About Blaine Conway

Blaine Conway has recently started writing sports blogs and is very passionate about what he writes. Blaine is a fan of many sports and is often seen at many events. He is also a dedicated follower of West Ham United and like many other West Ham fans has seen his fair share of heartache over the years, but is confident that hopefully the club is moving in the right direction. Blaine has a passion for acting too and has performed on stage and in front of the camera working with many British and Hollywood actors in his career to date so far.

Start The Samba Early

Having just watched England comfortably beat Moldova 5-0 in the first qualifying match for the World cup finals in Brazil 2014 its time to Que the hopes and expectations, the dare to dream and mutter the words “we could win the World cup”. There is only one problem with this? I said this for the World cups in South Africa, Germany, Japan and South Korea and probably France in 1998. So why should this qualifying and World cup be any different? Or will it be the usual that we qualify scrape through to the quarter finals and eventually get knocked out on penalties (and probably to the Germans).

Well the facts speak for themselves. At this very moment in time England lie third in the Fifa World rankings, The highest we have ever reached since Fifa rankings began. We have an English manager in Roy Hodgson, The only English manager who has taken over the national team with actual international managerial experience, and yet to be beaten in 90 minutes of play as England manager. England also have a balance in the team with experience and youth. The old guard of John Terry, Frank Lampard and Ashley Cole who were once described as “past it” in the middle of last season by some media critics went on to show that they still have a lot to offer by winning the Champions league with Chelsea. This experience can offer a lot to the new talent braking through into the team with Tom Cleverley and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain making a claim to be in the starting eleven and none more so then their performance in Moldova. Having both started the game due to squad injuries they knew this could be their chance to show the manager what they had to offer in a competitive match and they did exactly that from kick off. The pace of Oxlade-Chamberlain on the wing and attacking threat of Cleverley playing just behind Jermaine Defoe was more then enough to spring a new life into the the England style of play. This was backed up Frank Lampard a real professional in the centre of the park who had this to say after the game. “They’re are brilliant, of course they’re are good enough.’ he told ITV1 “Tom is a pleasure to play with and with him being such a young age, he’s going to be right in the middle of the team for years to come.” He also had this to say on Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain “Alex was brilliant. He lit up the first half and it’s great to see players like that coming through.”

As we all know Moldova are not the power house in international football and being ranked only 141 in the world behind St Vincent and the Grenadines actually puts things into perspective. As the qualifying period continues we will be playing a harder standard of football, with the likes of Poland and Ukraine in our group but as you can only beat what is in front of you and the England team did exactly that. With the ground only having a 10.500 capacity and the pitch not exactly being up to the Wembley standard the stage was set for a shock upset. With that in mind England had the perfect start when they were awarded a penalty after only three minutes for a handball which Frank Lampard converted to settle down the enthusiastic home crowd. Then on 29 minutes Lampard got his and England’s second and with Defoe adding a third just minutes later it was safe to say the game was won by half time. With James Milner and a very deflected free kick form Everton’s Leighton Baines adding to the scoreline in the second half, it was certainly a great start to kick off the group stages. So we now look towards the game Tuesday night at home against Ukraine which i will be attending and which i have no doubt will be a sterner test for England, the objectives will still be the same. With an expectant 90.000 England fans at Wembley and Roy Hodgson still being judged on every match if the squad can put on another impressive and attacking performance and with a clean sheet then there is no reason why England cant stay top of group H before the next round of games take place.

Im not saying we will win every group game and that every performance will be top draw. This is England we don’t do things the easy way, but if we can build up a winning mentality and qualify comfortably for the finals in Brazil then it will certainly give us an edge as the team come up against the best in world football. Of course if England do these things and do get through the group easily then the pressure will be on England to transfer those performances and win the World cup. That is a stigma that is attached to every England team weather it is the World Cup or European Championships, but this is because we are an expectant sporting nation with football being our national sport with world class English players and in truth 1966 was too long ago. So lets just say the England world cup winning wagon is setting off and i am first on board and there is plenty of room if you want to jump on board and join me.

