Thanks to technology golden moments in sports continue to live on

2015-04-29 00:00

THERE are some of us in today’s world of technology and information at your fingertips who harp back to the “old days” where the newspaper, radio and even telegram kept us posted of news and sport developments.

Such preferences have their pros and cons and one of the plusses is being able to drift back through the chapters of various sporting disciplines where inevitably there are videos and footage of action from years gone by.

Someone out there always has that precious moment never to be forgotten and once it’s been posted on various sites, the sporting enthusiast knows no bounds as his insatiable appetite is satisfied.

The recent death of cricket legend — as player and commentator — Richie Benaud stirred a myriad of nostalgic memories and paging through books and almanacs to pay tribute to the man in a unique, individual way.

As a keen cricket follower, I never had the privilege of meeting the great man, but stories, pictures and the like ensure his memory lives on. As has already been said, he was a gentleman of the game and valued its traditions and sportsmanship above all else.

With nostalgic thoughts in mind and trolling through some classic sport scenes on the Internet, the thought of the 1985 World Snooker final suddenly came to the fore.

This was and still is the greatest snooker final of all time. The “Nugget” Steve Davis, at the height of his powers and three-time World Champion, against the Irishman Dennis Taylor. It was the best of 35 frames and it lasted over two days.

This was sport at its greatest and most exhilarating.

Davis was cruising, romping into a seven frame to nil lead after the first session. He never missed a pot and Taylor could just watch. With the evening session to come, it looked like business as usual, going through the motions, for Davis.

By his own admission, Davis “lost the plot” in the evening, missing a green for 9-0 and allowing Taylor his first frame. When time was called at the end of day one, it was 9-7 to Davis.

Day two was a nightmare, a battle of survival for Davis. The two gladiators strode around the table, matching each other blow for blow. Fifteen frames to 14 in Davis’ favour became 17-16 and then 17-17. Down to the final frame, winner takes all which back then, was £60 000.

People who remember that final — there were 18,5 million, a record for a post midnight audience on British television — were spellbound, watching every twist and turn, wanting to know the outcome. It wasn’t good enough to be locked at 17 frames apiece — the final frame had to go down to the black ball.

Taylor needed brown, blue, pink and black for the title and he finished three-quarters of the challenge, leaving the black.

It was 62-59 to Davis and that last frame lasted 68 minutes, such were the safety shots being played. Taylor had a chance and missed, Davis had to cut the black in to win and missed, which resulted in an easy pot for Taylor and the title, his first and only world title.

Having watched this clip, the next one is a one-frame rematch the two protagonists enjoyed in 2010, 25 years after their epic battle. It was all good fun and joking around, Taylor “winning” once more.

The funny thing was, as the two tried to relive that final and tell the audience what shots they played and what they were trying to attempt, this time around it was as if there were magnets on the pockets and everything just went in.

It makes for great viewing and now 30 years down the road, you can’t help getting goosebumps all over again, even knowing what the outcome was.

It shows the value of sport, the value of the players and how sport can unite people and fulfil the soul.

There’s no snooker aired on television these days and sadly we are missing artistry at work.

However, those golden moments are preserved and still live on.

Having a bad day?

Feeling depressed?

Sit at your computer, iPad or tablet and key in “1985 World Snooker Final”. On May 1, it’s 30 years since that unbelievable epic.

Put your feet up and enjoy.

You will feel a new, enriched person afterwards.

Long live technology.

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