The defeated Russian heavyweight boxer, Alexander Povetkin, sat slumped in his dressing room, when there was a knock on the door……
Thinking about what might have been, the courageous Russian fighter looked up and saw his victor and former opponent, Anthony Joshua, walk in. Joshua bowed to the Russian with courtesy, looked him in the eye and said “Respect!”.
From the very first bell these two excellent fighters showed huge respect for each other in a very unusual way. Although they battered each other for 7 rounds and with world titles at stake, they subtly tapped gloves at beginning & end of each round. This is most unusual when the norm is just an initial tap at the beginning and at the very end of a fight. It was wonderful to see.
The Englishman then went on to congratulate the Russian lad slowly, almost in pigeon English, giving time for the translator to translate and the fighter to understand the compliments that Joshua was paying to his opponent.
Before they went their separate ways, Joshua said he’d like to visit Russia and Povetkin smiled through his bruised and battered face and invitingly welcomed him by saying “anytime”.
2018 Russia. 32 of the world’s best footballing teams & fans are mixing it up, in a great celebration of the brotherhood of football. It is a celebration of nations, great fun, great drama and great fun.
South Korean Fans Carried On Shoulders by Mexican Fans
Mexican Fans Carry South Korean Ambassador On Their Shoulders
Mexican fans paraded around the streets carrying the South Korean Ambassador on their shoulders (after South Korea put world champions, Germany out of the cup with a 2-0 win & allowing Mexico into the last 16.)
One of the All-Time Great Games
France v Argentina (4-3)
Argentina’s captain, Lionel Messe, one of the, if not, ‘the’, greatest player in the world today, smiles and looks at every French player in the eye, as he shakes hands with each member of the opposition, moments before kick-off. When Messi meets France’s Matuidi, they hug each other. The next French player in the line is the 19-year-old French revelation, Kylian Mbappe. Messi gives a warm smile to the new kid on the block and gives him a two handed shake/pat on the arm. Then Messi turns and hugs France’s last player Antoine Griezmann. Game on! And what a game. It reminded me of the famous Brazil v France semi-final many years ago. Football at its finest.
Kante Hacked But Not Falling
42 minutes into a fantastic game of football, France’s Kante was hacked by Mascherano, but Kante refused to fall. ITV commentator, Danny Murphy spotted it and said ‘let me tell you this: Kante has probably stopped him (Mascherano) getting a red (card) because, his honesty, which I love, by the way.” No diving nor rolling around on the ground, just a brave, brilliant & honest French hero doing his thing.
A French Star Is Born
As the great Messi Lionel bows out of the World Cup, a new Pele is born, Frances youngest ever goal scorer in a major competition. And now the humble 19-year-old Mbeppe is giving all his World Cup earnings to charity as he doesn’t think you should be paid to play for your country. Mbappe & Pele are the only two teenagers to score two goals in a World Cup Finals match (Pele saved his for the 1958 final against Sweden). It wasMbeppe’s run in the first half that tore open the game.
Argentinian Fans Sing Forever
92 mins on the clock & 4-2 down, Argentinian fans were still singing. “These are songs of resistance from the Argentinian fans now. They’re still waiving their flags. They’ve been one of the highlights of the tour, for me, their supporters. said TV commentator, Guy Mowby. ‘They’ve been absolutely phenomenal today” said Dannny Murphy.
Another Sensational Game – Belgian Coach Congratulates Japan
Belgium v Japan (3-2)
Moments after one of the most dramatic finishes in the history of the World Cup (Belgium came back from 2-0 down to score the winner 4 minutes into injury time), Belgian coach, Roberto Martínez, congratulated Japan: “They were (played) the perfect game. They were so solid. They frustrated us. They were clinical on the counter (attack).” Both sides embraced each other after this epic match. Japan, the underdogs played wonderful attacking football and played without fear against the experienced and much fancied, Belgians. Japan went 2-0 up ans somehow Belgium did a ‘Lazarus’ (came back from the dead! and went on to win an intriguing match.
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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
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:
Meet Davis Robey, a 17 year old student, who throws the shot put for Mason High School and dreams of one day qualifying for the Regionals. The shot put is one of the Ancient Olympic Games early events dating back to 684 BC when the goals of the Olympic Games were as much about developing athletes’s minds and bodies. These principles remain today. Honour, honesty and friendship are key principles amongst true athletes today.
On May 16th Davis Robey competed in the Division 1 Finals hoping to get within the top 4 and qualify for the Regionals. An official scorer announced Robey in fourth place with a throw of 137 feet. Robey knew he had only thrown 132 feet and that it was a mistake. So Davis Robey stepped up and alerted the judges to the error. In doing so he forfeited his opportunity of competing in the Regionals, as he now finished 7th.
