• November 27 down the years

France freeze in their own backyard

The sporting events of November 27 down the years
John McEnroe led USA to Davis Cup glory © Getty Images

In the Davis Cup final, France took the USA indoors onto a clay court in Grenoble - and still lost. The following year, Yannick Noah won the French Open, and here he led John McEnroe two sets to one in the opening singles. McEnroe on clay, with his suspect stamina: job done, surely. Except that someone suddenly started tearing up scripts. McEnroe won the last two sets easily; Henri Leconte, who blew hot and cold throughout his career, froze against Gene Mayer; and McEnroe and Peter Fleming were one of the top doubles teams. It was all over on the second day.

The football community was shocked and saddened by the sudden news that former Newcastle United footballer and Wales international Gary Speed had been found dead at his Cheshire home.

Speed, then manager of Wales, was found hanged at his house in Huntingdon. Fellow players, celebrities and politicians paid tribute to Speed within minutes of hearing the news.

He died aged 42.

In rugby union, the Southern Hemisphere triumphed in the North.

In Paris, Dan Carter gave a masterclass at fly-half, scoring 25 points, including one of New Zealand's five tries, as the All Blacks beat France 45-6.

At Twickenham, England scored three tries to Australia's two but lost 21-19.

At Murrayfield, Jaco van der Westhuyzen scored one of South Africa's tries and landed three drop goals in a 45-10 hammering of Scotland.

Meanwhile, Germany led Luxembourg 53-0 at half-time but won by a mere 96-0. Have to work on that lack of stamina.

The 20-year-old American discus thrower Al Oerter won his first Olympic gold medal. On October 15, 1968, he won his famous fourth.

In the same Melbourne Games, the great Soviet rower Vyacheslav Ivanov won the single sculls, then got so excited at the medal ceremony that he threw his gold in the air - and dropped it in Lake Wendouree. He dived in but couldn't find it, so the IOC gave him a replacement. Ivanov won gold again in the same event at the next two Olympics, hanging on to them rather more tightly.

New Zealand, on a high after thrashing Scotland on November 20, came down to earth at Twickenham. In a match with no tries, new cap Jon Callard kicked four penalty goals in England's 15-9 win, their first over the All Blacks in ten years.

Inside-centre Claude Dourthe became the youngest player to be capped by France at rugby union. Exactly a week after his 18th birthday, he took part in a 9-3 win in Romania. Dourthe liked to keep things in the rugby family. His son Richard also played for France, and two of his daughters married internationals Raphael Ibañez and Olivier Magne.

In Wellington, New Zealand, Britain's Spencer Smith easily retained his world triathlon title.

Troy Corser was born in Australia. He was world superbike champion in 1996 and 2005.

In the highest-scoring game in NFL history, the Washington Redskins beat the New York Giants 72-41, scoring ten touchdowns to the Giants' six. There were no nets behind the goal posts at the time, so fourteen footballs ended up in the stands, costing the Redskins $315.

Australia's rugby league team won the second Tri-Nations tournament by beating Britain 44-4 in the final, scoring seven tries to one.

Henry Carr was born. One of the few Americans to be picked for the Olympics after finishing outside the top three in the trials, he won two golds at Tokyo '64, running his usual smooth bend in the 200 metres and anchoring the 4x400 relay team.

The 15-year-old Tracy Austin made her Fed Cup debut without losing a game, beating Choi Kyung-Mie of South Korea 6-0 6-0. The USA conceded only two games in the three matches.

The Utah Jazz made the biggest comeback in any NBA game. Down by 34 points at half-time, they fell 35 behind in the second half before recovering to beat the Denver Nuggets 107-103.

Saqlain Mushtaq was born. Possibly the first off-spinner to master the doosra, which spins the ball away from the batsman despite being delivered with an off-spinning action, he took 208 Test wickets for Pakistan, with best figures of 8-164 in a draw with England at Lahore in 2000.

On the first day of a Test against South Africa in Brisbane, Don Bradman scored exactly 200 before the close of play. He went on to 226 the following day as Australia win by an innings.