Rugby

Partner link: Honourable Aussy Captain Congratulates Irish Opposition & Old Friends!

When arguably, the world’s best flanker (wing-forward), David Pocock, was staying with an Irish family in Limerick while on an Australian School’s Rugby Tour, he never imagined he would, one day, play against the young boy he met in that same family.  The Murray family. Conor Murray is now the Irish and Lions scrum-half and arguably, the best scrum-half in the world.

So they faced up against each other for 80+ intense minutes in a savage battle of guts, wile and exquisite skills. Australia v Ireland – third and final test match. With the series level at 1-1, this was a decider of a test series.  Ireland eventually won a closely fought battle that went all the way to to the wire with the final score 16-20 in Ireland’s favour.

Honourable Aussy  Captain Congratulates Irish Opposition & Friends

After the game, David Pocock, posted on his instagram a photo from the heat of the battle and declaring his disappointment at losing. However, within a breath, he goes onto congratulate Ireland.

David Pocock & Bernard Foley standing beside each other
David Pocock congratulates Ireland in an instagram post.

 

Pocock then also posted a heart-warming story of his time in Ireland as a young Australian Schools tourist. He posted a photo of himself and baby-faced Conor Murray.

 

Friendship Forever Between Foes

Honourable Aussy Rugby Captain Congratulates Irish Opposition & Friends!
What a final test match Aussy v Irl! And what a player Pocock is. And a great sportsman he is too. Feel the warmth of his instagram post. Brilliant stuff. Congratulations to you too David Pocock – although Ireland won, it was a fantastic test series. Just in case you can’t read the instagram post, it is worth repeating here. Feel the warmth between these opposite players. Here’s David Pocock’s Instagram post:
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davidpocock
In 2005 on the Australian Schoolboys tour of the UK and Ireland we were billeted out with families while in Limerick. The family I was billeted with: the Murrays.
When this photo was taken I don’t think @conormurray9 or I were thinking we’d go on to face each other in test rugby.
Great to catch up after the game. Congrats on the win and enjoy the off season!
Miss you in the squad. Quade Cooper
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Honour, Dignity & Real Friendship

This is what the game is all about.  And David Pocock nailed it off the pitch (as he consistently does on the pitch too!)
Congratulations to David Pocock and Australia for the wonderful test series. And thanks for being a real ambassador of rugby and sportsmanship. You inspire a new generation
Meanwhile, the Irish rugby dream floats onwards……

Partner link: NatWest 6 Nations 2018 Fixtures & 2017 Results & Bill McLaren Classic Quotes

 

Yes folks, it’s here again the wonderful 6 Nations Rugby feast. Here are your essentials: dates, KO times, location + can you remember who beat whom in every game last year – test yourself and your friends – then enjoy some rugby Commentator Karioki & speak, with passion, the wonderful Bill McLaren colourful quotes – to rekindle the magic he created. We have 60 of Bill’s Best quotes here .

6 Nations 2018 Fixtures & 2017 Results & Bill McLaren

6 Nations 2018 Fixtures & 2017 Results & Bill McLaren Classic Quotes

 

Here’s the pdf version of the above document 6 Nations 2018 Fixtures and 2017 Results and Bill McLaren with live links if you prefer this.

 

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Free  posters, video links, workbooks and slides for schools – contact Paul@GreatSportsmanship.org

If you like this, you might also enjoy

60 of the Best Rugby Quotes from Bill McLaren – the Voice of Rugby 

Rugby World Cup 2015 – A Photographic Celebration Of Sportsmanship

Rugby World Cup 2015 – A Photographic Celebration Of Sportsmanship

Partner link: Top 10 Sportsmanship Moments 2017 (part 2)

Part 1 covered sportsmanship moments number 10 to moment number 6 which included brave little Bradley Lowery, Joe Hart, French rugby and German football fans opening their homes to opposition fans, a subtle, yet magical moment in the US Masters between a Spaniard and an Englishman and a US Baseball moment. Now we’re going to reveal the Top Sportsmanship Moment of 2017 – starting with the 5th best moment.

5. All Blacks v Lions 3rd Test

A fantastic test series amidst an arduous tour of 10 games in 5 weeks – coach, Warren Gatland christened it ‘the suicide tour’. The Lions had 5 wins, 4 defeats and a draw in their bruising 10 match tour. And they somehow drew the test series. So the victory presentation and photos had both teams mixed in together with both captains, Kieran Read and Sam Warburton,   sharing and holding the trophy aloft. Both were smiling.

Kieran Read (wearing his 100th cap cap) & Sam Warbuton - all smiles

Kieran Read (wearing his 100th cap ‘cap’) & Sam Warburton – all smiles

Some might feel a draw was a good result for the Lions and a not-so-good result for the ABs, but the smiles in the photo here say it all – it was a thrilling 3rd and final test.   kiwi captain, Kieran Read, was terrific -he  seemed to realise the battle was over and beamed a genuine sportsmanship smile throughout the whole proceedings, despite some players finding it all a bit awkward (as most of them, if not all of them, have never shared/drawn a test series before).

 

4. Lewis Hamilton Risks Title & Lets Team-Mate Overtake Him   

Lewis Hamilton slowed down at the last bend of the Hungarian GP to allow his Mercedez team mate, Valterri Bottas, to overtake him & take his 3rd place spot, and enjoy a spot on the podium.  That cost Hamilton three points and would ultimately reduce his total score – so come the end of the season, this could have cost him the world championship.