Robey is a true athlete who has ‘the milk of human kindness’ and buckets of integrity. He spoke quietly afterwards: “It’s unfair for someone who did throw farther than me to not move on, because they worked just as hard as I did. ”
The 2018 6 Nations Rugby was an exciting contest full of sportsmanship moments. Here’s a few. Do tell us your sportsmanship moments if you spotted any…….
Fans Have Fun
I am in Dublin for the Ireland v Wales 6 Nations match. It’s a big game. Two exciting teams. Both with a point to prove. As I walk down to Lansdowne Road’s Aviva Stadium, I see lots of Welsh Fans proudly wearing their red shirts and waving their wonderful Welsh Dragon flags (see Welsh fans are wonderful). I also see lots of Irish leprechauns, Green jumpsuits, tricolour flags and then I see this………..French fans walking along Lansdowne Road (see the translucent glass on the Aviva Stadium on the left).
So many games in this year’s 6 Nations were so close. The very last game, between Italy and Scotland ended with Scotland winning by 2 points after being behind for most of the game. Ireland’s 83rd minute drop goal against France saved Ireland from defeat in Paris. The Ireland v Wales game was a thrilling encounter between two very good teams. It was an enthralling battle. Right up to the last few minutes, Wales could have won it. Even the French commentator and former French captain, Serge Betsen, said the best game was Ireland v Wales.
The post-match handshake is mandatory in rugby. It’s a simple, yet, great thing. Watch Irish and Welsh players line up to shake hands and occasionally embrace each other as soon as the final whistle has been blown.
Ireland v Wales – post-match handshake. The magical post-match handshake and the odd hug between players who, moments earlier were sworn opponents. Honour & Friendship prevail.
Excitement, Expectation and Magnificence
This is what it feels like when entering Lansdowne Road’s Aviva Stadium in Dublin, Ireland, minutes before Ireland v Scotland game kicks off. Some say it’s like a ‘stairway to heaven’. And two smiling stewards welcome us all into a wonderful, almost mystical event.
Opposition Fans Celebrate The Match Together
The great thing about rugby is the camaraderie that exists between opposing fans. Here some Irish and Scottish fans having a chat and some fun after the game
Entering Twickenham Stadium
Having beaten France, Italy, Wales & Scotland, Ireland marched on Twickenham to try and win the Triple Crown and Grand Slam (having already secured the 6 Nations Championship). Fantastic game.
Magical Moment from England’s Fullback
On the 77th minute England’s Mike Brown was about score a try for England to open the game up with 3 mins left on the clock, when he was brilliantly tackled by Ireland’s Sean Cronin pushing him into touch. The referee called for video help. Mike Brown sat on the ground – knowing he’d been tackled into touch. He knew it. The crowd didn’t but Brown did. As Cronin got up, Brown, still sitting on the grass, gave him a friendly tap on the backside, congratulating Cronin on the exquisite tackle, which some say, finally secured Ireland’s Grand Slam.
Players, Substitutes and Backroom People are All Part of the Team
After receiving the Nat West 6 Nations Championship Trophy on the podium, the Irish captain, Rory Best, stood on the podium with his arm around Sean Cronin (who competes with RoryBest for the same hooker position every game for several years now). Even between internal competitors, there was a great feeling of unity and warmth of friendship amongst the whole squad. Rory Best also acknowledge d during his speech, that it was the squad i.e. the players, the subs and also the backroom team that helped Ireland to win the Triple Crown, 6 Nations Championship and the Grand Slam 2018.
Everyone works together in a team or squad
English Coach Congratulates Irish Team
Even the England manager, Eddie Jones, who had previously made some prematch unsporting comments, redeemed himself by openly apologising and subsequently, immediately after the match, he congratulated Ireland graciously when he said ‘Ireland were very worthy Grand Slam Winners’. This meant a lot to all the Irish fans.
A Pure Act Of Kindness, Generosity & Friendship
So, Ireland won the Grand Slam beating England 24 – 15 at Twickenham. It was a special night for all those associated with Ireland because it was St Patrick’s day too. There would have been many memorable pictures taken from the weekend but none more special than this one. Peter O’Mahony gave his 6 nations medal to young fan Jennifer Malone. Jennifer is a big fan and attends matches and training sessions whenever she can. What a reward for her loyalty!
English Fans Congratulate Irish Fans
All the English players and fans were outstanding in their warm congratulations that went on all night long, in arguably our finest St Patrick’s Day.
England fans celebrate Irealnd’s victory with Irish fans all over London
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 .
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 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.
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’.
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.
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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.
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 – 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 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’.
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.
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
Apart from formerly working construction sites and as a tea lady behind the scenes on UK TV’s Coronation Street, she is Britain’s only boxer to have retained a gold medal in consecutive Olympics. That is a very good reason in itself. But there is something else magical about her. It’ that smile. It’s infectious.