Photo courtesy of sportinglife.com

The Day Justice Became a Reality

The the 15th of April 1989 became the day that sport did not matter. It became the day headlines being prepared on the back page of a newspaper which would only reiterate what was being prepared for the front page. It became the day 96 people left their homes for a football match only never to return. It became the day only to be known as the Hillsborough disaster. So why on the 12th of September 2012 a staggering 23 years after that tragic day has the truth and documents of what really happened only just being released to the world? Probably because it was the biggest blunder and cover up in police history.

Hillsborough Memorial

In this article I will be dealing in truth and truth only of the findings of the Hillsborough independent panel which were set up in December 2009 to oversee “full public disclosure of relevant governmant  and local information within the limited constraints set out in the disclosure protocol” and “consult with Hillsborough families to ensure that the views of those most affected by the disaster are taken into account” For 23 years family, friends work colleagues and strangers have fought to over tern the verdict of accidental death, the fact that Liverpool fans were to blame and that the death toll of 96 could have been vastly reduced had more then just a single ambulance being allowed on the pitch do deal with the casualties. The panel had read over 400.000 documents which covered everything from police statements and paramedic statements to eye witnesses accounts and survivor stories. The world were expecting some findings to emerge, but what the world actually found out can only be described as astonishing.

The panel had come to the conclusion that “Up to 41 of the 96 fans who tragically died might have survived had emergency services’ reactions and co-ordination been improved” Just take the number of 41 in for a minute, it means that up 41 lives could have been saved from the terrible day, 41 families would not have to of buried fathers, mothers,sons or daughters and 41 people could have continued their precious life. The conclusion of 41 fans possibly being saved is based on post mortem examinations which found some victims may have had heart, lung or blood circulation function after being removed from the crush. Following on from that the report also came to the conclusion that placing fans who were “merely unconscious” on their backs would have resulted in their death. If that was not enough from the report,  also to be concluded was that fact that no Liverpool fans were responsible in any way for the disaster, and that the main cause of the disaster was “lack of police of control” The idea of Liverpool supporters being liable for their fellow supporters deaths has been a stigma which has followed them around for 23 years, especially as just days after Hillsborough a “”well known” red top tabloid had printed lies in which stated fans had “beat up a PC giving the kiss of life” and “drunken fans viciously attacked rescue workers as they tried to revive victims”. The  Liverpool fans now had the truth they had so tirelessly fought for to clear their names from a disgusting and vile smear campaign that tried to see them blamed for this tragedy. When in fact in fans were actually seen pulling fellow supporters to safety and using advertising hoardings as stretchers for other injured fans. All though a shocking reason behind the idea of liverpool fans being responsible for Hillsborough were being spearheaded by the South Yorkshire Police.

The Panel had found that South Yorkshire police and other emergency services had made a “strenuous attempt” to deflect blame from them onto Liverpool supporters. The very police force that were there to protect the public and offer an honest and caring service were actually creating the biggest cover up ever to protect them selves and not even consider taking into the account the feelings of the grieving families who were being led to believe their own loved ones could have been responsible for the deaths of others. This was not clearly just one person lying, this was a cover up on epic proportion which would include perjury and preventing the course of justice. 164 witness statements were amended and 116 had statements removed which were “unfavourable to South Yorkshire police, but the smear campaign to do stop there. Probably the most disgusting findings to emerge from the report was South Yorkshire police carried out blood and alcohol readings on victims in which some of them were children just as so they could then blame the fans by saying they were drunk and not in control of their actions. While mothers were grieving their children were being used as a subject of a cover up and if that was not enough computer checks were also being run on victims on the police national database in an attempt to “impugn their reputation”. Every attempt was being made by the police to hide their responsibility for the events of that terrible day and for 23 years it had worked, but not anymore.