Earlier in the race, Bottas was ordered to allow Hamilton past him so Hamilton could pursue Vettel and his Ferrari team-mate Kimi Raikkonen.  Hamilton, promised he would give the place back to Bottas if he couldn’t catch the Ferrari duo. He honoured his promise and pulled aside for his team-mate on the final corner of the final lap – despite reducing his score. Many world championships have been lost by less than 3 points but we’re happy to confirm, Hamilton did go on to win the 2017 World Championship.

 

3. Claudio Ranieri Leicester City’s Sacked Manager’s  Honourable Exit Speech,

After being voted coach of the year in 2016 and winning the Premier League  against 5000-1 odds, Leicester City were struggling in 2017 and the manager, Ranieri, was shockingly sacked.  before he left,  he made an honourable and dignified farewell speech – without any bitterness, no vitriol nor vile, just love. Here’s some excerpts from his final, and most beautiful, goodbye speech:

The adventure was amazing and will live with me forever. Thank you to all the journalists and the media who came with us and enjoyed reporting on the greatest story in football.  My heartfelt thanks to everybody at the Club, all the players, the staff, everybody who was there and was part of what we achieved. But mostly to the supporters.

You took me into your hearts from day one and loved me. I love you too.

No one can ever take away what we together have achieved, and I hope you think about it and smile every day the way I always will.

It was a time of wonderfulness and happiness that I will never forget.

It’s been a pleasure and an honour to be a Champions with all of you.”  Full speech

Ranieri will be forever loved by all Leicester City fans and I think all football fans. Here are some   funny  clips from his video interviews – published by Leicester City FC.

 

 

2. Anthony Joshua’s Classy Tribute to Wladimir Klitschko’

Joshua is a great ambassador for sport. He doesn’t do pre-match bad mouthing the opposition. He treats them with respect, in such a serious and dangerous sport. His first social media message after his epic world title fight against the Ukranian, Wladimir Klitschko: Joshua tweeted to his half-million followers: ‘Styles make fights. Respect @klitschko_official’.

Joshua instagram message of respect to his opponent

After the fight, in front of 90,000 fans in Wembley, Joshua posted a message of respect to his opponent

Klitschko also praised Joshua via social media and in his press interviews. Mutual respect between two top pro’s.

 

1. Thailand’s New Snooker Star, Sunny Akani, says ‘Thank You For The Game’ to his victor, Ronnie O’Sullivan

During a World Class Battle – a Star & a Friend-For-Life emerged in early just 3 weeks ago (7 Dec).  A new kid on the block, who took on the world’s best and gave a masterclass in the exquisite skills of snooker combined with the wonderful warmth of great sportsmanship.

Thailand’s 22 year old Sunny Akani, dazzled the 5 times world champ, Ronnie O’Sullivan and when things went wrong for the young Thai – he just smiled, repeatedly. Such was the mutual respect and warmth of friendship between the two, that they did the post-match interview together. Sunny said Ronnie was his hero. And then he thanked Ronnie for the game. So few remember that without an opposition you don’t have a game -hence thanking the opposition is so refreshing to hear.

To see the commentators’ reaction to Sunny & his snooker shots – watch the above video. If you just want to see the wonderful interview between two new lifelong friends – skip forward to 11 mins 20 seconds)

Ronnie said British audiences already love Sunny because (not only is he brilliant) but he ‘played with a smile on his face.’ Audiences love that, said Ronnie. They then both bowed to each other with the prayer-like ‘Wai’   gesture & then briefly spoke Thai to each other whilst wearing great big grins!

Absolutely beautiful – watch this video to the end because a star is born.  Congratulations to Sunny Akino on achieving the number one sportsmanship moment 2017 and to Ronnie for being, well… the wonderfully humble, honest, humorous, friendly and most talented, Ronnie O’Sullivan.

Happy New Year To One and All

—end—

If you liked this, you might also like:

Part 1 of 2017 Sportsmanship Moments

The Power of A Smile

 

Why not become a Great Sportsmanship Ambassador – help change the world plus it looks great on your CV and Linkedin Page. Takes 2 mins to fill in the form and after that, all we ask is that you share and like (and comment if you have time) on these monthly posts, and/or our daily facebook posts Great Sportsmanship  or instagram GreatSportsmanship

Partner link: Top 10 Sportsmanship Moments 2017

Here we are, once again, reviewing the year. Some great stories this year, plus a surprising number 1 moment. We’ll start with number 10 and work our way down to the number 1 moment – which surprises many but once they see the video – they get it!

Having just completed the BBC Radio London interview with the amazing host, Phil Parry, we are awaiting confirmation as to when exactly the Top 10 will be released – probably Wed 27 Dec.

We will release just numbers 10 to 6 for now and we will wait until BBC Radio London announce our final choice before publishing the remaining numbers 5 to 1, with 1 being 1st place, or the Top Moment…. so pls bear with me.

Meanwhile, here are numbers 10- 6…….

 

Number 10.

Moment/s of Kindness with the wonderful Bradley Lowery (so many moments….)

