View a full range of our ebooks

View full library

Explore

Our Location

The PHA Group
117 Wardour Street,
Hammer House,
London,
W1F 0UN

0207 0251 350
info@thephagroup.com
PHA Digital Studio
Fourth Floor,
47 Dean St,
Soho,
London,
W1D 5BE

0207 0251 350
info@thephagroup.com
PHA Finance Department
117 Wardour Street,
Hammer House,
London,
W1F 0UN

0207 0251 350
info@thephagroup.com

Congratulations Andy! But who comes next?

Congratulations Andy! But who comes next?

Image courtesy of Marianne Bevis via Flickr

Image courtesy of Marianne Bevis via Flickr

The ‘Big Four’ of Murray, Djokovic, Federer and Nadal. The domination of Venus and Serena. Our very own home-grown talent seeing in the New Year as world number one. It is very hard not to view these times as the golden era for tennis. As these gifted players have helped to increase the popularity of the sport in the modern era, ticket sales have risen dramatically, major broadcasting contracts have been re-negotiated, sponsorship deals have augmented, and prize money has escalated. Yet in commercialisation’s rapid propagation of the sport’s financial beneficence, professionalism and popularity, has the future of tennis, in fact, become corrupted by clear negligence toward genuine player development, in its obsessive, global pursuit of increased marketability and profitability?

Federer and Nadal have passed on their long-held batons of superiority to Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray, both of whom will be on the wrong side of 30 the next time they face each other at the ATP’s curtain call event in London in November 2017. Serena Williams is approaching the end of her illustrious career as the relatively unrivalled tour de force in women’s tennis. Looking down at the rest of the seeded players on the Men’s and Women’s Tour, it is a struggle to locate any player that can even lace the boots of their predecessors, never mind replicate their talent and successes. For many, the Australian teenager Nick Kyrgios was tipped as the man to hail this new era of male tennis when the old guard chose to hang their boots. There is still ample time for Kyrgios to leave his mark in the tennis world. But at 21, and with a number of disciplinary meetings, fines and bans to his name, the turnaround must take place soon. At the same age, Rafael Nadal had won his third French Open.

The problem seems to lie in the fact that, in tennis’ modern age, players are rewarded for their misdemeanours. They are rewarded for standing out, for promoting their own brand, for drawing media attention. They are not rewarded for their sporting efforts or achievements. Of course, tournament prize money still remains an attractive pull for many players; added to that, there also undoubtedly remain a great number of professional players who do play their sport out of a genuine love for the game and a desire to succeed at the highest level. Yet in an arena in which the value of endorsements and sponsorships outweigh the financial reward of winning a tournament, it is no wonder that the current crop of young tennis players lacks the desire to develop their talents on the court. Kyrgios was rewarded for his poor professionalism with an endorsement deal with Nike.  Commercial appeal is simply more profitable than sporting ability and success. Endorsements can aid players, but can also distract them from achieving their potential. Too much off-court focus reduces on-court concentration. Of course, the very best, like Federer and Djokovic, can balance both responsibilities. Yet for this previous generation of stars, it was their dedication to their sport that brought fame as their reward. In the new age, players become brands before they become sportsmen.

Past it? According to Forbes, Novak Djokovic earned just over $56m in tournament winnings and endorsements in 2016. His rival, Federer, amassed $60 in endorsements alone. Djokovic won four Slam events to Federer’s zero. Image courtesy of Marianne Bevis via Flickr

Past it? According to Forbes, Novak Djokovic earned just over $56m in tournament winnings and endorsements in 2016. His rival, Federer, amassed $60 in endorsements alone. Djokovic won four Slam events to Federer’s zero. Image courtesy of Marianne Bevis via Flickr

It means that, although globalisation and increased commercialisation have contributed to the fattening of the ATP and WTA coffers, the river of money rarely runs along a clean or requisite stream, particularly at grassroots level, which finds itself in dire need of investment. Much of the annual Lawn Tennis Association grass-roots funding, for example, is supplied by the surpluses of its Wimbledon tournament intake; yet this surplus has decreased with each passing year, as tournament prize money and player endorsements have gradually increased. The future crop finds its growth stunted as the self-interested current crop remains consistently watered. We waited seventy years for the next Fred Perry. We may be waiting longer still for the next Andy Murray.

