Cultural events; sports and games
Olympic Games - see appendix 1.1 below
Football – see appendix 1.2 below
Cricket – see appendix 1.3 below
2013, Annual attendance at Britain’s dog racing tracks had fallen to 2 million. In 1960 it was 16 million, down to 4 million in 1993 and 3 million in 2006. The number of tracks in Britain has fallen from 64 in 1960 to 25 in 2013. In 1961 dog racing tracks lost their betting monopoly when UK Parliament allowed betting shops to open, for the first time since the 19th century. The rise of TV and the Internet also eroded attendance.
16/8/2008, The dog racing track at Walthamstow, London, held its last meeting. This left Wimbledon as the last dog racing track in the London area.
17/1/2008, Bobby Fisher, American world chess champion, died aged 64.
19/5/2007, In London, the new Wembley Stadium was officially opened.
30/9/1991, At the first World Scrabble Championship, held in London, Peter Morris, representing the US, won the first prize of US$10,000. He scored 86 for ‘inhaler’.
7/7/1990, Martina Navratilova beat Zina Garrison to win a record 9th Wimbledon women’s singles.
26/9/1988. The Canadian sprinter Ben Johnson flew home from the Seoul Olympics in disgrace after being stripped of his 100m medal after failing a drugs test. He had run the 100m 2 days earlier in a record time of 9.79 seconds but was found to have taken steroids. Afterwards Ben Johnson divided his time between his family in Toronto and acting as personal bodyguard for Libya’s Colonel Gaddafi.
23/3/1988, Jason Kenny, British cyclist, was born.
11/3/1988, Katsuhiko Nakajima, Japanese professional wrestler, was born.
19/12/1987, Gary Kasparov took the world chess title, defeating fellow Russian Anatoly Karpov.
7/3/1987, Indian batsman Sunil Gavaskar became the first to scored 10,000 runs in Test Cricket.
18/3/1984, The Oxford and Cambridge boat race was run on a Sunday for the first time. The day before, the race had been abandoned because the Cambridge boat had been damaged in a collision.
4/7/1982, The men’s finals of Wimbledon were scheduled for a Sunday for the first time. Jimmy Connors beat his fellow-American John McEnroe.
29/3/1981. The first London Marathon was run, with 6,700 competitors; the Norwegian, Inge Simonsen, won.
31/3/1980, The Black American athlete Jesse Owens died, aged 67. He won 4 medals at the 1936 ‘Aryan’ Olympics in Germany, enraging Hitler, who refused to shake Owens’ hand.
21/3/1980, The US announced it would boycott the 1980 Summer Olympics in Moscow. On 24/3/1980 the Australian Olympic Commission announced it would send a team to Moscow, despite objections by the Prime Minister, Malcolm Fraser.
25/3/1978, In the Oxford-Cambridge boat
2/4/1977, Red Rum became the first horse ever to win three Grand Nationals.
4/10/1974, The American, David Kunst, completed the first round the world trip on foot, 14,450 miles, having started in 1970.
6/9/1974. The stuntman Evel Knievel, a 34 year old former salesman,
failed in his attempt to fly a rocket across the
10/5/1974, Anatoly Karpov defeated Boris Spassky to become world chess champion.
17/6/1969, Boris Spassky became world chess champion when he beat Tigran Petrosian.
14/6/1969, Steffi Graf, tennis champion, was born.
5/5/1964, Heike Henkel, German athlete, was born in Kiel.
2/8/1960, The Continental League, proposed as a third major league for baseball, came to an end after CL President Branch Rickey and co-founder William Shea concluded a meeting in Chicago with representatives of the National League and American League.
29/9/1956, Sebastian Coe, British international athlete, was born in Chiswick,
6/5/1954, Roger Bannister, 25 years old, ran the first mile in under four minutes in 3 minutes 59.4 seconds, on the Iffley Road track in Oxford. The previous record, 4 minutes 1.3 seconds, had stood since 1945. In September 1993 Algerian athlete Noureddine Morceli ran a mile in 3 minutes 44.39 seconds, currently the world record.
1/6/1953. Gordon Richards became the first jockey to be knighted.
28/3/1953, James Francis Thorpe, athlete, died.
5/3/1953. Sergei Prokofiev, Russian composer, died.
23/5/1951, Anatoly Karpov, Russian world chess champion in 1975, was born.
10/2/1950, Mark Spitz, champion US swimmer, was born in Modesto, California.
1/3/1949, Joe Louis retired as world heavyweight boxing champion.
28/11/1945, Dwight F Davis, founder of the Davis Cup tennis tournament, died.