After 23 years the families, supporters, the media and the world have finally reached the end of the truth but have now created the begenning for justice. The priority for all involved now is to overturn the inquest verdicts of accidental death as attorney general Dominic Grieve is urged to open a new investigation and also start to consider criminal proceedings for those responsible for not only the tragedy but also the shocking cover up. This will not be a quick process, if this is to run its full course then this could possibly takes years for the out come and the right people be brought to justice. If it has to take years then you can believe the Liverpool fans will be fighting every day and every step of the way. They have fought for 23 years for justice for the 96 and they in no way intend to give up now.

This article is dedicated to the 96 Liverpool fans for justice is now finally being achieved.

Image reproduced from Liverpoolblogg.no

Clever Tweets or Silly Twits?

Ashley Cole’s Twitter rant raised a few eyebrows!

With Ashley Cole becoming the latest in a long line of sports stars to apologise for their outburst on Twitter, today I will examine the questions: “Do sports stars really need Twitter to become closer to their fans?” and “Is it really worth running the risk of a fine or charge by their respected sports authorities?”

Gone were the days where you would write to your favourite sports idol asking for a signed photo and a short message back, or wait outside the ground  maybe for hours after a football match to get your programme signed by the players. Now it is all about sending them a tweet and receiving one back. Welcome to the autograph of the 21st century.

The boom of social networking in the world now means we can find what celebrities are doing in their day to day life, what film they are going to watch at the cinema, we can even find out what they had for breakfast. So the interaction of a fan and their idol becomes ever closer as they can send a tweet and receive one back in return in the matter of seconds, or maybe congratulate them on a great game. In practise that sounds perfect but as we know in life things are never that simple. It is no significance in life that online abuse has grown 300% in the past year with most of the abuse being used in the way of tweets.

Tom Daley, Rebecca Adlington Darron Gibson are just a few of many sports stars that have received untold amounts of abuse on Twitter from so called “trolls” from followers on their respected accounts. Abuse on Twitter does not just stem from criticism for a bad performance in their sport it also is sadly falling into much darker depths of life as the amount of racial abuse being tweeted has grown 10 fold over the past 18 months with Ashley young, Carlton Cole and Micah Richards all reporting cases of racial abuse to the police.

This month has seen the latest apology from a footballer after a foul-mouthed tweet from Ashley Cole not only got him in trouble with the FA but also running the risk of jeopardising his England career. Ashley Cole became outraged after he was accused of  “evolving” his statement supporting John Terry’s defence against a proven charge that he racially abused Queens Park Rangers player Anton Ferdinand. Cole took straight to Twitter  and wrote “Hahahahaa, well done #fa i lied did I, #BUNCHOFT***.’ Chelsea defender Cole later deleted the tweet and apologised saying “I was really upset and tweeted my feelings in the heat of the moment. I apologise unreservedly for my comment about the FA.” All though the apology was not enough to get him out of hot water with his domestic club as Chelsea will still fine him two weeks’ wages after breaking their social media policy which will cost him in excess of £200,000. Quite an expensive risk for losing your cool.

Ashley Cole is no means on his own in being fined for an outburst on Twitter, in fact he is just the latest in a long line of stars. Arsenal’s Emmanuel Frimpong was fined £6,000 by the Football Association after comments he made on Twitter to a Tottenham fan. Frimpong was charged with improper conduct which included a reference to faith. Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand was fined £45,000 by the Football Association over a comment posted on twitter. Ferdinand was charged after appearing to endorse a tweet by another user of the social network site which described Chelsea defender Ashley Cole, as a “choc ice,” a term understood to mean someone who is black on the outside but white on the inside.  This after Cole had given evidence the day before the tweet in the John Terry Anton Ferdinand. The list of footballers getting into trouble with comments posted on twitter goes on with Paddy Kenny and Joey Barton to name just a few more and with the ever growing trend of footballers taking to Twitter, it is only a matter of time before another footballer finds himself up on an FA charge.

