The Cheltenham Festival 2021 of course. Yes, it’s that time of year again. The prestigious Cheltenham Festival is back with us again between 16th – 19th March. It’s both an event that draws in the purists and the casual racing fans alike, both in the UK and around the world. The festival has prize money second only to the Grand National, which in itself tells you all you need to know about its popularity. Throughout this week of top racing action we are treated to unmissable action in the likes of the Champion Chase, Stayers Hurdle and of course the Cheltenham Gold Cup. But don’t just take my word for it, just look how excited some of our top Premier League footballers (Jesse Lingard and co) are about the Cheltenham Festival courtesy of this fun Cheltenham themed Betway quiz they took part in.
Sadly, Eric Cantona will always be best remembered for launching a kung-fu kick at Crystal Palace fan Matthew Simmons, moments after being sent off at Selhurst Park in January, 1995, which earned him an eight-month ban from the game. Nevertheless, despite a chequered disciplinary record, on and off the field, Cantona was a sublime footballing talent. He retired from professional football, aged just 30, at the end of the 1996/97 season and was voted ‘Player of the Century’ by Manchester United supporters four years later.
Before settling at Old Trafford, where he spent five years, Cantona led an itinerant existence, thanks in no small part to his volatile temperament. He began his professional career with AJ Auxerre, under the legendary Guy Roux, in 1983, before joining his hometown club, Olympique de Marseille, in 1988. However, the following January, Cantona reacted badly to being subsituted during a friendly match against Torpedo Moscow, throwing his shirt at manager Gérard Gili and subsequently absconding without permission. Consequently, he spent three turbulent, but not entirely unsuccessful, loan spells at Bordeaux, Montpellier HSC and Nîmes.
Cantona was persuaded by French national team manager Michel Platini to try English football and, in 1992, after training briefly with Sheffield Wednesday, signed for Leeds United. He won the final First Division title with Leeds and, following his controversial transfer to Manchester United – his seventh club all told, not including Sheffield Wednesday – the following November, helped the Red Devils to win the newly-inaugurated Premier League.
Traditionally, the person credited with inventing Rugby Union is William Webb Ellis, although there is little or no direct evidence to support this view, however popular and widely accepted it may be. Legend has that, in 1832, Webb Ellis, a student at Rugby School in Warwick, sought to gain an advantage in a game of ‘football’ by picking up the ball and running with it in his hands. Of course, that was in direct contravention of the rules of the game, such that they were, but by introducing a handling element Webb Ellis sowed the seeds for what would become the modern game of Rugby Union.
This possibly apocryphal account, which has been called into question more than once, was cited in ‘The Origins of Rugby Football’, published by the Old Rugbeian Society in 1897 and, by the early twentieth century, was well established, regardless of its veracity. What we do know for certain, though, is that Rugby School was instrumental in the development of Rugby Union, including the adoption of the first written code of rules in 1845. Rightly or wrongly, William Webb Ellis is commemorated by the ‘Webb Ellis Trophy’, which is presented to the winners of the Rugby World Cup.
On September 2, 1995, Franklin ‘Frank’ Bruno achieved his oft-stated ambition of becoming heavyweight champion of the world, defeating reigning World Boxing Council (WBC) champion Oliver McCall by unanimous decision at Wembley Stadium, London. Bruno had previously tried, and failed, to win a world heavyweight title, being knocked out by Tim Witherspoon in 1986 and stopped by Mike Tyson and Lennox Lewis in 1989 amd 1993, respectively.
Indeed, it was Lewis that McCall had defeated, by technical knockout, at Wembley Arena, London the previous September to win the WBC title. He had subsequently won a surprisingly close, but unanimous, decision against 45-year-old Larry Holmes at Caesars Palace, Las Vegas on his first defence of the title in April, 1995. After the first ten rounds of the match billed as ‘The Empire Strikes Back’, Bruno was clearly ahead on points and withstood a final, desperate onslaught from McCall to win 117-111, 117-1, 115-113.
Vegas is of course known for both boxing and as the go-to casino destination; it’s the gamblers dream of bright lights and bid bets. Caesars Palace itself is a premium casino option. With that said, of course online options like Online Casino Bluebook are also very appealing to the casino minded, and offer a unique convenience factor as well as countless games on offer -roulette, poker, and countless captivating slots options.
For all his muscularity and punching power, Bruno was a limited fighter at the highest level and his limitations were ruthlessly exposed in his first, mandatory defence of the WBC World Heavyweight Championship at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Paradise, Nevada on March16, 1996. Bruno once again faced Tyson, who had returned to professional boxing the previous August after serving three years in prison, and lasted just three rounds. In truth, Bruno offered very little and, less than a minute into the third round, succumbed to a flurry of unanswered punches that sent him crashing into the ropes, where the referee stopped the fight. His reign as WBC World Heavyweight Champion had lasted 195 days, or six months and two weeks.
The MGM is once again, yet another top location for casino goers in (Nevada) Las Vegas. Once against demonstrating that the ‘City of Sin’ really is the place to be if you’re a follower of either boxing of enjoy the thrill of the spin of a roulette wheel. It’s often been known for boxers to also enjoy the allure of the casino lifestyle. Flloy Mayweather jnr for instance is frequently pictures playing slots or sports betting. It’s said that it’s not uncommon for him to gamble $1,000,000 at a time, but with a net worth of half a billion dollars I suppose he can afford it (for now!).