7/7/1944, Tony Jacklin, British golf
champion, was born in Scunthorpe,
17/10/1938, Evel Kneivel,
23/3/1929, Roger Bannister, the first man to run a mile in under 4 minutes (3 minutes, 59.4 seconds), was born in Harrow, London.
10/12/1927, As greyhound racing grew in popularity, London’s third racecourse opened, at Wembley, to join those at Haringey and White City. Harringey stadium closed in 1987 to make way for a Sainsbury superstore.
20/6/1927, Greyhound racing
7/1/1927. The Harlem Globetrotters basketball team was founded.
24/7/1926. The first greyhound racing track was opened by Brigadier Critchley, at Belle Vue in Manchester.
28/3/1925, In the Boat Race,
27/3/1925, Double Chase won the 84th Grand National horse race at Aintree Racecourse near Liverpool, England.
1924, The World Chess League was founded at The Hague.
2/11/1924. The first crossword appeared in a British newspaper, the Sunday Express. It was bought from an American paper, operated by C W Shepherd, where crosswords had appeared 11 years earlier.
9/6/1924, Ed Farhat, professional wrestler, was born in Lansing, Michigan (died 2003).
1922, King George V opened the new concrete tennis stadium at Wimbledon, seating 15,000.
24/3/1922. Only 3 of the 32 horses in the Grand National finished the race.
16/3/1915, Britain’s Jockey Club decided that the War should not stop horse racing.
21/12/1913. The world’s first crossword was published, in the New York World, compiled by Liverpool-born Arthur Wynne. The first British crossword appeared on 2/11/1924.
1/3/1913, The International Lawn
Tennis Federation was set up at a meeting in
28/3/1912, In the Boat Race, both Oxford’s and Cambridge’s boats sank. The race was re-run.
2/10/1909. The first Rugby match at Twickenham was
played – Harlequins versus
13/10/1903, The first
1/7/1903, The first Tour de France cycle race began. It was sponsored by Henri Desgrange, the proprietor of a French newspaper, L’Auto, to poach readers from a rival publication, Le Velo, which already staged what were till then the biggest cycle races in France, Bordeaux to Paris and Paris to Brest. The Tour de France, announced in January 1903, was to be 2,500 km long, taking 19 days to complete. Just 21 of the 60 entrants completed the race, competing for prize money totalling 20,000 Francs.
30/4/1901, The game of ping pong was created by James Gibb.
29/8/1895. The Rugby League was formed at a meeting at the George Hotel in Huddersfield.
25/1/1895, Wales lost 3 – 0 to Ireland in the first ever hockey international, held at Rhyl in Wales.
25/11/1892, Pierre de Coubertin proposed the revival of the Olympic Games.
20/1/1892, The game of basketball, devised by Canadian doctor James Naismith, was first played at the YMCA in Springfield, Massachusetts.
28/5/1891, The first world weightlifting championships were held at the Cafe Monico in Piccadilly, London.
20/6/1887. Queen Victoria met Annie Oakley, the famous American markswoman who could slice a playing card in two at 30 paces sideways on.
2/6/1883, The first floodlit baseball match took place at Fort Wayne in Indiana; the home team played Quincy from Illinois.
1879, First large-scale skiing competition, at Huseby Hill, Oslo, Norway.
5/7/1879, Dwight F Davis, US Secretary for War 1925-29, who donated the Davis Cup for tennis, was born in St Louis, Missouri.
22/10/1878, The first rugby match to be played under floodlights was held at Broughton, Lancashire; they played Swinton.
9/7/1877. The first lawn tennis championships were staged at Wimbledon, at the original site at Worple Road.
24/3/1877, The only dead-heat in the history of the Oxford-Cambridge Boat Race took place.
7/10/1876, The first greyhound race with an artificial hare, the Hendon Cup, was run at the Welsh Harp, Hendon, London.
23/2/1874, Major Walker Wingfield patented the game of lawn tennis, under the name of ‘Sphairistike’, a version of the Greek for ‘playing ball’. Between July 1874 and June 1875, 1,050 of his tennis sets were sold.
27/3/1871. The first international rugby match was played between Scotland and England at Edinburgh; Scotland won.
26/1/1871. The Rugby Football Union was founded in London, England, by 20 clubs.
1/1/1863, Pierre de Coubertin, responsible for the modern revival of the Olympic Games in 1896, was born.
17/10/1860. The first professional golf tournament was held at Prestwick, Scotland. It was won by Willie Park.
30/6/1859. The great tightrope walker, Charles Blondin, crossed Niagara Falls in eight minutes. He traversed a rope 1100 feet long, 160 feet above the water. This was the first crossing of Niagara on a tightrope.