Tennis has found itself bogged down in a paradoxical swamp of its own making. The future of tennis is inhibited by its reliance upon heavily investing in, and sponging-off, the marketable profitability of its present, which takes money away from the development of the next generation of players. Yet without the money and popularity that its current ‘stars’ help to generate for the sport, there would be arguably no future to envisage at all for the sport. Tennis needs to find the right balance between ability and marketability, before it sinks further into the swamp.

Shock slips at Wimbledon

TOM TENNIS

Yesterday was probably one of the most dramatic days at Wimbledon ever, with Federer losing to an 80-1 outsider, Sharapova ‘falling’ to a straight sets defeat to 131 ranked Michelle Larcher De Brito, and then Azarenka, Tsonga and Cilic all withdrawing because of injury. 

The main topics of conversation now are Andy Murray and the expectation that he will breeze through to the final, together with the women’s competition, which sees the number 8 seed Petra Kvitova as the highest ranked player left in the bottom half of the women’s draw. Oh, and of course, the slippery courts!  What are we going to see next?!

One thing we can definitely expect is any player who slips up on the court today to criticise the chairman of the AELTC, Richard Lewis, who put out this somewhat embarrassing statement yesterday:

There has been a high number of withdrawals at The Championships today and we sympathise with all the players affected. The withdrawals have occurred for a variety of reasons, but there has been some suggestion that the court surface is to blame. We have no reason to think this is the case. Indeed, many players have complimented us on the very good condition of the courts”

Yes grass is always going to be a slippery surface compared to others but it seems unlikely that a simple coincidence can account for Victoria Azarenka slipping and injuring her knee, Sharapova falling three times and damaging her hip, Wozniacki falling and having to tape her ankle and Ferrer slipping in his first round and hurting his ankle too.

And was the slippery court perhaps a reason for Nadal not putting in a full effort because he was worried about what he could potentially do to this knee??  The only defence case that the officials of Wimbledon can put forward is that there has been a change in the way players move and the players are subconsciously thinking that they have the same foot support that they have on a clay or hard court.  We all know that players can slide on clay courts but the development of the game has seen players being able to slide now on hard courts, which Novak Djokovic does on countless occasions and usually you hear a gasp from the crowd when he does.

But what do all these shock losses mean for the draws?  I am afraid the women’s draw is looking like a complete walkover (Serena Williams could probably be restricted to just having a second serve for the rest of the tournament and she would still win!) But let’s hope that Brit Laura Robson can make an impact in her section of the draw too.

With the men’s tournament, the media appear to have already written their July 7th newspaper with a Djokovic and Murray preview but one should not be so sure. I would put half my monthly salary now on Murray reaching the final – (the highest ranked player he has left on his side of the draw is the 15th seed and clay court specialist Nicholas Almagro!)

But after being told by countless reporters at the beginning of the tournament that he had the easy draw, perhaps the pressure will get to Djokovic. I also think there could be a gatecrasher to the party in the name of former finalist Thomas Berdych.  Thomas is set to play Djokovic in the quarterfinals and, on the ‘slippery grass,’ Thomas has the game to take out the Serb and then break his way into his second Wimbledon final. If that’s the case, Thomas would actually have a 5-4 head to head lead over Murray.

I predict we will see a Berdych and Murray final but, before you get your hopes up, I think the pressure of potentially being named the first British Wimbledon champion since Fred Perry might just be too much, and we’ll instead see a new Wimbledon champion in the name of Tomas Berdych.

Let’s see if I have to eat my words on Monday July 8th back in the office….

The Lendl effect?

Image Courtesy of Tennis Buzz, flickr.com

Image Courtesy of Tennis Buzz, flickr.com

It has been a long time coming……that pesky Grand Slam title. Monday 10th September will go down as a day to remember for Andy Murray, a day when he was finally able to do what fans and the British media had spent six years hoping for.

But the US Open title is not simply a result of those fifteen days at Flushing Meadows; it is the product of long, hard-fought battle by the Scotsman.

We remember the moments before that moment, like they were yesterday….

Learning by losing…

….is probably not the worst way to have handled the four Grand Slam final defeats. The first came back in 2008 when Murray was beaten by Roger Federer in the final of the US Open, unaware that this would also be the spot where he would secure his first Grand Slam title, four years later. Already then there was a sense that Murray’s time would come – probably one of the most frequently used clichés in the history of tennis and, for Murray, one of the most painful.

In January 2010 Murray faced Roger Federer again, this time in Rod Laver Arena in Melbourne. This time Murray struggled to keep the tears away and apologised to Britain for not winning what every one of us so desperately wanted. One year later and Murray reached yet another Australian Open final, stopped this time by Novak Djokovic who, in what was a record-breaking 2011 for him, proved just too much for the Scotsman to contend with.  

