The big birthdays in our business that fall this week

Monday, June 1

Justine Henin [1982], Belgian tennis player and winner of the Australian, French and US Opens; Alanis Morrisette [1974], Canadian singer-songwriter of very glum songs about men, and Heidi Klum, German-American model; Martin Brundle [1959], British racing driver, commentator and all-round Formula One powerbroker and fixer; Chiyonofuji Mitsugu [1955], Japanese sumo wrestler, d. 2016; and New Zealand cricketer Matt Poore [1930] who on the 1955-1956 tour of India once went to sleep standing up in the field, due to the side effects of gastric medication he had been prescribed. He would later be bitten by a stray dog on the pitch in Bangalore requiring two weeks’ worth of rabies treatment.

Chiyonofuji Mitsugu went on a 53-match winning streak from May through to November 1988 which is still the best ever in the post-war period. Here are all 53 of those wins.

And also happy birthday to CNN which started broadcasting this day in 1980, and the Heimlich Manoeuvre which was first published in Emergency Media today in 1974.

Tuesday, June 2

Steve Smith [1989], Australian cricketer, run machine and former Test captain; Patrick Berglund [1988], Swedish ice hockey player and Sergio Argüero, Manchester City legend and Argentina; Nikolay Davydenko [1981], Russian tennis player;  Petra van Staveren [1966], Dutch swimmer who won the 100m breaststroke gold medal winner in the 1984 Olympics; the Waugh brothers [1965], Steve and Mark, Australian cricketers; Arnold Mühren [1951], Dutch footballer and living legend in the English town of Ipswich which he helped win the 1981 UEFA Cup. It was Mühren’s cross to Marco van Basten in the final of the 1988 UEFA European Championships between Holland and the Soviet Union that created what many consider the greatest volleyed goal of all time.

‘The Battle of Santiago’ from the 1962 FIFA World Cup as seen through the eyes of the BBC’s David Coleman.

This was also the day that police had to intervene four times in the 1962 FIFA World Cup match between Chile and Italy, one of the most violent matches in football history; Chile won the match 2-0, two players were sent off from both sides and little wonder that the referee that day, England’s Ken Aston, would go on to conceive of the yellow-red card system still used today. PT ‘The Greatest Showman on Earth’ Barnum started his very first tour of the United States today in 1835.

Wednesday, June 3

Rafael Nadal, Spanish tennis player, winner of 12 French Opens and more than US$ 120m in prize money [1986]; Yelena Isinbayeva, Russian pole vaulter, two-time Olympic champion and still world-record holder [1982]; Wasim Akram, cricketer, national team captain and ‘Sultan of Swing’ and the only Pakistani to be named in Wisden’s Test World XI to mark the publication’s 150th anniversary [1966]; George V, of the United Kingdom. For the 1908 London Olympics Princess Mary, the wife of the future George V, gave the signal for the start for the marathon in the grounds of Windsor Castle. The Windsor Castle start required the competitors to run an additional 385 yards to reach the stadium finish line which has ever since been the official marathon distance, 26 miles and 385 yards.

Russian pole vaulter Yelena Isinbayeva sets the current world record height of 5.06 at Zurich’s Weltklasse meeting in 2009; since her retirement she has taken a robust position defending Russia’s sports programme from allegations of doping.

On this day in 1992, Aboriginal land rights are granted for the first time thanks to the Mabo v Queensland (No. 2) case brought by Eddie Mabo. Today in 1950, French climbers Maurice Herzog and Louis Lachenal become the first to conquer Annapurna 1 [8,091m or 26,545 ft]; in France Herzog is as well known today as other French heroes like Jean-Claude Killy and Jacques Cousteau; Lachenal not so much. From a percentage point of view, Annapurna has the highest fatality rate by far of the ‘eight-thousanders’ at around 33% [vs Everest at 1.5%].

Thursday, June 4

Ben Stokes [1991], New Zealand-born English cricketer whose masterful performance was key to England winning the ICC Cricket World Cup final last year, defeating New Zealand; Pawel Fajdek [1989], Poland’s four-time world champion in the hammer throw; Lukas Podolski [1985], German professional football player and scorer of the fastest goal in German national team history in 9 seconds, vs Ecuador in 2013; Dan Vickerman [1979], Cape Town-born 63-Test Australian rugby player who captained Cambridge University to a 31-27 win over Oxford while studying land economy [and also helped the Wallabies win the 2011 Tri Nations Series], his suicide in 2017 caused many sports to reexamine the support provided for retired players struggling with mental health issues.

Ben Stokes’ match-winning innings in the 4th Test at Headingley in the 2019 Ashes

Happy birthday to the Pulitzer Prizes which were distributed for the first time this day in 1917, including the first of three awards to legendary investigative reporter Herbert Swope, ace poker player, fierce critic of the Ku Klax Klan, member of the Algonquin Round Table and inductee of the Croquet Hall of Fame. And the villagers of Roquefort-sur-Soulzon were granted a monopoly on the production of Roquefort cheese, this day in 1411 by King Charles VI, a protection still recognised today under EU law.

Friday, June 5

Mark Ella [1959], brilliant Australian rugby union flyhalf whose debut in 1980 against the All Blacks saw Australia successfully defend the Bledisloe Cup for the first time and, as Wallaby captain in 1984, he scored a try in each of the Test matches of Australia’s Grand Slam against the four Home Nations; John Carlos [1945], the bronze-medal winner in the 200m at the 1968 Olympics whose Black Power salute on the medal podium caused international controversy – the 200m gold medal winner Tommie Smith, who joined Carlos in the protest, has his birthday on June 6 1944.

The brilliant Mark Ella scores a try against England, Ireland, Wales and Scotland as Australia complete the Grand Slam in 1984, with commentary from Gordan Bray.

The Qatar blockade starts [2017], led by Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Egypt, Libya and Yemen which will have a yet-to-determined impact on the staging of the 2022 FIFA World Cup. On this day in 1981 barely anyone noticed when The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported a rare form of pneumonia killing five people in Los Angeles in their ‘Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report’ in what would turn out to be the first reported cases of AIDS. On this day in 1956, Elvis Presley performed his new single Hound Dog on the Milton Berle TV Show shocking audiences with his sexualised hip movements and almost causing the end of the world in some people’s minds.

Author image
Charlie Charters is a former rugby union official and sports marketing executive turned thriller writer whose debut book Bolt Action was published by Hodder & Stoughton in 2010.
You've successfully subscribed to The DAIMANI Journal
Great! Next, complete checkout for full access to The DAIMANI Journal
Welcome back! You've successfully signed in.
Success! Your account is fully activated, you now have access to all content.