Hidden beneath the pandemic, 2020 saw an unforgettable year of sport - opinion

2020 is the year future generations are only going to remember for one reason only. But hidden beneath the spreading virus and frustrating lockdown hides an unforgettable year of sport.

Thursday, 31st December 2020, 9:34 am
Updated Thursday, 31st December 2020, 9:36 am
Tyson Fury knocks down Deontay Wilder

The year started off with such high hopes, a new decade sparked new ambition for sport. It couldn’t have started off any better as West Ham had battered Bournemouth 4-0. I was never going to go overboard though as were still having as poor season.

The start of February you get the annual Rugby Six Nations, and it is the perfect way to walk into spring for me. Although it started with a horrible evening in Paris the next focus was on beating the Welsh.

Growing up, the first boxing fights I really remember seeing was Tyson Fury vs Vladimir Klitschko. Only 14 at the time, I developed a soft spot for Fury and his nutty personality. So, I was glued to the tele in the early morning watching Fury rematch Wilder in mid-February and was no better feeling than seeing him outclass Wilder in the ring.

During March the coronavirus started having speculation of turning into a pandemic. But didn’t seem to faze the country as the Cheltenham festival kicked on. A lover of the ponies, I had been watching almost every race that week.

The last professional football game to be played in the country was Liverpool’s home defeat to Atletico Madrid.

This alongside the Cheltenham festival should not have gone on. Over 50,000 at Anfield and 70,000 and the races each day. Just one of the first mistakes the government would’ve made, especially in the management of sport.

With the postponement of the Euros and the Olympic games shortly after, athletes had been finding ways to keep fit at home and started broadcasting their progress on social media which lifted the mood of a lot of people in a difficult time.

A viral trend during the first lockdown saw a lot of people, especially in the younger ages, run 5 kilometres and donate £5 to the NHS, which was also lifting.

May saw the restart of the Bundesliga, which was a great step in the right direction, following safety protocols. The premier league was last to follow suit out the top 5 leagues, restarting in June.

From that moment sport has been the same till now. No crowds, less money, less passion and less enjoyment for everyone sitting at home.

The only benefit this pandemic could ever is that major global sporting events have been pushed all into one year, 2021. The Olympics makes every summer a joy, alongside the Euro’s, where England have their big shot. And finally, the British Lions tour in South Africa which I will be attending every test to. To say I can’t wait is far of an understatement.

In all this currently the governing bodies of most sports have let their people down and really shown their true colours.

The FA continue to provide a lack of detail to lower leagues, English boxing have lost funding for the amateur stage and the RFU have been giving different dates of when people can return to contact which, in my opinion, is bizarre. Saying this, when the vaccine becomes available to everyone sport should return to normality.