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I knew I'd forgotten something...

ESPN staff
July 22, 2011
Raymond van Barneveld and his elusive darts © Getty Images

Sports stars these days aren't just supreme athletes at the top of their game, they are also blessed with some of the very best equipment - whether it be the latest football boots, driver or racquet - to enable them to eke out that extra percentage point of performance that could prove the difference between success and failure.

Some of them simply could not perform without such advantages - literally, in certain cases. After Raymond van Barneveld's moment of amnesia earlier in the week, ESPN takes a look at some other forgetful sports stars...

Barney's blunder
The inspiration behind this list. A veteran at the oche, you would have thought the genial Dutchman (unfairly labelled as 'Phil Taylor Lite' by, well, us just then...) would have a pretty infallible routine by now when it comes to major tournaments. Apparently not.

Barneveld turned up last Monday at the World Darts Championship (pick a smaller event, why don't you) without even one of his three weapons of choice. Turns out, he'd only gone and left them at home.

"It's your worst nightmare," said Van Barneveld, who had to have a new set of darts delivered - which is either the most or least gangsta thing we've ever heard.

"I practised against Co Stompe on Friday and I think I forgot to put my darts in my suitcase when I got home. Luckily for me I was able to get some more darts."

Nevertheless, he went on to see off Steve Brown 10-3 to head into the quarter-finals.

Capriati never saw it coming
You almost have to admire Jennifer Capriati's commitment to acquiring a reputation as a bit clueless - even by the age of 16 she had been known to forget her tennis racquets and wear her clothes inside-out or back-to-front for big matches.

Another low (or high) point in that particular trend came in 1992, when the teenager was competing in the wonderfully titled Virginia Slims Championship. Capriati turned up for her match with her racquets and clothes on properly - so deserves credit for that - but then suddenly realised she couldn't actually see anything with any clarity.

Turns out, the American had left her contact lenses at her hotel.

"The guy from the hotel had to make a mad dash," said Capriati, who explained that she only wears the devices "when I need to see."

Without them, "I probably would have lost every point, swung and missed," she admitted. Which really only makes her forgetfullness all the more bemusing.

Ohuruogu's drug bust
Most of the absent-minded antics on the list have a certain hilarity amid the stupidity, but 400m runner Christine Ohuruogu - much like footballer Rio Ferdinand - was left with little to smile about in this instance.

The powerful runner was banned from the sport after contriving to miss three out of competition tests in less than a year between 2005 and 2006, a ban that came with it lifetime exclusion from future Olympic Games. It wasn't until late in 2007 that the latter part of that punishment was finally overturned, and Ohuruogu went on to win gold inside the Bird's Nest at the Beijing Olympics in 2008 - ensuring her troubles at least came with a happy ending.

Jesper Parnevik - occasionally forgetful © Getty Images

Parnevik leaves his irons by the fire
The maverick Swede has arguably always been most famous for his choice of attire - with a baseball cap with an upturned peak the most famous of his many unique looks. But, for a few weeks in 2005, he became famous for something else - as he managed to forget his golf bag for The Masters (you know, just the biggest golfing event of the year).

Apparently he had assumed a member of his staff had packed his golf bag, while his wife had been led to understand that Jesper himself had loaded the key items in his quest for a Green Jacket. Only when they all arrived at Augusta National was the disaster discovered.

Parnevik was forced to play a Sunday round sharing his playing partner's sticks, before his own bag was finally flown out to him. But that didn't stop him being the butt of the Butler Cabin jokes.

"I've been getting a lot of stick from the other players and I've got a ghastly feeling that that's going to go on all week," Parnevik said, at least showing a greater awareness of his public embarrassment than where his clubs might be at any one time.

Diver fails to make a splash
Synchronised diving is like diving, except along with the pikes, double-twists and various other types of diving moves that we haven't cared to learn, it generally helps if your partner can pull them off at exactly the same time and pace.

