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Five sport fairytales that sound like Leicester City’s

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Everyone loves it when an underdog triumphs over seeded and better competitors. And for Leicester City, a team that started the English Premier League with 5000-1 odd, the win is more incredible considering that the starting eleven only worth about £22 million.

That financial worth pales into nothingness when compared to Manchester City’s first eleven who cost, at least, £281 million, according to a BBC estimate.

But before Leicester City’s fairytale success, there are other sporting shocks that are worth remembering.

Nottingham Forest: from nothing to greatness. In 1976-77 season, Nottingham Forest promoted to the top flight after finishing third in the then second division of the English football. The team won the top flight league in 1977-1978 season. More shocking was Forest’s exploits in Europe, clinching the European Cup by beating Malmö 1–0 in 1978-79 and retaining the trophy in 1979–80, beating Hamburg 1–0 in Madrid.

nottingham-forest-1979

Nottingham Forest players and coach celebrating winning the European Cup in 1979 PHOTO: Getty Images

However, the club’s fortune has dipped drastically and  has been outside the premier league since 1999.

Boston Red Sox: paint the sky red. Baseball’s Boston Red Sox  was not expected to win the 2004 World Series, but they did anyway – 86 years after their last win. The triumph was more shocking because the Red Sox never trailed during the game and Manny Ramírez was named World Series MVP. A final, somewhat divine touch was added to Boston’s success when  on the night of Game 4 of the series, a total lunar eclipse coloured the moon red over Busch Stadium.

ST LOUIS - OCTOBER 27: The Boston Red Sox celebrate after defeating the St. Louis Cardinals 3-0 to win game four of the World Series on October 27, 2004 at Busch Stadium in St. Louis, Missouri. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

ST LOUIS – OCTOBER 27: The Boston Red Sox celebrate after defeating the St. Louis Cardinals 3-0 to win game four of the World Series on October 27, 2004 at Busch Stadium in St. Louis, Missouri. PHOTO: Elsa/Getty Images

Boris Becker: the youngest: When Germany’s Boris Becker won the Wimbledon tennis tournament in 1985 against Kevin Current, he was the youngest to have ever done so. He is, still. But the then 17-year old boy was unseeded. Shocking? Yes! He went ahead to win  five more Grand Slam championships and 44 other career singles titles.

Boris Becker

Boris Becker kissing his first Wimbledon Grand Slam trophy which he won as an unseeded 17-year old player. PHOTO:BBC

 

John Daly: PGA history maker. Like Boris Becker, John Daly, at the beginning of the 1991 US PGA golf championship, was not considered a potential winner of the golf showpiece after being drafted in as a late replacement. But he  won.

James ‘Buster’ Douglas: Burst Tyson’s bubble: On February 11, 1990, James Douglas lived up to his stage name – Buster-  in his 1990 bout with the then  undisputed, undefeated boxing heavyweight champion of the world Mike Tyson. Douglas had gone into the fight as a 42-1 underdog for the fight, making his eventual victory one of the least expected  upset in the history of heavyweight championship fights.

However, Douglas could only hold on to the title for eight months and two weeks, losing to Evander Holyfield.

James Buster Douglas

Douglas celebrates his victory over Tyson in what was one of the biggest shocks in sporting history. PHOTO: AP

 


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