• June 21 down the years

Time for Lennox to hang up the gloves

Lennox Lewis hung up his gloves in 2003 © Getty Images

Lennox Lewis's last fight. It was his 44th as a professional, his 18th world heavyweight title bout - and almost ended in his third defeat. Underdog Vitali Klitschko caught him with some big punches in the second round and was ahead on points at the end of the sixth when the fight was stopped for a bad cut over Klitschko's left eye. Lewis had seen the writing on the wall and got out of the kitchen rather than risk a rematch. When he retired, Klitschko won the vacant title.

England were knocked out of the 2002 World Cup after losing 2-1 to Brazil in the quarter-finals. Ronaldinho scored an audacious free-kick which beat goalkeeper David Seaman from more than 30 yards out. England led through Michael Owen after 23 minutes, but Rivaldo equalised on the stroke of half-time following a sweeping move from the Brazilians. Ronaldinho then struck the winner on 50 minutes - whether he meant it or not - and finished the game with 10 men after Ronaldinho was harshly sent off for a foul on Danny Mills.

The British & Irish Lions weren't given much chance in South Africa, who were the reigning world champions playing in their own backyard. But the Lions had picked the right players, going for physique and combativeness. They chose Martin Johnson as captain before England ever did, brought in former rugby league backs like Scott Gibbs, Alan Tait, and John Bentley, and picked Neil Jenkins for his kicking. In the first Test in Cape Town today, the Lions matched the Springboks up front, where Irish lock Jeremy Davidson was a surprise hit alongside Johnson and the all-English back row got their hands dirty. And the Lions matched South Africa try for try, including one by scrum-half Matt Dawson after a famous outrageous dummy. Jenkins kicked five penalties in a 25-16 win that put South Africa on the back foot before the second Test a week later.

British star Tony Jacklin won the US Open. He was golf's hottest property at the time, the equal of Jack Nicklaus and Lee Trevino. Having won the Open the previous year (July 12), he took the lead here at Hazeltine and never let it go. On a difficult course, he followed his opening 71 with three rounds of 70, which increased his lead round by round until he won by seven shots. He was the only player to finish under par, the only European winner between August 13, 1920 and 2010, and the last to lead after every round until Tiger Woods on June 18 30 years later. Jacklin's decline began at the Open two years later (July 15), but right now he was top of the world.

In 1965, Gary Player became the first overseas winner of the US Open since 1920. South Africa's finest put together similar scores to Jacklin's: 70-70-71-71. Australia's Kel Nagle caught him with a 69 in the last round - but Player won the 18-hole play-off by three shots. At the time, he was only the third golfer - after Gene Sarazen and Ben Hogan to win all four Majors.

At the age of 38, Mark Foster became the first British freestyler to swim 50 metres in under 22 seconds. In setting his sixth national record at the event, he broke the record set three years earlier and regained it for the first time since 2001.

Roger Bannister's famous sub four minute mile was broken by Australia's John Landy © Getty Images
Roger Bannister ran the first sub four minute mile on May 6. Today that landmark mark was broken for the first time. Australia's John Landy had given up trying to breach the four-minute barrier. Once Bannister showed him how, he went out and knocked another 1.4 seconds off the time. The two of them had their famous showdown at the Commonwealth Games on August 7.

The first golfer from outside Britain to win the British Open golf was also the only Frenchman to win a Major. Arnaud Massy began the last round one shot behind JH Taylor, one of the Great Triumvirate - but Taylor took seven at the third hole and missed too many short putts, allowing Massy to win by two shots despite taking a six at the 15th after finding a bunker. Maybe he outlasted him - Taylor was 36 by then, Massy seven years younger, and they had to play 36 holes each day - though it's more likely that previous failures were whispering in Taylor's ear: he became the only player to finish runner-up in the Open four years in a row. The rest of the Triumvirate were also in the field - Jimmy Braid finished joint fifth, Harry Vardon joint seventh - so Massy won on merit. He very nearly won it again, reaching a play-off against Vardon four years later (June 29). In 1999, another Frenchman missed his big chance big time (July 18).

The brilliant Carlos Spencer scored 33 points in his Test debut for New Zealand. He scored two tries and kicked ten conversions and a penalty in a 93-8 slaughter of Argentina in Wellington. Spencer scored another 20 points in the second Test in Hamilton, which The All Blacks won by a mere 62-10.

Over in Sydney on the same day, John Eales became only the second forward to kick five penalty goals in an international match. He also converted both of Australia's tries in a 29-15 win over France. He kicked another five penalties against them in Paris the following year.

'Dave' Davies was born William John Abbott Davies in Wales but played rugby union for England. Played it so well that he finished on the losing side only once in 22 international matches: his first, against South Africa at Twickenham in 1913. One of the great fly-halves in a rather unobtrusive way, he was no goal kicker (his only points in international rugby came from three drop goals), but he was such a good reader of a game and had so many good players around him that he led England to four Grand Slams, two before the War and two after. The last was completed in his farewell match April 2, 1923, when he took time off from his honeymoon in Paris.