1) Michael Robinson, the former Liverpool striker and European Cup winner who was later known and loved for his broadcasting work in Spain, has died at the age of 61. Liverpool posted a tribute of their own, before AS in Spain uploaded a video that they think defined him as a striker, a lovely solo effort in there for you. He was an integral part of Spanish culture, so much so that it was him that showed Fernando Torres around Anfield when the striker signed for Liverpool in 2007. Torres posted this touching tribute to Robinson on Wednesday. Here’s Robinson, in 2017, talking about his memories of Johan Cruyff and Barcelona’s European Cup win in 1992. RIP Michael.
2) Inspired by this excellent article on Dave Wottle’s remarkable comeback win to claim 800m gold at the 1972 Munich Olympics, here’s the race in full, which includes some cracking commentary as the man in a golf cap falls over the line:
Wottle won the gold medal! The man who came out of nowhere in the US Olympic trials! The man who then got married – and some people say that he shouldn’t have gotten married, that it was going to ruin him! He came up with two bad knees, he couldn’t train for weeks!”
Dave later gave a blow-by-blow account of the race, which makes for fascinating viewing, and rewatched it (much) later, providing this zinger to an eager crowd: “What I always like about that Olympic race is that if you run the film forward or backward, I win.”
3) Welcome to the John O’Shea Appreciation Society. It’s the Irishman’s 39th birthday today, so here are some of his best bits: nutmegging Luís Figo during the 2003 Champions League campaign, dinking a divine finish over Jens Lehmann with his weaker foot in 2005, a last-gasp winner in front of the Kop at Anfield in 2007, keeping a clean sheet after going in goal against Tottenham, and a 94th-minute equaliser away against Germany on his 100th cap for the Republic during Euro 2016 qualifying! Woof!
4) The Tour de Yorkshire was supposed to kick off today with a 176.5km ride down the coast from Redcar to Beverley. The last time major cycling came to the county it was wet, wet, wet. Just ask Attila Valter and Johan Price-Pejtersen, who found themselves surfing instead of cycling at times last year. With a similarly soggy forecast over the next few days, we may have seen similar thrills and spills this weekend.
5) This week, a year ago, saw the first legs of the Champions League semi-finals, with Lionel Messi’s ridiculous 30-yard free-kick flying into the top corner to give Barcelona a seemingly unassailable 3-0 lead over Liverpool. Hang on a minute. Oh, and here’s some Luc Nilis at PSV.
1) That boy Messi’s good with his hands too.
4) Can anything match the sheer raw spectacle of die cast metal racing?
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