 With the back against the wall

Image Courtesy of mrenzaero, flickr.com

Image Courtesy of mrenzaero, flickr.com

In late 2011 Andy Murray announces that he has hired Ivan Lendl as his new coach, a decision which is met with a great deal of scepticism amongst the British press, fans and tennis experts alike. There are serious doubts over Lendl’s ability to raise Murray’s game and to create the success that we have long yearned for. At this point in time, the Scotsman is working harder than ever in the relentless Miami heat, a fitness programme that would later become a crucial part of his pre-season training regime.

Murray and Lendl openly discuss their belief in the partnership and Lendl appears to have found some miracle cure to end the bad habits of Murray on the court. The critics are, for a while at least, silenced when Murray, in the first week of 2012, wins the Brisbane International – the perfect preparation for the Australian Open.

In Melbourne, Murray looks strong. Despite losing a set to the up-and-coming American Ryan Harrison in the first round, Murray hammers through the next four matches, losing just 25 games without dropping a set.

In the semi-final, he faces Novak Djokovic, the man that one year prior, denied him a Grand Slam win on the exact same court. 2 sets to 1 up and things are looking good. But after dropping the fourth set 6-1, Murray eventually looses 7-5 in the decider, probably the hardest defeat in his career to date.

And then the question resurfaces….Will Andy Murray ever win a Grand Slam title?

 

The magic of SW19

Murray reaches two more major finals in early 2012. He loses to Federer in Dubai and is once again defeated by Djokovic, this time in Miami. The clay-court season soon becomes the biggest catalyst for doubt in Murray’s mind. He crashes out in the quarters in both Monte Carlo and Barcelona to Tomas Berdych and Milos Raonic respectively. In Paris, he loses to David Ferrer in four sets. Before we know it, all eyes are back on the grass season.  

But it doesn’t start well. Murray loses his opener in the classic AEGON Championships at the Queens Club. Nicolas Mahut, always a tricky opponent on the grass, hands Murray the worst possible preparation to Wimbledon and suddenly the faith placed widely in the young Brit seems somewhat misplaced.

Despite the ongoing critique of the Murray-Lendl partnership, the stone-faced Czech appears to have done something right. At SW19 Murray overcomes some bouncy performances against Karlovic and Baghdatis before he convincingly disposes of Croat Marin Cilic in straight sets. Suddenly the resounding sense of positivity returns and Murray finds himself breezing past two more of the world’s greatest players, David Ferrer and Jo-Wilfred Tsonga, to find himself in yet another Grand Slam final.

It is difficult to describe the atmosphere when Murray takes the opening set. There is a sense that maybe, just maybe, this is Murray’s time. And surely we have waited long enough for it to arrive?

But before long that ghostly centre court silence returns. Federer has bounced back and the Wimbledon crown is snatched cruelly once again from Murray’s grasp.

A month later and Murray, at last, enjoys the taste of victory, laced with amicable revenge, when he takes the Olympic title, depriving Federer of the Gold which he himself had held openly in such high regard. A straight set win, a heroic victory and the restoration of national pride; days don’t come much sweeter than this.

Soon after and Murray is back on the hard courts of America. And the rest? History.

What a journey. What an important victory.

 Grand Slam holder. US Open Champion. Number one in the world? We’ll see.

 

Words by Asger Hess-Olesen

The moments we won’t be forgetting in a hurry…PHA Sport’s top ten London 2012 highlights

PHA Sport's top ten London 2012 highlights

The London 2012 Olympic Games have been a resounding success, no doubt, delivering triumph after triumph for team GB and spreading joy and happiness throughout the nation. There have been many unforgettable moments over the last couple of weeks, but here we pick our top ten highlights…

 

Super Saturday

OK, we’re starting with the obvious: Super Saturday. But what wasn’t there to love? Great Britain’s most successful day on the athletics track since, well, ever, with Ennis, Farah and Rutherford all taking Gold in fine style (don’t worry Greg, we’ve forgotten about your final jump already). Ennis was first up, taking Gold in the most gruelling of events by storming home in the 800 metres, remaining as charming as ever in the process. Rutherford’s huge 8.31 metre jump launched him to the top spot on the podium shortly after. We paced that distance out in the office and came to the conclusion that if you can jump that far, you are basically flying; it’s phenomenal. And then there was Farah; his storming performance topped off a magical night of sport for team GB. Just ask Denise and Colin, or watch their studio celebrations here https://bit.ly/OCEUmF. We won’t be forgetting it in a hurry!

