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Sporting Witness

BBC

The inside and personal story of the key moments from sporting history

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United Kingdom

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BBC

Description:

The inside and personal story of the key moments from sporting history

Language:

English


Episodes
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Manchester United's record-breaking treble

5/24/2024
Ten days at the end of Manchester United's 98/99 season would define the club as one of the greatest teams in the world. They won the English Premier League, followed by the FA Cup. It had been 31 years since they last won the European Cup, with Bayern Munich determined to end their bid for the record-breaking treble. Former United midfielder Jesper Blomqvist speaks to Uma Doraiswamy about the pressure of trying to get the treble when everybody expects you to win, and how being substituted led to United equalising when they needed it most. (Photo: Jesper Blomqvist with the European Cup. Credit: Reuters)

Duration:00:08:59

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The fatal crash of Ayrton Senna

5/18/2024
It's 30 years since the death of Formula One driver, Ayrton Senna. The three time world champion died in a crash at the 1994 San Marino Grand Prix in Imola, Italy. The Brazilian icon was just 34-years-old at the time. Following his death, major safety changes in Formula One were introduced. Matt Pintus has been delving into the BBC World Service archives to find first person accounts of the tragedy. You'll hear from Senna's manager, Julian Jakobi, and from one of the first people on the scene of the crash, Professor Sid Watkins. (Photo: Ayrton Senna before the San Marino Grand Prix. Credit: Getty Images)

Duration:00:08:59

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Ghana's 'Baby Jet'

5/11/2024
Alice Annum is Ghana's original 'Baby Jet'. She gained the nickname after winning two silver medals at the 1970 Commonwealth Games, for the 100m and 200m sprint races. Alice was also the first woman to represent Ghana at the Olympics. Throughout her career, not only did she compete as a runner, she also competed in long jump. In more recent years the name 'Baby Jet' has been taken on by former footballer, Asamoah Gyan. But Alice knows that she is the original. She tells Gill Kearsley the story of how she got the nickname. (Photo: Alice Annum in 2024. Credit: Sally McBratney. Photo: Alice Annum the finish line of the Women's 100-metre event of the 1970 Commonwealth Games. Credit: Daily Express/Archive Photos/Getty Images)

Duration:00:09:05

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The first Venice Cup

5/4/2024
In May 1974, the Italian Bridge Federation invited a team of American women players to an invitational challenge match against their own women's team. Over eight days, the two highly successful teams would compete in the city of Venice for a new trophy dubbed 'The Venice Cup'. Originally a one-off event, the Venice Cup continues to this day as a biennial tournament and is held around the world. Andrew Edwards speaks to American Bridge life-master Bette Cohn, now in her 90s, about her memories of the competition. A Made In Manchester production for the BBC World Service. (Photo: The Italian Venice Cup team. Credit: World Bridge Federation)

Duration:00:08:59

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Scouting Liverpool's greatest generation

4/27/2024
It's 20 years since the death of the scout responsible for finding some of the greatest players in Liverpool's history. Geoff Twentyman joined Bill Shankly's Liverpool in 1967 as chief scout, tasked with overhauling the club's recruitment system. Armed with his scouting diary, he unearthed lower league players who would later on go to be world beating superstars, including Kevin Keegan, Alan Hansen and Ian Rush. His two decades as chief scout contributed to the most successful period in the club's history - as they won nine titles, six domestic cups and six European trophies. In March 2024, a plaque celebrating Geoff along with the rest of 'the boot room boys' was unveiled outside Liverpool's Anfield stadium. His son, Geoff Jr, has been speaking to Matt Pintus. (Photo: Geoff Twentyman with the European Cup. Credit: The Twentyman family)

Duration:00:09:06

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Alex Higgins: The rock star snooker legend

4/20/2024
Alex Higgins was the two-times World Snooker champion from Northern Ireland whose speedy style of play helped turn the game into a must-watch sport. But, away from the table, he was a wild boy – whose gambling, drinking and womanising eventually led to his downfall. He died in 2010 at the age of 61. Producer Vicky Farncombe uses archive interviews to tell the story of Alex ‘Hurricane’ Higgins in his own words. (Photo: Alex Higgins. Credit: Getty Images)

Duration:00:09:06

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The first transgender pro golfer

4/13/2024
It's 20 years since Mianne Bagger became the first transgender athlete to play in pro golf tournament. The Danish golfer made history by competing at the 2004 Women’s Australian Open. It was a landmark moment for trans sport and made headlines around the world. In 2021, Mianne Bagger spoke to Robbie Wojciechowski. (Photo: Bagger at the 2004 Women's Australian Open. Credit: Getty Images.)

