From Jerry Maguire to Moneyball: The top ten sports films of all time

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With Oscars fever at a high ahead of Sunday night’s Academy Awards ceremony, we take a look at some of the best sports films of all-time.

What do you make of our choices?

Share with us your thoughts by commenting below, using #360fans on Twitter or getting in touch via Facebook.

RAGING BULL

An early Martin Scorsese film, Raging Bull dramatises the true story of Italian-American boxer Jake LaMotta, played by Robert DeNiro. Although it was only a minor hit at the box office, it is now regarded as one of the greatest films ever made. DeNiro won the Academy Award for Best Actor for his performance.

JERRY MAGUIRE

While most sports films focus on the stars behind the great moments, Jerry Maguire is about the people behind the stars. Tom Cruise plays sports agent Jerry Maguire in a film full of sporting drama and iconic dialogue, along with a classic tale of redemption. Cruise earned a Best Actor nomination.

MIRACLE

The true story of one of the greatest upsets in sporting history – Team USA’s win over the mighty USSR in ice hockey at the 1980 Olympics. Kurt Russell plays legendary coach Herb Brooks, who united an underrated USA team to win Olympic gold.

THE BLIND SIDE

The Blind Side tells the story of Michael Oher, a homeless boy, who became a first round pick in the NFL draft and now plays with the Carolina Panthers. Sandra Bullock  – Oher’s adoptive mother Leigh Anne Tuohy in the film – won the Oscar for Best Actress.

RUSH

Ron Howard’s biopic about the epic rivalry between Niki Lauda and James Hunt has become an instant classic. You don’t need to be a die-hard Formula One fan to watch this film, which shows the Lauda-Hunt rivalry from its early days to the chase for the 1976 World Championship.

ROCKY

Widely considered the best sports film of all-time, Rocky is the story of a down-on-his-luck boxer who goes toe-to-toe with the world champion. It has been immortalised in pop and sporting culture as the ultimate underdog story. The film won the Best Picture award in 1976 and is arguably the movie most synonymous with Sylvester Stallone.

THE DAMNED UNITED

Brian Clough’s ill-fated, 44-day reign as manager of Leeds United was first made into a best-selling novel, which was then adapted into this film starring Michael Sheen. The film is fictional but based on true events, and Sheen delivers an excellent performance in depicting Clough’s outsized personality.

THE FIGHTER

The film centers on the lives of a professional boxer and his half-brother, played by Mark Wahlberg and Christian Bale. Amy Adams and Melissa Leo also star in the film, with Leo winning the Academy Award for Supporting Actress. Bale won Supporting Actor.

INVICTUS

A cast featuring Matt Damon and Morgan Freeman, Invictus tells the story of how the South African rugby team brought the nation together during their 1995 Rugby World Cup triumph, with Damon playing captain Francois Pienaar and Freeman playing Nelson Mandela.

CHARIOTS OF FIRE

Another sports film which won an Oscar for Best Picture, Chariots of Fire tells the true story of Jewish athlete Harold Abrahams and Scottish Christian athlete Eric Liddell, both of whom represent Great Britain at the 1924 Olympics. In different ways, both athletes had to overcome obstacles due to their religion, but they found a way to make it to the top.

MONEYBALL

One of the more famous sports films, Moneyball tells the story of the strategy to build competitive sports teams using statistics and player analysis. Brad Pitt plays Billy Beane, general manager of the Oakland Athletics, who became one of baseball’s best teams based on their sabermetric approach to scouting players.

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IN PICS & VID: 10 sportsmen turned actors

Brendon Netto 26/02/2017

It’s the biggest night of the year in Hollywood as the 2017 Oscars take place on Sunday.

But rather than focus on the nominated actors, we’ve decided to go down a different route.

Several athletes have made the switch from the world of sports to acting and here, we look at 10 such stars.