London’s transport system

For coping admirably throughout and proving all those predictions of chaos and disorganisation wrong. Despite dire warnings of mayhem at Marylebone, bedlam at Bank and horror scenes in Stratford, most Londoners and Games goers reported more seamless journeys than normal. What’s more, here at PHA Sport we even witnessed strangers TALKING on the tube. The feel-good factor brought on by the Games spread right across the capital, even to the depths of the Victoria line… Now that really is an Olympic achievement.

Let’s hear it for the parents

Hoy’s mum unable to watch, Mrs Tweddle acting out daughter Beth’s routine from the stand, Murray hugging mum Judy after his emotional win (yeah, we missed it too thanks to the genius editing by the OBS but we know it happened thanks to the cheering crowd), and who could forget Daddy Le Clos… Parents who have supported their kids every step of the way, lived and breathed the sport as much, if not more (Judy), as their successful offspring and dedicated much of their lives to helping their children achieve their Olympic dreams. To see these parents punching the air, dancing in the stands and weeping with pride, brought a tear to our collective eye. It also made us question why our parents hadn’t made us stick at gymnastics, or taken us rowing when we were three.

‘Good evening Mr Bond’

The opening ceremony feels like a lifetime ago considering all the sporting highs and lows we’ve witnessed since. But a firm highlight of the Games remains the Queen’s acting debut alongside Daniel Craig. What a rascal that Monarch of ours is! She even kept the joke a secret from Harry and Wills! We always knew the Queen had a wicked sense of humour and now the whole world does too. Simply brilliant. And a stroke of genius from Boyle.

Horse Guards Parade

We’ve been to a fair few Olympic venues over the last couple of weeks and they have, without exception, been superb. But the beach volleyball arena at Horse Guards Parade deserves a special mention. Not only is it set against the most impressive of backdrops, with views of Downing Street, St Pauls, the London Eye and Big Ben, but the atmosphere inside is electric. Designed to ensure spectators have the most amount of fun possible in the space of a couple of hours, the organisers threw everything into making this an experience to remember for the crowds… Dancing girls (and boys) writhing in the sand, crowd sing-alongs, Chelsea Daggers dance moves, Congas round the stadium, the Benny Hill theme tune and the voice over man from the X Factor (IT’S TIME. TO FACE. THE MUUUUUSSSIIIC – that guy), oh and some beach volleyball action too. It was one long beach party in the centre of the capital. Top that Rio!

Mugging off the French with our ‘really round’ wheels

Oh, we Brits do like to rub the French up the wrong way. It serves them right for being rude whenever we get the Eurostar to Paris. And last week, the mastermind of British cycling, Dave Brailsford, pulled off a class A gag. Whilst the French were being sore losers and moaning about the Brits being better than them, a French journalist thought he’d investigate the matter further and quizzed Brailsford on the secrets of the team’s success. Was there some funny business going on? Some dark art at work perhaps? Brailsford’s response was to say that it was down to the ’round wheels’ used by the British team. Not just round, but ‘really round’. ‘AH HA!’ The French journalist thought. What a coup! The secret is out! L’Equipe published the story the next day; ‘The Brits use round wheels! How dare they!’, or words to that effect…  Oh, hang on. Wait a minute… They’re wheels. Aren’t they always round? And aren’t they made in France anyway? Yes. Oh. Merde…

Anyone for clay pigeon shooting?

Over at PHA Sport, we love the mainstream sports. Football, rugby, cricket, golf, tennis, we can’t get enough of them. But the beauty of the Olympics, especially when they are being held in your own backyard, is the variety of sporting action we get to enjoy, and the range of sports which command column inches. Kayaking, volleyball, hockey, judo, women’s football, basketball, diving, even clay pigeon shooting for heaven’s sake… We’re hooked on them all. Is clay pigeon shooting even a sport? Who cares! We love it! Go Team GB!

Murray‘s moment

Ok, we admit it, we haven’t always liked Murray. Yes, when Wimbledon comes around we try our best, but it’s hard, you know? Well, not anymore. During the Games, just four weeks after his devastating Wimbledon defeat, he came out wearing the GB shirt with pride. He smashed Federer in three sets and even sung the national anthem. Andy, we’re sorry for giving you a hard time; we hope you’ll forgive us. We promise to never single you out as Scottish again. It was a brilliant performance and a pleasure to watch. For what it’s worth (nothing, I am sure) we predict that Grand Slams will now follow. Our money’s on you for the Australian Open.