Football Clubs have tried to curb what their players say on the social networking site and many are taking up the opportunity to bring in a policy where players will be fined if they are found to be disrespecting their club or be found to be acting in an inappropriate way over Twitter and with some players having nearly 5 million followers it goes to show every tweet will be watched and scrutinised by the public. Not everyone has brought into the social network phenomenon with Sir Alex Ferguson  many times airing his views on the site, “Twitter; i do not understand it, i don’t know why anybody can be bothered with it, but it is there and as a club we haven given instructions to the players that they cannot talk about Manchester United.” Of course many sports stars and their followers not have any problem in the way they use Twitter and often is a great way to interact with their fans after a specific sport and not more so then after London 2012 when Gold medalists Greg Rutherford, Jessica Ennis and Mo Farah took straight to Twitter to express their delight after winning gold and then to thank their followers for continued support and in return then were sent thousands of tweets congratulating them on their achievements.

So going back to the original question: clever tweets or silly twits? Well like everything in life if  Twitter is used in the correct way and Tweeters think before typing then there is no issue and they will not have to face  the risk of a fine or charge by their respected authorities but maybe if they are angry and annoyed about a certain decision or situation in their sport then maybe Twitter is not the best way to air then views. This in turn goes for their followers who if are seen to be sending vile or racist tweets then should be banned from Twitter and them selves face a police charge. Although I can’t help but think it is only a matter of time sports stars will be in the news for Twitter but for the wrong reasons.

Image reproduced from foxsports.com.au

Inspire a Generation, You’ve Inspired a Nation

Overcrowding on the underground, lack of security, congestion on our roads due to “games lanes”. All this as the country still deals with the aftermath of the London riots, falling  further into recession and the summer of discontent. Was an Olympic games really what we needed and this precise moment? In fact it was the perfect tonic.

Even the week leading up to the games with G4S security not able to supply enough staff to fulfill their contract and bus drivers willing to strike over bonus payments, hardly an air of optimism of what is described as the “greatest show on earth”. Up steps Slumdog millionaire director Danny Boyle to create an opening ceremony to match that of Beijing, to win over the doubters and show the world that when it comes to the crunch Britain can pull together through times of diffacuilty. The world stood up and took note, London had put on a superb opening ceremony and even the rain held off, well almost. As the Olympic cauldron was lit by the athletes of tomorrow, London 2012 had started.

The Opening Ceremonary

So now attention was turned to the athletes with Team GB looking for a target of 48 medals,one more then Beijing 2008. With a home crowd and a string of top stars surly that was an easy achievement, wasn’t it?. Early Saturday morning and all eyes were focused on the men’s road race. With the dreams of Britain’s Mark Cavendish crossing the finish line at the mall and collecting our first gold medal, unfortunatly it was not your story book ending. With Mark crossing the line in 29th the focus shifted to the women’s road race. Lizzie Armistead grabbing silver and Rebecca Adlington collecting bronze finally Team GB were off and running on the medals table but the Olympics were still not far from controversy. As the new hot topic for the critics to focus on were the empty seats at volleyball basketball and swimming. A situation that Lord Coe was quick to defuse. As Monday and Tuesday passed our gymnastics team shone through as a silver and bronze were added to Great Britain’s medals tally but still where was that illusive gold medal? Were we going to reach 48 medals? Will we have an Olympic champion? The critics knives were sharpening. Then on Wednesday morning double Olympic gold medalist James Cracknell tells Britain “don’t panic, the rowers are here” and how right he was.