BOB UECKER

Sport: Baseball

Career: 1962-67

Teams: Milwaukee Braves, St. Louis Cardinals, Philadelphia Phillies, Atlanta Braves

Popular Filmography: Mr. Belvedere, Major League (trilogy)

VINNIE JONES

Sport: Football

Career: 1984-99

Teams: Wealdstone, IFK Holmsund, Wimbledon, Leeds United, Sheffield United, Chelsea, QPR, Wales

Popular Filmography: Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels; Snatch; Gone in 60 Seconds; Mean Machine; EuroTrip; X-Men: The Last Stand; She’s The Man; The Condemned; Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted

O.J. SIMPSON

Sport: American Football

Career: 1969-79

Teams: Buffalo Bills, San Francisco 49ers

Popular Filmography: Roots; Capricorn One; Firepower; The Naked Gun: From the Files of Police Squad!; The Naked Gun 2½: The Smell of Fear; Naked Gun 33⅓: The Final Insult

DWAYNE JOHNSON

Sport: Wrestling

Career: 1996-present*

*has only made cameo appearances post 2013

Teams: WWE

Popular Filmography: The Scorpion King; Walking Tall; Be Cool; The Game Plan; Get Smart; Race to Witch Mountain; Tooth Fairy; The Other Guys; Fast Five; Fast & Furious 6; Furious 7; San Andreas; Baywatch

JIM BROWN

Sport: American Football

Career: 1957-65

Teams: Cleveland Browns

Popular Filmography: Dark of the Sun; 100 Rifles; Black Gunn; Take a Hard Ride; The Running Man; Any Given Sunday; Mars Attacks!

TERRY BRADSHAW

Sport: American Football

Career: 1970-83

Teams: Pittsburgh Steelers

Popular Filmography: Failure to Launch; Everybody Loves Raymond, Married… with Children, The Larry Sanders Show

KAREEM ABDUL-JABBAR

Sport: Basketball

Career: 1969-89

Teams: Milwaukee Bucks, LA Lakers

Popular Filmography: Game of Death; Zero Hour!; Full House, Living Single, Amen, Everybody Loves Raymond, Martin, Diff’rent Strokes; The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, Scrubs, 21 Jump Street, Emergency!, Man from Atlantis, New Girl

ERIC CANTONA

Sport: Football

Career: 1983-97

Teams: Auxerre, Martigues, Bordeaux, Montpellier, Nîmes, Leeds, Manchester United, France

Popular Filmography: La vie est à nous !; Looking for Eric; Switch; The Salvation

MICHAEL JORDAN

Sport: Basketball, Baseball

Career: Basketball (1984-93, 1995-98, 2001, 2003) / Baseball (1993-94)

Teams: Chicago Bulls, Washington Wizards, Birmingham Barons, Scottsdale Scorpions

Popular Filmography: Space Jam

BUBBA SMITH

Sport: American Footballer

Career: 1967-76

Teams: Baltimore Colts, Oakland Raiders, Houston Oilers

Popular Filmography: Police Academy 1,2,3,4,5 & 6; The Naked Truth; Black Moon Rising

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On This Day: West Indies blow past England

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West Indies cricket has never looked back since this day 87 years ago, when the great George Headley’s twin hundreds helped demolish England for their first-ever Test victory.

The Windies had been competing internationally since June of the previous year, when they were seen off by the same opposition at Lord’s. But the tables were to turn in the familiar surroundings of Guyana’s Georgetown.

Headley cracked 114 and 112, while fabled all-rounder Learie Constantine finished England off with nine wickets. A monstrous 209 from opener Clifford Roach in the first innings also set a platform from which the West Indies would historically build on.

Other memorable sporting events on this day

1839: Lottery made history by winning the first official annual running of a steeplechase which later became the Grand National.

1918: Stands at Hong Kong Jockey Club collapse & burn, killing 604.

1935: New York Yankees release baseball legend Babe Ruth, who moves to Boston Braves.

1989: Dallas Cowboys fire coach Tom Landry after a 29-year career.

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