We all love an underdog. There’s just something about them that gets everyone cheering. Maybe it’s because seeing them achieve the impossible makes us believe we can do it too in our own walks of life.
In this season’s Premier League, Leicester City are closing in on winning the title. No one would have thought it possible at the beginning of the campaign. If they accomplish this feat, they’ll join a select list of unfancied sporting heroes.
1. WIGAN ATHLETIC F.C. – 2013 FA CUP WINNERS
This is the magic of the FA Cup and why we all love it. In the same season that Wigan were relegated from the Premier League, they also won the FA Cup against Manchester City. They had only made it to the quarter-finals of the competition once before the 2013 season. A precision header by Ben Watson from a corner was the difference between the two teams.
2. ANDY MURRAY – 2013 WIMBLEDON WINNER
When you’re playing against Novak Djokovic in the Wimbledon final, you’ve got to be an underdog. Andy Murray manged to end Britain’s 77-year wait for a men’s champion and did it in straight sets winning 6-4 7-5 6-4. This followed on from the Dunblane native’s Olympic success against Roger Federer at the 2012 Games.
3. GREECE – EURO 2004 CHAMPIONS
In the twelfth edition of the UEFA European Championship, the Greece national team pulled off one of the biggest shocks in football history by beating Portugal on their home turf. The likes of Cristiano Ronaldo and Luis Figo could do nothing to cancel out the only goal of the game by Charisteas.
It was a superbly-drilled Greek side that achieved the impossible through hard work and discipline, with players collapsing to the ground in tears at the final whistle.
4. OLIVER WILSON – 2014 ALFRED DUNHILL LINKS CHAMPION
The Englishman was ranked 792 in the world before the start of the tournament, but we would all know his name by the end of it. Many people had written him off before the tournament, but he kept believing and beat Rory Mcilroy by one stroke to clinch the title.
5. USA HOCKEY TEAM – “MIRACLE ON ICE”
The “Miracle on Ice” as it is now known saw USA’s team of college players and amateurs achieve the status of national heroes. They won gold at the 1980 Winter Olympics but it was the defeat of Soviet Union that lives in the memory at a time of tension between the two countries. The game ended 4-3 to USA and showed just what underdogs can achieve.
6. EDDIE ‘THE EAGLE’ EDWARDS
He was Britain’s first ever Olympic ski jumper when he made it to the 1988 Games. He didn’t win in the 70m or 90m events. In fact he came last in both. But he captured the hearts of the British public because he was an underdog who punched above his weight.