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Last Updated: Wednesday, 29 December, 2004, 17:55 GMT
Funny old year
By Chris Charles

That was the year that was.

Never mind the Olympics, Euro 2004 and the Ryder Cup - the biggest headlines and laughs came from the strangest sources... and sauces.


Sir Alex got covered in pizza but left Arsenal with egg on their faces in the Battle of the Buffet.

The whining and dining took its toll on Arsene Wenger, much to the delight of Old Big 'Ead the second at the Bridge - Billy Bragg to his mates.

Rooney was the name on everyone's lips after spitting out the Toffees - not to mention his dummy. The boy wonder had one foot in a Euro semi, the other in plaster.

Meanwhile, F.A. now stood for Faria Alam - as well as an acronym to describe precisely what the organisation achieved this year.

David Beckham misses penalty in Euro 2004

Malcolm Glazer (didn't he used to be in Starsky and Hutch?) tried to turn Manchester United into the Real deal. Real estate, that is.

David Beckham moved into his new house, but had problems with the Loos, while Bobby Robson hopes to get back in employment with a role in the new Werther's Originals ads.

Sir Bob's "daft as a brush" protege decided he wanted to be known by his new name, G8. Or Gate, if you prefer.

The Man Formerly Known As Gazza was all set to appear on Strictly Ice Dancing, but a training accident with Jimmy Five Bellies, playing the Jayne Torvill role, squashed his dreams.

And up in Yorkshire, something big and hairy was on the loose - Socrates.


Changing Rooms may have bitten the dust, but the Ideal Holmes Exhibition was alive and kicking in Athens.

One fan marked the golden double with a tattoo saluting Kelly 'Homes' - one L of a mistake, you might say.

US-born runner Malachi Davis became a Brit, paying tribute to the city of Lord's and Premiership champions Liverpool, while cheerily admitting he'd never heard of EastEnders. Doh.

Matthew Pinsent and Paula Radcliffe both did a Gwyneth Paltrow in Athens - perhaps they'd heard what the blubbing actress had called her poor daughter.


Jonny Wilkinson got injured (friction burns to the hands) and England were all fingers and thumbs without him.

Jonny Wilkinson blows hands on England bus parade

Clive Woodward turned his attentions to the round ball and could be named Southampton's 85th manager this year.

In League, Leeds came top to qualify for the semi-finals where they lost to Bradford, who they beat in the final to become champions. You work it out.

And GB coach Brian Noble prepared for the Aussies by dressing up as Elvis. Sadly his side were all shook up by the end of the series.


Serena Williams went clubbing in knee-length boots and mini skirt, but didn't have time to change for her first round US Open match.

The sexy theme was continued in Madrid - with models hired as ball girls.

"The skirts look like they're difficult to run in. They need to be shorter, maybe," said Andre Agassi.

Wimbledon darling Maria Sharapova declared her unhappiness at being seen as a sex symbol, before heading for her next magazine shoot.


Darren Gough swapped I'm A Celebrity for Zimbabwe - but still felt like shouting "Get me out of here!"

Fellow England star Freddie Flintoff dusted down his club and turned the opposition into Barney Rubble.


George Bush wasn't the only cowboy putting his foot in it over the pond. Ryder Cup captain Hal Sutton's tactics made Dubya look like Einstein.

Ian Poulter donned some fancy trousers to sink the winning putt - while Paul Casey simply thought the Yanks were pants.


In snooker, Quinten Hann and Mark King starred in Pot Whack as they entered the boxing ring to settle a dispute.

Andy Fordham cured his broken darts wrist with lager but the same medicine did not help his dehydration in the Battle of the Bellies against Phil Taylor. Funny that.

Boxer Ricky Hatton continued his unbeaten run by dressing up as Del Boy and driving a three-wheeler.

Shame he didn't lend the motor to Michael Schumacher - it would have made things a bit more interesting.



Highlights of 2004


Beckham goes to Hollywood
10 Nov 04 |  Fun and Games
What next for Serena?
31 Aug 04 |  Fun and Games
Socrates braves elements on debut
20 Nov 04 |  Fun and Games
Hann triumphs in Pot Whack
12 Jun 04 |  Fun and Games
The Sporting Oscars
01 Mar 04 |  Fun and Games

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