Jermaine Defoe became friends with the six-year-old, terminally ill little Sunderland supporter, the wonderful Bradley Lowery. They met when Bradley was a mascot & they became great friends. Little Bradley’s   bravery, humour and warmth of character inspired Jermaine & (in Jermaine’s own words) taught Jermaine a lot about the precious gift of life & love.

 

There were many magical moments – which you can see Jermaine talking about on video. But there’s one in particular …

Jermaine was playing for England at Wembley and had Bradley with him as a mascot in the queue in the tunnel, when Joe Hart, the England captain, turned around and asked Jermaine to lead the team out with Bradley – an incredible gesture by Joe Hart. Full story here.

Bradley Lowery Foundation to help other children

Bradley Lowery Foundation to help other children

Incidentally, little Jermaine’s parents got a standing ovation at the BBC Sports Personality of the year awards when they announced the Bradley Lowery Foundation to help other children.

 

9.  Racing 92 Rugby Club Invite Munster Rugby Fans to Stay With Them 

When they rescheduled Champions Cup match because of the sudden death of the Munster coach,  Anthony Foley (in Paris on the morning of the match), Racing 92 RFC sent a message to Munster Supporters Club inviting fans, when they return to Paris, to stay with the Racing 92 fans homes – as it is expensive to have to travel to Paris twice for one game.

This trip was already very emotional for the many Munster fans. And now this great French club do this?

“We are absolutely blown away by it. As a supporters club, we are deeply appreciative of the offer, we don’t even have the words to express our gratitude to Racing supporters,”

Ian Buckley, secretary of Munster Rugby Supporters Club.

Racing 92 and Munster logos

Racing 92 and Munster – friends for life

The brotherhood of rugby knows no bounds. These two clubs are friends for life now.

And, good news, it’s not just the brotherhood or rugby that knows no bounds… the brotherhood of football is alive as well too……

 

8  Dortmund Open Their Homes To Monaco Fans  

After the Champions League match was postponed for a day because of three explosions aimed at the Dortmund team bus (with only one relatively minor injury)   caused the game to be postponed by one day.

Dortmund’s official Twitter account called on their own fans to help out their Monaco fans, using the hashtag #BedForAwayFans.

Dortmund FC tweet asking their fans to help Monaco fans

Dortmund FC ask their fans to help Monaco fans

The next day at the match the Monaco fans  chanted  ‘Dortmund, Dortmund’ – you can see it and hear it all here .

 

7. Magical Masters Moment in Augusta

Spain’s Sergio Garcia and Britain’s Justin Rose were both trying to win their first U.S. Masters when a special moment occurred on the 15th hole.  Both players were playing ‘incredible golf’.

Augusta, Georgia

Augusta, Georgia

Garcia got an eagle & then Rose putted a very high pressure birdy to keep the score level. As they walked off the green, Garcia, patted Rose on the back amidst a fantastic battle in arguably, the greatest golf tournament in the World, The Masters in Augusta.

https://goo.gl/images/yGF81p

the beautiful Hogan Bridge, Augusta

Friendship & encouragement of your opponent during the heat of battle – extraordinary stuff.

BTW, Garcia won it in the end, on the day, that would have been his hero, Seve Ballesteros’, 60th birthday.

 

6. Baseball’s Respect & Friendship Among Competitors

Texas Rangers Baseball star, Adrian Beltre made his 3,000th career hit in Major League Baseball. The next day, the Rangers played the Mariners in Seatle and Beltre faced ace pitcher Felix Hernandez.

Hernandez was about to pitch to Beltre, when he stopped,…. walked over to  Beltre and gave him a  quick hug (for reaching the career milestone, the night before), then walked back and pitched at him.

An old baseball ball

Baseball respect and friendship

It was a quick moment … a public display of friendship & respect between two opposition players.  You can see it here.

 

Coming soon …. after BBC Radio London sports show host, Phil Parry announces the winner plus broadcasts the interview with me covering all 10 Top 10 Sportsmanship Moments of 2017.

 

Partner link: Lions Touring Stories

When Enemies Become Friends

The British & Irish Lions start their first match in New Zealand, this Saturday. Lions tours are extraordinary, as fierce opponents from four countries come together, train together, play together, party together, tour together – they become friends for life. The Lions is a wonderful tradition. However, their battles overseas in the Southern Hemisphere, have been tough, bloody and some say down right dangerous. Despite the extreme intensity of the battles, there are some wonderful sportsmanship moments. Here are a few from former Lions 1974 , Ireland and Ulster wing forward, Stewart McKinney.

Ostrich Bomb & Thank You Punch

Here’s what happened when the South African giant, Johan de Bruyn met McKinney in an airport after McKinney had hit him ‘very hard’ during their encounter on the pitch……

Stewart also tells the story of de Bruyn’s generosity of spirit in a way that you simply cannot imagine, when the heroic Scottish Lion, Gordon Browne was very very ill. Coming soon……. watch this space………

Good luck to the Lions. 

 

If you enjoyed this, you might also enjoy:

A Maori Prayer for Donal Caniffe’s Dad

Magnificent Maori Gesture at Start of Munster Game

Lions Tour Ends Honourably

60 Of The Best – Great Quotes from Bill McLaren (part 1 of 4)

 

Join usbecome a Great Sportsmanship Ambassador (looks great on your Linkedin Page & CV – stand out from the crowd – all we ask is that you like and share (& comment the odd time) as many stories as you can. We publish a new story everyday on instagram greatsportsmanship and facebook: Great Sportsmanship.

