Roger Bannister produced a feat most thought impossible on May 6 many years ago, while more recently Shaquille O'Neal was rewarded for a memorable debut season in the NBA

Bannister laid to rest the demons of Olympics heartbreak to produce a moment that would stand the test of history in 1954.

Almost 40 years later, NBA legend O'Neal was receiving one of countless prizes he earned during a sensational career.

Here are the best sporting moments from this day down the years…


1954 – Bannister breaks through the barrier

It was described as "sport's greatest goal" and there were warnings from physiologists that running a sub four-minute mile was impossible and dangerous to attempt.

Yet Bannister, a medical student who had suffered disappointment when finishing fourth in the 1500 metres at the 1952 Olympics in Helsinki, achieved what was deemed unthinkable.

Helped by two pacers, Bannister managed to do a mile in three minutes and 59.4 seconds at Oxford University's Iffley Road track.

The record stood for just 46 days before John Landy of Australia shaved almost a second off that time, but it was Bannister who broke the barrier.


1970 – Feyenoord's Dutch courage downs Celtic

Just three years previously, Celtic's 'Lisbon Lions' had become the first British team to win the European Cup in a famous triumph over Inter.

On this occasion, the Bhoys were favourites at Milan's San Siro stadium for European football's showpiece.

But it was Feyenoord's turn to make history in a 2-1 triumph over Celtic, who had overcome the heavily fancied Leeds United in the semis.

Tommy Gemmell's 30th-minute opener proved a false dawn as Rinus Israel equalised. Swede Ove Kindvall then scored an extra-time winner three minutes from the end as Feyenoord became the first Dutch team to win Europe's top prize.

 

1993 – Shaq's rookie reward

Big things were expected of the gigantic O'Neal when he was selected first in the 1992 draft by the Orlando Magic - and he did not disappoint.

The center averaged 23.4 points (eighth in the NBA), 13.9 rebounds (second) and 3.53 blocks per game (second) as the Magic finished 41-41 to improve by 20 wins, though they still missed out on the playoffs.

O'Neal was named Rookie of the Year and went on to have a Hall-of-Fame career.

He won three NBA Championships with the Los Angeles Lakers and another with the Miami Heat, while he was named Finals MVP three years running between 2000 and 2002.

Barcelona know what they want to do with Philippe Coutinho should the attacker return to the club from Bayern Munich.

Coutinho is on a season-long loan at the Bundesliga club, who have an option to buy the Brazil international at the end of the campaign.

But Barca reportedly already have plans in place if the 27-year-old comes back to Camp Nou.

 

TOP STORY – BARCELONA PLAN TO USE COUTINHO AS MAKEWEIGHT IF HE RETURNS

Barcelona will use Coutinho as a makeweight in any of the huge deals they are planning in the close season, according to Sport.

The LaLiga giants are reportedly again targeting Neymar, who was linked with a return but ended up staying at Paris Saint-Germain last year.

PSG and Liverpool are rumoured to be interested in Coutinho, although Bayern have a €120million option to buy the playmaker.

ROUND-UP

- Juventus' interest in Mauro Icardi is ongoing. CalcioMercato reports Juve still want the forward, who is on loan at PSG from Inter, with the Ligue 1 club holding a €70m purchase option. Goal reports Juventus are also monitoring Santos teenager Kaio Jorge, who has a €50m release clause.

- Linked with a move to Bayern Munich, Leroy Sane may yet remain at Manchester City. The Telegraph reports the attacker, who has been sidelined with a serious knee injury, will consider staying at the Premier League club beyond this season.

- Hirving Lozano's Napoli stay may be short-lived. Corriere dello Sport reports Atletico Madrid have their sights set on the Mexico international, who is out of favour under Gennaro Gattuso in his first season at the Serie A club.

- Having dealt with defensive problems this season, Manchester City seemingly have a solution in mind. CalcioMercato reports the Premier League giants are ready to again make a move for Inter defender Milan Skriniar, a player they have been linked to previously.

