinson, a busy middle weight, was the brightest star in the Boxing World for over a Quarter Century from 1940 to 1965. No one before or since has ever come to match his boxing prowess.

When he finally retired, he was honored in singular fashion. On Dec 10, 1965 the Boxing world held a unique function in his honor in Madison Square Garden, the scene of many of his most famous fights.

He once again appeared in the Ring – in boxing attire – along with four of his famed opponents, all House of Fame Fighters from whom he had regained the World Title. Each stood in each corner. The fifth, Jake La Motta, whom Robinson fought a record six times – losing once – could not make it. Robinson had regained the middle weight crown from all five of them. He received  a standing ovation from the enthusiastic audience as he once again danced and bowed to one and all!

His record in near 200 fights stands at 173 wins, 19 losses and some no contests or draws. His wins had 108 knock outs, which ranks him among the all-time leaders in knock outs.

In the less active but more knock out prone heavy weight division, Mohammad Ali’s record is 56 wins (37 knock outs), 5 Losses. And Joe Louis record is 66 wins (52 knock outs) with 3 Losses.

Robinson’s 25 year reign saw Joe Louis, Ezzard Charles, Joe Walcott, Rocky Marciano, Floyd Patterson, Ingemar Johanson, Sony Liston and Mohamad Ali hold the Heavy Weight Crown.

Muhammad Ali, who always said he himself was the ‘Greatest’, rated Sugar Ray Robinson the greatest boxer of all time. He said of him, “The King, The Master, My Idol!” 

Other ‘Hall of Fame’ fighters like Joe Louis, the Brown Bomber, Jack Dempsey, Gene Tunney and Sugar Ray Leonard, all rated Robinson the greatest fighter ever.

Joe Luis was seven years his senior and Robinson revered him. For vicious punching power, Robinson matched the Bomber and for foot work he was as classy as Clay. Robinson’s forte was his lightning fast yet lethal jabs, which helped soften up an opponent and also kept Robinson away from danger.

Sugar Ray was a fluid boxer who  possessed stinging power in both hands. In 1951 Time Magazine wrote, “Robinson’s repertoire, thrown with equal speed and power by either hand, includes every standard punch and a few he makes up on the spur of the moment. He possesses tremendous versatility”.

According to boxing analysts, “Robinson could deliver a knockout blow going backward!” Robinson said that once a fighter gained a certain amount of skill, his boxing technique became reflexive. “You don’t think. It’s all instinct. If you stop to think, you’re gone”. 

And, “Rhythm is everything. Every move you make starts with your heart and that should be in rhythm or you’re in trouble!”

Jake LaMotta, another Hall of Fame boxer about whom Martin Sorcese made his famed film, ‘Raging Bull’, fought Robinson a record six times – winning once – said, “He was the Greatest pound for pound fighter who ever lived. No Question about it!” And, “I fought Sugar Ray so often, I almost got diabetes.”

Robinson gave LaMotta his first knock out loss in Lamotta’s 95 professional bouts. Robinson also defeated Hall of Fame fighters such as Carmen Basilio, Gene Fullmer, Randy Turpin, Carl Bobo Olson, Henry Armstrong, Rocky Graziano and Kid Gavilan.

Tall, lissome, Robinson was a handsome, engaging and debonair with exceptional grace and elegance. After he retired he, somewhat shakily, tried his hand at Professional Tap Dancing. As a famed boxer with his style and sporting fame, he was much adored in France. He was the first sportsman who traveled with an entourage.

Yes Sugar Ray Robinson remains a much admired and recognized Sportsman. But yet there was ‘Something’ lacking in him which would have ranked him with the All Time Legends – ala the Babe Ruths, Joe DiMaggios and Don Bradmans of Sport.

Sadly it was in the all too frail Graciousness that this greatest of boxers did not quite measure up!

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Greatest Batsman Ever – Donald Bradman …

Posted on April 22, 2011. Filed under: Personalities, Sports |

Did you know that in Cricket the first Testical Guard was adopted way back in 1874. It took a whole hundred years before the Cricket World adopted, in 1974, the Helmet!

Early this month India won the Cricket World Cup and the euphoria has been unending. Sachin is the God of Cricket! But yesterday there was Gavaskar and before that P0lly Umrigar and Vinoo Mankad. There were Clive Lloyd, Viv Richards and Sir Garfield Sobers, the Three Ws – the list is endless.

