Top moments of great sportsmanship: Arsenal, West Ham, Liverpool & the London Marathon

15:35 13 February 2013


Arsenal's Mark Overmars (centre) talks to Sheffield United Goalkeeper Alan Kelly after his controversial second goal at Highbury in 1999. The match ended in a 2-1 win for Arsenal but was later replayed. Photo: Neil Munns/PA

PA Archive/Press Association Images

FEATURE: On this day in 1999 Arsenal offered to replay their FA Cup third-round clash against Sheffield United despite a controversial win. Here London24 revisits what happened and looks back at some other acts of great sportsmanship involving our capital’s clubs and events...

Arsenal offer to replay cup tie - 1999

The FA Cup holders were drawing 1-1 against Sheffield Wednesday at Highbury, but with the game heading for a replay the Blades keeper Alan Kelly kicked the ball out so an injured player could receive treatment. Gunners midfielder Ray Palour’s throw-in to restart the game was intended for Kelly but his team-mate Nwankwo Kanu – who did not realise the protocol – intercepted and crossed for Marc Overmars to score, thus breaking an unwritten rule but, crucially, not a law. It meant the goal stood despite protests from United. But after the game manager Arsene Wenger and chairman David Dein offered to play the game again which the Yorkshire side accepted and the Football Association sanctioned, declaring the original game void. The match was played again where Arsenal still ran out 2-1 winners.

Paolo di Canio – 2000

West Ham were drawing 1-1 at Everton in a Premier League clash with the game edging towards injury-time when a cross found it’s way to the Hammers ace. But Di Canio spotted Toffees keeper Paul Gerrard was lying on the ground injured - having twisted his knee clearing the ball moments earlier - and instead of converting into an empty net he caught the ball. The game ended all square and the Irons star was later awarded the FIFA Fair Play award.

Robbie Fowler – 1997

Liverpool were leading Arsenal 1-0 at Highbury when Reds striker Robbie Fowler went to ground under a one-on-one challenge with Gunners keeper David Seaman. Referee Gerald Ashby pointed to the spot but the Liverpudlian amazingly tried to reason with the official, saying that he had not been touched and he had not been fouled. Despite the protests and offer the sporting gesture, the spot-kick decision stood but Fowler saw his effort saved, only for team-mate Jason McAteer to fire in the rebound. Ian Wright would pull one back for the north Londoners but the score ended 2-1. Fowler would later win UEFA’s Fair Play Award for the gesture.

London Marathon - 1981

The inaugural London Marathon in 1981 ended in a draw after the two front-runners crossed the finishing line holding hands.

American runner Dick Beardsley and Norwegian Inge Simonsen – neither of whom had ever won a marathon - could not be separated over the 26-mile course and as the end approached the two decided to cross the line at the same time and share the spoils.

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