As the Scots get ready for their haggis suppers and a night of recitals, here at Ladbrokes News we thought we’d mark Burns Night in our own unique way.
While the Bard of Ayrshire remains ‘the greatest’ of his countrymen and women it’s worth remembering the plethora of elite sportspeople Scotland has bestowed upon us and the memorable achievements that have brought unbridled joy to a proud nation.
We can’t possibly do all of them justice so feel free to add your own suggestions in the comments box below.
In the meantime, here’s our top 5 countdown of Scotland’s greatest sporting moments.
Team GB Women’s Curling team take gold
It was the moment curling captured the imagination of the British public. An all-Scots team took curling gold at the Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City in 2002 and wrote their names into the history books.
Skip Rhona Martin and her three able deputies beat Switzerland in a three-hour epic final that went down to the last stone. Nearly six million people tuned in to watch the nation’s first Winter Olympic Gold in 18 years.
Hoy becomes the most successful British Olympian
On 7 August 2012, in his home Olympics in London, Chris Hoy won gold in the Keirin event to overtake Sir Steve Redgrave and become the most successful British Olympian ever.
This would be the Edinburgh legend’s final major tournament and he bowed out of cycling with an almighty haul of honours: six Olympic golds, 11 World Championship golds and numerous world records to his name.
Archie Gemmill’s wondergoal lights up the 1978 World Cup
It’s a World Cup moment that’s up there with the “Hand of God”, has been immortalised by the film Trainspotting, and remains a painful example of quintessential Scottish failure.
Needing to beat the Netherlands by three goals to advance to the knock-out stages, Scotland led 2-1.
Then Archie Gemmill collected the ball, played a beautiful one-two with Kenny Dalglish before dribbling and then superbly firing past the Dutch goalkeeper to the astonishment of the footballing world.
Unfortunately, there would be no miracle fourth goal and it was another group stage exit in Argentina.
Wells wins Olympic 100m gold in 1980
Allan Wells became the first Brit to win the marquee event, the Olympic 100m title, since Harold Abrahams in Paris 56 years earlier.
At the age of 28, and with the talented Cuban Silvio Leonard the huge favourite for the title, the odds were stacked against him.
And with barely a cigarette paper between the pair at the line, a fantastic dipping finish handed Wells the unlikely gold.
There was suggestion the Wells’ victory was devalued by America’s boycott of the Games. But to prove this wrong Wells accepted an invitation to take on the best US sprinters of the day, and won again.
Murray wins Wimbledon, nation goes wild
While the above are all more than worthy, there is nothing that can beat Andy Murray’s epic Wimbledon triumph.
Scotland is not renowned for producing tennis players but Murray’s straight-sets victory over world number one Novak Djokovic on Sunday 7 July 2013 will go down in British sporting folklore.
Britain had not had a champion at SW19 for 77 years but Murray stylishly dispatched Djokovic in front of 15,000 patriotic spectators on Centre Court to change all that.
After a gruelling three hours and 10 minutes of high-quality tennis the man from Dunblane came through a tortuous last game to claim the title.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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