So how appropiate that here in london you wait ages for a bus and two come along at once but only this time it was gold medals. Heather Stanning and Helen Glover strike gold in the rowing womans pair  and Bradley Wiggins winning gold in the time trial just two weeks after becoming tour de france champion. Great Britain had started to climb the medals table at a rate of knots but who knew what was just around the corner. Over the wednesday and thursday Team GB had racked up 5 gold medals 4 silver and two bronze. As friday dawned the world was introduced to the Olympic stadium.  The dancers and musicians from the opening ceremonary seemed a distant memory as the track and field athletes took the positions for what some believe is the true reflection of the Olympics and the Team GB poster girl Jessica Ennis was unleashed to the world. As Jessica was producing personall bests to build a lead in the hepthalon, across at the veledrome Britain were showing that when it comes to cycling they are second to none as they collected another two gold medals. It was not only cycling GB were dominant. As gold, silver and bronze were won across the board in rowing, but if the country thought they were on a high from these performances? in honesty this was just the calm before the storm.

Saturday August 4th 2012, this was a day that will go down in British sporting history. This was a day that a tiny little island proved that they could stand on the shoulders of giants and match the world at the very best in sport. This was a day that would unite a nation and got every cynic to applaud. This was a day Great Britain won Six gold medals. Again team GB cleaned up in the rowing in the morning session.  The afternoon belonged to Team GB cyclists but as the evening rolled in and people got comfortable in front of their televisions who knew that they would end up on the edge of the seats and witnessing athletics history. Jessica Ennis on her way to gold sprinting down the home straight to the roar of 80,000 fans in the stadium and no doubt millions more at home.

Forty minutes later an unknown 25 year old British long jumper by the name of Greg Rutherford spurred by the all ready jubilant crowd produced the performance of his life with a jump of 8.31m to win gold and become only the second British long jumper to do so. After five gold medals and a silver as the night drew to a close and track lit up by the thousands of flood lights beaming down on the 10.000m race, one man shone more then ever. If know one knew Mo Farah before they sure know him now. Crossing the line in first place winning gold to cap an amazing night, it did not just end a superb week but help to start a new week for the olympics that changed a nation and one that some generations had never witnessed.

The newspapers were celebrating what Britain had achieved, people had found a new wave of optimism and hope. The doom and gloom of the spending cuts and high price rises had take a backward step. For once the nation had come together and and for people who had no interest in sport were actually finishing work early to get home to watch Team GB in the  event. Even the sun was shining while the Olympics were on. Sports clubs and associations had reported a serge in membership applications and children had now found new role models in the names of Ennis and Wiggins. Had the legacy of London 2012 all ready began before the Olympics all ready finished. Off the back of super Saturday had we all ready started training future olympic champions for rio 2016?. As the Olympics continued so the the medal haul for Great Britain, over the next 8 days Team GB won a further 15 gold medals and included in that was Ben Ainslie who became the greatest ever sailor in Olympic history, Andy Murray who beat old rival Roger Federer in the final and Nicola Adams who became the first ever female Olympic champion boxer. GB added 10 more silvers and 9 bronze medals to give a final total of 65 medals in total with 29 of them being gold. The greatest ever result for Great Britain since the 1908 Olympics and smashing the 19 gold medals won in Beijing. So as quick as it started the Olympics were over, the cauldron was extinguished and the torch handed over to Rio. The 16 days now became memories but memories that a an individual, a nation, a world will never forget. The slogan that the legacy wanted to leave was to “inspire a generation” but instead they inspired a nation and made us all search inside our selves and see what it truly means to be proud to be British. Could Great Britain afford the Olympics in times of austerity? maybe not. Was it worth it? just ask anyone who was in the Olympic stadium or by a TV screen that golden Saturday and they will tell you it was worth every last penny.

Images reproduced from pa wire/press association images

Depression in Sport: The Unknown Heartache

1992 - Derek Redmond favourite for gold in the 400m Barcelona Olympics snaps his hamstring during the semi final ending his Olympic dreams. 1996 – Gareth Southgate misses the penalty in the European championships to deny England a place in the final. 2012 – Andy Murray loses the Wimbledon final to Roger Federer after winning the first set. The closest a British male has coming to winning Wimbledon since 1938. A few days after each event these stories will be forgotten about in our minds, but to the athlete the pain will last a lifetime.

