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  Friday, 29 March, 2002, 14:58 GMT
Silver summer of success
Tommy Stack and Red Rum pass the post at Aintree
Tommy Stack and Red Rum pass the post at Aintree
British sport saluted the Queen's Silver Jubilee with a string of successes over the course of 1977.

Twenty five years on from Red Rum's record-breaking third Grand National win, BBC Sport Online looks back on five heady months for the nation and its sports fans.


Red Rum was the first to make a mark on the sporting scene in 1977 - but not for the first time.

Rummy's victory at the Grand National, in what turned out to be his final appearance at Aintree, was his third in all - a national record.

  Big movies in 1977
Annie Hall
Close Encounters of the Third Kind
New York, New York
Saturday Night Fever
Smokey and the Bandit
The Spy Who Loved Me
Star Wars

The win, by 25 lengths, was in fact the second big "sporting" success of the week.

Six days earlier, on the other side of the Atlantic, "Rocky" won the race for the best film Oscar.

Peter Finch won the best actor award for his portrayal of a crazed news commentator in the film Network, months after dying of a heart attack.

Faye Dunanway also won an Oscar for her role in the Sidney Lumet film.


Liverpool enjoyed a rollercoaster month in which they narrowly missed out on winning three major trophies.

The Merseysiders won the league title on 15 May, but lost the FA Cup final to Manchester United six days later.

  Chart-toppers in 1977
Abba - Knowing Me Knowing You
Paul McCartney & Wings - Mull of Kintyre
Elvis Presley - Way Down
David Soul - Don't Give Up On Us
Rod Stewart - I Don't Want To Talk About It/First Cut is the Deepest
Donna Summer - I Feel Love

However, they found more than adequate consolation after that setback in winning the European Cup, for the first time in their history.

Goals from Terry McDermott, Tommy Smith and Phil Neal sealed a 3-1 win in Rome over Borussia Moenchengladbach.

As Liverpool celebrated, so did Rod Stewart.

The crooner, one of football's most celebrated fans who has a full-size pitch in his back garden, took the number one spot with I Don't Want To Talk About It/First Cut Is The Deepest.

He stayed at number one for four weeks, holding off the Sex Pistols and their anarchic "God Save the Queen" as Jubilee celebrations were in full swing.


On the first day of the month Lester Piggott, in partnership with The Minstrel, raced to his eighth Derby victory with the Queen cheering him past the post.

  The cost of 1977
Newspaper: 8p
Colour TV licence: 21
Inflation: At 11%
Income tax: 33p in 1
Ave. London house price: 16,731

Like Her Royal Highness, Piggott was celebrating an anniversary at the meeting - 25 years in the saddle at Flat racing's most famous race.

The victory purse was 82,000 and Piggott took in the region of 20,000 for his part in the win.

This year the prize fund for the race is 1.2m with the winner taking 696,000.

Three days after Piggott's win, Scotland's "Tartan Army" invaded London and then Wembley.

When the Scottish fans ran onto the pitch to celebrate a 2-1 win over the Auld Enemy, it was estimated they caused 15,000 worth of damage to the pitch.

By the time Wembley hosted another match, fences had been erected to keep the fans at bay.


The most memorable sporting success of the Jubilee summer came at Wimbledon where the home crowd celebrated a rare British victory.

  Births in 1977
Footballer Thierry Henry
Actress Sarah Michelle Gellar
Actress Liv Tyler
Jockey Richard Johnson
Royal Peter Phillips
Cricketer Andrew Flintoff

Virginia Wade took the women's title, beating Betty Stove, who denied the public an all-British affair on Centre Court after beating Sue Barker in the last four.

Having lost the first set, Wade bounced back on a baking-hot day to win 4-6 6-3 6-1.

In sporting terms the Queen may have got more satisfaction from Piggott's Derby win, but her greatest prize of the year was yet to come.

Before the year was out she was celebrating becoming a grandmother for the first time following the birth of Princess Anne's son Peter Phillips.

Jockey Richard Johnson, the boyfriend of Peter's sister Zara, was also born in the Silver Jubilee year, shortly after Wade's success.


Geoff Boycott became the 18th player to score 100 centuries in cricket, and the first to reach the landmark in a Test.

What is more, Boycott scored the ton in an Ashes series and on his home ground at Headingley.

  Deaths in 1977
Civil rights activist Steve Biko
Rock singer Marc Bolan
Opera star Maria Callas
Actor Charlie Chaplin
Actress Joan Crawford
Singer Harry "Bing" Crosby
Former Prime Minister Anthony Eden
Comic Julius "Groucho" Marx
Singer Elvis Presley

He had scored his 99th century in his previous Test, his first back in the England team following a self-imposed three-year exile.

Two days later, the summer of sport came saw another outspoken British sportsman celebrating.

Steve Ovett took gold in the 1500 metres at the European Championships.

But after the highs, came a low.

By the end of the week the world was mourning the death of Elvis Presley - The King of Rock 'n' Roll.

It was one of a number of high-profile deaths throughout the year.

"Groucho" Marx died in the same week and before the end of the year, one of the greatest stars of the silver screen had also died - Charlie Chaplin passed away on Christmas Day.

The world's most famous steeplechase

Bindaree's triumph

Our man at Aintree

Clickable guides

Video links



See also:

29 Mar 02 | Grand National 2002
29 Mar 02 | Grand National 2002
28 Mar 02 | Photo Galleries
Links to more Grand National 2002 stories are at the foot of the page.

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Links to more Grand National 2002 stories

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