Green’Un Retro: 25 Years Ago

Steve Cram
Steve Cram
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Twenty-five years ago athletics hogged the front page of the Green’Un.

In early August in 1988 the main news centred on Steve Cram who delivered a golden warning to his Olympic rivals in the trials at Birmingham.

The Jarrow superstar recovered his vintage form at just the right moment to destroy his big Scottish rival Tom MccKean in a classic two lap showdown.

The tough Glaswegian was grateful to earn his ticket to Seoul with a battling effort to finish runner-up but was firmly put in his place by Cram’s best run at 800 metres for two years.

Cram unleashed a devastating kick to leave McKean floundering and pulled away to win in 1min 44.16 secs, the third fastest 800m in the world that year.

Betty Sworowski, the Sheffield United race walker who had won the UK title in Derby two months previously, added the women’s AAA 5,000m to her collection at Birmingham.

The 27-year-old computer operator from Thorpe Hesley led all the way and finished more than a minute in front of her nearest rival in a time of 24mins 24.32.

Former Sheffield star Barrington Williams almost certainly clinched his place in the Olympic team with the best start of his life in the 100m to finish third behind Linford Christie and John Regis.

In cricket Graham Gooch played one of the slowest Test innings in history to keep England afloat against West Indies at The Oval.

Gooch, 38 not out overnight, batted for two and three-quarter hours before completing his half century and going on to 67 not out to take England from 64 for three to 175 for seven by tea in the Fifth Test, a lead of 197.

Super subs David Byas and Richard Blakey rescued Yorkshire with a high class partnership for the fifth wicket at Cheltenham at the start of the Championship fixture with Gloucestershire.

Byas, the farmer’s boy from Driffield, was in the side in preference to Kevin Sharp and Blakey took over from wicketkeeper David Bairstow who ricked his back during the drawn game with Notts at Abbeydale Park.

The pair came together after Aussie Test ace Terry Alderman had taken three wickets in 17 balls to put the skids under Yorkshire after Martyn Moxon played the anchor role.

On a red-hot day David Graveney put Yorkshire in to bat.

Byans and Blakey played some magnificent shots in the afternoon and Byas reached his halfcentury from 91 deliveries.