- Already up to 15 goals this season, Everton striker Dominic Calvert-Lewin appears set to be rewarded for his good form. The Times report the 22-year-old – apparently a target for Manchester United previously – is ready to sign a deal until 2025 with the Premier League club.

- Arsenal have started talks over a move for Feyenoord's 19-year-old playmaker Orkun Kokcu for £23m (€26.5m), according to the Daily Mail.

Storm Ciara was causing havoc with football across Europe as Bundesliga and Eredivisie matches scheduled for Sunday were called off because of the extreme weather.

German football chiefs expect the top-of-the-table match between Bayern Munich and RB Leipzig to go ahead as scheduled at 18:00 local time (17:00 GMT).

However, the Rhine derby between Borussia Monchengladbach and Cologne, which was due to be played at 15:30 local time (14:30 GMT), was postponed due to the poor conditions caused by Storm Sabine, as it has been called in Germany.

The Bundesliga announced on its website: "With the high winds and widespread rains that have been battering parts of Europe showing no signs of abating, the Deutsche Fussball Liga, in consultation with the local authorities, have decided to postpone the fixture on safety grounds."

It said a new date for the match would be announced in the coming weeks.

Dutch Eredivisie officials made an early call on the weather, deciding on Saturday that Sunday's schedule would be cancelled.

That meant games including Utrecht's home fixture against leaders Ajax, and second-placed AZ's clash with third-placed Feyenoord, were postponed to a later date.

Belgium's Pro League also cancelled all Sunday fixtures.

Football was set to continue in England, however, with Sheffield United preparing to face Bournemouth and Manchester City hosting West Ham in Premier League action.

Top-flight fixtures in France, Spain and Italy look set to go ahead, along with the Six Nations rugby union clash between France and Italy in Paris.

 

Steven Gerrard suggested Alfredo Morelos proved he is worth more than £50million as he scored twice in Rangers' 2-2 Europa League draw at Feyenoord.

Rangers' superstar striker has repeatedly been linked with moves to the Premier League, but boss Gerrard claimed coming into Thursday's match that even a huge offer could not tempt him to sell the Colombian.

Morelos responded with a pair of superb headers as Rangers moved within a point of reaching the last 32.

When Gerrard's claims about the £50million valuation of Morelos were brought up in a post-match news conference, the manager laughed.

He replied: "Do you believe me now? He's not for sale. He's not for sale at any price."

Between his two goals, Morelos could also have had a penalty as he bowed under a challenge from Leroy Fer inside the area.

Gerrard had been frustrated by Rangers' first-half performance but reserved most of his ire for referee Damir Skomina, calling for an explanation from UEFA.

"I asked the players [at half-time] to remember what we stand for, what we're about, how hard we've worked to get this opportunity," Gerrard told a news conference.

"I asked for the real Rangers in the second half and we got it. We won the second half 2-1 and we deserved it.

"We should have had a blatant penalty. I'm sure when the referee sees that, he'll be devastated. I'd like an explanation as to why, from UEFA, we never got a penalty.

"We certainly deserved to take something from the game after our second-half showing. I was proud of our performance second half."

He added: "It's a blatant penalty, a blatant penalty. [Fer] is climbing all over [Morelos]. It's desperate defending. He just crushes him to the floor.

"Anywhere else on the pitch, it's a foul. So it's a penalty."

Record-breaker Alfredo Morelos hit a brilliant brace but could not secure Rangers' place in the last 32 of the Europa League in a gripping 2-2 draw at Feyenoord on Thursday.

Steven Gerrard's Gers needed a first away victory in the UEFA Cup or Europa League since 2008 to progress to the knockout stage on matchday five due to Group G rivals Porto's win at Young Boys.

But despite leading through Morelos' second-half double, cancelling out Jens Toornstra's opener in a previously dominant Feyenoord display, the visitors could not hold on at De Kuip.

Morelos became the first Rangers player to score in four consecutive European matches, yet Luis Sinisterra netted a leveller, leaving the Scottish side still requiring a point against Young Boys back at Ibrox.

Feyenoord have named Dick Advocaat as their new head coach following the departure of Jaap Stam.