So it'll surprise absolutely no-one to learn that the Russian pair of Aleksandr Dobroskok and Gleb Galperin didn't exactly wow the judges when the former forgot to actually do any diving during one of the attempts at the 2007 World Championships in Melbourne. Seemingly struck by a moment of brain-freeze, Dobroskok remained rooted to his spot while his partner executed a decent-to-impressive (to our untrained eye) dive that would almost certainly have looked good in double vision.

Alas, it never happened, and the pair could safely wave goodbye to any hopes they had of claiming a medal.

Bob Willis reinvents batting technique
More of a fearsome fast bowler than swashbuckling batsman, Bob Willis underlined that assessment in a 1981 Test against Australia at Edgbaston by striding out to the crease ... without his bat.

The Englishman clearly realised something was wrong as he walked out, checking his gloves and pads multiple times before only realising his mistake as he prepared to take his guard. It was presumably a red-faced wait for Willis as a suitable piece of willow was finally retrieved for him.

Unfortunately, Willis made just 15 runs in two innings during the Test - perhaps he would have done just as well without a bat after all.

American sprinters get their timings wrong
A classic of the genre, all three American sprinters Eddie Hart, Rey Robinson and Robert Taylor were considered to have healthy medal chances in the 100 metres at the 1972 Olympic Games.

Having breezed through the morning's qualifying heats, the trio returned to their hotels to rest up for the next round. They soon flicked on the TV - assuming the 100m action being shown was repeats from earlier.

Wrong. The races were in fact the quarter-finals (their coach, Stan Wright, had made a mistake with the scheduling), and the three men were rather evidently not in their blocks to compete.

They all raced from their hotel (probably a time when being a sprinter really pays off) to the track to try and make their respective heats, but alas two of them were too late.

Taylor, fortunately, was in time for his quarter-final - and went on to claim a silver medal. A quip about how 'every cloud has a...' would seem apt right now, but we'll avoid making it. Just.

Castleford and Huddersfield both all white on the night
A recent one this, and not rugby league's finest hour. Last month Castleford Tigers were forced to play in the unfamiliar blue-and-white colours of Halifax, after a kit blunder ahead of their Super League contest against Huddersfield Giants.

Both teams turned up to the match with their predominantly-white reserve kits, creating an obvious problem. But, with the game being played at Halifax's Shay Stadium, neither side could easily get hold of a selection of home strips.

As a results, Halifax's loyal kit lady, Hilda Hardy, was summoned from her home to unlock the club's kit cupboard (honestly) and fetch some blue Halifax kits for the Tigers to use. The Tigers lost the game and were adjudged to have been in the wrong over the kits, resulting in a £500 fine.

No word on who had to wash the Halifax kit, however. Unfortunately, our money is on poor Ms Hardy.

Jermain 'I can't actually remember if my other car is a Porsche' Pennant © Getty Images

Pennant and his Porsche
If you don't believe that mediocre-to-poor Premier League footballers are paid too much in the modern age, then this story might help change your mind. Jermaine Pennant has left Arsenal, Liverpool and even Birmingham City fans wondering if he has anything between his ears - but after a brief spell in Spain with Real Zaragoza the winger gave the clearest indication yet that their suspicions could be correct.

Having headed back to England to play for Stoke, Pennant was reportedly shocked to get a call from authorities in Zaragoza, wondering when he was going to collect his £98,000 Porsche from the train station. Pennant insisted he owned no such car, until it was pointed out to him that the number plate was 'P33NNT'.

The market for overhit far post crosses is evidently far more lucrative than any of us could ever have imagined.

Walton's card cock-up
They say a referee is nothing without his cards (well, unless you're Graham Poll, in which case you're nothing without all three of those yellow cards), and Peter Walton made sure to prove that ancient Chinese proverb correct by managing to forget his cards for this year's Premier League match between Birmingham City and Everton.

Presumably they were in the wash or something but, ever the professional, Walton didn't let the embarrassing oversight affect him. Instead, he simply brandished an invisible card every time a player (we're looking at you, Barry Ferguson) committed a challenge worthy of a yellow or red card. How Walton let the players know the colour of the card he was brandishing, we don't know - but you can't fault the improvisation.

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