In 2001, a group of Tibetan exiles and a Danish ex-footballer teamed up to create the Tibetan national football team, in the face of many obstacles, including threats from China. Robert Nicholson talked to Michael Nybrandt and team captain Sonam Wangyal about their first ever game against Greenland. A Whistledown Production, first broadcast in 2017.
PHOTO: The Tibetan team lining up for their match against Greenland (Getty Images)
The football wages revolution
In 1961, England’s top players threatened strike action in order to force the Football League to scrap its limit on wages of 20 pounds a week. Their victory was a turning point for the sport as it ushered in the modern era of football mega-salaries. In 2011, Lucy Williamson spoke to the late Jimmy Armfield, a former star defender for Blackpool and England captain.
PHOTO: The late Jimmy Armfield in the early 1960s (Getty Images)
In November 2009, Zenyatta became the first – and only – mare to win the Breeders Cup Classic, one of the most prestigious horse races in America. Undefeated in all but one of her races, Zenyatta became wildly popular with the public; she was as well-known for her dance moves in the paddock as she was for coming from behind to snatch victory at the last moment. Zenyatta’s jockey, Mike Smith, talks to Jonathan Holloway. The programme is a Made-In-Manchester Production.
PHOTO: Zenyatta and Mike Smith in action in 2010 (Getty Images)
The woman who rowed the Atlantic
In December 1999, the American Tori Murden McClure became the first woman to row across the Atlantic Ocean single-handed. It was the culmination of a dream that had brought her close to death many times as she capsized again and again during a hurricane on a previous attempt. She was inspired to keep trying by working with the great boxer Muhammad Ali. Tori Murden McClure talks to Claire Bowes.
Photo: Tori Murden McClure in the 'American Pearl' 1999 (courtesy of Sector Sport Watches and Tori Murden McClure)
Lebanon's match-fixing scandal
In 2011, the Lebanese national football team reached the final phase of World Cup qualification for the first time, sparking wild celebrations among the fans. But within months, the game in Lebanon was engulfed in a huge match-fixing scandal focusing on a suspicious-looking goal in a match against Qatar, as well as domestic fixtures. In 2013, 24 Lebanese players were found guilty in an investigation ordered by FIFA and the national side’s World Cup campaign fizzled out. Alex Eccleston reports. The programme is a Whistledown Production.
PHOTO: The Lebanese team ahead of a World Cup qualifier in 2012 (Getty Images)