Many of us see sports stars as heroes; they become our children’s role models. Paid hundreds of thousands of pounds a year, living a celebrity lifestyle and of which some of us live in envy compared our own lives, but are they really as invincible as we think or make them out to be? With London 2012 upon us we have a host of stars expected to bring home a gold medal in their respective sports, but what if they don’t? The country will be celebrating in jubilation if Jessica Ennis wins gold in the heptathlon or Mark Cavendish wins gold in the road race event. Yet if they don’t win, their performances will be dissected and reviewed over and over with just their failure broadcast in the spotlight. Four years of preparation, hard work and sweat could all come down to heartbreak and tears in the matter of hours. Dreams shattered and just that one question, what did I do wrong?

Depression and sport do not go hand in hand but if you examine the symptoms of depression it is easy to see such a strong correlation between the two. Worthless, guilty, failure and insomnia are to name just a few feelings of what a sports star will face during their career, and yet we do not associate our stars with these feelings and depression as we never see them as vulnerable. Of course it is not just failing at an event or losing a medal or cup that can lead sports men of woman to feel the emotion of depression. To ours stars sport is a drug, the roar of the crowd at kickoff on a Saturday afternoon. Driving at 190mph in a formula one car and feeling the force of 5g as they corner Silverstone. Standing at the wicket waiting for the first ball of a test match, but as well all know their careers will not last forever. Weather it is due to a severe injury or those lines that every sports star does not want to hear “you’re just not as good as you were” or “you’re getting to old to continue”

So as their career is over and they are no longer doing the job they lived strived and showed for. Not having the sensation of being worshipped by their adoring fans. Maybe coming to the realisation that they may never have reached their full potential and having the apprehension of what do they do now in life? Of course they can move into coaching or the media side of their respective sports but does it really give them the rush they were once used to.

Only recently we have started to see a small insight into sports men and woman showing their elusive emotions through an interview or their autobiographies. Some high profile examples of this are former England cricket captain Freddie Flintoff. After humiliating defeats on the field of play, sacked as vice captain and struggling with alcohol. This led Freddie to re-evaluate his life and pull himself out of the darkness, but to some the numbness can be much worse. Dean Windass found the transition of football to retirement all too much and in January 2012 twice tried to take his own life by way of overdose and then attempting to hang himself. Could this admission be the way forward for sports governing bodies to offer support to their athletes? After the death of Wales’s international manager Gary speed 50.000 handbooks were sent out to pro and former pro footballers about mental health, but is this enough? Should clubs be offering counselling to players coming to the ending of their career? We all know a football club will go on without the player, but can the player go on without the club?

Image reproduced by dailymaverick.co.za

A Golden Era For Men’s Tennis

For the past fifty years Men’s Tennis has had many rivalries. In the 70’s we had Borg and Conners, then during the 80’s we had Lendl, McEnroe and Becker, it was the turn of the Americans in the 90’s with the two powerhouses of Agassi and Sampras. At the turn of the millennium Europe began to dominate with Federer and Nadal, but now in 2012 we are blessed to have a rivalry of four as Novak Djokovic and our very own Andy Murray join both Rafa Nadal and Roger Federer in competing for every Major possible and in my opinion have created both the most exciting and competitive era of tennis.

For the past eight years Men’s Tennis has mainly been dominated by Roger Federer and Rafa Nadal and between them collecting 27 major titles in the process. Their success became so dominant that for eleven finals in a row a major title was by either Nadal or Federer, but in 2008 in the Rod Laver Arena a new champion was crowned. A young Novak Djokovic won the Australian Open and his first Grand Slam title. Was a new rival emerging to challenge for the top? Especially after defeating Federer in the semi-final and breaking the Swiss player’s amazing record run of 10 consecutive finals. Well the quick answer would be no and this was put into fact as 10 of the next 11 finals were again won by Federer or Nadal. It was clear something big was going to be needed to topple these two amazing champions.