Partner link: RBS 6 Nations – 2017 Fixtures + 2016 Results + Bill McLaren

Can you remember all the results from 2016? Here’s the essential one page that covers everything you need to know for the RBS 6 Nation Rugby. Faster than an app. Plus some of the voice of rugby’s colourful rugby quotes (Bill McLaren).

2017 Fixtures

Sat 4 Feb    Scot v Irl  2:25pm; Eng v Fra  4:50pm; Sun 5 Italy v Wales  2:00pm;

Sat 11 Feb  Italy v Ire  2:25pm;  Wales v Eng 4:50pm    Sun 12 Feb Fra v Scot  3:00pm

Sat 25 Feb  Scot v Wales  2:25pm   Irl v Fra  4:50pm   Sun 26 Feb  Eng v Italy 3:00pm

Fri 10 Mar  Wales v Irl  8:05pm    Sat 11 Mar Italy v Fra   1:30pm;  Eng v Scot 4:00pm

Sat 18 Mar      Scot v Italy 12:30pm    Fra v Wales  2:45pm      Irl v Eng   5:00pm

 

2016 Championship Table

Team Played W D L Pts For Pts Ag Points
England 5 5 0 0 132 70 10
Wales 5 3 1 1 150 88 7
Ireland 5 2 1 2 128 87 5
Scotland 5 2 0 3 122 115 4
France 5 2 0 3 82 109 4
Italy 5 0 0 5 79 224 0

2016 Match Results

Fra 23–21 Italy;    Irl 16–16 Wales;    Scot 9–15 Eng;     Fra 10–9 Irl;  Wales 27–23 Scot;

Italy 9–40 Eng;    Wales 19–10 Fra;    Italy 20–36 Scot;  Eng 21–10 Irl;   Irl 58–15 Italy;

Eng 25–21 Wales;   Scot 29–18 Fra;   Wales 67–14 Italy;   Irl 35–25 Scot;   Fra 21–31 Eng

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Some Classic McLaren Quotes

Bill McLaren was known as ‘the voice of rugby’  here’s just a few of his gems

“He can smell a try like a forest animal”.

“The All Blacks that day looked like great prophets of doom.”

“And it’s a try by Hika the hooker from Ngongotaha.” (Wales v New Zealand 1980).

I think he also described trying to tackle Jonah Lomu as trying to tackle a snooker table.

“I’ve seen bigger legs hanging out of a crow’s nest”.

“Safe as houses; warm as toast” after a Gavin Hastings clearance kick.

On Doddie Weir (and told by Doddie) “Doddie Weir as much help as a lighthouse in the desert”.

On another lineout jumper “Jumping like a border salmon in a river”.

For more great Bill McLaren quotes click 60 0f Of The Best’ Bill McLaren quotes

or just insert ‘Bill McLaren’  into the search engine on www.GreatSportsmanship.org

Download all of this on on just page RBS 6 Nations 2017 – quicker than app – everything you need. Pass it on to any friends that like rugby. They’ll love it.

#RBS6N  #RBS6Nations

 

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For sportsmanship short story-telling session for schools + watch videos + download free posters (like this one), visit:

www.GreatSportsmanship.org    f:  Great Sportsmanship    t: @GtSportsmanship    in: Great Sportsmanship    Youtube Great Sportsmanship Channel

Partner link: French Racing RFC Fans Open Their Homes To Munster Fans

French rugby club Racing 92 has stunned their opposition fans from the Irish province of Munster by opening their homes up and inviting the opposition fans to stay with the Racing fans’ homes.  The original game, scheduled for last October, was immediately postponed upon the sudden and shocking news of the death of the Munster Head Coach, Anthony Foley. So the French fans felt that it would be expensive for the Munster fans to pay a second time for accommodation for the rescheduled Champions Cup clash this Saturday.

Munster captain, Anthony Foley, (centre) holding the Heineken Cup

Anthony Foley (centre, holding the Heineken Cup)

Emotional Munster Fans

The Munster fans making the return journey will be carrying heavy hearts laden with sadness for the loss of their favourite son, Antony Foley, who had previously captained Munster as Heineken Cup winners  and he also wore the green jersey magnificently for Ireland on many occasions.

Munster captain, Anthony Foley, (centre) holding Munster's first

Munster captain, Anthony Foley, (centre) holding Munster’s first Heineken Cup 2005/6

Racing 92 – A Very Different Rugby Club

Racing 92 are a unique rugby club that are renowned for a certain type of eccentricity which also brings fun back into the game through humour including:

  • playing against Bayonne wearing berets as a tribute to the attacking style of the Basque club in 1987;
  • playing wearing black make-up & yellow hair, in 1988 at Stade Toulousain;
  • playing with bald caps in 1989 against Beziers;
  • playing dressed up as pelote players (white shirts, black jackets and berets, again) in 1990 at Biarritz Olympique;
  • playing wearing long red and white striped shorts to celebrate Bastille Day in 1989;
  • playing wearing long white trousers, on another occassion wearing pink bow ties (1990 final) with a drink of champagne at half time;
  • playing wearing pink shirts to shake off the conservative traditionalism of French rugby.
RCF Logo

RCF

Munster Fans Blown Away

Racing 92 are definitely different. Meanwhile, the travelling Munster faithful have been ‘blown away’ by the kind gesture of opening up their homes to the Munster fans.  This trip was already very emotional for the many Munster fans.  And now this great French club do this? “We are absolutely blown away by it. As a supporters club, we are deeply appreciative of the offer, we don’t even have the words to express our gratitude to Racing supporters,” Ian Buckley, secretary of Munster Rugby Supporters Club, told the Limerick leader.

