Iconic sporting moments Brits wish they had seen in person – including 1966 World Cup win

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Muhammad Ali and George Foreman’s iconic “Rumble in the Jungle”, and Gazza’s goal against Scotland at UEFA EURO 96, also featured in top 30 list.

I can still remember the buzz of playing in front of fans, absolutely no feeling like it

Rio Ferdinand, former Manchester United and England football star

Despite a love of major sporting events, 46 percent have never been lucky enough to attend one – with 52 percent intending to try and get tickets only to end up watching it on the telly.

A spokesman from UEFA Women’s EURO England 2022, which commissioned the research ahead of the ballot for tickets closing on 16th November, said: “There have been so many iconic events over the years and we can see from this research that fans can’t get enough of them.

“Everyone loves big sporting moments, but we also don’t like to miss out and get the dreaded “what if” feeling.

“With England hosting the Women’s EURO next year across nine cities, there’s another huge opportunity for fans to be a part of an iconic sporting event.”

Other major moments adults wished they had seen included Usain Bolt’s final gold medal at Rio 2016, Team GB’s medal haul on “Super Saturday” at London 2012, and Liverpool’s 2005 Champions League comeback victory.

While Roger Bannister breaking the four-minute mile in 1954, England beating Denmark to reach the Euro 2020 final, and Manchester United’s 1999 Champions League triumph also ranked highly.

Aside from the need to travel back in time, 52 percent have been unfortunate enough to miss a key moment of a sporting event in person – from having left early.

And 35 percent have been left wondering what might have been after experiencing FOMO when watching such events unfold at home.

When it comes to football, nearly half prefer the feel of an international tournament to a domestic one – with 42 percent believing it means more to win a tournament on home soil.

This is due to feeling the atmosphere in the country, seeing how much it means to people and being easier to get behind your team.

It also emerged that while 45 percent have watched a women’s match on television, only seven percent have done so in person.

Former Manchester United and England icon Rio Ferdinand, who is a UEFA Women’s EURO England 2022 ambassador, said: “Seeing some of the biggest names playing in some of the biggest stadiums in the country, all here in England – on our doorstep.

“It’s going to be huge, unreal to be a part of and not something you’d want to miss.

“England vs Austria, at Old Trafford will be a very fitting curtain raiser for the tournament – I’m expecting the fans to pack out the stadium and kick off this huge tournament in style.

“I can still remember the buzz of playing in front of fans there, absolutely no feeling like it so it’s the perfect opening stage for the tournament.

“The organisers are looking to set a record Women’s EURO crowd for that game and then hopefully a full attendance once again for the final, making it the biggest European crowd for a women’s football match ever.

“I can’t wait to witness that. What a moment for the women’s game that will leave such a massive legacy, inspiring huge numbers to be part of it in the future, whether its playing or watching.”

Ferdinand cites Tiger Wood’s first major win – the Masters in 1997 – and Jordan’s buzzer beater, “The Shot”, that eliminated the Cleveland Cavaliers in the 1989 NBA play offs, as two sporting moments he would love to have witnessed live due to the buzz and energy of the crowd witnessing something history defining.

The spokesman from UEFA Women’s Euro England 2022, added: “With it being set to be a record-breaking women’s event – hopefully it’ll be one spectators can speak about for years to come and tell people “I was there”.

“With 31 matches across 10 venues in nine cities, fans have plenty of opportunities to be part of history.

“While the tournament might be next summer, the opportunity to get tickets via the ballot is coming to an end soon, so don’t miss out and grab your tickets now.”

To find out about the fixtures of the upcoming tournament and how to get tickets, visit here. 

TOP 30 “WISH I WAS THERE” MOMENTS:

  1. England winning the World Cup in 1966
  2. Andy Murray’s Wimbledon win in 2013, becoming the first Brit to do so for 77 years
  3. Emma Raducanu winning the US Open in 2021
  4. Muhammad Ali and George Foreman’s “Rumble in the Jungle” in 1974
  5. England cricket team finally winning the Ashes after 18 years in 2005
  6. England winning the Cricket World Cup in the Super Over in 2019
  7. Usain Bolt’s final Gold in the Rio Olympics in 2016
  8. London 2012 Super Saturday Team GB medal haul
  9. Roger Bannister breaking the four-minute mile in 1954
  10. England reaching the Euro 2020 final after beating Denmark
  11. Usain Bolt’s first Gold in Beijing 2008 Olympics
  12. Paul Gascoigne’s goal against Scotland in Euro ’96
  13. Ben Stokes’ performance for England against Australia at Headingly in 2019
  14. Manchester United clinching the Treble in 1999 after winning the Champions league against Bayern Munich
  15. Liverpool winning the Champions League in 2005 against AC Milan
  16. Sir Steve Redgrave winning his fifth Gold medal at the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games
  17. Jesse Owens’ four gold medals in the 1936 Olympic Games
  18. Lewis Hamilton becoming the youngest ever F1 Championship winner in 2008
  19. Unseeded Boris Becker’s Wimbledon win aged just 17 in 1985
  20. Tyson Fury rising from the canvas in his draw with Deontay Wilder in 2018
  21. Leicester lifting the Premier League trophy in 2016
  22. Anthony Joshua beating Wladamir Klitschko in 2017
  23. Serena Williams’ first Wimbledon victory in 2002
  24. Martina Navratilova wins sixth straight Wimbledon in 1987
  25. England Women winning the 2017 Cricket World Cup at Lords
  26. Nicola Adams winning first ever Women’s Boxing Gold at the Olympics in 2012
  27. Michael Phelps breaking the Gold medal record at the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games
  28. Billie Jean King winning the Battle of the Sexes in 1973
  29. Europe’s “Miracle in Medinah” coming back to win the 2012 Ryder Cup
  30. Martina Hingis winning Wimbledon aged 16 in 1997

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