Former Manchester United defender Stam stepped down after a 4-0 Eredivisie defeat to champions Ajax on Sunday left them 12th in the table after 11 matches this season.

Advocaat has been appointed on a deal that will run until the end of the season and brings in Said Bakkati, Cor Pot and John de Wolf as assistant coaches. Jean-Paul van Gastel, Roy Makaay and Denny Landzaat will leave their positions.

"If I can help the club, I'll gladly do so," Advocaat told Feyenoord's website.

"I look forward to meeting the team tomorrow [Thursday] and to be out on the pitch with them."

Ajax technical director Sjaak Troost said: "After Jaap Stam's departure, we had to make a change quickly. If a coach with a huge track record like Dick Advocaat is available and willing to help the club for this season, you naturally don't have to think about it for long.

"With his experience, authority and drive and with a largely renewed team of assistants, we are confident we will find our way up."

Advocaat, 72, most recently took over at Utrecht last September and steered them to sixth place in the table.

He has previously been in charge of PSV, Rangers, Zenit and Fenerbahce, as well as the national teams of Netherlands, UAE, South Korea, Belgium and Serbia.

Feyenoord, who have won only two of their past 11 games in all competitions, face VVV on Sunday.

Jaap Stam has resigned as Feyenoord head coach following a bruising 4-0 Eredivisie defeat to Ajax in De Klassieker on Sunday.

Former Manchester United defender Stam took over from Giovanni van Bronckhorst during the close season but was only able to guide Feyenoord to three wins in their opening 11 league games.

Defeat to their bitter rivals in Amsterdam left them languishing in 12th position.

Stam – who has also coached Reading and PEC Zwolle – told the club's official website: "I've thought about it a lot and for a long time. My final conclusion is that it is better for the club, the players and myself if I step aside."

Feyenoord technical director Sjaak Troost added: "The coach certainly still had our support and the players also wanted to continue with him, but if someone says, 'I no longer believe in it and don't want to carry on,' we respect that and it will stop. What a shame."

Proposals for a joint league featuring elite clubs from Netherlands and Belgium have reached a second stage.

The concept has been mooted for a number of years but has now moved a step closer, with a select group of teams from Eredivisie and the Belgian First Division being asked to give their views.

Consultancy firm Deloitte was hired to explore the possibility of a combined league, which would be known as 'BeNeLiga'.

The five top clubs from Belgium (Gent, Club Brugge, Genk, Anderlecht and Standard Liege) met the top six from Netherlands (Ajax, AZ, Utrecht, Feyenoord, PSV and Vitesse) earlier this year, and Dutch football governing body KNVB has confirmed talks were successful enough to continue with the exploration.

A statement on KNVB's official website read: "The clubs involved decided in a first phase to conduct a feasibility study into the theoretical added value of a BeNeLiga.

"This study is also facilitated by the national associations (KNVB and KBVB) for the sake of the broader football interest. That research has since been carried out by Deloitte.

"The results of the first phase confirm that the new BeNeLiga has a potential significant value increase."

The next phase of the investigation will look at a possible format and the impact a new joint league will have on Dutch and Belgian teams.

Jaap Stam has claimed Newcastle United approached him about replacing Rafael Benitez as manager three months before the Spaniard's contract expired.

Benitez officially left Newcastle at the end of June after failing to agree an extension for the new season.

Steve Bruce stepped into the role the following month but the Magpies were canvassing options for a new boss as early as March, according to former Manchester United defender Stam.

The Dutchman, who managed Reading for close to two seasons, could not enter into talks as he had already committed to Eredivisie side Feyenoord, who announced his appointment on March 6.

"Newcastle United called me a few days after I signed my contract at Feyenoord," Stam told Voetbal International.

"So it wasn't an option straight away. I'm a man of my word.

"It was beautiful and honourable, because people in England apparently know what I stand for as a trainer."

Stam's contract at Feyenoord took effect on June 1.

His team have won three of 10 games in the Eredivisie this term, while Newcastle are 18th in the Premier League after nine matches under Bruce.

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