Humble sports superstars

They’ve achieved the highest honour possible in their sport. They’ve worked unimaginably hard for years. Grafting and grafting to knock a thousandth of a second off their time, to throw a fraction of a centimetre further, to jump a millimetre higher… They deserve every bit of their success and could perhaps be forgiven for letting it go to their head a bit. But have you seen any prima donna behaviour from British Olympians over the last couple of weeks? We thought not. Ennis, Farah, Hoy, Murray, Pendleton, Trott… the list goes on. Our biggest Olympic superstars have remained humble, charming, grateful, gracious and likeable throughout. We can name more than a handful of Premiership footballers who could learn a thing or two from them…

We are Gold! Gold! We always believed in our soooouul…. etc

For number ten, we’ll finish where we started. More Golds for Team GB. Tuesday 7th August was another bumper day for medals, with Sir Chris Hoy’s achievement on the track peddling him into the history books as Britain’s most decorated Olympian ever. The crowd nearly brought the Pringle-shaped roof down on the Velodrome as Hoy battled with German Maximilian Levy to keep the inside line, before producing a final spurt to clinch the sixth Gold medal of his career. Sir Steve Redgrave was there to congratulate him and big man Hoy blubbed on the podium. There wasn’t a dry eye in the house at PHA Towers. Granted only two of us had worked late enough to see it in the office but it was an emotional evening nonetheless.

And there endeth our top ten rundowns. There have been so many stellar moments it was hard to whittle them down, so we know we’ve missed a few other classics. Let us know what would be in your top ten…

The moments we won't be forgetting in a hurry…PHA Sport's top ten London 2012 highlights

PHA Sport's top ten London 2012 highlights

The London 2012 Olympic Games have been a resounding success, no doubt, delivering triumph after triumph for team GB and spreading joy and happiness throughout the nation. There have been many unforgettable moments over the last couple of weeks, but here we pick our top ten highlights…

 

Super Saturday

OK, we’re starting with the obvious: Super Saturday. But what wasn’t there to love? Great Britain’s most successful day on the athletics track since, well, ever, with Ennis, Farah and Rutherford all taking Gold in fine style (don’t worry Greg, we’ve forgotten about your final jump already). Ennis was first up, taking Gold in the most gruelling of events by storming home in the 800 metres, remaining as charming as ever in the process. Rutherford’s huge 8.31 metre jump launched him to the top spot on the podium shortly after. We paced that distance out in the office and came to the conclusion that if you can jump that far, you are basically flying; it’s phenomenal. And then there was Farah; his storming performance topped off a magical night of sport for team GB. Just ask Denise and Colin, or watch their studio celebrations here https://bit.ly/OCEUmF. We won’t be forgetting it in a hurry!

 

London’s transport system

For coping admirably throughout and proving all those predictions of chaos and disorganisation wrong. Despite dire warnings of mayhem at Marylebone, bedlam at Bank and horror scenes in Stratford, most Londoners and Games goers reported more seamless journeys than normal. What’s more, here at PHA Sport we even witnessed strangers TALKING on the tube. The feel good factor brought on by the Games spread right across the capital, even to the depths of the Victoria line… Now that really is an Olympic achievement.

 

Let’s hear it for the parents

Hoy’s mum unable to watch, Mrs Tweddle acting out daughter Beth’s routine from the stand, Murray hugging mum Judy after his emotional win (yeah, we missed it too thanks to the genius editing by the OBS but we know it happened thanks to the cheering crowd), and who could forget Daddy Le Clos… Parents who have supported their kids every step of the way, lived and breathed the sport as much, if not more (Judy), as their successful offspring and dedicated much of their lives to helping their children achieve their Olympic dreams. To see these parents punching the air, dancing in the stands and weeping with pride, brought a tear to our collective eye. It also made us question why our parents hadn’t made us stick at gymnastics, or taken us rowing when we were three.

 

‘Good evening Mr Bond’

The opening ceremony feels like a lifetime ago considering all the sporting highs and lows we’ve witnessed since. But a firm highlight of the Games remains the Queen’s acting debut alongside Daniel Craig. What a rascal that Monarch of ours is! She even kept the joke a secret from Harry and Wills! We always knew the Queen had a wicked sense of humour and now the whole world does too. Simply brilliant. And a stroke of genius from Boyle.