About time we had  a look at the Greatest of them all –  Sir Donald Bradman (1908 –  2001). Mind you the Second War robbed him of some seven years of  play – and that when he was at his most prolific!

Standing five foot seven, Don Bradman was the most prolific run getter of all time – a veritable run making machine. In the team he was not a popular figure. His dynamic batting contrasted sharply with his aloof, quiet, solitary off-field demeanor. And he was the most reluctant of heroes.

Intensely private – even reclusive. At least initially he received less from the Cricket World compared to the  adulation he received from the public. Such hero worship embarrassed him no end.

In his first class debut at 19 he scored a century and did the same in his second Test. His style featured his trademark of supreme confidence,  fast foot work and rapid scoring.

In the initial First Class Season he hit his first triple century of 340 not out and averaged 93.88. In the next season he hit 452, a world record and averaged 113.28.

In the last Test of his first Ashes series Australian lost by 12 runs when he was last man to be out – a run out. Such was his remorse that never again in his entire Test career did he ever get himself run out. And to minimize the chances of his being caught, he always kept the ball low; hitting sixes was not favored.

In 1930 England were favorites to retain the Ashes. The first Test saw him make 131 but his team lost. In the Second his 254 helped level the series. The third Test saw him score a century before lunch and  two more  before end of play. He remains the only player to pass 300 in a day. His 334 became a world-record.

In the deciding Test he made 232 and Australia regained the Ashes.  He had scored 974 runs at an average of 139.14 with two double hundreds and a triple hundred!

Against the West Indians he made 223 in 297 mins and 152 in 154 mins. Against the South Africans he made 226 in 277 mins, 112 in 155 mins, and 167 in 183 mins.

His overall scoring rate was 42 runs per hour with 38.5% being scored in boundaries. Significantly, he had not hit a Six which typified his attitude of keeping the ball on the ground.

His youth and natural fitness allowed him to adopt a machine like approach to batting. A fast bowler said bowling to him was heart-breaking – what with him not even perspiring and with the ghost of a grin playing on his face.

Before the 1932 Ashes Series, the English Papers screamed, “It is almost time to request a legal limit on the number of runs Bradman should be allowed to make!”

The response was more sinister when the dour, diabolic, Mumbai’s Malabar Hill born, Douglas Jardine was made  Captain. Jardine settled on five pace men and devised what came to be known as Body Line, with fast bowling consistently aimed at the leg stump and delivered short so as to rise and hit the body of the batsman. There was a cordon of six fielders on the leg side to catch any thing that the batsman hit.

Bodyline was specially prepared, nurtured and expended on Bradman. In the event it plucked something vibrant from his art.

Bradman missed the first Test but in the second, he was bowled first ball for a duck. The leg side delivery had failed to rise and Bradman drew the ball onto his leg stump. In the second innings he hit a century.

Thereafter he developed his own tactic and much to the dismay of cricket lovers began to hit the ball as if it were a tennis or golf ball so as to place it in the large open vacant spaces. His series average dropped to 56.57 .

Despite loud and persistent calls for the Australian team to repay in kind, their Captain steadfastly refused to adopt Bodyline despite being injured himself. There were others injured too – one of whom had his skull fractured. The Aussie Captain maintained that there were two teams but only one was playing cricket.

Australia strongly appealed to the English to play like  sportsmen. The English hierarchy refused to halt the intimidatory tactic and relations between the countries became tense. Even trade was effected.

However when Bodyline was used in England against the West Indians, they returned the compliment in kind and injured Jardine himself.

The English public had now seen first hand, for the first time, what Body line really was and they booed and deplored the tactic thereby forcing the establishment to shy away.

There were many in the English side too (including their star bowler Harold Larwood), who were against it.  Indeed the Nawab of Pataudi (Actor Saif Ali Khan’s Grand Pa) playing for the MCC, refused to field in the leg trap and Jardine taunted him a ‘conscientious objector.’

Forced by public opinion, the cricket establishment in England began to give it a wide berth. Jardine saw the writing on the wall and announced his non availability thereby saving himself the ignominy of being sacked.

