December 2013: Mandela remembered

  • Last Updated: December 31 2013, 17:25 GMT

We look back at what happened in the world of sport in December, as the sporting world paid tribute to Nelson Mandela, who died at the age of 95.

The world of sport united to pay tribute to Nelson Mandela
The world of sport united to pay tribute to Nelson Mandela

December 1: Fulham sacked manager Martin Jol after a run of six consecutive defeats with Rene Meulensteen taking over responsibility for the first team.

Dave Jones was sacked as manager of Sheffield Wednesday after the Championship club claimed just one win in their first 17 games of the season.

Rory McIlroy birdied the 18th to claim his first victory in over a year at the Australian Open in Sydney.

2: Owen Coyle left Championship club Wigan by mutual consent less than six months after becoming manager of the FA Cup holders. The Scot won only seven of his 23 games in charge.

Olympic diver Tom Daley revealed he was in a relationship with a man and "couldn't be happier".

England wing Christian Wade was ruled out for up to six months with damaged foot ligaments.

3: David Healy, Northern Ireland's record goalscorer with 36 goals in 95 international appearances, announced his retirement from professional football.

Nico Hulkenberg agreed a multi-year deal to return to Force India next season after leaving the team in 2012.

New Zealand dominated the International Rugby Board awards with Kieran Read being crowned player of the year, the All Blacks named team of the year and Steve Hansen voted coach of the year.

4: Roberto Martinez led Everton to a famous 1-0 victory over Manchester United at Old Trafford, Bryan Oviedo scoring the winner four minutes from time. Arsenal beat Hull 2-0 to maintain their control of the table while Chelsea stayed in touch with a 4-3 win over struggling Sunderland. Manchester City claimed a nervous 3-2 victory at West Brom.

Horse trainer Gerard Butler was handed a five-year disqualification following a British Horseracing Authority inquiry into allegations his horses had been treated with Sungate, which contained an anabolic steroid.

The 2014 Formula One calendar was slashed by three grands prix due to problems surrounding venues in New Jersey, Mexico and South Korea.

5: The sporting world paid tribute to Nelson Mandela, who died at the age of 95.

England's clubs confirmed that they will not participate in any competition run by European Rugby Cup, meaning they would be missing from next season's Heineken Cup.

English golfer Simon Dyson was handed a two-month ban, suspended for 18 months, and fined £30,000 for a "serious breach" of the European Tour's code of behaviour during October's BMW Masters

6: England were drawn to play against Italy, Uruguay and Costa Rica in Group D at the 2014 World Cup finals in Brazil.

Michael Clarke's seventh Ashes hundred, in a double-century stand with Brad Haddin, piled the pressure on England to save the second Test at Adelaide.

Jean Todt was re-elected as president of motorsport's governing body, the FIA.

7: England were blown away by Mitchell Johnson in the second Test at Adelaide, the Australian quick finishing with figures of seven for 40 as England slumped from 111 for three to 135 for nine, and eventually to 172 all out.

Newcastle claimed their first win at Old Trafford in 41 years as Yohan Cabaye scored the only goal of a 1-0 victory. Title hopefuls Chelsea slipped up too, losing 3-2 at Stoke, and while Manchester City were held to a 1-1 draw at Southampton, Liverpool beat West Ham 4-1 at Anfield.

Mark Selby made snooker's 100th maximum break of 147 on his way to beating Ricky Walden 9-5 to reach the final of the UK Championship.

8: Police arrested six people in connection with a second investigation into football spot-fixing following allegations that a player rigged a Sky Bet Championship game for cash.

Neil Robertson became the first non-British player to win snooker's triple crown after the Australian beat Mark Selby 10-7 in the UK Championship final in York.

Arsenal increased their lead at the top of the Barclays Premier League to five points despite being held to a 1-1 draw at home to Everton.

9: England were all out for 312 in Adelaide, suffering a 218-run defeat to Australia as the Ashes deficit grew to 2-0 with three matches left to play.

Chico Flores' equaliser ensured Danny Graham's first goal since January was not enough to give Hull all three points from a 1-1 Premier League draw at Swansea.

Bath director of rugby Gary Gold left his position with immediate effect.

10: Manchester United completed their Champions League group-stage campaign with a 1-0 home victory over Shakhtar Donetsk while Manchester City came from behind to beat Bayern Munich 3-2 in Germany. Galatasaray's match with Juventus was abandoned after 30 minutes due to a heavy snowstorm.

