1. Hicham El Guerrouj. 1996 Olympics.
El Guerrouj arrived at the Atlanta Olympics as one of the favourites for 1500m gold. He had taken silver as a 20-year-old at the previous year’s World Championships and the he looked primed to reach his peak in Georgia.
With a lap to go, the Moroccan (numbered 1904) moves out and makes his move. You get to see the beginning stages of a kick that seems likely to put him in control, but his heels are accidentally clipped as he accelerates and he tumbles down in a heap.
YouTube credit: whyhmm
2. Oxford. 2012 Boat Race.
With Oxford leading after almost three quarters of this year’s Varsity Boat Roace, both crews were forced to stop as a protester got himself in amongst the oars.
When the race restarted, Hanno Wienhausen of Oxford had his oar broken in a clash with the other boat, leaving him as dead weight for his teammates. Particularly, Alex Woods; who passed out on board the boat shortly after the finish and was treated for exhaustion.
YouTube credit: lukeywow1998
Darren Bent shoots straight at Pepe Reina, but it skips past him anyway. How? Because there is an LFC branded beach ball in the Spaniard’s goal mouth.
YouTube credit: syaafique
4. Louth. 2010 Leinster final.
1957 is the last time Louth managed to claim any silverware, and it may be another 55 years before they come as close as they did in 2010.
The Wee county were terrific when many expected them to wilt on the big stage against a Meath side who had put five goals past Dublin in the semi. JP Rooney’s goal (8.50 in) looked like it would prove the difference between the sides, but in the fourth minute of injury time Joe Sheridan did his best impression of Shane Horgan (10.00) and grounded the ball underneath the posts.
YouTube credit: meathfootball
5. Esha Ness. 1993 Grand National.
Not one, but two false starts delayed racing’s showpiece event of 1993. The only problem was that most riders were oblivious to the second recall and ran on.
Esha Ness, a 50/1 shot before the start finished the four mile, four furlong race in first place, but the result would not stand and the race would not be run.
YouTube credit: sachahuista
6. Munster 2002. The hand of Back.
The southern province have had a love affair with the European competition since its inception. Their obsession was only strengthened by coming so close, only to wind up second.
In 2002 they entered their second final against the Leicester Tigers. Trailing by six points with time running out, the had a try ruled out (correctly) after John O’Neill was ruled in touch. However, the game was still alive as the lined up a five meter scrum near the posts.
Peter Stringer put the ball in straight, but flanker Neil Back slapped the ball back onto the Tigers’ side and they cleared to safety.
YouTube credit: Snedds
7. Denmark and ‘the football idiot’.
In 2007, Denmark found themselves trailing 3-0 at home to Sweden in a vital Euro 2008 qualifier. Not nice. They rallied and levelled the scores through goals from Daniel Agger, Jon Dahl Tomasson and Leon Andreasen. But in the 89th minute, all hell broke loose. Sweden were awarded a penalty, it was never taken.
Ronni Nörvig ran onto the pitch and swung at the referee. Though restrained by Danish players, the team was forbidden to play any of their remaining qualifying games with 160 miles of Copenhagen, though the sanctions were later halved Denmark ended up fourth in their group. Sweden qualified.
YouTube credit: steeeeea