2016 was a remarkable year of sport. Marking the Spot has been there through it all so here’s a look back at the major sporting stories of 2016.
- 6th- Golfer Christy O’Connor Junior dies aged 67.
- 6th – Former England and Lions assistant coach Andy Farrell joins Joe Schmidt’s Ireland rugby backroom team but doesn’t take up his new post until after the Six Nations.
- 11th – Lionel Messi wins the FIFA Ballon D’or for a fifth time at a gala ceremony in Zurich.
- 29th – Angelique Kerber surprises Serena Williams in the Australian Open final, delaying Williams’ bid for a record-equalling 22nd grand slam title.
- 30th – Novak Djokovic destroys Andy Murray in the Australian Open final.
- 1st – Pep Guardiola announces he will become the Manchester City manager in June.
- 7th- Ireland draw 16-16 with Wales at the Aviva Stadium in the first round of the Six Nations, South African-born CJ Stander is named man of the match on his debut.
- 7th – The Denver Broncos beat the Carolina Panthers 24-10 in the 50th NFL Super Bowl. Broncos’ veteran quarter-back Peyton Manning bows out from the game with a second title.
- 13th – Ireland lose 10-9 to France at the Stade de France in the Six Nations after a late try for the hosts.
- 14th – Ireland centre Robbie Henshaw confirms that he’s leaving Connacht to join Leinster next season.
- 26th – Swiss man Gianni Infantino wins FIFA presidential election.
- 27th -Ireland lose 21-10 to England at Twickenham in the Six Nations.
- 28th – Manchester City beat Liverpool 3-1 on penalties after their League Cup final finishes 1-1 AET.
- 5th- Conor McGregor suffers a shock defeat to Nate Diaz at UFC 196. The Irishman submits in the second round.
- 7th – Former world number one tennis start Maria Sharapova admits to failing a drugs test at the Australian Open and faces a four-year ban from the sport. She is given a two-year ban, which is eventually reduced to 15 months on appeal.
- 13th – Ireland hammer Italy 58-15 at the Aviva Stadium to earn their first win of the Six Nations campaign.
- 13th – PSG win Ligue1 with a 9-0 win over Troys.
- 19th – Ireland beat Scotland 35-25 to finish third in the Six Nations – a disappointing result following the back-to-back titles of the previous two seasons.
- 20th – Mercedes’ Nico Rosberg wins the first Grand Prix of the year in Melbourne.
- 24th – The footballing world mourns the passing of Johan Cruyff who dies aged 68.
- 30th – La Liga side Valencia sack Gary Nevile after 16 games in charge.
- 3rd- Cork and Down are relegated from Division 1 of the Allianz Football League. Dublin v Donegal and Kerry v Roscommon are the semi-final match-ups.
- 4th- Antonio Conte is announced as Chelsea’s new manager for next season, taking over from stand-in boss Guus Hiddink.
- 10th – England’s Danny Willet wins the Masters. He finishes on five-under-par with Rory McIlroy best of the Irish on -1, enough for tied tenth.
- 24th- Dublin win the League, hammering Kerry 2-18 to 0-13 in the final. Tyrone win Division 2, beating Cavan, Clare win Division 3 beating Kildare and Louth beat Antrim to take Division 4 honours.
- 25th – Johan ‘Rassie’ Erasmus is appointed Munster Head of Rugby, where he will slot in above head coach Anthony Foley following another challenging season for the province.
- 30th – FC Barcelona mourns the loss of legendary announcer Manel Vich.
- 2nd – Tottenham draw 2-2 at Chelsea, handing the English Premier League title to fairytale winners Leicester City.
- 5th – Red Bull shock the F1 world swapping Daniil Kyvat for teenage sensation Max Verstappen.
- 11th – Norwich and Newcastle are relegated from the Premier League as are Aston Villa.
- 14th – Golfer Christy O’Connor Senior dies at the age of 91, four months after his nephew Christy Junior.
- 15th- FC Barcelona retain their La Liga title with a win over Granada on the final day of the season.
- 15th – Max Verstappen wins the Spanish GP becoming the youngster Grand prix winner in Formula 1 history.
- 18th – Liverpool lose the Europa League final 3-1 to Sevilla in Basel.
- 21st – Manchester United beat Crystal Palace 2-1 in the FA Cup final.
- 22nd – Rory McIlroy wins the Irish Open and donates his €666,660 winner’s cheque to charity.
- 23rd – Manchester United sack manager Louis Van Gaal.
- 28th – Connacht beat Leinster 20-10 in the Pro12 final in Edinburgh to win the competition for the first time.
- 28th – Real Madrid beat Atletico Madrid 5-3 on penalties in the Champions League final after the game finishes 1-1 after extra-time. It is the second time in three seasons that Real have beaten their cross-city rivals in the decider.
- 31st – Martin O’Neill announces his 23 man squad for EURO 2016.
- 3rd-Former heavyweight world champion Muhammad Ali dies aged 74.
- 4th – Garbine Muguruza wins her first Grand Slam title, beating Serena Williams in the French Open final and a day later Novak Djokovic beats Andy Murray, to complete the career Grand Slam.
- 10th – EURO 2016 begins in France. Romain are defeated by the host nation in the first game.
- 11th – Ireland beat South Africa in South Africa for the first time, 26-20, despite being weakened by injuries and having local-born CJ Stander sent off after 22 minutes. The Springboks recover to win a tight series 2-1.