So in 2011 up steps Djokovic and after working harder and stronger both mentally and physically Novak was ready to show that his Australian Open win was not merely a one-off. With Federer struggling with injury and approaching 30, Djokovic and Nadal were out to prove their youth, pace and power were enough to shift the tables away from the legendary Federer and create their own sporting history. Djokovic started 2011 breaking British hearts by beating Andy Murray in the final and collecting his second major title and this was just a pointer of what was to follow. The Serbian added both Wimbledon and the US Open to his titles and with Nadal winning the French Open, for the first time in 9 years Roger Federer had not won a major title. Were we slowly bidding farewell to the most decorated man in Men’s Tennis history?

Of course while Djokovic and Nadal were collecting titles, there was always one player never too far away – Andy Murray. We Brits had pinned all our hopes on Murray becoming the first major winner since Fred Perry back in 1936 but as we all know we are used to heartache in sport. In the space of four years Murray had reached five semi-finals and three finals but only to come up short. So with Federer fading away and Murray never quite having enough on the day, were Nadal and Djokovic going to streak away with every upcoming major title?

"Andy Murray"

Andy Murray: another final, same heartache

Well in 2012 a Golden Era began. For the first time in nine years, each of the four Majors were won by a different tennis player. It began with familiarity with the Australian Open again being won by Novak Djokovic – his third major title in a row and fifth in total. Rafa Nadal dubbed the “King of Clay” proved why he should be credited with such a nickname by winning his 7th French Open title and adding to his tally of ten major titles. If Nadal is described as the “King of Clay” then it was now time for the “Gentleman of Grass” as Roger Federer was out to prove there was still life in him yet and age is just a number as he was searching for his 7th Wimbledon title.

No one would begrudge Federer his record Wimbledon title if it was not for one thing. He faced Murray in the final. Andy Murray had reached his first Wimbledon final after crashing out in the semis the previous three years running. As Britain had fingers crossed and hopes pinned on every shot unfortunately it was all to no avail. The experience shone through from the Swiss warhorse and Andy Murray was inevitability dealt with in four sets. Again Murray had to face the thought of “so close but maybe next time” for a major honour, but little did he know that next time was just around the corner.

With Team GB shining in the London Olympics, Murray had his own chance to get quick revenge on Federer and duly did so beating him in the gold medal final in three sets on the court where he had suffered heartbreak just three weeks previous. With one major title remaining and Nadal ruled out of the US Open due to injury, it gave the other three players a chance to end the year on a high. With number one seed Federer crashing out to up-and-coming Tomas Berdych in the quarter finals, both Murray and Djokovic knew their biggest rival was no longer a threat. Murray and Djokovic both got through tough semi-finals and on Sunday 9th September 2012, finals day history was about to be made. As one of the most pulsating finals ever ebbed and flowed and the clock ticked past midnight at 2:04am Murray sent British fans into jubilation as he won his first major title and hopefully is starting a dynasty for British tennis.

It is not just in the Men’s game that British Tennis is beginning to flourish. Both Heather Watson and Laura Robson are progressing up the rankings to prove themselves as future stars. With promising junior titles behind them – Robson winning the Wimbledon junior champion and Watson winning the US junior title respectively – it’s more than enough to show they have what it takes to compete with the best. Only earlier in October 2012 Heather Watson became the first British woman to win a WTA title in 24 years by winning the Japan Open and thus breaking into the World’s top players for the first time in her short career. It is yet more evidence that British Tennis is on the up.

So with 2013 just a few months away, next year promises to be a great year for Men’s Tennis. With four players looking to retain their respective major titles, Murray looking to add a second honour to his career, Djokovic hoping to win his first ever French Open, Nadal looking to prove he is better than ever battling back from injury and let us not forget Roger Federer who is looking to prove he is not ready to chuck the towel in yet and could show the young guns he can still teach them a thing or two. Could we be looking back in 20 years times at a Golden Era in Men’s Tennis? Possibly the greatest ever era in Men’s Tennis? Only time will tell.