Harty on Bradley Wiggins, Sussex CCC and Rebels

WITH the greatest sporting show on earth about to start within 24 hours, in the last seven days, both nationally and locally, we’ve witnessed true sporting greats.

Whether, as some have already said, Bradley Wiggins is the greatest sportsman this country has produced is a debate that will run and run. In my opinion, what he achieved on Sunday in becoming the first-ever British winner of the Tour de France will take some surpassing in any sport.

Much has been written and broadcast about him over the last week or so, but the thing that sticks in my mind was the piece in one of the nationals on the eve of his victory.

In an event that has been blighted by a number of drug scandals in recent years, Wiggins was asked about the subject of performance-enhancing drugs and if he’d ever considered or been offered them.

His reply was simple, he would never even contemplate cheating by drugs. Not just for the obvious reasons of disqualification and subsequent banning, his primary reason was he could never return to his local cycling club and look all the youngsters on the bikes in the face knowing he had cheated.

A class act, and, without doubt, unless we have a gargantuan Olympic performance from someone else, an open and shut case for the BBC Sports Personality of the Year.

But, if the events of Sunday in Paris weren’t enough, locally we were treated to yet more sporting history during Sussex’s t20 quarter-final win against Gloucestershire.

New Zealander Scott Styris not only scored 100 runs off 37 balls but also set a world record when he scored 38 off one over, according to the Sky Sports commentator the highest-ever recorded score in professional cricket.

I’ve got tickets for the boxing at the Excel arena next week and am especially looking forward to seeing Antony Joshua, our super heavyweight medal hope, in action.

Perhaps the most famous Olympic boxing medallist, Muhammed Ali, was in London this week on the eve of the games and, with all due respect to Bradley Wiggins, he’s my all-time sporting idol.

Parkinson’s attacks people from all walks of life from Dame Anna Neagle to my dear old mum. But, seeing Ali slumped in the chair next to David Beckham, I cannot help but think about all those leeches that sponged off him and made him fight long after he should have retired.

He should have retired in 1975 after the “Thrilla in Manila”, but, clearly, the “powers that be” still needed the golden goose to lay the eggs.

Worthing FC expect a bumper crowd when Gus Poyet brings a near full-strength Albion side to Woodside Road on Wednesday (7.45pm).

Tickets can be pre-purchased from the club in advance by ringing 01903 239575, which is probably a good idea, given the queues at the turnstiles on the night in previous years

Bizarrely, a week later, on August 8, former Pompey favourite Alan McLoughlin is bringing his Portsmouth under-16s down to Woodside for a friendly against the Rebels youth side.

If Portsmouth do have to fold two days later on August 10, as threatened by their administrator, could it be the last ever fixture by any team from that historic club.