The Brotherhood Of Rugby

The brotherhood of rugby knows no bounds. The French fans’ gesture will, forever, be remembered by Munster fans.  New, lifelong friendships will emerge from the ashes of this sad, yet truly beautiful day in sport.

—end—

Thanks to Pat Foley for alerting us to this story.

 

You might also like to see the Magnificent Maori Gesture at Start of Munster Game on video.

Change the world, little by little.  Join us.   Become an ambassador

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Partner link: Top 10 Sportsmanship Moments 2016

Well here we are again, having sifted through hundreds of amazing sportsmanship stories, we’ve final got out Top 10 moments and ultimately, the Number 1 Moment from 2016. As always, we’ll do it in reverse order.

 

In 10th Place:   Irish and Swedish Football Fans Dance Together – Euro 2016

sw-irl

Swedish and Irish fans happily sing Abba together before their big Euro 2016 match

Euro 2016 had some good football and some really great fun between the fans. Jointly singing to the famous Swedish band, Abba, Irish & Swedish fans joined together and had a lot of fun dancing in the sunshine together. Followed by a great game of football (1-1), followed by more dancing, singing and all round fun. THIS IS A CELEBRATION OF THE BROTHERHOOD OF FOOTBALL – watch the smiling faces .

In 9th Place: Indian and English Cricket Fans:  Opposition Fans Swap Shirts

English cricket fan swaps shirt with Indian fan

English cricket fan salutes india’s superiority and swaps shirts

Victorious Indian cricket fan swaps shirt with heavily beaten English fan. Just look at all the smiling faces as the Englishman is big enough to acknowledge that India are the top team this time around.  Watch the smiling faces as Indians all around him applaud and smile warmly.

In 8th Place: Fijian Rugby Never Gives Up

If At First You Don’t Succeed, Keep Trying For 60 Years & Then Win Gold – Fiji Olympic Heroes. For the first time ever in the history of the Olympics, the Fijian National Anthem was played as the Rugby 7s team stood on the podium and celebrated their first Olympic gold medal. The Fijians have, in my opinion, played the most exciting 15 a side rugby for a long, long time. The ‘voice of rugby’,  Bill McLaren, used to describe the Fijians as the most exciting rugby players in the world. Sadly, New Zealand poach many of their best players which dilutes their chances in the 15 a-side-game. Perhaps this historic Olympic win will help them find a sponsor and to ultimately retain their best players. Many congratulations to the brilliant Fijian rugby nation.
Fiji @fiji Tourism Fiji High Commission of Fiji, London Fiji Rugby Fiji national rugby sevens team Fiji National University (FNU) National Archives of Fiji

 

In 7th Place: British Olympian Loses Crown With Dignity (& Friendship)

Photo of Jessica Ennis-Hill throwing the javlin

Jessica Ennis-Hill

Great Britain’s Jessica Ellis-Hill shows great humbleness in losing her Olympic title to Germany’s brilliant  Nafi Thiam in  #Rio2016Olympics. The young German produced 5 personal bests (out of 7 disciplines) to beat the #London2012 heptathlon champion. Look at the photos and you’ll see Ellis Hill smiling warmly and embracing the young German. What a great champion Jessica Ellis -Hill was – she knew how to win and how to lose – with dignity and warmth.

 

In 6th Place: Athletics: Never Give Up – Even When The Chips Are Down

Former refugee, Britain’s Mo Farah fell over mid race in the 10,000m final in #Rio2016, got up, dusted himself off and went on to win the race and a gold medal.  Mo Farah’s parents were refugees from Mogadishu, Somalia and young Mo found life very difficult in Britain, getting into trouble. Tomorrow, he is being awarded a knighthood by the Queen in Buckingham Palace when the Queen will say ‘Arise Sir Mo’. He already did, bristling with bravery and buckets of courage, he never gave up, even when things went horribly wrong and went on to win gold.

 

In 5th Place: Wise Words From A Baseball Manager:

The Chicago Cubs waited 108 years to win the World Series (baseball). 5 million people showed up to see the victory reception! Even the dinosaurs wore the Cubs shirts.

dinosaur-cubs-b-2016

Their wise coach, Joe Maddon gave some very wise advice to his players as the pressure built. This advice should be shared with all sports people: “Don’t ever permit the pressure to exceed the pleasure.”

Don't ever permit the pressure to exceed the pleasuree

Wise words from Chicago Cubs Manager

In 4th Place: Magnificent Maori Gesture At Start of Munster Game

A magnificent gesture from the Maori All Blacks before playing Munster when they laid an All Blacks shirt on the ground, in the rain. It had the initials AF on the shirt as a tribute to Munster and Irish Rugby legend, Anthony Foley’s, unexpected death. Listen to the Munster crowd applaud this wonderful gesture. All Blacks teams have a special place in the hearts of Munster fans – as you can see some other amazing moments between these teams.