 

Horse Guards Parade

We’ve been to a fair few Olympic venues over the last couple of weeks and they have, without exception, been superb. But the beach volleyball arena at Horse Guards Parade deserves a special mention. Not only is it set against the most impressive of backdrops, with views of Downing Street, St Pauls, the London Eye and Big Ben, but the atmosphere inside is electric. Designed to ensure spectators have the most amount of fun possible in the space of a couple of hours, the organisers threw everything into making this an experience to remember for the crowds… Dancing girls (and boys) writhing in the sand, crowd sing alongs, Chelsea Daggers dance moves, Congas round the stadium, the Benny Hill theme tune and the voice over man from the X Factor (IT’S TIME. TO FACE. THE MUUUUUSSSIIIC – that guy), oh and some beach volleyball action too. It was one long beach party in the centre of the capital. Top that Rio!

 

Mugging off the French with our ‘really round’ wheels

Oh we Brits do like to rub the French up the wrong way. It serves them right for being rude whenever we get the Eurostar to Paris. And last week, the mastermind of British cycling, Dave Brailsford, pulled off a class A gag. Whilst the French were being sore losers and moaning about the Brits being better than them, a French journalist thought he’d investigate the matter further and quizzed Brailsford on the secrets of the team’s success. Was there some funny business going on? Some dark art at work perhaps? Brailsford’s response was to say that it was down to the ’round wheels’ used by the British team. Not just round, but ‘really round’. ‘AH HA!’ The French journalist thought. What a coup! The secret is out! L’Equipe published the story the next day; ‘The Brits use round wheels! How dare they!’, or words to that effect…  Oh, hang on. Wait a minute… They’re wheels. Aren’t they always round? And aren’t they made in France anyway? Yes. Oh. Merde…

 

Anyone for clay pigeon shooting?

Over at PHA Sport we love the mainstream sports. Football, rugby, cricket, golf, tennis, we can’t get enough of them. But the beauty of the Olympics, especially when they are being held in your own back yard, is the variety of sporting action we get to enjoy, and the range of sports which command column inches. Kayaking, volleyball, hockey, judo, women’s football, basketball, diving, even clay pigeon shooting for heaven’s sake… We’re hooked on them all. Is clay pigeon shooting even a sport? Who cares! We love it! Go Team GB!

  

Murray‘s moment

Ok, we admit it, we haven’t always liked Murray. Yes, when Wimbledon comes around we try our best, but it’s hard, you know? Well, not any more. During the Games, just four weeks after his devastating Wimbledon defeat, he came out wearing the GB shirt with pride. He smashed Federer in three sets and even sung the national anthem. Andy, we’re sorry for giving you a hard time; we hope you’ll forgive us. We promise to never single you out as Scottish again. It was a brilliant performance and a pleasure to watch. For what it’s worth (nothing, I am sure) we predict that Grand Slams will now follow. Our money’s on you for the Australian Open.

 

Humble sports superstars

They’ve achieved the highest honour possible in their sport. They’ve worked unimaginably hard for years. Grafting and grafting to knock a thousandth of a second off their time, to throw a fraction of a centimetre further, to jump a millimetre higher… They deserve every bit of their success and could perhaps be forgiven for letting it go to their head a bit. But have you seen any prima donna behaviour from British Olympians over the last couple of weeks? We thought not. Ennis, Farah, Hoy, Murray, Pendleton, Trott… the list goes on. Our biggest Olympic superstars have remained humble, charming, grateful, gracious and likeable throughout. We can name more than a handful of Premiership footballers who could learn a thing or two from them…

 

We are Gold! Gold! We always believed in our soooouul…. etc

For number ten, we’ll finish where we started. More Golds for Team GB. Tuesday 7th August was another bumper day for medals, with Sir Chris Hoy’s achievement on the track peddling him in to the history books as Britain’s most decorated Olympian ever. The crowd nearly brought the Pringle-shaped roof down on the Velodrome as Hoy battled with German Maximilian Levy to keep the inside line, before producing a final spurt to clinch the sixth Gold medal of his career. Sir Steve Redgrave was there to congratulate him and big man Hoy blubbed on the podium. There wasn’t a dry eye in the house at PHA Towers. Granted only two of us had worked late enough to see it in the office but it was an emotional evening nonetheless.

 

And there endeth our top ten rundown. There have been so many stellar moments it was hard to whittle them down, so we know we’ve missed a few other classics. Let us know what would be in your top ten…