Christmas season is upon us, so in the build-up to the big day itself we at ESPN Towers will be picking out a host of top-five moments, and then asking YOU to vote for your favourites.
What was the goal of 2012? Who are the top five bad boys of the past 12 months? Who had years to forget? Come back each day for a new topic and cast your vote to pick the winners of each category…
Final day of the Premier LeagueA certain broadcaster has been guilty of hyperbole in the past, but that cannot be levelled at Sky for the final day of the 2011/2012 Premier League season. It truly was high drama. Manchester City, chasing a first league title in 44 years, had the destiny in their own hands at home to QPR. It was all going to plan when they led at half-time, but nerves started to fray when Djibril Cisse drew QPR level. It all turned a bit ugly at the Etihad with Joey Barton sent off for brawling with what seemed like most of the City side. It got worse for City when Jamie Mackie headed the R's in front. With Manchester United easing to victory at Sunderland, the noisy neighbours - as United had come to label their rivals - were in danger of letting the title slip through their grasp. Manager Robero Mancini rolled the dice, throwing on Edin Dzeko and Mario Balotelli in search of goals. The 90th minute had ticked down, with City still needing two goals, when Dzeko drew them level. The celebrations were somewhat sombre. They were anything but a couple of minutes later as Sergio Aguero collected a pass from Balotelli, slalomed into the box and slammed the ball home to seal the title for City.
Wiggins' Tour de ForceThree weeks of pain, hauling his body over mountains, avoiding crashes and dominating in the time trials put Bradley Wiggins in position to become the first Brit to win the Tour de France. Yes the course suited him and his main rivals, Alberto Contador and Andy Schleck were absent, but it was a quite stunning achievement and that moment when he took the customary glass of champagne before riding into Paris is a moment that will never be forgotten. Still the team player, Wiggins rode hard on the front of the pack to deliver Mark Cavendish on the Champs Elysees for the stage win.
Olympics' golden SaturdayOlympic fever well and truly gripped Britain this summer and the middle Saturday proved to be Super Saturday. For all the brilliance of the Chris Hoys and Ben Ainslies of this world, athletics is really what sets the pulse racing at the Olympics. GB had high hopes of glory in track and field and the home crowd had plenty to cheer on the Saturday. Greg Rutherford had considered quitting the long jump on account of injury, but his perseverance was rewarded as he leapt out to 8.31m to become the first Brit in 50 years to win the title. Jessica Ennis was the golden girl coming into London 2012 and she came away with a gold medal when proving in a league of her own in the heptathlon. On the Friday, Ennis set the tone with a time of 12.54 seconds in the 100m hurdles, the fastest time ever recorded during a heptathlon. She never faltered at any stage and a two-lap victory parade in the 800m saw her rack up 6,955 points which was the third highest in the history of the Olympic competition. And the stunning hat-trick was completed when Mo Farah delivered on the pre-race hype with victory in the 10,000m. With a controlled display of distance running, Farah powered to the front with 500m to run and streaked away - willed on by a vibrant crowd - in a time of 27:30:42. He went to claim gold in the 5,000m.
- Frankel's Royal Ascot romp Sir Henry Cecil's superstar ended his career unbeaten, signing off at Ascot in the Champion Stakes, but it was his performance at the Royal meeting when crushing old rival Excelebration by a stunning 11 lengths that took the breath away.
- Rory McIlroy's US PGA masterpiece: The Ulsterman clinched his second major title with a display of total dominance. He came back on the Sunday to finish his third round. It did not affect him as he kept the field at bay and sealed an eight-shot win, a US PGA record, with a birdie at the final hole.
- Chelsea's Champions League win: After being written off mid-way through the season, Chelsea battled to the final and clinched the win on penalties, Didier Drogba slotting home the final spot-kick to sink Bayern Munich in their own backyard.
- Australian Open final: As tennis finals go, this slugfest between Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal had pretty much everything. At five hours and 53 minutes, it was the longest final in major history. It see-sawed, Djokovic at one stage looked on the brink of exhaustion but he somehow steeled himself to win 7-5 in the fifth.
- England's toppling of New Zealand:< England were written off prior to the game, having been beaten by South Africa and Australia in the weeks previous. But in the face of adversity, they trampled the world's No. 1 side - with it being the first time this century that the All Blacks had not scored a point before half-time.
US Open glory for MurrayDuring a golden summer of 2012, Andy Murray morphed from nearly man to Olympic and major champion. In June, Murray cried tears of anguish as Roger Federer proved his superior in the Wimbledon final. It was his fourth defeat in a major final and many were starting to question whether he would ever get over the line. He returned to Wimbledon in August and produced a towering display to beat Federer to Olympic gold. It was a display of total dominance that teed him up for a tilt at the US Open. He battled his way to the final where he met defending champion Novak Djokovic. After coming through an epic first set tiebreak and battling through the second, Murray looked on course for a comfortable win. Djokovic had other ideas and produced some of his best play of the year to level the match. Towards the end of the fourth set, though, Djokovic started to fatigue and Murray did not pass up the chance as he powered through the final set to become the first British man to win a major final since Fred Perry in 1936
Ryder Cup final dayAs comebacks go, this is up there with the best. Europe had been outplayed for the best part of two days and trailed 10-6 going into the singles. It was a huge task that faced Europe, but the momentum had started to shift the previous evening when Ian Poulter inspired himself and Rory McIlroy to what appeared an unlikely win over Zach Johnson and Jason Dufner. Team USA required four and a half points to claim victory at Medinah. They were under pressure early in the singles, as Jose Maria Olazabal was rewarded for sending out Luke Donald, Poulter, McIlroy, Justin Rose and Paul Lawrie early as they won the first five games. The two Johnsons, Dustin and Zach, put some USA red on the board, but the blue tide was relentless and the Ryder Cup was sealed when Martin Kaymer stroked in a six-foot putt on the 18th to beat Steve Stricker.