• Ask Steven

The oldest Wimbledon winner, and golf's Grand Slam

Steven Lynch April 12, 2010
Tiger Woods came close to winning the grand slam © Getty Images

Has anyone ever won all four of golf's majors in the same year? asked Terry Jenkins from Sutton
No-one has ever won all four men's golf majors in the same year. The nearest anyone has come was when Tiger Woods was the reigning champion of all four at the same time - he won the US Open, the British Open and the US PGA in 2000, and then won the Masters, the first major of 2001, to hold what became known as the "Tiger Slam". Other than that the only man to win three of the four in the same year was Ben Hogan, who claimed the Masters, the US Open and the British Open (in his only appearance in it) in 1953 - but he was denied a shot at the Grand Slam because the US PGA started around the same time The Open finished at Carnoustie. In any case Hogan was not keen on the PGA Championship at the time, as it was then played in a matchplay format, which often required players to get through 36 holes in a day: he struggled to do that after a near-fatal car accident in 1949.

Who is the oldest man to win a Wimbledon title? asked Denis Johnson from Portsmouth
The oldest winner of the men's singles at Wimbledon was Arthur Gore, who was 41 years 182 days old when he won for the third time in 1909. He also took the men's doubles that year too. Gore remains the second-last Englishman to win Wimbledon - the last, Fred Perry, was born in 1909, the year of Gore's final victory. The oldest man to win the mixed doubles was the American Sherwood Stewart, who lifted the trophy with Zina Garrison in 1988 when he was aged 42 years 28 days. But the oldest man to win one of the three major titles at Wimbledon did so in 1957, when another American, Gardnar Mulloy, won the men's doubles with Budge Patty when he was 43 years 226 days old. The feisty Mulloy may have set another record of sorts recently when, now in his nineties, he produced a second volume of autobiography about 50 years after his first one. For the record Martina Navratilova holds the overall Wimbledon record - she won the mixed doubles with Leander Paes in 2003 when aged 46 years 261 days.

How many winners of the Grand National have also won the Cheltenham Gold Cup? asked Dan Tucker from Cheadle Hulme
There are only two. The famous 1930s horse Golden Miller won the Cheltenham Gold Cup five times - each year from 1932 to 1936 - and the Grand National once, in 1934, making him the only one to win both in the same year. The only other horse to pull off this prestigious double is L'Escargot, ridden by Tommy Carberry, which won the Gold Cup in 1970 and 1971, and beat Red Rum home in the National in 1975.

L'Escargot beat French Tan in the 1970 Gold Cup © Getty Images

I remember an American athlete who won the same event at the Olympics three or four times running in the 1960s. Who was he, and has anyone else ever done this? asked Jason Copeland from London
I think the man you're thinking of was Al Oerter, who won the discus in 1956, 1960, 1964 and 1968. He was something of an Olympic specialist, as he was rarely the favourite going into the Games but somehow always managed to win. He attempted a comeback in 1980, by which time he was 43, but although he produced a lifetime-best throw Oerter missed out on selection for the Olympics by one place when he finished fourth in the US Olympic trials (in any case, the Americans boycotted those Games, in Moscow, in protest at the recent Soviet invasion of Afghanistan). Only one other athlete has ever taken gold the same event at four successive Olympics: Carl Lewis won the long jump in 1984, 1988, 1992 and 1996.

Who has scored the most tries - and the most points - for the British Lions? asked Jenny Morrison from Bedford
The record try-scorer in Tests for the British and Irish Lions is the Irish winger Tony O'Reilly, with six in ten matches in the 1950s. Wales's JJ Williams is next with five, one more than two other Welsh backs, Willie Llewellyn and Mark Price. The Lions' record points-scorer is none other than England's Jonny Wilkinson, with 67 from six matches, one more point than Scotland's Gavin Hastings managed from a similar number of appearances. Wales's Stephen Jones (53) is the only other man to have passed 50 points. The most Test caps for the Lions remains 17, by the legendary Irish forward Willie John McBride between 1962 and 1974.

I believe there's a tradition that no-one referees the FA Cup final more than once. Has this always been the case? asked Keith Stewart from London
This has certainly been the case in recent years: the last man to do more than one was Arthur Kingscott, who officiated in the 1900 and 1901 FA Cup finals (the 1901 final, between Tottenham and Southampton, went to a reply, which he also reffed). Kingscott's son Harry refereed the 1931 final. Earlier, Colonel Francis Marindin refereed nine finals, eight of them in a row from 1883 to 1890. Two years before Marindin's first appearance, the Cup final in 1878 was overseen by one Mr Bastard: contrary to popular belief, he has not refereed every game since.

If you want to ask Steven a question, use our feedback form. The most interesting questions will be answered here fortnightly on Mondays, and you can challenge him on Facebook too

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
Steven Lynch Close
Ask Steven features a number of experts, headed by Steven Lynch, who answer your questions across a variety of sports Ask Steven features a number of experts, headed by Steven Lynch, who answer your questions across a variety of sports