With the Olypmics last summer, its safe to say that 2012 was a legendary year for sport in London. However, lest we forget these balmy months have played host to legendary sporting fixtures in London for the past 100 years. Here’s Woolwich Central’s quick guide to the top sporting fixtures not to miss, in and around London this summer.
Football – UEFA Champions League Final, Wembley Stadium, 25th May
Host of rockstars, concerts, and more occasionally football matches. On the 25th of may Borussia Dortmund take on Bayern Munich at Wembley after the German pair respectively overcame Real Madrid and Barcelona in the semi-finals. The 90 000 seater stadium re-opened its doors in 2007 after a facelift, featuring a newly built arch and enclosing 4million cubic metres of space under its roof- a fitting venue so oversee the battle for the European championship.
Rugby – Aviva Premiership Final, Twickenham, 25th May
Just 10 miles south of Wembley, Twickenham stadium hosts the WRU’s biggest domestic club final, selling out the 82 000 seater stadium for the last 5 years running. The line-up for the final is Northampton Saints vs Leicester Tigers, a clash that is guaranteed to match the occasion itself. The finalists have spent nine long months to get to this moment; the culmination of 135 games between the top 12 teams and the season all comes down to this one game, with the best two sides in the country going head to head in a winner-takes-all encounter.
Tennis- Wimbledon, 24th June – 7th July
Prepare to share your pearls of tennis wisdom and cross your fingers for the weather to hold out; the 127th Championships at Wimbledon are likely to be dominated by a familiar theme – can Murray (or any Briton for that matter) take home that heralded trophy? Hopes will be higher than at any time since Fred Perry’s 1936 victory after Andy Murray made it all the way to the final last year, but Federer showed us why he deserved his legendary status last year and will be hungry as ever to win an incredible eighth title. Serena Williams is not far behind on five Wimbledon championships and undoubtedly dominant on the noise stakes. So ready you tents for the queues, pack your strawberries, cream and a sturdy umbrella and head down to the All England Club for 2 weeks of world-class tennis.
Horse Racing- Royal Ascot, 18th– 22nd June
A short stop outside of the capital and top racing action mixes with high fashion at the five-day race Featuring some of the top equine stars from around the world. Since 1711 Royal Ascot has been a date in the diaries for the ‘well-heeled and fabulous’, promising “excitement, pageantry, fashion and style”- and 2013 looks set to be no different.
Rowing- Henley Royal Regatta, 3rd -7th July
Just an hour’s drive from central Greenwich, this sleepy town on the Upper Thames comes alive once again for first week of July. With crews from across the globe competing, this event is the culmination of the previous 365 days of 5am training sessions, vats of pasta and endless hours on the rowing machine. US universities look set to dominate the Temple challenge cup once again and 2013 promises no end yet to the Eton/Abingdon rivalry for the Princess Elizabeth. But as with all good sporting events, Henley Royal is also a steady fixture on the social calendar. With some of London’s finest watering holes de-camping to the toe-path for the week, it’s safe to say the clubs are full of more than just vanquished rowers drowning their sorrows. Just remember your maxi dress / blazer, picnic and a hearty supply of Pimms and you can’t go wrong.
Cricket- The Ashes (Lords and the Oval), 10th-25th July
Back slightly more central for an age-old rivalry with the aussies. This year England will host Australia in the Ashes series in July and August. The sides will contest five Test matches at Trent Bridge, Lord’s, Old Trafford, Chester-le-Street and The Oval. England hold the famous urn after winning the last two series, but with our cricketing performances as unpredictable as the weather, who knows what the 2013 competition promises.
Athletics – Anniversary Games, Olympic Stadium, 26th-28th July
The world’s best athletes will descend on the nation’s capital as the Sainsbury’s Anniversary Games takes place at The Stadium – Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park on 26-28 July. Considered one of the best IAAF Diamond League meets in the world, 2012 saw a host of British and international champions put in show-stopping performances, and this year looks to build on previous performances.