- December 8 down the years
A dark day for Australian cricketThe sporting events of December 8 down the years
2007 It was finally revealed that Mark Waugh and Shane Warne had taken money from a bookmaker in Pakistan four years earlier. The Australian Cricket Board had fined them but kept the story quiet.
2007 Ricky Hatton was unbeaten in his first 44 pro fights, including many defences of his ersatz WBU light-welterweight title. But there was serious doubt about the quality of his opponents (Kostya Tszyu was 35 when they met), so it did not come as surprise to some that he lost as soon as he stepped up a class. American fans were amazed at the confidence in Britain before the fight with Floyd Mayweather Jnr - and nodded sagely when Hatton was stopped in the 10th. Mayweather remained unbeaten and kept his WBC welterweight title, Hatton decided to fight Manny Pacquiao on May 2. Brave but ultimately in defeat.
2005 By winning the 50 metres freestyle, 35-year-old Mark Foster became the oldest ever European short-course champion, breaking the age record he set the previous year.
1984 Australia completed the rugby union Grand Slam by beating all four British countries on their autumn tour - and did it in some style, with their biggest win of the four, 37-12 against Scotland at Murrayfield. David Campese scored two of the Wallabies' four tries, while fly-half Mark Ella scored one in all four games. Ella, Campese, Michael Lynagh, Nick Farr-Jones, and captain Andy Slack were some of the best backs Australia have ever produced. They outscored the British countries by 12 tries to one.
1940 One of the best teams in the NFL suffered the biggest defeat in American football history - in the Championship Game, too. The Washington Redskins had Sammy Baugh as their quarterback. Forget your Brett Favres and Dan Marinos: Slingin' Sammy (born March 17, 1914) had possibly the greatest arm of all time. Unfortunately for him, the Chicago Bears also had a great quarterback, Sid Luckman (born November 21, 1916), master of the recently introduced T formation that remains the standard today. Back in 1940, it baffled the Redskins to the point where they conceded 11 touchdowns and lost by the astounding scoreline of 73-0. But what if Washington had scored early on instead of dropping Baugh's scoring pass? 'We would have lost 73-7,' quoth Sam. The Bears retained the Championship in 1941, beating the New York Giants by a relatively merciful 37-9. The Redskins, and Slingin' Sam, won it the year after that.
1913 Belgian motor racing driver Camille Jenatzy was killed by his own friends. To be fair, they did think he was a wild boar. So that was alright, then. During a hunting party, Jenatzy thought it would be a jolly wheeze to make wild animal noises in a bush. His imitation was so convincing that his pals fired into the foliage and shot him dead. It's said that he died on the way to hospital by car, fulfilling his own prophecy he'd perish in a Mercedes. When he wasn't playing lethal practical jokes, Jenatzy was quite a driver in those pioneering days. He broke the land speed record three times, and in 1899 became the first to reach 100 kilometres an hour.
2007 Jane Couch fought her last fight, losing in two rounds to Anne-Sophie Mathis in Paris. Couch was on the way down by then: this was her third consecutive defeat and she'd been a pro for 13 years. In her prime, she'd won five world titles despite originally being refused a licence because the British Board of Control thought PMS made women too unstable to fight for a living. 1984 In the final of the Australian Open, Sweden's Mats Wilander beat big-serving South African Kevin Curren to retain the title. Wilander lost the first set on a tie-break but won the third the same way before closing out the fourth 6-2. Curren never won a Grand Slam singles championship. At the age of 20, Wilander had now won three. 1962 Steve Elkington was born in Australia. He won one Major golf tournament, the USPGA in 1995, beating Colin Montgomerie in a play-off after both had shot superb totals of 267.
1868 Laurie Auchterlonie was born in Scotland. He was US Open golf champion in 1902. His brother Willie won the British Open in 1893.
1932 Charly Gaul was born in Luxembourg. One of the great climbers, he was twice King of the Mountains in the Tour de France and won the overall race itself in 1958 as well as two Giros d'Italia. Just to show drugs in cycling aren't a recent phenomenon: French customs confiscated pills intended for his use.
1981 In the Twickenham snow, Cambridge won the 100th Varsity match 9-6 to go ahead of Oxford on number of wins for the first time. England full-back Marcus Rose kicked three penalty goals to two by future England fly-half Stuart Barnes.
1893 Pierre Etchebaster was born in France. He was world champion at real tennis from 1928 until he retired at the age of 60 in 1954 after defending the title seven times, a record at the time.
1906 In the last rugby international staged at the old Crystal Palace, England drew 3-3 with the first touring Springboks, who led 3-0 at half-time. Both tries were scored by players making their debuts: Billy Millar - and Freddie Brooks, who won only this one cap for England. South Africa could have no complaints: they'd left Brooks out of their squad for the tour!
2002 In Paraparaumu in New Zealand, on a lawn slowed by rain, Robert Fulford of Britain beat Wellington's Toby Garrison 26-0 26-0 9-26 26-11 to win the world croquet title for the fifth time, a record that still stands.
1984 Azumah Nelson of Ghana showed what a quality fighter he was by stopping the great Puerto Rican Wilfredo Gómez in the 11th round to win the world featherweight title.
2001 Left-arm seamer Chaminda Vaas became the only bowler to take eight wickets in a limited-over international: 8-19 to bowl Zimbabwe out for 38 in Colombo. Sri Lanka lost one wicket in knocking off the runs in less than five overs. Zimbabwe's total was the lowest in any one-day international until then. They did even worse on April 25 2004.
1959 President Dwight Eisenhower watched Test cricket. Pakistan v Australia in Karachi.