Barry Sheene, the late Johan Cruyff and Arsenal’s Invincibles all helped make the 25th of April an iconic day in the history of sport.
Sheene wins first motorcycle Grand Prix
On the 25th of April in 1976 Sheene won the French Grand Prix on a Suzuki in the season’s opening race. He completed his 30 laps around the Circuit Bugatti Le Mans in a time of 51 minutes and 45 seconds. That victory proved to be the start of a truly special campaign for the Englishman as he would go on to claim a total of five races en route to topping the 500cc final standings.
Sheene would win the championship again in 1977 and he was Britain’s last champion until Danny Kent in 2015.
Arsenal win Premier League
On the 25th of April in 2004, goals from Patrick Vieira and Robert Pires were enough to earn Arsenal a point at White Hart Lane and in doing so claim the 2003/2004 Premier League title.
This wasn’t just any title triumph though. Coined as The Invincibles, because they were basically just that, Arsenal completed the entire league season without losing a single game.
Their final record read 26 wins, 12 draws and 0 defeats. Only once before had any English club completed a professional league campaign unbeaten since the Football League’s foundation in 1888. A special gold version of the Premier League trophy was commissioned to recognise the achievement.
Cruyff is born
On the 25th of April in 1947, Cruyff was born. He is widely regarded as one of the greatest players in football history. He spent the twilight of his playing career at Ajax and Barcalona. He won the Ballon d’Or three times. As a manager he was hugely successful at the two clubs that he spent his best playing-days at. On 24 March Cruyff died of cancer aged 68. The tributes he received were an illustration of how much he means to football across the world.
1976: Gilberto, Brazilian footballer
1980: Bruce Martin, New Zealand cricketer
1981: Felipe Massa, Brazilian Formula One driver
1982: Monty Panesar, English cricketer