On This Day: May 16

Eric Cantona hangs up his boots and Michael Jordan receives a special honour. We take a look at two significant moments that helped make the 30th of April a memorable day in sporting history.

Cantona goes out on top


Most athletes tend to hold on a little bit too long, but some prefer to go out at the height of their powers.

That was the case with talismanic Manchester United forward Eric Cantona, who shocked the world by announcing his retirement from the game on May 16, 1997, aged only 30.

The fiery Frenchman said he’d lost his passion, and who would have wanted to see a passionless Cantona on the pitch?

He helped United to the league title in his final season, and played in title-winning teams in six of his last seven years in football – the exception being 1995, when he was under suspension for launching an acrobatic kung fu kick in the direction of a spectator in the stands.

Jordan named Rookie of the Year


On May 16, 1985, Michael Jordan gave only a small notice of the achievements that were to come by being named the NBA’s Rookie of the Year.

The Chicago Bulls legend would of course go on to win six NBA championships and become a global icon, the most celebrated basketball player in history and the most powerful brand in sports.

Sporting Birthdays

1970 – Gabriela Sabatini, Argentina, tennis player
1972 – Keith Burns, NFL linebacker (Denver Broncos-Super Bowl 32)
1978 – Lionel Scaloni, Argentine footballer
1980 – Mikel Alonso, Spanish footballer
1986 – Andy Keogh, Irish footballer (Wolverhampton Wanderers)