Duration:00:09:53

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The man who swam the Amazon

4/6/2024
In 2007, 52-year-old Slovenian endurance swimmer Martin Strel became the first person to swim the entire length of the Amazon River. It took him 66 days to complete and, over the course of his journey, Strel faced threats such as pirates, sharks, and dengue fever. At 3,300 miles, it’s the longest open swim in history. He shares his experience of the swim with Hunter Charlton. It’s an Ember Audio production for BBC World Service. (Photo: Martin Strel pictured in London in 2009. Credit: Getty Images)

Duration:00:09:55

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Bonus: The Black 14

4/5/2024
A bonus episode from the Amazing Sport Stories podcast – The Black 14. Sport, racism and protests are about to change the lives of “the Black 14” American footballers. It’s 1969 in the United States. They’ve arrived on scholarships at the University of Wyoming to play for its Cowboys American football team. It was a predominantly white college. The team is treated like a second religion. Then, the players make a decision to take a stand against racism in a game against another university. This is episode one of a four-part season from the Amazing Sport Stories podcast. Content warning: This episode contains lived experiences which involve the use of strong racist language

Duration:00:32:45

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The plasterer who fought a boxing legend

3/30/2024
Roberto Duran and Dave Radford were from different worlds. Roberto, a champion boxer considered one of the greatest to ever step into the ring. Dave, a part-time plasterer in the North of England, boxing in leisure centres and social clubs. But in 1997, a series of unlikely events saw Dave down his tools, fly to South Africa and fight Duran in front of 10,000 people. Johnny I’Anson speaks to Dave and his trainer James Walker about that memorable night. (Photo: The fighters in action. Credit: Walter Dhladhla/AFP/Getty Images)

Duration:00:09:13

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First black cricketer to represent England

3/23/2024
In 1980, Roland Butcher became the first black cricketer to represent England. It was in a one day match against Australia. Born in Barbados, his first tour was against his home region of the West Indies. He’s been speaking to Claire Bowes about his experience and getting caught up in plans for a controversial rebel tour to South Africa. (Photo: Roland Butcher. Credit: Allsport/Getty Images)

Duration:00:09:53

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Rajeev Bagga: Deaflympic badminton champion

3/15/2024
The badminton champion Rajeev Bagga grew up in India, winning deaf and hearing competitions in his home country and abroad. He has won 14 gold medals at the Deaflympics, which is the second oldest multi-sport and cultural festival in the world after the Olympics. In 2001, he was named ‘Deaflympian of the Century’. At the 2005 Melbourne Deaflympics, he was given the ‘Champions Award’. Rajeev won the 1991 and 1992 national badminton championships in India. He’s been sharing his experiences with Laura Jones, through a BSL Interpreter. (Photo: Rajeev Bagga with some of his medals. Credit: BBC)

Duration:00:09:41

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F1's only six-wheeled winner

3/8/2024
In the 1976 Formula One motor racing season, South African driver Jody Scheckter became the first and only person to ever win a race in a six-wheeled car. Competing against him in Sweden was American Mario Andretti. In this episode, both former world champions speak to James Pepper about history being made at the Anderstorp circuit. A Made in Manchester Production for the BBC World Service. (Image: Jody Scheckter in the Tyrrell-Ford P34. Credit: Hoch Zwei/Corbis via Getty Images)