Senior players Kevin Pietersen, James Anderson and Graeme Swann were told they would play no part in the limited-overs leg of England's Ashes tour in the new year.

Four-time world champion Sebastian Vettel mocked plans to award double points at the final race of the 2014 Formula One season, branding the idea "absurd".

11: Arsenal suffered a 2-0 defeat at Napoli but finished second in their Champions League group, while Chelsea beat Steaua Bucharest to secure top spot. Celtic were hammered 6-1 by Spanish champions Barcelona.

Juventus were forced into third place and the Europa League by Galatasaray as Wesley Sneijder settled a 1-0 win for the Turkish side in a rearranged fixture.

Hull formally applied to the Football Association to change their playing name to 'Hull Tigers' from next season.

Cathie Sabin was appointed the first ever woman president of the Lawn Tennis Association.

12: Tottenham beat Anzhi Makhachkala 4-1 to complete a perfect group stage of the Europa Legaue. Swansea went through despite a 1-0 loss at St Gallen while Wigan crashed out.

Blackburn gave striker DJ Campbell time off after he was arrested in relation to a police spot-fixing investigation.

The Football Association revealed it would consult fans before deciding whether to accept a proposal to rename Hull City as 'Hull Tigers' from the start of next season.

13: England head coach Steve McNamara confirmed he was to take up a position with Australian champions Sydney Roosters but retain his post with the national side on a part-time basis.

Steve Smith's second Test century bailed out Australia and frustrated England as the hosts ended the first day of the third Ashes Test on 326 for six having been 143 for five at one point.

Manchester United striker Robin van Persie was ruled out for a month with a thigh injury.

14: Manchester City hammered leaders Arsenal 6-3 to close the gap at the top of the Barclays Premier League.

West Brom sacked manager Steve Clarke after a 1-0 defeat to Cardiff left the West Midlands club in 16th place.

Rangers' Scottish League One game at Stenhousemuir was postponed because of 70mph winds at Ochilview.

15: Andy Murray won the BBC Sports Personality of the Year award.

Luis Suarez scored twice as Liverpool won 5-0 away to Tottenham, heaping the pressure on the White Hart Lane club's manager Andre Villas-Boas.

Stuart Broad suffered a foot injury in the third Test against Australia which threatened to rule him out of the remainder of the series as England slid towards Ashes defeat.

16: Andre Villas-Boas was sacked as Tottenham manager after 18 months in charge.

Gianfranco Zola resigned as Watford manager.

Australia moved within sight of reclaiming the Ashes as England finished the fourth day on 251 for five and needing to bat the entire final day with just five wickets intact.

17: England lost the Ashes to Australia before Christmas with a third successive landslide defeat, despite Ben Stokes' maiden Test century. Stokes scored 120 but the tourists were bowled out for 353 early on the final afternoon in Perth and Australia regained the urn with a 150-run win and unassailable 3-0 lead.

Arsenal midfielder Jack Wilshere was charged by the Football Association over an alleged gesture made during the fixture with Manchester City.

Jonathan Tiernan-Locke vehemently denied any wrongdoing after the International Cycling Union opened disciplinary proceedings over alleged doping by the British Team Sky rider.

18: Novak Djokovic appointed six-time grand slam champion Boris Becker as his new head coach.

West Ham beat managerless Tottenham 2-1 and Manchester United were 2-0 winners at Stoke in the Capital One Cup quarter-finals. The Hammers were drawn to face Manchester City in the semi-finals, while United were pitted against Sunderland.

Australian cyclist Michael Rogers was provisionally suspended by the UCI after testing positive for clenbuterol.

19: Jack Wilshere was suspended for two games for an obscene gesture he directed at the crowd during Arsenal's defeat to Manchester City.

Reports emerged that Cardiff manager Malky Mackay had been told to resign or be sacked by club owner Vincent Tan.

Andres Iniesta signed a new three-year deal with Barcelona.

20: Luis Suarez signed a new long-term contract with Liverpool.

Swansea manager Michael Laudrup ruled himself out of the running for the Tottenham job.

Yorkshire second-team coach Paul Farbrace named as new Sri Lanka head coach on a two-year deal.

21: Broadcaster David Coleman, the voice of British sport for almost half a century, died at the age of 87.

