5 Sporting Highlights We Have Loved So Far in 2020
We aren’t even halfway through the year yet, and many sporting events have been postponed or cancelled, but there has still been a lot of memorable moments in sport so far in 2020. Below we pick out five of our favourite highlights, featuring the heart-warming, the quirky and some trailblazing moments.
Fallon Sherrock’s Trailblazing Performance (January)
Darts isn’t the first sport you would think of when it comes to the breaking of the glass ceiling; after all, there was uproar when the sport moved to ban the scantily-clad walk-on girls in 2018. So, it was all the more impressive when 25-year-old Milton Keynes woman, Fallon Sherrock, became the first woman to enter and subsequently win a match at the PDC World Championship. Sherrock’s performance – she was eliminated in the third round – will undoubtedly have inspired more women and girls to get into a game that has been famously macho. And, who knows? A future world champion may have been watching that performance at home.
The name Andy Reid might not be too well known in the south of England, but the Kansas City Chief’s coach deserves to have his story told. Reid was always known as a superb coach but had incredible misfortune, losing in the NFL playoffs 14 times down the years. In February, however, Reid let the Chiefs to Super Bowl glory, beating the San Francisco 49ers. Everyone not based in San Francisco was delighted for Reid, who has that kind of gentle avuncular quality you find with people like Roy Hodgson or John Candy. A perfect moment that saw the nice guy finish first.
The Virtual Grand National (April)
While those heading to Cheltenham Festival would have to worry about how to dress for the races, we had the luxury of watching the Virtual Grand National in our dressing gowns and pyjamas. Replacing the cancelled historic racing event was not going to be easy, but the software whiz kids really pulled off a dazzling event. Around five million people tuned in to watch Potters’ Corner storm to victory, and, as the race was a charity event with all losing bet donated by bookmakers, plenty of cash was raised for the NHS too. A brilliant stand-in, but perhaps a taste of the future, too.
Tyson Fury divides opinion, and we should not gloss over the fact that he has said some awful things in the past. However, the Manchester-born boxer has also been on something of a journey of self-reflection, becoming one of sport’s best spokespersons on mental health. Moreover, regardless of what you think of Fury’s antics, you cannot deny he is an entertainer par excellence in the ring. The Gypsy King was crowned WBC champion when beating Deontay Wilder in Las Vegas, and boxing fans can now look forward to an all-British showdown featuring Fury and Anthony Joshua in what promises to be the fight of the decade.
Andre Gomes Returns (February)
We tend to be cynical about footballers and football fans, but the reception that Andre Gomes received when making his return against Arsenal in February reminded us that the game still has a soul. Gomes suffered a horrific injury, sustaining a fracture-dislocation to the right ankle, four months previously, leaving players on the pitch visibly shaken at the time. However, Gomes made a super-speedy recovery, confounding doctors by returning just 16 weeks after suffering the career-threatening injury. The reaction from the fans on his return was tear-jerking.