 

In 3rd Place: Olympian Medal Winner Donates His Medal To Help Sick Boy

Photo of olympic flame

The Olympic flame burns brightly

The Olympic flame burns brighter than ever when you hear of this Olympian Polish discus thrower’s generosity of spirit. Piotr Mallachowski donates his silver medal to Olek Szymanski, a young boy who has retinoblastoma – a horrible eye cancer. The money raised from selling his Olympic silver medal enabled the yong Polish child to go to New York for treatment. More  .

 

In 2nd Place: Tennis: Changing The Referee’s Decision To Help The Opposition 

Although USA’s Jack Sock had won the critical point, he told his Australian opposition,  Lleyton Hewitt,  that his last serve (although judged to be OUT) was in fact IN. Sock said: “that was IN if you want to challenge it.” Hewitt couldn’t believe it (watch his startled face) & said OK “I challenge it” (which means they get to see a replay of the serve – which showed the ball was served onto the line – which is IN!  This was at a crucial stage in the match. The crowd gave Sock a standing ovation. Hewitt  then won the critical point.

 

In 1st Place: The Great Sportsmanship Programme’s 2016 Moment Of The year…. goes to…….

Football: Giving The Opposition The Cup

http://www.espnfc.co.uk/copa-sudamericana/story/3007505/atletico-nacional-ask-conmebol-to-declare-chapecoense-the-copa-sudamericana-2016-champion

Brazil’s Chapecoense  football club were loved by everyone as they came from the small city,  of Chapeco, had been promoted form the   4th division to the top flight  and were on their way to the biggest match in their history to play Atletico Nacional the final of the Copa Sudamericana in Colmbia when their plane crashed killing 71 of the 77 passengers (3 of the 6 survivors were players). Full story

The opposition club insisted the Copa Sudameicanna be given to Chapecoense  football club. Around the world we share some of the pain of the families and friends of Chapecoense Football Club. Clubs, international teams from different sports bowed thier heads in a minute’s silence to show solidarity and respect for the Chapecoense  football club.

We also salute Columbia’s Atletico Nacional for its kind sportsmanship gesture – insisting the cup be awarded to Chapecoense – proving that some things are far more important than winning. This is our number one moment of sportsmanship  from across the world of sport in 2016.

#Copa Sudameicanna #Chapecoense  #AtleticoNacional

Please do post a comment. And/or send us your sportsmanship story.  Let’s inspire each other in 2017.

 

Partner link: Magnificent Maori Gesture at Start of Munster Game

Munster are still suffering from the sudden death of their much loved coach (& former European cup winning captain),  Anthony Foley.  So when the Maori All Blacks performed their traditional Haka war dance with a special gesture… a Maori kneels down & lays the Maori rugby shirt on the turf . The shirt had the initials AF on it.  The Munster fans were stunned.

What a generous gesture from The Maori  .

The Maori’s have a special place in the hearts of Munster fans since 1978 when the actual All Blacks were famously beaten by Munster, they heard the sad news that the Munster captain’s father had died of a heart attack, so the Maori’s entered the Munster dressing room and said a Maori prayer for Donal Caniff’e’s Dad – read the full story

A Maori Prayer for Donal Caniffe’s Dad  

 

 

Partner link: Rugby World Cup 2015 – A Photographic Celebration Of Sportsmanship

Rugby World Cup 2015 is exciting and compelling viewing as small nations shock big nations and favourites get beaten. But despite dreams being shattered and no matter what the result,  sportsmanship prevails in Rugby World Cup 2015. After the game, all players shake hands. Many embrace. Some even pray together (Fiji v Australia).

Cup Webb Ellis

And the rugby  fans are just the same. The brotherhood of  rugby is alive and well as you will see from the photos below. Send us your photos of the comaraderie of fans, officials, players. Here’s some of mine from Ireland v Canada, Group D RWC 2015 match in Cardiff.

 Fijian war dancers brighten up everyone's day RWC2015

Fijian war dancers brighten up everyone’s day RWC2015

 

Ireland v Canada, Sat, Sep 19, Millennium Stadium, Cardiff, 14.30 KO

Millenium Stadium , Cardiff by the river Taff

Millenium Stadium , Cardiff by the river Taff RWC2015

 

A bishop and his pint

The Bishop and his pint get a police escort RWC2015

Canadian Mounties

Canadian Mounties share the Irish shamrock with me RWC2015

 Musical Canadian (with his violin) embraces the shamrock

Musical Canadian (with his violin) embraces the shamrock RWC2015

 

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Very friendly Cardiff policemen mix with Canadian mounties and Irish fans RWC2015

Happy Days For Clover Head

Happy Days For Clover Head RWC2015

Super Mario Brothers embrace the shamrock

Super Mario Brothers embrace the shamrock RWC2015

Happy Clover Head

Happy Clover Head RWC2015

Happy Days - Happy Clover Heads - after Ireland win over Canada in Cardiff RWC2015

Happy Days – Happy Clover Heads – after Ireland win over Canada in Cardiff RWC2015

King Dick and Little John (two guys wearing jackets , one is King Dick and the other, is Little John RWC2015

King Dick and Little John

 Karl Sugrue, whom, some years ago, some thought could have played for Ireland - recovering in hospital from recent illness.