Luis Suarez sent Liverpool top of the Barclays Premier League as he celebrated his bumper new deal with two more goals to beat Cardiff, while Manchester City went second as they recovered from throwing away a 2-0 half-time lead to win 4-2 at Fulham and Manchester United claimed a fourth straight win in all competitions, 3-1 at home to struggling West Ham.

Leicester director of rugby Richard Cockerill confirmed club captain Toby Flood would leave at the end of the season.

22: England spinner Graeme Swann announced his retirement from cricket with immediate effect.

Cardiff chairman Mehmet Dalman said manager Malky Mackay would remain in charge of the club for the "foreseeable future".

Everton beat Swansea 2-1 to move up to fourth in the Premier League, while managerless Tottenham beat Southampton 3-2.

23: Tim Sherwood was appointed head coach of Tottenham until the end of the 2014/2015 season.

Arsenal drew 0-0 with Chelsea at the Emirates meaning Liverpool went into Christmas top of the league on goal difference from the Gunners.

Manchester United midfielder Marouane Fellaini was ruled out for up to six weeks out following surgery on his wrist.

24: Fulham announced that Alan Curbishley was to join the club as first team technical director while United States captain Clint Dempsey re-joined from MLS side Seattle Sounders on a two-month loan.

Crystal Palace confirmed the death of former owner Ron Noades from lung cancer at the age of 76.

Swansea announced forward Michu was to undergo an operation on an ankle injury and was expected to be sidelined for six weeks.

25: Jacques Kallis announced his retirement from Test and first-class cricket after South Africa's forthcoming second Test against India.

26: Millwall sacked manager Steve Lomas following a 4-0 defeat at Watford which was the Lions' third straight loss and left them just three points above the relegation zone in the Sky Bet Championship.

Manchester City retained their imperious 100 per cent home record as they denied Liverpool the chance to regain top spot in the Barclays Premier League with an entertaining 2-1 win at the Etihad Stadium.

Kevin Pietersen dug in admirably with 67 not out as England reached 226 for six in front of a world-record crowd of 91,092 on day one of the Boxing Day Test at the MCG.

27: The saga over Malky Mackay's future as Cardiff manager came to an end after the club confirmed the Scot had been relieved of his duties.

England's stifling tactics paid rich dividends to earn an almost guaranteed first-innings lead in the fourth Ashes Test at the MCG as they reduced the hosts to 164 for nine in reply to 255 all out.

Stoke boss Mark Hughes was charged with improper conduct by the Football Association following his touchline dismissal at Newcastle.

28: England were humiliated on the third day of the fourth Ashes Test in Melbourne. The tourists collapsed from 173 for five to 179 all out and Australia closed on 30 for no loss, only 201 runs away from victory.

Manchester City went top of the Barclays Premier League table as Edin Dzeko settled a 1-0 home victory over Crystal Palace, while Danny Welbeck earned Manchester United a 1-0 win at Norwich. Elsewhere, Hull thrashed Fulham 6-0 at the KC Stadium with midfielder Tom Huddlestone scoring his first goal in two and a half years.

The Football Association opened an investigation into Nicolas Anelka after the West Brom striker appeared to make a 'quenelle' salute following his goal in the 3-3 draw with West Ham. The gesture has been linked to anti-Semitism in France.

29: Michael Schumacher was left in a critical condition after suffering a head injury in a skiing accident in France.

Arsenal returned to the top of the Barclays Premier League table with a 1-0 win at Newcastle, while Chelsea came from behind to beat Liverpool 2-1 to remain third. Liverpool, top on Christmas Day, slipped to fifth.

Jacques Kallis recorded a century in his final Test appearance for South Africa, against India.

30: Michael Schumacher remained in a critical condition in hospital as doctors admitted they could not tell whether he would recover from a skiing accident.

Sunderland announced that Fiorentina defender Marcos Alonso would join them on loan for the rest of the season on January 1.

Former Football Association chairman David Bernstein (CBE) led the list of sporting awards in the New Year's Honours with West Ham vice-chairman Karren Brady (CBE) and England national selector Geoff Miller (OBE) also receiving gongs.

31: Michael Schumacher's condition improved slightly, according to doctors treating the 44-year-old seven-time Formula One world champion following a skiing accident.

Andy Murray won 6-0 6-0 in the first round of the Qatar Open in Doha against 19-year-old Mousa Shanan Zayed, the wild card from Qatar ranked 2129 in the world.

New World Anti-Doping Agency president Sir Craig Reedie warned athletes may soon have their hair tested to see if they are drugs cheats.

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