1856, The Oxford-Cambridge boat race became an annual event.
1843, Start of skiing as a sport, at Tromso, Norway.
14/6/1839. The first Henley regatta, on the Thames, took place. See 26/3/1839.
26/3/1839, The annual Henley rowing regatta was inaugurated. The first regatta was held on 14/6/1839.
26/2/1839. The Grand National at Aintree, Liverpool, was first run.
10/6/1829. The first Oxford and Cambridge boat race took place, 2 ¼ miles from Hambledon Lock to Henley Bridge. It was won easily by Oxford.
1791, The Burntisland Golf Club was founded.
1787, The Glasgow Golf Club was founded.
1786, The Crail Golfing Society was founded.
1780, The Royal Aberdeen Golf Club was founded.
4/5/1780. The first Derby horse race was run, at Epsom.
24/9/1776. The oldest of the classic horse races, the St Leger, was first run at Doncaster.
1774, The Royal Musselburgh Golf Club was founded.
1766, The Royal Blackheath Golf Club was formed.
1761, Bruntsfield Links Golf Club was formed.
1754, The Royal and Ancient (St Andrews) Golf Club was founded.
1753, Newmarket horse racing track was established.
1744, The Honourable Company of Edinburgh Golfers (Muirfield) was founded.
16/8/1743, The earliest prize-ring code of boxing was drawn up in England by champion fighter Jack Boughton.
1735, The Royal Burgess Golfing Society of Edinburgh was founded.
1/8/1715, Doggett’s Coat and badge race first run on the Thames.
17/8/1711. Ascot became ‘Royal’ after the attendance of Queen Anne at the horse races.
11/8/1711, The first Royal Ascot horse race took place, attended by Queen Anne.
9/2/1540. The first recorded horse-racing meeting in Britain took place on Roodeye Field (now Roodee), Chester.
1174, The first recorded horse races in England.
264 BCE, The first accounts of Roman gladiatorial games. They were banned in 325 AD by Emperor Constantine.
Appendix 1.1 – Olympic Games
27/7/2012, The Summer 2012 Olympics began in London; they finished on 12/8/2012.
2/10/2009, The 2016 Olympics were awarded to Rio de Janeiro.
6/7/2005, The International Olympic Committee awarded the 2012 Summer Games to London. Other cities in the finals were Paris and Madrid.
1/10/2000, The Olympic Games in Sydney closed.
15/9/2000, The 2000 Summer Olympics opened in Sydney, Australia.
19/7/1996, Muhammad Ali lit the flame to open the 26th Olympic Games in Atlanta, Georgia, USA
31/7/1992. The 25th Olympic Games were held in Barcelona. Black market tickets to the Olympics had been selling for $1,500.
17/9/1988. The 24th Olympic Games opened in Seoul.
28/7/1984. The 23rd Olympic Games opened in Los Angeles.
19/7/1980, The 22nd Olympic Games opened in Moscow.
18/7/1976. The 21st Olympic Games opened in
26/8/1972. The 20th Olympic Games
12/10/1968. The 19th Olympic Games opened in
10/10/1964. The 18th Olympic Games opened in
25/8/1960. The 17th Olympic Games
22/11/1956. The 16th Olympic Games opened in
19/7/1952, The 15th Olympic Games opened in
14/8/1948, The London Olympics closed.
29/7/1948. The first post-war Olympic Games, the 14th,
opened in London. Opened by King George V at Wembley Stadium, these
were the first Games since those in
1944, The 13th Olympic Games were to have been held in London, but were cancelled due to the War. Instead, London hosted the 1948 Games.
21/9/1940, The day scheduled for the opening of the 12th Olympic Games in Tokyo. However they were cancelled due to the War.
2/9/1937, Baron Pierre de Coubertin, reviver of the modern Olympics in 1896, died.
1/8/1936. Adolf Hitler opened the 11th Olympic Games in Berlin. The Olympic flame was carried to the venue from Greece for the first time.
30/7/1932, The 10th Olympic Games opened in Los Angeles.
28/7/1928, The 9th Olympic Games opened in Amsterdam.
5/7/1924, The 8th Olympic games opened in Paris.
25/1/1924. The first Winter Olympics were held, at
14/8/1920, The 7th Olympic Games opened in
6/7/1912, The 5th
Olympic Games opened in
13/7/1908, The 4th Olympic games opened at the newly-built White City stadium in west London. The Games were originally scheduled for Rome, but Italy was facing financial issues, including costs arising from a 1906 eruption of Mount Vesuvius (7/4/1906). The Finnish team made a political point by refusing to carry the Russian flag; the Olympic Committee refused to allow them to carry their own flag, so they marched flagless. Also some athletes with Irish Republican sympathies refused to compete in the British team.
