1) Premier League clubs have returned for what is essentially a second pre-season before the league resumes on 17 June. There is concern in some quarters about the affect on players of trying to condense too much fitness work into such a short space of time. Player welfare? Pah! Jock Wallace would have been flabbergasted. Here’s Sandy Jardine revealing how only six of 46 Rangers players finished one of Wallace’s gruelling exercises back in the day, with two requiring oxygen. And then there’s the infamous footage of Wallace barking at his Leicester players as they near breaking point sprinting up and down Wanlip sand hills in 1978. “Hands off that bloody sand!”
2) Horse racing was among the first to make a comeback in England, albeit without fans in Newcastle. Lots of rules changes are in place, including a ban on saunas, which means interviews such as this one with David Crosse at Newton Abbot will not be possible. Johnny Murtagh might have been very worried when they told him they would need to attach a mic. Do not fear, there will still be time for engrossing interviews.
3) Cricket is back! Guernsey held a trial match over the week, with all social distancing rules applied. There were plenty of big hits, catches and wickets, all in front of actual spectators.
4) There is no French Open this year. Instead we can only look back on what we are potentially missing this time around. A decade ago Rafael Nadal powered past Robin Soderling to claim one of his 12 titles at Roland Garros. It made up for being shocked by the Swede the previous year, one of only a handful of career losses in the French capital. It also means we will miss out this sort of light-hearted banter, when Goran Ivanisevic swapped his racket with a ball boy in 2015, not to mention this gloriousness from Jo-Wilfred Tsonga. Twenty years ago, Mary Pierce produces one of the great trick shots on French soil.
5) The revived rugby league Ashes series is the latest to be cancelled due to coronavirus, meaning we will miss out on classics like this from 2003 and more attritional stuff from 1994. It does at least mean we will be spared unsavoury incidents.
6) Technically, pigeon racing was the first competitive sport to return to these shores. It might be all flat caps and feathers in the UK, but for the Chinese it is very big business. Although, it surprising how many stereotypes are ticked on in this documentary. Not to mention the fact that Mike Tyson is a fan.
1) The state of the pitch for the 1970 League Cup final was terrible. Still, at least it’s not as bad as this.
2) Celebrity golfing, you say? Try Terry Wogan holing what was then the longest televised putt.
3) Final Score from 1986. How does your team get on?
Spotters’ badges: ChampagneChino, whobroughtoranges, jezzan, LeeWall.