For a nation of whining losers it’s been a terrible weekend.
Still caught between worshipping foreign footballers and self-loathing and pessimism over our rugby shortcomings the success over the last few days has been awful for the doom-mongers. If we stop moaning and take stock of our sporting success we can see an impressive list of what we are good at:
World boxing champions - 11 of them currently - including Sheffield’s Kell Brook.
Led by Tennis’s Murray brothers we’re Davis Cup winners for the first time since 1936 – to put that in perspective that was the year of Hitler’s Nazi-organised Olympics.
Jessica Ennis, Olympic and world heptathlon champion, Sheffield and British icon. Lewis Hamilton Formula 1 three times champion.
The world’s top cyclists are Brits and we have long-jumpers, gymnasts and swimmers regularly on podia all over the world.
Tyson Fury - the kind of name they used to give to big-hitting characters in comics – has the top belt in world boxing after his victory over the statuesque Wladimir Klitschko on Saturday. Fury ended Klitschko’s reign becoming only Britain’s fifth ever heavyweight world champion alongside Bob Fitzsimmons, Lennox Lewis, Frank Bruno and David Haye.
He joins Brook, James DeGale, Lee Selby, Scott Quigg, Carl Frampton, Jamie McDonnell, Liam Smith, Terry Flanagan, Lee Haskins, and Anthony Crolla as our world’s best.
Slightly barmy and larger-than-life he may be but that’s how we like our heavyweights.
Even our cricket team is winning again. And – if any more were needed - we have a Sheffield lad who’s currently the best striker in Europe. Jamie Vardy couldn’t make it at Sheffield Wednesday but at the age of 28 is inspiring a provincial city side to the top three of the Premier League. Whatever our football persuasion every fan and player has a little flutter of excitement when they see his pace and directness opening up the best defences in the land – again and again.
Let’s not dwell on his rejection by Wednesday and what could have been, football is full of players kicked out by one club and successful at another. It was a lousy weekend for whiners but a triumph for all those involved in playing, training, coaching and the other things it takes it takes to create champions.