1/7/1904, The third Olympic Games opened in
14/5/1900. Second Olympic Games began in
6/4/1896, The modern Olympic Games, revived by Pierre de Coubertin, were opened at Athens. The original Olympic Games were first recorded in 776 BC although they had already been played for centuries by then; they were played every four years in honour of the God Zeus. They were abolished by the Christian Roman Emperor Theodosius, to discourage paganism, in AD 394.
Appendix 1.2 – Football
13/7/2014, Germany beat Argentina to win the World Cup in Brazil. There had been unrest amongst Brazil’s poor over the money spent on the Games.
2/7/2003. Russian oil tycoon Roman Abramovitch bought Chelsea Football Club.
13/2/1994. Liverpool FC signed record £4m shirt sponsorship deal with Danish brewers Carlsberg.
22/9/1993. The Albanian national football team were banned from swapping shirts with their opponents, because the authorities couldn’t afford replacements.
8/7/1990, One billion people watched Germany defeat Argentina to win the World Cup.
15/4/1989. Football fans were crushed at Hillsborough stadium, Sheffield. 95 Liverpool fans were crushed against steel fences designed to prevent a pitch invasion after police opened gates to let more fans in, to see the semi final of the FA cup. 200 were injured.
21/3/1988, Lee Cattermole, English footballer, was born.
3/3/1986, Jed Collins, US football player, was born.
29/5/1985. Europe’s worst football riot saw 41 Italian and Belgian football fans dead at the Liverpool versus Juventas match at the Heysel stadium, Belgium. Spectators were crushed when a wall collapsed under the weight of fans trying to escape rampaging British supporters. On 2/6/1985 FIFA imposed a worldwide ban on British football fans.
11/5/1985. Fire broke out in the main stand of Bradford City football ground, killing 56 spectators and injuring over 170. A cigarette or match ignited accumulated rubbish under the stands.
1/7/1984. Argentina’s football star, Diego Maradonna, was signed by Naples for £1million.
2/1/1971. 66 people were crushed to death when a barrier collapsed at Glasgow Ranger’s Ibrox Park ground.
30/7/1966. England beat West Germany 4 – 2 in extra time (towards the end of normal time England were 2-1 ahead, but Germany secured a last-minute equaliser) to win the World Cup at Wembley Stadium, London.
6/2/1958, 7 Manchester United players died when the plane bringing the team home from Belgrade crashed on take-off at Munich Airport. Three club officials and 8 sports journalists were also killed. An eighth team member died of his injuries two weeks later.
18/3/1957, Wolfgang Schilling, German footballer, was born.
30/11/1955, Floodlights were used for the first time at Wembley Stadium, London, towards the end of an international match against Spain.
4/8/1955, The 1955 Mitropa Cup football competition was won by Vörös Lobogó,
30/6/1951, England beat Australia 17 – 0 at Sydney, attaining the highest score ever in a football international.
16/7/1950, 199,850 people watched the Brazil vs. Uruguay World Cup Final in Rio; a world record for a football match.
9/3/1946, 33 football fans were crushed to death at Bolton Wanderer’s Football Ground when a barrier collapsed.
17/4/1937, A record attendance at a UK football match was set when England played Scotland at Hampden Park, Glasgow; 149,547 were present.
13/7/1930. The first World Cup football tournament kicked off in Uruguay.
25/8/1928, Anfield’s famous Kop terrace at Liverpool football ground opened. It was probably named after the Battle of Spion Kop in the Boer War (1899-1902); ‘kopje’ means ‘small hill’.
18/11/1927. The head of the International Football Association announced the creation of a World Cup.
28/4/1923. The first major sporting event was held at Wembley Stadium; the FA Cup Final.
22/1/1920, Sir Alf Ramsey, England international footballer and manager, was born.
19/2/1910. Manchester United played their first Football League match at their new stadium, Old Trafford
21/5/1904, The Football Federation (FIFA) was founded in Paris, to obtain greater control of the game at international level.
31/10/1903, Hampden Park, home of Glasgow’s Queen’s Park football ground, was opened.
9/1/1900, The Italian football club Lazio was founded.
24/8/1892, Goodison Park, the home of Everton Football Club, Liverpool, opened.
17/4/1888, The first formal meeting of the UK Football league took place in the Royal Hotel, Manchester.
22/3/1888. The English Football League was founded by 12 clubs meeting in Anderton’s Hotel, Fleet Street, London.
