2009 – My Sporting Highs & Lows

Well another year is over and we’ve welcomed 2010 in our own unique ways, and as the old saying goes ‘hasn’t it flown by?’

Well it certainly has flown by with some fantastic sports viewing to help along the way.

I thought I would take this opportunity to give you the pleasure of my sporting highs and sporting lows. Once you’ve had a read why not add yours to the comments section?

I shall begin with my 2009 sporting highs.

‘THE BARCA TREBLE’

It was the most amazing year for the Catalan club. The facts read, entered six tournaments, won six tournaments. They were a joy to watch and every aspect of their success was fully deserved.

The moments that stand out for me from their fantastic year are both unrelated to football.

Firstly, Lionel Messi celebrating being part of the first Spanish team to do the treble and getting slightly drunk.

Have a look at the video of it below.

The other of my favourite highlights, shows Barca coach, Pep Guardiola crying after the achievement of winning the sixth and final trophy had obviously finally hit home.

A moving moment and please take the time to see that the beautiful game still matter to many in the game as well as those outside the game.

‘THE TALENT DELIVERS’

It was a great year for British talent finally delivering at the highest level. The talents which I was extremely pleased to see deliver at the highest level, includes;

Tom Daley (World Diving Champion), Graeme Swann (2nd leading wicket taker in 2009), Jenson Button (Formula One World Champion) and Bradley Wiggins (4th in Tour de France)

But ultimately the greatest talent to have set the World alight has to be, Jessica Ennis (pictured below), who performed fantastically at the World Athletic Championships in Berlin back in August.

Winning the Hepthalon gold medal in the process was a fantastic achievement for the Sheffield born athlete.

Well done to all these talents, keep winning and keep entertaining in 2010.

‘MY CRICKETING DELIGHTS’

As many of you will already know, I am a huge cricket fan, I love the sport and I enjoyed 2009 more than any other year in cricket and that despite Yorkshire’s rivals, Durham winning the County Championship.

I had the fantastic opportunity to interview two cricketing greats, in Phil Tufnell and Jason Gillespie (both pictured below) at a Betfair challenge in Leeds. Just thought I would add that I have lost two stone in weight since this picture was taken!!

This was nicely sandwiched in between visits to two days play in the 2009 Ashes series.

The first was a wash-out at Edgbaston, but the second was a fantastic summers day at Headingley (pictured below), despite Australia out playing England on that day and in that test, it was a delight to watch The Ashes live.

Sadly with sport there always has to be lows and last year was no different to any other. Below are several of my sporting low points from 2009.

‘SIR BOBBY DIES’

It was always a going to be a case of when and not if with regard to the passing of a true footballing great and more importantly a true gentleman.

Sadly, Sir Bobby lost his long-suffering battle against Cancer in late July and he was a fantastic man who battled to the bitter end.

To have raised so much money for research and treatment into the horrific disease in his final months as well as his foundation raising sufficient funds to open a research centre at The Freeman Hospital in Newcastle, says more about the man than any footballing moments.

Thanks for the many memories, Sir Bobby, rest in peace.

‘BORO RELEGATED’

I couldn’t write this highs and lows blog without mentioning my teams demise.

Middlesbrough had a horrendous 2009, which had relegation thrown into the middle of the year. We sadly went down without putting up a fight and have ended the year as a mid-table Championship club whilst averaging under 20,000 in stadium attendances.

2010 has to be a better year for the club though as I write we are losing in the F.A. Cup to Manchester City, so may not!!

Fingers are firmly crossed.

‘GIANTS DENIED’

My final low has to be the Huddersfield Giants losing in the Rugby League Challenge Cup final to the Warrington Wolves (pictured below), at Wembley back in late August.

I had the pleasure of going to University in Huddersfield and think it is a lovely town with very nice people and a fantastic Rugby League club.

After over 50 years since the club last won a major trophy it would have been well deserved had they won the Challenge Cup.

Hopefully 2010 will be their year as they truly deserve it.

Well those are my sporting highs and lows of 2009, what were yours? Let me know.

Finally I want to end with some sporting wishes for the twelve months ahead in 2010.

  1. England to win the  football World Cup in South Africa
  2. Middlesbrough to be promoted to the Premier League
  3. Barcelona to retain all six trophies
  4. My bet to finally win the Grand National
  5. Huddersfield Giants to win the Challenge Cup
  6. Europe to regain the Ryder Cup in Wales in October
  7. Bradley Wiggins to win the Tour de France
  8. England to retain the ashes in Australia (also a 2011 wish)
  9. Great Britain to be successful at the winter Olympics in Vancouver, Canada
  10. Andy Murray to win a tennis major, preferably Wimbledon

Do you have any sporting wishes for the year ahead?

Let me know them and I hope they all come true, well, most of them.

Thanks for reading as usual.

Cheers.

Gaffers

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