• June 19 down the years

The Indianapolis Grand Farce

The fans at Indianapolis were far from happy with more cars in the pits than on the track © Getty Images

The most farcical race in Formula One history. During practice for the United States Grand Prix, a number of Michelin tyres were shredded by an Indianapolis track which had recently been resurfaced. With new rules in force forbidding a change of tyres during a race, obviously any teams using Michelin couldn't guarantee their drivers' safety. So they pulled out. All seven of them. This left only six cars in the race: the ones using Bridgestone tyres. In the most boring race imaginable, Michael Schumacher led home a Ferrari one-two for his only win of the season. The ghost race did nothing for Formula One's reputation in the States, but you can imagine Bridgestone's glee.

Harry Vardon won the British Open for the sixth time, still the record. He was 44 by then but good enough to finish three shots clear of JH Taylor, a fellow member of the Great Triumvirate. Vardon might well have won more Opens: this was the last before the First World War, and he finished joint second in the 1920 US Open when he was 50. Today he showed that the 1913 US Open had been just a blip (September 20) by leaving the new young American champion 26 strokes behind!

Rory Underwood was born in Middlesbrough to an English dad and Malaysian mum. One of the top try scorers in international rugby union, he made a slow start in some poor England sides but then put important finishing touches to teams who won three Grand Slams in the 1990s. His handling skills and lines of running were better than some people thought, and he was so quick that his sprint starts in training were faster than Linford Christie's. He scored a record 49 tries for England and another that helped the Lions beat the All Blacks in 1993. His five tries against Fiji in 1989, which equalled the England record, should have been six: he had another disallowed despite clearly grounding the ball. His brother Tony scored 13 tries in internationals. They were the first brothers to appear in the same England team since 1938 and played on opposite wings in the 1995 World Cup, where they each scored a try in the match against Italy.

A world title fight between two British boxers that didn't last long. Liverpool's Peter Kane had twice fought the great Benny Lynch for the world flyweight title, holding him to a draw in the second. Kane won the vacant title in 1938, then the situation became a tad complicated. The NBA stripped him of their version even though he said he'd already given it up! But the fight tonight was definitely for his world flyweight title, as well as Jackie Paterson's British and Commonwealth crowns. Kane took a risk in fighting a very good Scot in Scotland - and it didn't pay off. At Hampden Park, Paterson knocked him out with a perfect right hand to the jaw. It was all over in 61 seconds including the count. They both fought as bantamweights after that, though Paterson kept the flyweight title for nearly five years.

Jack Brabham won the Belgian Grand Prix on his way to retaining the world title © Getty Images

Jack Brabham won the Belgian Grand Prix on his way to retaining the world title. But the race was better known for crashes that killed two British drivers: Chris Bristow after eight laps and Stacey after sixteen. Stacey was 26, Bristow only 22. In practice the previous day, two other British drivers, Stirling Moss and Mike Taylor, escaped with broken ribs after crashing.

The great Ben Hogan was the most successful golfer of his generation. In 1953, he won the only three Majors available to him (July 10), and now he seemed to have won the US Open yet again. His last round 70 left him well clear of the other top golfers. As he left the last green, Hogan handed his ball to the USPGA's executive secretary, telling him it was for their museum. Here, he was saying, have the ball which Ben Hogan used to win a record fifth Open. Behind him, Jack Fleck - a complete outsider who once claimed he 'couldn't putt into a tub' - scored 67, tied for the lead, then won the play-off by three strokes. Hogan never won another Major.

Even after losing to Mike Tyson on January 22, 1988, Larry Holmes couldn't give up the dream of regaining the world heavyweight title he lost so traumatically on September 21, 1985. Tonight he lost a unanimous decision to Evander Holyfield and lost again to Oliver McCall three years later, by which time he was 45. He was even fighting for a thing called the IBO title in 1997 (January 24). Holmes won the title way back in 1978 (June 9). They really don't like to fade away, do they?

1999 Left wing Stefan Terblanche became the first player to score five tries in an official international match for South Africa. He'd already equalled the record of four on his debut (June 13, 1998). Now he went one better against Italy in Durban. The Springboks scored 15 tries, three by substitute Deon Kayser on his debut, and converted 13 of them in a daft 101-0 win.