It’s that time of year where we all look back on the year just passed, and look ahead to next year.
For me, 2016 was the first year I’ve managed to hit three figures in live sport in a calendar year – 106 at the time of writing, with at least one more to come (possibly three).
16/01/16 – Warrington Town 4-2 Northwich Victoria – Cantilever Park
I don’t remember a great deal about the game itself, but it is significant in that it was the first time I’ve seen a four-figure league crowd at my hometown club – 1095 attended what was a top of the table clash.
17/03/16 – Wigan Warriors 12-18 Widnes Vikings – DW Stadium
I have some great memories of games at the DW Stadium, and twice this year Widnes managed to go away with a win from there. The first win, in March, stands out. This was Widnes’ sixth win from seven at the start of the season and propelled them to the top of the league. For a spell before and after that game, it really felt like something special was going to happen. The game itself, Widnes kept it fairly tight but didn’t seem able to score. They managed to get on the board early in the second half, and I remember thinking after Corey Thompson’s error led to Wigan’s third try, that maybe it wouldn’t be Widnes’ day. But lo and behold, they managed to dig in and pull off a win in such a manner that has been rare to witness as a Widnes fan.
28/05/16 – Hull City 1-0 Sheffield Wednesday – Wembley
For someone that has been the best part of a thousand live sporting events, I’d never seen my national sport at the national stadium. I had only ever been to Wembley for NFL. This one didn’t disappoint. I enjoyed hospitality, courtesy of Supporters Direct, and the Sheffield Wednesday supporters made an absolute racket, despite their defeat. I got the train down to London, watched the game, and then got the train home. A long day, but worth it. Whisper it quietly, but I also bought my first ever half-half scarf as a momento.
20/06/16 – Wales 3-0 Russia – Stadium Municipal, Toulouse
One of the three games at Euro 2016 I made it to, saw Wales absolutely take apart Russia in Toulouse. It was a really unique stadium, and quite shallow seating, and it was a good atmosphere. It was also a proud moment, being half Welsh, to listen to virtually all the crowd bellow out the Welsh national anthem.
18/11/16 – Worcester Wolves 88-89 Manchester Giants, University of Worcester Arena
Without doubt, my highlight of 2016. I joined Manchester Giants in May, and had to wait until the end of September for my first game. It was a tough start to the season, losing the first seven games, and then there was this one, game nine. The Giants competed all the way and looked to have the game in control at the end of the third quarter, until the Wolves went on a run to take control. It looked like game over, seven behind with less than 40 seconds to play, but four stunning three pointers, including one on the buzzer from Moritz Lanegger (video below), snatched an incredible win!
Here is my full list of games attended in 2016: