JANUARY 5: Stuart MacGill is in seventh heaven, taking seven wickets as the Aussies win the Fifth Test and retain the Ashes. Vice-captain Steve Waugh is Man of the Series. 11: 'The Best There Ever Was. The Best There Ever Will Be.' The inscription on the statue of Michael Jordan at Chicago's United Centre says it all as No. 23 quits for a second time, saying: 'Mentally, I'm exhausted, I don't feel I have a challenge.' 27: Venus Williams loses it all - the beads in her hair, the point, her cool and her quarter-final match at the Australian Open. She is docked a point after her hair beads fall out against Lindsay Davenport and fumes: 'I've never had such treatment before from any other umpire.' 30: Liverpool ace Steve McManaman agrees to join Spanish giants Real Madrid under the Bosman ruling at the end of the season. 31: Martina Hingis wins her third straight Australian Open title, 6-2, 6-3 over Amelie Mauresmo. 'The score pretty much tells how it was,' says the Swiss Miss. EBRUARY 1: Yevgeny Kafelnikov beats Thomas Enqvist, 4-6, 6-0, 6-3, 7-6 (7-1), to end the Swede's 11-match winning streak and capture the Australian Open. The Russian toasts an absent friend, Pete Sampras, who gave the tournament a miss: 'My last message is to Pete. It is a great feeling, thanks for letting me do it.' 1: 'This is what I came back for.' Denver quarterback John Elway, having shelved retirement plans to play another season, savours the moment as his team beat the Atlanta Falcons for their second straight Super Bowl. 3: Even Eileen Drewery can't help Glenn Hoddle after his latest own goal. The England coach is sacked after controversial comments about the disabled. 4: Another game, another milestone for 'The Great One'. Wayne Gretzky equals Gordie Howe's all-time mark with his 1,071st goal and admits: 'This is a unique, special record. I will cherish it.' 5: Mike Tyson takes one on the chin from a judge for a second time. The former heavyweight champ receives a one-year jail sentence for assaulting two motorists after a traffic accident. Promoter Bob Arum doesn't pull his punches: 'I think he's pretty much history.' 8: It's a perfect 10 wickets for Indian leg spinner Anil Kumble as he cuts through the Pakistan batting lineup. 18: 'Keegan for Fulham' cry the Craven Cottage fans, and Kevin Keegan responds to their loyalty by insisting he will stay with the club while agreeing to be England's part-time, short-term manager. MARCH 8: There's a first time for everything - even Eddie Irvine winning the Australian Grand Prix. 'Everyone slags me off because I go out and have fun, but the young drivers coming up at least know you can win in F1 and still have a good time,' says the Ferrari No. 2. 9: America mourns the death of baseball legend Joe DiMaggio. His lawyer, Morris Engelberg, says: 'The consummate gentleman on and off the field fought his illness as hard as he played the game of baseball and with the same dignity, style and grace with which he lived his life.' 13: Lennox Lewis out-boxes, out-thinks and out-classes Evander Holyfield in their tussle for the undisputed heavyweight title and is outraged when the New York judges call it a draw: 'I won it hands down. I'm disappointed, but now the world knows I'm the true champion.' 14: Mark Philippousis beats Carlos Moya in the Indian Wells final a day after the Spaniard claims the No. 1 ranking. 'Scud' is delighted: 'It feels extra special knowing that Carlos is number one in the world.' 20: Go Jonny go. England beat Five Nations rivals France 21-10 with a superb kicking display by Jonny Wilkinson. 'It's great to be kicking them over - I wouldn't mind if a few of them were conversions instead of penalties though,' says the fly-half. 21: One man down but one-nil up. Allen Nielson nets an injury-time winner for Tottenham - minus the red-carded Justin Edinburgh - against Leicester in the League Cup final. APRIL 1: Brian Lara hits a brilliant 153 not out as the West Indies beat Australia to go 2-1 up in the series. 'It was a great team effort,' says the modest skipper. 4: Robbie Fowler shows his nose for trouble, pretending to snort a line of cocaine after scoring against Everton. He later apologises but is still charged with bringing the game into disrepute. 7: World number one Jim Courier is at his battling best to beat Tim Henman in a five-set thriller as the US edge Britain 3-2 in the Davis Cup. 9: Fans 1, Murdoch 0. Manchester United's faithful celebrate after the British Government blocks the bid by Rupert Murdoch's Sky TV to buy the club. 12: A tearful Wayne Gretzky skates into the sunset. The finest NHL player ever confirms: 'I've thought about it for a long time. I'm really at peace in my mind about this thing.' 16: More than 10,000 fans gather at Anfield to pay their respects to the 96 supporters who died 10 years ago in the Hillsborough disaster. 18: An incredible finale to the last-ever Five Nations game as Scott Gibbs' try in stoppage time sets up Wales' 32-31 victory over England. With Italy making it a six-team event in 2000, the final Five Nations trophy goes to Scotland. 29: The England players must be a charming bunch - Kevin Keegan confirms he will be national team coach on a permanent basis. MAY 3: Missiles not passion rain down on the Old Firm derby as Rangers clinch the Scottish Premier League title in a disastrous match against arch-rivals Celtic at Parkhead. The referee is patched up after being struck by a coin on the head. Rangers coach Dick Advocaat refuses to comment on the violence. Instead, he says: 'I think we deserved the title after playing well the whole year.' 10: Bayern Munich took the first step towards a Treble by winning the Bundesliga title. 'I'm impressed the way our form has remained constant this season,' says Bayern coach Uli Hoeness. 10: Boston Red Sox Nomar Garciaparra hits three home runs. 'It was amazing. I've never hit three home runs in a game before - not in Little League, college, nowhere,' he says. 16: Manchester United are crowned Premier League champions for the fifth time in seven years. But manager Alex Ferguson admits that it wasn't easy. 'It was very, very tense,' he says. 16: Michael Schumacher wins the Monaco Grand Prix with a dazzling display of driving. 20: Lazio take the European Cup-Winner's Cup. 22: Two down, one to go for Manchester United as they complete the Double. Teddy Sheringham scores after coming on as a substitute in their 2-0 FA Cup final victory against Newcastle. 23: England rugby union skipper Lawrence Dallaglio is at the centre of drug allegations. Dallaglio is quoted in the English Sunday tabloid, The News of the World, as saying: 'There's nothing better than having sex, champagne and cocaine.' 26: They thought it was all over - but it wasn't until the 90th minute. United complete the Treble by winning the European Cup with a dramatic 2-1 victory over Bayern Munich. Substitutes Teddy Sheringham and Ole-Gunnar Solksjaer grab the goals. 'It's just great to be involved after being out for so long out,' says Sheringham. 'We've won the Treble and that's why I came to Manchester United - to win things. I'm a contented man.' JUNE 2: Mark Bosnich is brought in to fill Peter Schmeichel's gloves at Treble winners Manchester United. 'The chance of replacing Peter was the main bait,' says Bosnich. 3: 'I didn't like the way I played in the play-offs, but I'm getting the award, and I'm not giving it back,' says Utah Jazz star Karl Malone after winning the MVP for the NBA regular season. 5: It all ends in tears for Martina Hingis at the French Open as Steffi Graf wins the ladies final at Roland Garros. 'This is the most important memory I'm ever going to have in my tennis career,' says an emotional Graf. 6: Andre Agassi wins the French Open to complete his collection of Grand Slams. 17: Australia advance to cricket's World Cup final after a disastrous mix up by the South Africans. The Springboks only need one off three balls to win but an error by Lance Klusener and Allan Donald means that Australians are the ones celebrating. 17: American sprint star Maurice Greene breaks the 100m world record with a time of 9.79 seconds. 20: Australia hammer Pakistan in a one-sided cricket World Cricket Cup final. 21: Payne Stewart wins his second US Open and admits: 'It felt so good today.' 21: Dallas Stars take the Stanley Cup, much to the relief of coach Ken Hitchcock. 'I'm glad there isn't a Game Seven,' he says. 25: High times for the San Antonio Spurs as they become NBA champions after defeating the New York Knicks. Centre David Robinson admits: 'They made us earn this.' JULY 3: Dreams do come true as Lindsay Davenport discovers after winning her first Wimbledon title. The 23-year-old says: 'I can't believe I did it. It sounds like a dream.' 4: In the men's final at Wimbledon, Pete Sampras beats Andre Agassi. 'That was tough,' Sampras says. 4: Tiger Woods regains his world No. 1 ranking after winning the Western Open. 'I don't like going home and knowing that somebody has beaten me,' he says. 8: Moroccan Hicham El-Guerrouj sets world mile record. 'I went so fast past the clock that I didn't know at first what I had done,' he says. 10: US women beat China to win the World Soccer Cup in a penalty shoot-out. 11: Disaster for Michael Schumacher as he breaks his leg at the British Grand Prix after crashing through a wall of tyres at 178 km/h. 'I'm just lucky to be alive,' Schumacher says after his world title dreams are wrecked. 19: Local hero Paul Lawrie wins the British Open in a three-way shoot-out with Justin Leonard and Jean Van Der Velde at Carnoustie in Scotland. 'It can't get any better,' says the Scot. 20: More triumph for Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson as he receives knighthood. 'The Queen told me she doesn't think it [the Treble] will be achieved again and she's right,' he says. 26: Lance Armstrong wins the Tour de France after battling back from cancer. AUGUST 1: Arsenal kick off the English Premier League season by beating Manchester United in the Charity Shield at Wembley. 4: Linford Christie fails a doping test although he denies taking illegal drugs. 'I am completely innocent.' insists the former Olympic sprint champion. 6: Nicolas Anelka signs for Real Madrid for a staggering GBP22.5 million from Arsenal. 'Real are a bigger club,' he says. 7: Wade Boggs makes history by cracking a home run on his 3,000th hit. 'I finally put my flag in that mountain,' he says. 9: Colin Montgomerie wins the Scandinavian Masters and picks up his fourth title in a year. The 36-year-old Scot says: 'I came through and I'm delighted.' 9: Major League Baseball goes wild after five grand slams are hit in a day for the first time in MLB's 129-year history. 10: England, South Africa, Germany and Morocco are among the contenders bidding to host soccer's 2006 World Cup. 13: A mixture of emotions for Steffi Graf as she announces her retirement from tennis. After winning 22 Grand Slam titles, the tearful Graf says: 'I have done everything I wanted to do in tennis.' 15: The battle of the young guns is won by Tiger Woods. He wins the PGA Championship after beating Sergio Garcia by a stroke. Despite the majority of the crowd supporting his 19-year-old opponent, Woods admits he enjoyed himself. 'I was having fun playing with this much pressure,' he says. 'I did have a lot of fun coming in.' 27: It's all smiles for Michael Johnson as he demolishes the 400m world record in the World Championships in Seville, Spain. 'With the kind of shape I'm in, I know I can run 42 seconds, I refuse to believe I can't do that,' says the 'Waco Express'. 28: Newcastle are in turmoil again as Ruud Gullit resigns as manager. With just one point in five English Premier League games, the Dutchman decides it's time to go. 'I'm disappointed by the results. I take full responsibility,' he says. SEPTEMBER 2: Cal Ripken wants to turn back the clock and behave like an 'eight-year-old'. Instead, he keeps his cool as he hits his 400th home run. 'I was running around the bases wanting to jump up and down like a kid and enjoy the moment,' he says. 11: Serena Williams proves a 'great fighter' by beating Martina Hingis to win the US Open title. 12: Winning the French Open to complete his set of Grand Slams wasn't enough. Andre Agassi has to land the US Open as well - and he does it in style. The 29-year-old defeats Todd Martin in a five-set thriller. 18: Oscar De La Hoya is convinced he has been robbed after he loses a split-decision to Felix Trinidad for the undisputed welterweight crown. 'I know I won,' he says. 'I thought I had the fight easily.' 26: It's a bad day to be an American. The US stage an amazing comeback to beat Europe to regain the Ryder Cup - then the fireworks go off. The Americans are branded 'disgusting' after their team storm the 17th green following Justin Leonard's crucial putt against Jose Maria Olazabal. Leonard goes on to win the match - and the Yanks take the Cup. But former Ryder Cup star Sam Torrance looks on in disgust. 'It's about the most disgusting thing I've ever seen,' he says. 28: Ben Crenshaw quits as Ryder Cup captain just two days after his great success. OCTOBER 12: Basketball legend Wilt Chamberlain is found dead after a massive heart attack. 17: 'Ferrari 1-2 and out'. Three hours after Eddie Irvine and Michael Schumacher take first and second in the Malaysian Grand Prix, the Ferrari team are disqualified over irregular deflector panels. Ferrari launch an appeal. 23: Jeremy Guscott retires from international rugby after struggling to recover from a groin injury. 'This is one of the saddest days of my life,' the 34-year-old says. 23: Ferrari win their appeal and set up a dramatic final Grand Prix in Japan. British driver Eddie Irvine is back in pole position for the world drivers' championship and the Ferrari number two admits: 'It's fantastic. It's a triumph for the whole team.' 24: To the crowd, Prince Naseem Hamed had come to wrestle, not to fight. To the judges, he did the business. Hamed beats Cesar Soto to take his WBC featherweight title. 'It was a very ugly fight,' Hamed says . 'But this guy [Soto] made it such an ugly fight.' 25: A day of silence as golfer Payne Stewart is tragically killed in a plane crash in South Dakota. Fellow professional Phil Mickelson admits: 'For this to happen at the height of his career, and at the height of his life, is difficult to accept.' 27: New York Yankees win the World Series to round off an emotional year for manager Joe Torre, who had been diagnosed with cancer in March. 'Don't ask me why great things keep happening to me because I don't know,' he says. 'But this is a marvellous day for me and the players.' NOVEMBER 1: Mika Hakinnen retains his world crown after winning the Japanese Grand Prix. 'Deciding the championship on the last Grand Prix is nerve-wracking,' he says. 'But I'm delighted I have finally won it.' 1: Drop goals come back to haunt South Africa, who fall to the boot of Australia's Stephen Larkham in the World Cup semi-finals. Jannie De Beer, who kicked the Springboks into the final four, admits: 'If somebody else is better than you on the day then you just have to accept it.' 2: NFL great Walter Payton dies after a long battle against cancer. Michael Jordan admits: 'Walter was a Chicago icon long before I arrived there.' As the tributes pour in, Payton's old coach at the Chicago Bears, Mike Ditka, insists: 'There will never be a another Walter Payton. He was great man as well as a great player.' 4: South Africa edge out New Zealand in the third-place play-off in the Rugby World Cup, forcing All Blacks coach John Hart to resign. 6: Australia clinch the Webb Ellis Trophy by beating France 35-12 in the Rugby World Cup final. 'It's a great feeling, the guys are so happy out there,' says an elated John Eales. 13: This time he does it. Lennox Lewis beats Evander Holyfield to become the undisputed heavyweight champion of the world. 'It's a great feeling,' admits Lewis. 'Finally, I have accomplished my mission. This has always been my goal. Beaten Holyfield says: 'This is not the end of the world.' 18: 'Tarts 0 Tartans 1' was the English tabloid The Sun's headline after England qualify for Euro 2000 finals. In the second leg of the play-off, England are beaten 1-0 by the Scots. 'We didn't give the fans much to sing about,' admits England coach Kevin Keegan. 28: Teenage sensation Aaron Baddley wins the Australian Open - but has no plans to turn professional. The 18-year-old amateur says: 'It's a dream come true and fantastic to beat such great players as Greg Norman and Colin Montgomerie.' The Great White Shark is just as impressed. 'I'm extremely impressed with Aaron's performance, to say the least,' says Norman. 'He has a lot of composure and has that gleam in his eye of a player who will be hard to beat.' DECEMBER 5: Australia win the Davis Cup - thanks to Mark Philippoussis, who beats Frenchman Cedric Pioline in the decisive rubber. 'This is very emotional,' Scud says. 'I was very positive. I knew what I had to do - and I did it.' 8: NBA legend Charles Barkley calls it a day after damaging a knee. 'I guess the big fella in the sky wanted me to finish right where I started [in Philadelphia],' he says after limping off court. 13: It doesn't look like football's coming home for England as they are placed in the same group as Germany for the Euro 2000 finals in Belgium and the Netherlands next season. But they avoid the Group of Death consisting of France. 17: Wayne Smith takes over as the new All Blacks coach. The 42-year-old replaces John Hart, who quit following New Zealand's World Cup shambles. 'I am really humbled by this appointment and very proud and very excited,' he says. 'This a tremendous challenge.' 19: West Ham are ordered to replay their FA Cup tie with Aston Villa after fielding an ineligible player, Manny Omoyini, who played for Gillingham in an earlier round. 'I don't think luck has gone with us,' says manager Harry Redknapp. 21: Barcelona midfield star Rivaldo is dropped by coach Louis van Gaal - just 72 hours after collecting both the World Player of the Year and European Player of the Year awards. 'No one is bigger than the club,' says Van Gaal after Rivaldo refuses to play on the left side of attack.