There couldn’t have been a more iconic setting for Pele to score his 1,000th professional goal.
Playing for Santos against rivals Vasco da Gama in front of 65,000 people at the famous Maracana stadium in Rio de Janeiro, Pele became the first man to enter the four-digit club when he converted a penalty in a game in the Robertao on this day 47 years ago.
“The noise was deafening,” recalled Vasco goalkeeper Edgardo Andrada. “Even the Vasco supporters were against me.”
Pele admitted he was “nervous” before scoring but after he succeeded, he said: “Now that everyone is listening, help the children, help the helpless. That’s my only wish at this very special time for me.”
Some more historic events that took place on this day:
1906: London is selected to host the 1908 Olympic Games.
1989: USA secure qualification to the FIFA World Cup for the first time since 1950 thanks to a brilliant strike from Paul Caligiuri that gave the Americans a 1-0 victory over Trinidad and Tobago in Port of Spain.
2015: Batsman Ian Bell is dropped from England’s Test squad to tour South Africa, with Gary Ballance and Nick Compton returning to vie for the number three position.
We look at the biggest sporting names born on this day.
An American track and field icon in the 1990s, Gail Devers celebrates her 50th birthday today.
The three-time Olympic gold medallist endured a horrific battle with the autoimmune disorder, or raves disease, in the early ‘90s only to go on and win 100m gold at the Olympics in Barcelona in 1992 and Atlanta in 1996.
Devers was officially diagnosed in 1990. The thyroid gland problem resulted in her losing her hair in clumps, her weight dropping dramatically and her movement greatly hampered.
Doctors considered amputating her feet at one point but Devers’ health started to improve and just 19 months after her diagnosis, she was winning a photo-finish 100m in Barcelona.
Devers never won an Olympic medal in her primary event, the 110m hurdles. She finished her career with nine World Championship golds.