Highlight of 2013: Paul Merson, Sir Ian Botham and their colleagues share their best moment of the year
Last Updated: 24/12/13 10:32am
We all have our highlights, so who better to share theirs than the Sky Sports stars. We asked them what they will remember and why?
It might be personal, it might be a professional choice, it might be an amazing individual display or a terrific team success, or it might be one magic moment or something that was part of the bigger picture.
Review of the Year - click here!
Paul Merson - Football
A beautiful final
I would say Bradford getting to the Capital One Cup Final. They beat Wigan, they beat Arsenal and then they beat Villa over two legs, which is a big ask. You see smaller teams beat bigger teams in a one-off game, but to beat a Premier League team over two legs is huge. OK, they got their comeuppance in the final, but they did so well to get there and people don't realise how hard it was to do what they did - and then to get promoted as well was just phenomenal.
Sir Ian Botham - Cricket
Records fall on Agar debut
The first Ashes Test match at Trent Bridge had it all. Talk about ebbing and flowing. Who would have thought Ashton Agar, a 19-year-old kid, could get 98 on debut from number 11? England should have walked that Test match but if there was ever a glimpse of what was to come then they are certainly finding out about it now in Australia. The biggest transformation this year has been Australian cricket and that's down to one Darren Lehman.
Barrie McDermott - Rugby League
Fages' life in England
My abiding memory of this year was how many young players were given an opportunity to play in Super League and flourished under the bright lights. Players like Tom Linehem, Liam Suttcliffe, Morgan Escare, Ryan Hampshire, Luke Thompson, James Woodburn-Hall and Theo Fages really stepped up. The temptation to buy in has hampered our game in years gone by, but that looks to be changing now. Developing local talent is the the bedrock of rugby league and it looks like the production line is ready to churn out the next generation over the next few years.
Phil Thompson - Football
There were a few, including Wigan's FA Cup victory. But I will go for Bayern Munich beating Barcelona 3-0 at the Nou Camp in May in the semi-final of the Champions League. It was a stunning marker of how, not just Bayern Munich but, the Bundesliga teams have developed. That was a massive marker. They had lost against Chelsea the previous year but this showed just how they had improved in a relatively short space of time. It was an absolutely incredible performance.
Wayne Mardle - Darts
Taylor wins Grand Slam
Without doubt it has to be the Grand Slam of Darts semi-final between Adrian Lewis and Phil Taylor. It's the best match I have ever seen. For the sheer quality of the darts, nothing that has gone before has ever matched it. Aidy finished on an average of 111.99 and managed to lose the match 16-9 because Taylor managed to win leg after leg, as he always does. I've never seen anything like it and it was a privilege to commentate on. At one point I actually said "this is laughable" because I've never seen the sport played well that before.
Kelvin Tatum - Speedway
Hard work pays off for Tai
Tai Woffinden winning the world championship was superb - we have not had a British champion for thirteen years so it was a fantastic achievement for him. He actually did the double this year as he also won his first British Championship, so it really was a great year for him. On the domestic front, well Poole Pirates winning the Elite League was just unbelievable. They did it in remarkable style after being down and out for long periods of the season. They had injury concerns to Darcy Ward and they lost Chris Holder. However they restructured the side on at least two occasions, but they battled through and were truly inspirational in the Grand Final. As a team they were just terrific.
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