Happy Birthday to one of Ireland’s greats, Karl Sugrue, whom, some years ago, some thought could have played for Ireland – recovering in hospital from recent illness but like many millions around the world is watching this wonderful Rugby World Cup 2015. We wish you a speedy recovery. Get well soon Karl.

Result: Ireland 50;  Canada 7

Ireland v Romania, Sunday , Sep 27th, Wembley Stadium, 16.45 KO

Wembley arch

Fanzone on the left; Wembley arch centre; Shamrock bottom right; Dreams are in the clouds for all Irish rugby fans. RWC2015

 

Colourful fans

fun fans RWC2015

Friendly staff at Wembley - great atmosphere building

Friendly staff at Wembley – great atmosphere building RWC2015

 Romanian, scrum half, Florin Surugiu, bent down on one knee, on the Wembley turf, before the game & proposed to his girlfriend, Alexandria, who said 'Yes!'

Romanian, scrum half, Florin Surugiu, bent down on one knee, on the Wembley turf, before the game & proposed to his girlfriend, Alexandria, who said ‘Yes!’ He is standing on his own on the touchline (see above) and here he is on video (see blow).

Romania’s Florin Surugiu proposes to his now fiancee, Alexandria

Wembley Stadium : RWC 2015 Ireland v Romania

Packed Wembley Stadium : RWC 2015 Ireland v Romania

Paul and Lily with Shamrock in Wembley

No prouder father! Meself and my daughter, Lily are on a roll after attending the Canadian game in Cardiff and now the Romanian game in Wembley. RWC2015

Irl v Romania

Game on

Ireland v Romania under the Wembley arch

Ireland v Romania #RWC2015

Are Mexican Waves mindless sheep like behaviour, which distract the players in the heat of #RWC2015 battle or just good fun, when people unite in a self controlled cohesive selfie coriography?  Here it is. The Mexican Wave coming right at you in #Wembley Stadium DURING Ireland v Romania RWC2015 match!

 Panoramic view of Wembley Stadium

Panoramic view of Wembley Stadium

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Paul O'Connell

Captain Fantastic O’Connell

 

Keith Earls

Keith Dynamic  Earls

Joe Schmidt

The Mastermind, Ireland’s amazing coach, Joe Schmidt

 

Keith Earls

The darting genius, Keith Earls and the lovely , Lily Smith

 

Rob Kearney

The smooth running, sky capturing, attacking full back, Rob Kearney and Lily Smith

 

Rob Kearney

Rob Kearney grabbed the Paul from me – natural instinct form a truly great world class player

Donnacha Ryan

Donnacha Ryan, the right man to have on your side, along with Aran Mullarkey

 

Waiting by the lift

Waiting for Godot

Johnny Mullarkey

The pride of Mayo, the great Johnny Mullarkey, London Irish legend

Line Outs Jumping inside hotel

16 Line Outs Inside: Relentless Practising Line Out Calls and Jumps (and catches)

Bearded man who likes like a famous Munster centre, Seamus Dennison

Seamus Dennison Look A Like

 

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The great Johnny Mullarkey, London Irish VP, and my daughter, Lily.

Note: There is a full story about an act of kindness by Johnny Mullarkey in the book, Great Moments Of Sportsmanship.

Happy Days as Ireland progress and build some momentum – smiling faces everywhere

The Wembley arch turns green

Wembley arch lights up in green after an Irish victory over the brave Romanians. Wembley was fantastic. Great day. Now we move onwards to the Olympic Stadium…..more next week.

Result: Ireland 44;  Romania 10

Ireland v Italy, Sun, Oct 4, Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, London 16.45 KO

And off we go to the Olympic Stadium where we once enjoyed London 2012. This time it’s Italy and they want to make a point!IMG_9150

Are those pyramid lights turned upside down since London 2012 Olympics (see for yourselves)?

Ireland & Italy sing their respective national anthems

The great tradition – of singing one’s national anthem while the atmosphere builds.

IMG_9154Game on!
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Game over in the blink of an eye. A hard fought battle. Players shake hands, while Italian no.11 and Ireland’s Zebo have a friendly chat (on the left).

Irish and Italian fans together

Italian fans become friends with Irish fans

Italian players wave goodbye

Italians wave farewell to both sets of fans

It’s all over for Italy. The dream has one. They are going home. But they still come out and walk the pitch and wave at both sets of fans. Farewell to the Azuri – they played brilliantly. And now Ireland march onto Cardiff where the French await them to decide who tops the group and therefore who avoids the All Blacks in the quarter finals.

Result: Ireland 16;  Italy 9

Ireland v France, Sun, Oct 11, Millennium Stadium, Cardiff  16.45 KO

Here come the French……..

4 french chickens Fry Irish shamrock

French fried chicken make a friendly shamrock shake

You would never believe this was a top of the table clash between two nations to decide who avoids the All Blacks (New Zealand) in the quarter finals. The winner meets Argentina (who have thrown Ireland  out of world cups before).

Napoleon fan

Even Napoleon wants a slice of the action.

 

2 French Fans 1 RWC2015

French bulgers and characters

2 French fans Mohican French and Irish RWC2015

Irish Coqs French Mohicans

 

Leprachauns carrying Irish fans

Leprachaun abusers – someone has to stop this kind of behaviour.

Why should Leprechauns be forced to carry overweight Irish fans around on their shoulders all day long? it simply isn’t right. Someone has to stop it!