6/11/1887, Celtic Football Club, Glasgow, was founded by Catholic Irish immigrants, to help the poor of Glasgow’s East End.
20/7/1885, Professional football was legalised in England.
28/1/1884, The first Ireland versus Scotland football international took place at Belfast; Scotland won 5 – 0.
25/2/1882, The first Wales-Ireland international football match took place at Wrexham. Wales won 7 to 1.
18/1/1879. The first England v Wales football international was played at The Oval, Kennington, London. England won 2 – 1.
14/10/1878, The first football match played under floodlights took place at Bramall Lane, Sheffield.
25/3/1876, The first international football match between Scotland and Wales at Glasgow, was won by Scotland, four-nil.
2/2/1876, The Welsh Football Association was formed.
1875, Birmingham City football club was formed.
7/1874, Bolton Wanderers football club was formed.
3/1874, Aston Villa football club was formed.
1873, Wrexham football club was formed.
13/3/1873, The Scottish Football Association was formed at a meeting attended by representatives from eight clubs.
30/11/1872, The first football international took place at Partick, Glasgow; Scotland and England drew 0 – 0.
16/3/1872, The first English FA Cup Final took place at the Oval. Wanderers, made up of ex public school and university men, beat the Royal Engineers 1-0.
1871, Reading football club was formed.
1867, Sheffield Wednesday football club was formed.
1866, Chesterfield football club was formed.
1865, Nottingham Forest football club was formed.
1863, Stoke City football club was formed.
8/12/1863, The newly-formed Football Association issued an agreed code of 14 game rules. These included banning tripping, shin-kicking and ball-hamdling.
26/10/1863. The English Football Association formed at a meeting at Freeman’s Tavern in Great Queen Street, London.
1862, Notts County football club was formed.
24/10/1857, A group of Cambridge University Old Boys formed the first Football Club, in Sheffield.
1314, The Lord Mayor of London banned football within the city because of the riots it caused.
100AD, Roman soldiers in London played a game called Harpastrum, where two teams tried to force an inflated animal bladder over their opponent’s line
Appendix 1.2 – Cricket
5/1/1971, International One Day Cricket began when England played Australia in Melbourne.
21/12/1963, Leeds Rugby Club, the first with undersoil heating, used it during a game with Dewsbury.
25/6/1932, The first England – India test cricket match began at Lords, London. England won by 158 runs.
4/6.1926, Frederick Spofforth, Australian cricketer, died.
12/5/1890, In the UK, the first ever official County Championship cricket match began in Bristol. Yorkshire beat Gloucestershire by eight wickets.
5/4/1884, John Wisden, cricketer and compiler of Wisden record books, died in London.
30/1/1883. ‘The Ashes’ were created when after a cricket match in Sydney a bail was burnt and the ashes given to the England side, who had won.
8/4/1882, Warwickshire County Cricket Club was formed at a meeting in the Queen’s Hotel, Coventry.
6/9/1880, The first cricket Test match played in Britain, between England and Australia, took place at The Oval.
25/3/1879, Leicestershire County Cricket Club was formed in Leicester.
31/7/1878, Northamptonshire Cricket Club was founded.
15/3/1877, The first cricket Test Match, in Melbourne between Australia and England, was won by Australia.
14/1/1876, Essex County Cricket Club was founded at a meeting at The Shire Hall, Chelmsford.
18/8/1875, Somerset County Cricket Club was founded.
4/11/1870, Derbyshire County Cricket Club was founded at a meeting in the Guildhall, Derby.
3/3/1865. Worcestershire County Cricket Club was founded at a meeting at the Stag Hotel, Worcester.
2/2/1864, Middlesex County Cricket Club was founded at a meeting at the London Tavern, Bishopsgate.
12/1/1864, Lancashire County Cricket Club was founded in Manchester.
12/8/1863, Hampshire County Cricket Club was founded in Southampton.
8/1/1863, Yorkshire County Cricket Club was founded at a meeting at the Adelphi Hotel, Sheffield.
1/3/1859, Kent County Cricket Club was founded at Maidstone.
18/7/1848, The cricketer W G Grace was born at Downend near Bristol.
22/8/1845, Surrey County Cricket Club was founded at a meeting at The Horns, Kennington.
1/3/1839, Sussex County Cricket Club, the oldest, was founded.
5/9/1826. John Wisden, original compiler of Wisden’s Cricketing Almanac, was born in Brighton, Sussex.
22/6/1814. The first cricket match was played at the present Lords Cricket Ground, between the Marylebone Cricket Club and Hertfordshire.
1477, An early form of cricket, called ‘hands-in-hands-out’, was banned by King Edward IV of England because it interfered with archery practice.