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Leicester’s Premier League win joins Miracle on Ice, Buster Douglas, Black Ball Final and Boris Becker on list greatest sporting shocks

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LEICESTER CITY are the Premier League champions in the fairytale ending to one of the most amazing stories in sporting history.

After narrowly escaping relegation last season they were priced at 5000/1 to win the title and they have beaten the bookies as well as the country’s biggest and richest clubs.

But how does their achievement rank among the greatest sporting upsets ever?

Here, SunSport looks at some other incredible upsets in sport.

1980 Miracle on Ice – USA ice hockey team win Olympic gold after beating USSR

The Soviet side had won gold in six of the previous seven Olympics going into this round-robin match with a US team made up of amateurs and college kids.

The shocking 4-3 win for coach Herb Brooks’ side set the States up to go on and win the gold in their final match with Finland. The International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) chose the ‘Miracle on Ice’ as the century’s number-one international ice hockey story.

The USA team celebrates the amazing win over the dominant USSR in Lake Placid
The USA team celebrates the amazing win over the dominant USSR in Lake Placid Getty Images

1983 India win the Cricket World Cup

Unfancied India finished second in their group behind the West Indies after losing two of their six opening games.

Hosts England waited for India in the first semi-final but they were beaten by a team performance inspired by all-rounder Mohinder Amarnath who hit 46 from 92 balls and took 2/27 in 12 overs.

In the final they met the Windies again who were competing in their third consecutive final. Krishnamachari Srikkanth stood firm for 105 minutes and 38 runs to get India 183 and they won their first World Cup after Viv Richards’ side could only muster 140 thanks to Amarnath and Madan Lal taking hat-tricks each.

England v India at Old Trafford
England v India at Old Trafford News Group Newspapers Ltd

Graeme Fowler's middle stump gets blasted away by Roger Binny
Graeme Fowler’s middle stump gets blasted away by Roger Binny News Group Newspapers Ltd

1985 April Dennis Taylor beat Steve Davis in World Snooker final

Dennis Taylor had already been a competition finalist and was ranked 11th in the world when he met flamed haired ‘interesting’ Steve Davis at the Crucible.

On paper the final did not look a foregone conclusion with Northern Irishman Taylor an outside but not a novice. What puts this match into the running is the incredible comeback Taylor produced after losing the opening EIGHT frames to leave his opponent looking dead and buried.

After an incredible comeback, the match the match swayed with world No1 Davis leading 7-9, then 13-11 and 17-15 before Taylor levelled everything to 17-17 take it to a deciding frame. Davis took a 62-44 lead before Taylor got the table needing the final four colours.

A lengthy brown was hammered home, an awkward blue was cut in deftly and a high-pressure pink was potted off the cushion to leave it 62-59. The Black Ball Final was decided after tense safety play with Taylor, in his giant glasses, holding his nerve to sink the final ball.

Taylor and his famous giant glasses next to defending champions Davis before the famous final
Taylor and his famous giant glasses next to defending champions Davis before the famous final PA:Press Association

1985 July – Teenager Boris Becker won Wimbledon

Defending champion John McEnroe was tipped to fend off contenders like Ivan Lendl, Jimmy Connors and Pat Cash to retain his title.

Few people had even heard of unseeded German teenager Boris Becker who, by the time he lifted the SW19 crown, was 17 years, 227 days. The child prodigy needed the maximum ten sets to come through the third and fourth rounds while eventual fellow finalist Kevin Curran cruised through by smashing past McEnroe and Connors in just six swift sets in the quarter and semi-finals respectively.

Boris Becker's incredible win as a fresh-faced 17-year-old stunned the world
Boris Becker’s incredible win as a fresh-faced 17-year-old stunned the world News Group Newspapers Ltd

1988 Wimbledon Crazy Gang won the FA Cup

The Crazy Gang upset the Culture Club when the Dons side, taken from non-league to the top-flight by Dave Bassett, reached Wembley under Bobby Gould.

Liverpool boasted Kop icons and internationals like Alan Hansen, Steve McMahon, John Barnes and John Aldridge, with the legend Kenny Dalglish in charge.

Wimbledon, who trained on a public park on the edge of the A3, were a team made up of rejects, led by former hod carrier Vinnie Jones. Liverpool had recently collected their 17th league title and were huge favourites.

But a set-piece from the old Surrey training ground worked to perfection on 37 minutes when a corner from diminutive Wise was glanced home by the head of Lawrie Sanchez. And Beasant became the first man to save an FA Cup final penalty by denying Aldridge from 12 yards.

Wimbledon legends like Lawrie Sanchez, Andy Thorne, Vinnie Jones, Dennis Wise and Terry Gibson celebrate
Wimbledon legends like Lawrie Sanchez, Andy Thorne, Vinnie Jones, Dennis Wise and Terry Gibson celebrate PA:Press Association

The unfashionable club with the tiny budget rocked Liverpool at Wembley
The unfashionable club with the tiny budget rocked Liverpool at Wembley Times Newspapers Ltd

Dave Beasant's record-breaking save ensured the Dons lifted the cup
Dave Beasant’s record-breaking save ensured the Dons lifted the cup Times Newspapers Ltd

1990 Buster Douglas beat Mike Tyson

Mike Tyson was the Baddest Man on the Planet, basing his fighting style and persona on the ferocious legends of Jack Dempsey and Sonny Liston.

The 19in neck, rock-solid stomach and iron fists made him a human wrecking-ball. Buster Douglas was a 42-1 outside viewed as cannon fodder for the undefeated, undisputed WBC, WBA, and IBF king. But the underdog was shrewd, he jabbed Tyson out of range and spoiled the fight by holding when the champ got too close for comfort.

Tyson’s left eye was closing and in farcical scenes his corner were lacking essential medical equipment. Instead, they filled a rubber glove with ice water and held it on Tyson’s eye between rounds. In round 10 Douglas connected with a stunning uppercut and followed it up with a furious combination that left Tyson sprawled out on the floor.

The ringside commentator yelled: “This makes Cinderella look like a sad story”.

Mike Tyson had destroyed every man his path going into the warm-up fight with Buster Douglas
Mike Tyson had destroyed every man his path going into the warm-up fight with Buster Douglas AP:Associated Press

Douglas lost his beloved mother in the build-up to the fight and was inspired to win the titles for her
Douglas lost his beloved mother in the build-up to the fight and was inspired to win the titles for her AP:Associated Press

Tyson scrabbled around trying to find his gumshield but he was counted out to give Douglas a famous win
Tyson scrabbled around trying to find his gumshield but he was counted out to give Douglas a famous win Reuters

2004 Greece won Euro 2004

Greece looked doomed from the outset with hosts Portugal, Spain and Russia in their Group A. But the Greeks stunned Portugal 2-1, tied with the Spaniards 1-1 and lost to Russia to squeeze through in second place. The following three matches, the quarters, semis and final were all won by Greece 1-0.

Superb defensive organisation, perfectly-planned set-pieces and classic team-work helped them beat France, Czech Republic and Portugal. Angelos Charisteas grabbed three goals and defenders Traianos Dellas, Giourkas Seitaridis and goalkeeper Antonios Nikopolidis joined him in the UEFA Team of the Tournament.

German master Otto Rehhagel managed the Greeks perfectly to one of the most surprising tournament triumphs.

European football was stunned as minnows Greece recorded an unlikely Euro 2004 win
European football was stunned as minnows Greece recorded an unlikely Euro 2004 win EMPICS Sports Photo Agency

Greek goalkeeper Antonios Nikopolidis was an unlikely hero at the tournament
Greek goalkeeper Antonios Nikopolidis was an unlikely hero at the tournament Getty Images

2008 The Giants beat the Patriots to the Super Bowl

The Patriots were huge favourites going into the Super Bowl.

They had become the first team to complete a perfect regular season since the 1972 Miami Dolphins and the only one since the league expanded to a 16-game regular season schedule in 1978. The Giants, by contrast went into the game with a 10-6 record and needed a wild card to get there.

After coming from behind, wide receiver Plaxico Burress then scored the winning touchdown on a 13-yard reception with 35 seconds remaining.

Giants quarter-back Eli Manning celebrates with coach Tom Coughlin (right)
Giants quarter-back Eli Manning celebrates with coach Tom Coughlin (right) Reuters

Giants star Osi Umenyiora celebrates the 17-14 win over the Patriots
Giants star Osi Umenyiora celebrates the 17-14 win over the Patriots Getty Images

2015 Japan beat South Africa in the Rugby World Cup

Minnows Japan stunned the sport of rugby union by beating two-time champions South Africa.

Japan had not won a World Cup game since 1991 and that didn’t look like changing when the Springboks led 12-10 after Francois Louw and Bismark du Plessis tries.

But Ayumu Goromaru contributed 24 points for the Asian underdogs and Karne Hesketh crossed in the final minute to win an incredible World Cup Pool B encounter in Brighton.

Eddie Jones, the England boss who masterminded the upset, said: “If you are a child in Japan you will watch this and you will want to play rugby for Japan in the next World Cup.”

Japan's incredible World Cup win under Eddie Jones was the highlight of the England-hosted tournament
Japan’s incredible World Cup win under Eddie Jones was the highlight of the England-hosted tournament Getty Images

Leicester City win the 2015-16 Premier League title

Italian manager Claudio Ranieri, once the much-maligned and poorly treated manager of Chelsea guided little Leicester City to the top of Europe’s most competitive league.

Marvellous signings like Jamie Vardy, who cost the club just £1million from non-league Fleetwood, and Riyad Mahrez, the Algerian winger once considered the a Ligue 1 runt, have run away with the crown.

The win was built on team-work and effort, defensive structure and raw pace in an era when football clubs try to buy their success.

Leicester were 5,000/1 to win the title at the start of the season after narrowly escaping relegation back to the Championship the season before.

Week after week they were expected to fall away, collapse and disappear. But they didn’t. They have etched their name onto the trophy and into history as one of the great sporting fairytales of all time.

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