Scrum paractice between fans #RWC2015

Scrum time – Irish fans (Smith brothers: Rory & Paul) scrummaging with French fans (before kick off).

 

French & Irish teams line up for the national anthems RWC2015

National anthems – French & Irish passions flow

 

 French team form the tunnel and applaud Irish team off the pitch RWC2015

Respect: French team form the tunnel and applaud Irish team off the pitch

 

Paul Smith and his son Cian feeling proud after the game

Emotional moment my son, Cian, and I have seen a few special Irish rugby battles including the Grand Slam in Cardiff and England in Croke Park, but this was something else.

Result: Ireland 24;  France 9

More photos,  over the next few days, will be added from this epic match and the magnificent French fans who lit up the competition.

I can’t upload any of my Ireland v Argentina photos and videos as I am still trying to get over the empty feeling of being stuffed by a really good Argentinian team.

Ireland v Argentina, Sun Oct 18, Millennium Stadium, Cardiff, 13.00 KO

Ireland’s dream – to go beyond the quarter finals. We’ve never done it before. Despite injuries, we still have a great team (and a great manager).

National Anthems being sung

National anthems. Full of hope.

Argentina exploded in the first 20 minutes with two tries and eventually building up a 17 point lead (20-3) in the first half. Ireland clawed their way back to within 3 points but then the Argentinians went into overdrive in the last 20 minutes  and ran away with it 43-20.

Game 22 m line

Argentina put constant pressure on Ireland

Argentina played great rugby and thoroughly deserved to win their quarter final against Ireland in Cardiff. Their fans danced the night away (see video below) and in a week’s time when they lost the semi finals to Australia their fans danced the night away (see second video below). They lit Rugby World Cup 2015 up.

Ireland 20  Argentina 43

Argentina v Australia, Sun, 25 Oct, Twickenham Stadium, 16.00 KO

Ok we thought we’d be in the semi finals in Twickenham playing Australia. Instead it was that wonderful Argentinian team attacking relentlessly – every player wanting to take on the excellent Australian team. I will post more photos later.

Argy Fans with Aussy fans

Argentinian & Australian fans after the game – can you tell who won? This is the brotherhood of rugby.

Have a look at the video below. A week before the Argentinians danced for hours after beating Ireland in the quarter finals. Now they dance for hours after being beaten by Australia. This is the brotherhood of rugby. We love you Argentina.

Argentina  15    Australia  29

Rugby World Cup 2015 Final                         New Zealand v Australia, Sat, 31 Oct, Twickenham Stadium, 16.00 KO

With both teams going for their 3rd William Webb Ellis Trophy and New Zealand, in particular, trying to become the first team ever to retain the Rugby World Cup, it promised to be a great match – with both sides bursting with explosive talent.

The Rugby World Cup - The William Webb Ellis Trophy

The William Webb Ellis Trophy

It was indeed a great spectacle with New Zealand building up a big lead 21-3, followed by Australia coming right back into, 21-17, until the All Blacks and their wonderful fly half, Dan Carter, did a ‘Johnny Wilkinson’ by scoring a fantastic drop goal followed by a 50m penalty kick plus a AB’s break away try to seal it.

And this happened….. after the Australian captain, Stephen Moore, honourably said that the ABs were the better team and they deserved to win and after the AB’s captain fantastic, the amazing Richie McKaw, complimented the Aussies on making it a great game, the ABs did a victory lap – a child ran towards them – a steward heavily tackled the child – Sony Bill Williams knelt down, helped the child up, escorted him back to his family and then….. the most magical moment in this Rugby World Cup 2015 …… (see for yourself – watch this stunning video)……

New Zealand 34    Australia 17

The Maori Haka Secrets Revealed

Tiki Edwards NZRU’s Maori community manager explains the importance of communities in rugby and the ties between the people, the community and their land. Maori concepts like ‘whakapapa (ancestral connections), ‘whenua’ (land connections) and ‘whanau’ (family connections).  Tiki says: “The haka isn’t about the enemy. It’s about us. It’s about opening ourselves up to our ancestors, to their spirits, about filling ourselves with their strengths and gifts. It’s hard to explain.” The haka expresses the connection between the people, their land, their ancestors. “It is a real force for us.” For more see Andy Bull’s excellent article, The making of an All Black.

Congratulations to Richie McCaw and the New Zealand All Blacks. Worthy world champions. It has been a truly wonderful Rugby World Cup.

People had a lot of fun.

rugby ball humanFans MuddyKiwi fans

2 French fans 2 Piggy irish

New friends were made. See the photo below. Can you tell who won?

Japan 2

Who won? South Africa or Japan?

Japan3

Japan won! So SA’s Johann Delport donated his ‘scalp’ (& swapped shirts) with his new Japanese friend.

That’s a great benchmark for sportsmanship …..when, after the game, you can’t tell who has won! Fans mingle and have fun. After all, when the final whistle is blown, the referee declares ‘No Side’.

—end—

You might also also enjoy:

Great sportsmanship on the night: The mighty All Blacks march as Snow White’s dwarfs (after being beaten by Munster).

A Maori Prayer for Donal Caniffe’s Dad (the Munster captain’s Dad died of a heart attack after the above game).

Why Kiwis love Munster: Silence was broken by a dog barking outside the packed stadium.

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