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.
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
Honour, Dignity & Real Friendship
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 .
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.
Free posters, video links, workbooks and slides for schools – contact Paul@GreatSportsmanship.org
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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.
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’.
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
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Part 1 of 2017 Sportsmanship Moments
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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…….
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.
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.
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.
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’.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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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).
2016 Championship Table
|Team||Played||W||D||L||Pts For||Pts Ag||Points|
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
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.
For sportsmanship short story-telling session for schools + watch videos + download free posters (like this one), visit:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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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
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
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)
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.
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.”
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
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
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.