• April 2 down the years

A Murrayfield disaster for England

England's Grand Slam hopes were dashed by Scotland © Getty Images

Just like April 11 the year before, England missed out on the Five Nations Grand Slam by losing their last match, this time more humiliatingly than traumatically. While England were winning in Paris and thrashing Ireland 50-18, Wales 46-12, and Italy as usual, the Scots had been losing all four games. Defending champions though they were, they lost their opener in Rome. But now it rained at Murrayfield - and England simply didn't cope, even with their heavier pack. Poor, very poor. When Jonny Wilkinson converted Lawrence Dallaglio's try and Scotland's James McLaren was sin-binned, everyone waited for the latest avalanche. Instead England didn't score a point between the 25th and 79th minutes. They led 10-9 at half-time, but fly-half Duncan Hodge scored all of Scotland's points, including a try with only six minutes left. The 19-13 win didn't stop England winning the title, but they expected more in those days. Like another crack at the slippery Slam on March 30, 2003.

Linford Christie was born in Jamaica and moved to Britain when he was boy. It took him a while to start winning major sprint titles, but then he won them all at 100 metres. European outdoor champion three times; Commonwealth Games champion twice after finishing second to Ben Johnson in 1986; world outdoor champion in 1993 - topped by the Olympic gold medal in 1992 when he was 32. The first European to go under 10 seconds, he also won a record 15 European Cup titles, four at the World Cup, and three in the European Indoors. How did he do it so late in his career? Just a more dedicated approach? When Johnson lost his gold medal at the 1988 Olympics, Christie's bronze turned to silver, which he was allowed to keep despite testing positive for pseudoephedrine. In 1998 he successfully sued the writer John McVicar for suggesting he took drugs. Six months later, Christie was found guilty of taking steroids and banned for two years. A stadium was named after him in west London. Go figure.

Liam Tancock set his first world record at 50 metres backstroke. He set two at the World Championships the following year.

England won the Hong Kong Sevens for the first time on March 24, 2002. Today they became the only country to win the title four years in a row. In the Final against nine-time champions Fiji, they led 19-7 at half-time only to concede three tries and find themselves 24-19 down with only seconds to go. Then Mathew Tait, who'd scored a try in the first half, broke through three tackles and left Ben Gollings in space. Gollings's conversion of his own try won the match 26-24.

In the last second of their last game of the season, the Sheffield Sharks won the league title in basketball by beating the Manchester Giants 87-85 away from home. It was the first time the two Championship contenders had met in the last game of the season. Peter Scantlebury was playing his 500th league game, the first player to reach that landmark. His free throw put the Sharks 85-83 ahead before Tony Dorsey tied the scores. Then American Terrell Myers sold a dummy to two Giants and shot the winner. He was used to it by then: the previous year, his last-second basket had won Sheffield the League Trophy.

Jack Brabham was born in Sydney and began racing in Formula One in 1955. Four years later, he was world champion. In 1960 he retained the title by winning the last five races of the season. He scored only four points in 1961 and wasn't in the hunt again until 1966, when he became champion for the third time, this time in a car of his own. He was second in the Championship in 1967 (to someone else driving a Brabham) and retired in 1970 after winning a Grand Prix for the 14th and last time. The last driver to win the world title in a Brabham was Nelson Piquet, twice in the early '80s,.

Mark Foster cut through the water to claim gold © Getty Images

Mark Foster regained the 50 metres freestyle title at the World Short-Course Championships. He twitched on his blocks and was back on his heels when the race started, but made up ground to beat José Martín Meolans of Argentina and Holland's Mark Veens. Two days later, Foster won a second gold in the 50 butterfly. He retained both titles in 2000. On the same night here in 1999, Britain won silver in the men's 4x200 relay and bronzes in the 100 butterfly (James Hickman) and 100 free (Sue Rolph). The performance of the day came from Australia's Grant Hackett, who broke the world record by five seconds in winning the 400 freestyle ahead of his team-mate, a 16-year-old called Ian Thorpe.

Henry Cooper and Joe Erskine boxed each other for the last time. The eighth in all, no less, the fifth as professionals. They'd first started hitting each other for money in 1955, in an eliminator for the British heavyweight title. Cardiff Joe won that one on points, but then lost the next four, all for the British and Commonwealth titles. Our 'Enery stopped him the last three times, including tonight. Erskine's left eye was so badly cut that the referee wouldn't let him out for the tenth round. He carried on fighting other top British heavyweights, but never again for the title. Cooper kept his titles, on and off, until March 16, 1971.

The first time anyone shot under 280 in a Major golf tournament. Before now, the record was 281 by Ralph Guldahl at the US Open in 1937. Today Sam Snead made 68 for a total of 280 - but then Guldahl came home in 69 to finish with 279 and win the Masters after throwing it away two years earlier.

A pivotal world record. In the 200 metres backstroke, Geertje Wielema improved on the time set by fellow Dutchwoman Cor Kint ten years earlier. Wielema's own record lasted ten years to the day.

The most points scored by Great Britain in a rugby league match. Their 72-6 win at Headingley was bettered by their 72-4 hammering of Fiji three years later - but this win over France was a world record at the time. Alan Hunte and Paul Newlove scored tries in the first 12 minutes; Wales rugby union star Jonathan Davies missed both conversions but still finished with ten goals, which equalled the GB record. Newlove scored three of the 13 tries, Shaun Edwards two. Famous forward Ellery Hanley couldn't dip his bread in because he wasn't at the feast: dropped for leaving the team hotel without permission.

Todd Woodbridge was born in Sydney. One of the most successful doubles players of all time, he won the Wimbledon title a record nine times from 1993 to 2004, including five in a row with fellow Oz Mark Woodforde. The Woodies were also Olympic champions in 1996, beating a British pair on August 2, and surprisingly beaten in the Final four years later. Woodbridge won the Wimbledon mixed doubles in 1994 and finished runner-up ten years later. He reached 16 men's doubles Finals at Grand Slam events, winning the lot, and won a record 83 doubles titles on the ATP tour, breaking the previous record on January 17, 2004. He helped Australia win the Davis Cup in 1999 and 2003.

Sandra Post of Canada won the Colgate Dinah Shore, which later became a Major golf tournament. It was her first win in a tournament since the LPGA (which was a Major at the time) ten years earlier. A first-round 65 set her on her way. She won the Dinah Shore again in 1979.