Dark Days in English Sport

With next month’s Ashes series looming, England have rallied hard to record a gentleman’s 85 all out in the first innings of their one-off test against minnows Ireland. 

At the home of cricket, with a tune-up actually required of several players, they have not fired a single shot and are on the cusp on an historic loss. If you’ve already bought tickets to Days 3, 4 or 5 of any of these forthcoming Ashes tests, try to get a refund immediately.

This is by no means the first time that England have had to weather a dark day of sport. Believe me, there have been countless, and we’ve re-lived a few of them below.

Adelaide Test 2006/07

Who could forget the Adelaide Test during England’s ill-fated 2006/07 Ashes campaign? Paul Collingwood scored a double ton and they were actually in a position to declare after the first innings. HOW DID THEY LOSE!?

There is a case to be made for England bottling it any time that they step onto an international football pitch, but we’ve selected a couple of favourites.

Euro 2016

It must have absolutely stung to be knocked out of the Euros by tournament debutants Iceland in 2016.

England 1, Australia 3

2003 was a great year for Australian football. Doing this IN England really set into motion a proper chain of events for both nations.

English Rugby Union

There is no denying that northern hemisphere rugby is a distant second, both skill-wise and from a spectator’s perspective than the far superior running rugby that is typically enjoyed below the equator.

England always think they’ve ‘got it’ when it comes to the Rugby World Cup, but they certainly did not when they became the first ever host nation not to progress from the Pool stage in 2015.

Previously, a full-strength England side was also on the receiving end of a 76-0 nil thrashing at the hands of Australia in 1998.

English Rugby League

Moronic arguments of the Super League somehow being close to the NRL in terms of anything aside, who could forget the time that the ‘Great Britain’ Lions were absolutely destroyed by Australia, to the tune of fifty-four points in 2002?

I’ve put Great Britain in inverted commas there because the entire team was made up of Englishmen.

I’m going to go ahead and say that most days are dark days for English Rugby League.

1996 Olympics

Sure, they compete as ‘Team GB’ alongside Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland, but English athletes always make up the lion’s share (haha) of the squad and that was certainly the case when they could only manage a single gold medal at Atlanta ‘96.

It’s surprising to see that Matthew Pinsent and Steve Redgrave were only knighted for winning the Men’s Coxless Pair. Surely a royal estate each would have been fitting, given they saved their nations from the ultimate botch. 

This clip pretty much sums it up. A British record and it still wasn’t good enough to win.

Tim Henman (or Tennis in general)

I really shouldn’t pinpoint Tim Henman specifically, but he typifies England’s plodding nature in the sport of Tennis.

For a nation that hosts the world’s premiere tournament, England has been simply atrocious at the sport since man first climbed down from the trees and began exhibiting motor skills.

Andy Murray is Scottish, just FYI.

Slade Power

Slade Power was touted as this absolute world-beater when he won a few races on the noticeably weaker English sprint scene, and when he arrived in Australia for the 2014 VRC Sprint Classic, his reputation took a massive hit.

The one-eyed Pommie racing fraternity were sure they were onto a winner, but Slade Power was sent into retirement after failing to fire a single shot when six-lengths eleventh behind Terravista, Chautauqua and Lankan Rupee.