- 19th – Dustin Johnson wins the US Open after Shane Lowry suffers a final-round melt-down to finish second at Oakmont Country Club.
- 22nd – Robbie Brady scores a late headed to give Ireland a 1-0 win over Italy sending the boys in green through to the last 16.
- 26th – France fightback to knock Ireland out of EURO 2016.
- 29th – We interview Irish Olympian Natalya Coyle ahead of the Rio games.
- 2nd – The Tour de France begins.
- 3rd- Kerry defeat Tipperary to win the Munster Final.
- 9th – Serena Williams beats Angelique Kerber to win the Wimbledon title and tie with Steffi Graf’s Open-era record of 22 Grand Slam titles. 24 hours later, Andy Murray wins his second Wimbledon title, beating Milos Raonic in the final.
- 10th- Portugal beat France 1-0 in the final of EURO 2016. Eder scores the winner in extra time.
- 13th – Marking The Spot interviews Irish Olympic boxer Darren O’Neill.
- 16th – Henrik Stenson wins the Open after an epic duel with Phil Mickelson.
- 21st- Sam Allardyce is appointed as England manager. His is the shortest ever reign as he resigns 67 days later following a newspaper exposé.
- 24th – Chris Froome wins the Tour de France.
- 31st – Jimmy Walker wins the USPGA Championship.
- 5th – The Olympic games begin in Rio de Janeiro.
- 9th – Manchester United sign Paul Pogba for a record fee of €105m.
- 12th – Brothers Gary and Paul O’Donovan win Ireland’s first Olympic rowing medal taking silver in a close race.
- 16th – Four years after finishing a heartbreaking fourth, Annalise Murphy sails to a superb silver in the Laser Radial class.
- 17th – OCI President Pat Hickey is arrested in Rio.
- 20th – Conor McGregor bounces back from his first UFC defeat by beating Nate Diaz in a gruelling five-round 155lb non-title fight rematch.
- 27th – Paul O’Donovan wins lightweight single sculls gold at the World Rowing Championships, less than two weeks after securing lightweight double sculls silver in Rio.
- 31st- Robbie Keane scores his final goal for Ireland as he retires following a 4-0 friendly win over Oman.
- 4th – Tipperary claim their first Liam MacCarthy title in six years with an exhibition of attacking hurling. A superb second-half display sees the Premier County outscore the reigning champions Kilkenny 2-29 to 2-20.
- 10th – New world tennis number one Angelique Kerber beats first-time major finalist Karolina Pliskova in the US Open final while Stanislas Wawrinka overcomes Novak Djokovic in the men’s final the following day.
- 21st – Davy Fitzgerald resigns as Clare hurling boss after the Banner players indicate that they want change. The All-Ireland winner will be appointed as Wexford manager just two weeks later.
- 1st – Dublin beat Mayo 1-15 to 1-14 in the All-Ireland football final replay. It is the Dubs’ first two-in-a-row since 1976-77. Mayo’s 65-year wait for Sam Maguire continues.
- 3rd – Team USA win the Ryder Cup hammering Europe 17-11.
- 12th – Five-time All-Ireland winner Marc Ó Sé (36) retires from inter-county football, meaning the Kerry panel will be without an Ó Sé brother for the first time since 1994.
- 16th – Just hours before Munster are due to play Racing 92, news filters through of the death of Anthony Foley, aged 42. The head coach was found dead in a hotel room in Paris.
- 22nd – Munster demolish the Glasgow Warriors just one day after the funeral of Anthony Foley.
- 27th – Katie Taylor announces her decision to turn professional.
- 3rd – The Chicago Cubs end a 108-year wait to win baseball’s World Series after a thrilling extra-inning victory over the Cleveland Indians in game seven.
- 4th Mayo’s Lee Keegan is named Footballer of the Year at the GAA-GPA Opel All Stars ceremony.Waterford’s Austin Gleeson scoops both the Young Hurler of the Year and Hurler of the Year awards.
- 5th – Ireland end a 111 year wait defeating the All Blacks in Chicago.
- 12th – A James McClean strike powers Ireland past Austria and sees them finish 2016 top of their World Cup qualifying group.
- 13th – Conor McGregor becomes the first fighter to hold belts in two different UFC divisions when he knocks out Eddie Alvarez in the second round of their lightweight title fight at Madison Square Garden, New York.
- 26th – Ireland let a 17-point lead slip against Australia before fighting back to win 27-24 at the Aviva Stadium in their final November Series international. It’s the first time Ireland have beaten Australia, New Zealand and South Africa in a calendar year.
- 27th- Nico Rosberg wins the Formula 1 World Drivers Championship.
- 29th – Brazilian club Chapecoense are involved in a tragic air disaster on their way to the Copa Sudamercica Final.
- 2nd – Just five days after winning his first World Championship, Nico Rosberg retires from Formula One – the 31-year-old says he has satisfied his life-long ambition.
- 5th – Connacht coach Pat Lam drops a bombshell by announcing he will leave the Pro12 champions for English side Bristol at the end of the season.
- 12th – The UEFA Champions League Last 16 draw takes place.
- 28th – Bradey Wiggins announces his retirement from cycling.
- 29th – Carlos Tevez joins Chinese side Shanghai Shenhua becoming the world’s best paid player.
2016 was a truly memorable year. In 2017 Marking The Spot will take you every step of the way as the world of sport weaves move wonderful stories.
Thank you for all your support in 2016 and we wish you all a Happy New Year.