Nicola Adams and her wonderful smile
Greatest Long Distance Runner Always Smiled
A smile adds value to an athlete. People remember stars that smile more than stars that don’t! Here’s Elizabeth Egan, former head of High Performance Sport, University of East London (and author of Altitude Training Travel Guide) talking about how a smile adds value to an athlete’s worth. “It’s interesting the power of a smile & personalities in sport. ……. but if you ask the general public ‘who is the greatest distance runner of all time, they will probably say Haile Gebrselassie despite the fact that he has lost all 3 of his world records, two of them to his fellow countryman Kenenisa Bekele”. Gebrselassie always had a big smile. Everybody loved him.
Brazil’s Greatest Footballer Always Smiles
Ask who was Brazil’s greatest footballer ever and most people will say Pele but in fact, Brazilians will tell you it was Garrincha. But he didn’t have Pele’s smile & friendly style. People remember Pele. Here is that beautiful photograph of Pele and England’s 1966 World Cup winning captain Bobby Moore smiling as friends, after their epic 1970 battle. It is such a great photograph, I put it on the cover of my sportsmanship book (the last image at the bottom of the cover). People remember the smile.
Pele and Bobby Moore (the last photograph) embrace and smile as life-long friends
New Snooker Superstar Plays With A Smile On His Face
Meet Sunny Akino from Thailand. Just 22 years old and he gave the most fantastic snooker performance seen in years, two weeks ago against his hero, the 5 times world champion, 44 year old Ronnie ‘The Rocket’ O’Sullivan. Read the full story here. Sunny continuously smiled and thanked Ronnie for the game and Ronnie (smiling too) says all of Britain loves Sunny because, on top of being a world class snooker player, ‘he played with a smile on his face’.
Watch the post-match interview (11 mins 27 seconds) and/or hear what the commentators say about Sunny
Try To Smile As Much As You Can
They used to give medals for poetry in the Olympics. The last gold medal for poetry was awarded in London 1948 Olympic Games. Here is a 60 second poem about smiling. It should be read out all games and remembered throughout your life. try to remember this invaluable little poem about smiling, narrated by Malcolm Weaving, from the Campaign For Courtesy.
So there, you have it. A lifetime Tip – use your smile. it’s an international language and will help you to get more things done, make more friends and oil the wheels of life. We don’t know who wrote this poem. if you do – please tell us. Or also tell us how a smile helped you – we’d love to hear your story.
If you like this poem, you might also like this other, even shorter, poem about sportsmanship. It is visually beautiful with amazing ornate graphics & makes a great Christmas gift or birthday present if you print it and frame it. We don’t know who wrote that poem either and have a 9 year ongoing discussion about it. Let us know if you know.
Last week saw the emergence of 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. When the young Sunny Akani (22) dazzled the now 6 times UK Champion, Ronnie O’Sullivan, we saw a new star in the making. Regarded as one of the greatest snooker players of all time, 42 year old, Ronnie O’Sullivan was given a master-class by the young Thai snooker star. Previously unheard of (to many) Sunny dazzled the audience with a stunning display of world-class snooker shots. Commentators said it was breath-taking stuff. And when he had some bad luck or played the rare poor shot, he smiled.
Ronnie ‘the Rocket’ O’Sullivan
At 42 years old, the Rocket has been winning for quarter of a century and is considered by many to be the most naturally talented player in the history of the sport and has been described by many in the sport as a genius (with 5 world titles and now 6 UK Championships, 31 titles in total – second only to Stephen Hendry). This quarter final proved to be an intense battle – which Ronnie said ‘Sunny should have won.’ A Star & a Friend-For-Life Was Born.
Watch some of the stunning shots or go straight to 11 minutes 27 seconds to see this amazing interview.
A Smiling Star
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 smiled, repeatedly. O’Sullivan applauded Sunny afterwards and told Sunny that British audiences love players who play ‘with a smile on their face’.
Dual Press Interview
Such was the mutual respect and warmth of friendship between the two, that they did a dual interview. Sunny said Ronnie was his hero. He then thanked Ronnie for the game. Ronnie wore a beaming smile and looked at Sunny with warmth and great admiration and told the TV audience that British audiences love Sunny already, because (not only is he brilliant) but he ‘plays with a smile on his face’. Audiences love that, said Ronnie.
“Thank You For The Game”
When the young Thai thanked Ronnie for the game, Ronnie immediately thanked him for the game also. Both competitors wore beaming smiles throughout this interview. They then bowed to each other with the prayer-like ‘Wai’ hand gesture & spoke Thai briefly to each other. Absolutely beautiful – watch this video to the end because, last week, a star was born. remember the name, Sunny Akani.