For the initial part of the next -1934 – tour Bradman suffered from ill health though he started with a double century. He seemed to have lost his touch as he batted with total disregard for anything defensive and was often out to wild strokes. He went 13  innings without a century – the longest such spell of his career.

He then found his touch and in the third Test made 140, with the last 90 runs coming in just 45 minutes. In the next Test he batted all day before finally being out for 304 off 473 balls.

In the first innings of the next Test Bradman made 244 off 271 balls and for the fourth time in five series, the Ashes changed hands. England would not recover them again until after Bradman’s retirement.

In the 1936/37 Ashes as Captain, Bradman with two ducks lost the first two Tests. In the Third Test, battling influenza and coming at No 7 he made 270 off 375 balls. Wisden rated this performance as the best Test match innings of all time.

His patient second innings of 212 from 395 balls helped level the series. In the series deciding Fifth Test, Bradman returned to his aggressive style and top scored with 169 (off 191 balls) and Australia won by an innings.

During the 1938 tour of England, Bradman played the most consistent cricket of his career. Playing 26 innings, he recorded 13 centuries and in scoring 2,429 runs achieved an average of 115.66.

In the First Test Bradman secured a draw with a patient 144 not out. He played a similar innings of 102 not out in the next Test as Australia again struggled to draw. Rain washed out the third Test but in the next Test he scored 103 out of a total of 242 having accepted to bat in poor light.

The euphoria of securing the Ashes preceded Australia’s worst ever defeat when England amassed a world record of 7/903 with Len Hutton scoring his 364. With Bradman and another batsman  injured and unable to bat, Australia were thrashed by an innings and 579 runs – which remains the largest margin in Test cricket history.

Despite the pressure of captaincy, Bradman’s batting form remained supreme. The experienced mature batting of the ‘Don’ had replaced the blitzing of the ‘Boy from Bowral’.

In 1938–39, in Australia he made centuries in six consecutive innings and totalled 21 centuries in 34 innings.

The 1939–40 season was Bradman’s most productive ever with 1,448 runs at an average of 144.8 and with three double centuries. However, it was the end of an era as the outbreak of World War Two led to the indefinite postponement of all cricket tours.

Surprisingly, in light of his batting prowess, a routine army test revealed that Bradman suffered from poor eyesight.

In the 1946 Test Series after the War, Bradman regained his finest pre-war form in making 187, followed by 234 during the Second Test despite serious health and fitness problems. In the remainder of the series, he made three half-centuries in six innings, but remained the leading batsman on either side with an average of 97.14.

Against India in Australia, he made 172 and in the five Tests scored 715 runs at an average of 178.75.

His last double century in Australia was in Adelaide where he announced that he would retire after the next England tour.

For the 1948 tour, Australia had one of the Great Teams of Cricket History. Bradman had made it known that he wanted to go through the tour unbeaten – a feat never accomplished before or since.

Spectators were drawn to the matches knowing that it would be their last opportunity to see Bradman in action.

Often, especially at the start of the innings, due to his vision problems, Bradman played where the ball wasn’t and spectators rubbed their eyes!

Yet despite his waning powers, Bradman compiled 11 centuries, amassing 2,428 runs (average 89.92). His highest score was 187 when Australia compiled a world record of 721 runs in a day.

In the Fourth Test, England set Australia a world record 404 runs to win in 345 minutes on a heavily worn wicket. In partnership with Arthur Morris’ 182, Bradman reeled off 173 not out and the match was won with 15 minutes to spare. The victory was called the finest ever in its conquest of seemingly insuperable odds!

In the Final Test at The Oval, Bradman walked out to bat in Australia’s first innings. He received a standing ovation from the crowd and three cheers from the opposition.

His Test batting average stood at 101.39. Bradman facing his second ball, tried to push it forward but was deceived by the googly and bowled between bat and pad, for a duck.

An England batting collapse resulted in an innings victory and denied Bradman the opportunity to bat again.

Thus his career average finished at 99.94. If he had scored four runs in his last innings, it would have been a picture perfect 100.

The Australian team won the Ashes 4–0, completing the tour unbeaten and entered History as ‘The Invincibles’.

With Bradman retired from professional cricket an English Newspaper wrote,

A legend has been removed from among us. Such must have been the feeling when Rome heard of the passing away of Hannibal“.

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