Duration:00:09:49

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Women's Marathon Agony

3/2/2024
In 1984, the women's marathon was held in the Olympic Games for the first time. But to the horror of the crowd in Los Angeles, one of the runners, Gabriela Andersen-Scheiss of Switzerland, entered the stadium in a state of virtual collapse from heat exhaustion. The 40-year-old ski instructor was not used to the hot Californian climate. She had to hobble her way around the final lap of the race. The crowd of ninety thousand people in the LA Memorial Colosseum cheered her on as she made it to the finish line. Andersen-Scheiss tells Ashley Byrne about her ordeal. The programme is a Made-In-Manchester Production that first aired in 2016. (Photo: Andersen-Scheiss finishing the race in 1984. Credit: John W. McDonough/ Sports Illustrated via Getty Images)

Duration:00:08:59

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International football's biggest ever beating

2/23/2024
In April 2001, the small island nation of American Samoa took on Australia in the World Cup qualifiers. You could only play for the team if you held an American passport, which automatically ruled out the majority of the American Samoans, leaving them to resorting to picking schoolboys to play for them. What followed was the biggest defeat in international football – 31-0. Uma Doraiswamy speaks to goalkeeper Nicky Salapu about how he felt as the 31 goals the goals flew in past him. (Photo: Nicky Salapu in goal for American Samoa against Australia in 2001. Credit: Darren England/Allsport Getty Images)

Duration:00:09:55

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Zamalek Stadium Disaster

2/17/2024
It was supposed to be a friendly match between Egyptian giants Zamalek and Czechoslovakian side Dukla Prague, but before the game started there was a deadly crush in the crowds. The day before the game on 17 February 1974, the venue had been changed from the larger Cairo Stadium to Zamalek's home ground. It was reported that 48 people died and 47 were injured in a stampede. Josephine McDermott hears from retired Egyptian international player and Zamalek winger Mahmoud Al Khawaga who was there. Production and interpretation from Riham Eldeeb in Cairo. (Photo: Zamalek Stadium on the day of the disaster)

Duration:00:10:55

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Victory for South Africa: The Africa Cup of Nations

2/10/2024
In 1996, South Africa won the Africa Cup of Nations, bringing sporting joy to a country still recovering from Apartheid. It was the Bafana Bafana team's first victory at an international football tournament. In 2015, two members of the multi-racial side, Phil Masinga and Mark Fish, spoke to Will Yates. A Whistledown production for BBC World Service. (Photo: South Africa captain Neil Tovey lifts the Africa Cup of Nations. Credit: Gallo Images/Getty Images)

Duration:00:09:11

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Lamine Gueye: Senegalese skiier

2/3/2024
In 1984, Lamine Gueye of Senegal became the first black African skier to take part in the Winter Olympics. The grandson of a prominent Senegalese politician, Gueye founded his country's ski federation and for a long time was the only member. In 2017, he spoke to Tayo Popoola. A Whistledown Production for BBC World Service. (Photo: Lamine at the 1996 World Championships. Credit: Jerome Prevost/TempSport/Corbis/VCG/Getty)

Duration:00:09:04

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Lin Dan: Badminton's all time superstar

1/27/2024
Lin Dan has dominated badminton for several decades. The Chinese star nicknamed 'Super Dan' clinched the sport's Super Grand Slam - winning 9 major titles by the age of 28 and the first player to achieve the feat. But it was his Olympic Games Gold medals which are particularly special to him. He speaks to Wendy Tang about how he got to be a world great. This is a Made Manchester Production for the BBC World Service. (Photo: Lin Dan competing in the Australian Badminton Open in 2017. Credit: Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)

Duration:00:09:50

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The Elfstedentocht

1/20/2024
The Elfstedentocht is one of the toughest sporting events there is. It’s an ice skating race around the lakes and canals of the northern Dutch province of Friesland – and it can only take place when it is particularly cold. The last one was in 1997, but the most notorious happened back in January 1963, when only 69 of the 10,000 skaters made it to the end of the 200 km course. The rest were stopped by the appalling weather conditions. One of the few to complete the race was the then 24-year-old skater Leffert Oldenkamp. He tells Matthew Kenyon about the extreme race. (Photo: Competitors in the 1963 Elfstedentocht. Credit: Eric Koch/Dutch National Archive)

Duration:00:08:57