Happy Birthday: Henrik Larsson, Guy Lafleur, Brian Joubert

Sport360 staff 09:56 20/09/2015
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[L-R] Guy Lafleur, Henrik Larsson, Brian Joubert.

What sets the Swede apart from most footballers of the modern era was not just his success on the field, but his humility off it.

An intelligent striker with astonishing goal records at his hometown club Helsingborgs, Celtic and Sweden, Larsson turns 44 on Sunday.

He is most revered for his performances for Celtic and then Barcelona but his start to life in Scotland couldn’t be more different to how it ended. He gave the ball away for Hibernian’s second in a 2-1 defeat on his debut. But his 242 goals in 315 appearances went some way to making up for that error.

When Larsson left for Barcelona in 2004, it was clear he’d left an indelible mark during his seven-year stint – his nutmeg and lob against Rangers a particular highlight. Injuries affected his stay at Barca but he’d win the Champions League and La Liga double in 2006 before returning to Sweden.

1951: Guy Lafleur, the first player in the NHL to score 50 goals and 100 points in six straight seasons (64).

1981: Feliciano Lopez, Spanish tennis player who is second for consecutive majors appearances (34).

1984: Brian Joubert, French figure skater who was 2007 World champion and a three-time European champion (31).

1985: Ian Desmond, shortstop for the Washington Nationals of MLB and third-round pick in 2004 (30).

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On this day: 1973 – Billie Jean King won for all women

Sport360 staff 09:36 20/09/2015
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Tennis royalty: Billie Jean King.

Billie Jean King won six Wimbledon singles championships and four US Open titles.

She was ranked No1 in the world five years. She defeated such magnificent players as Martina Navratilova, Chris Evert and Margaret Court. Yet of all her matches, the one that is remembered most is her victory against a 55-yearold man.

History has recorded all that King accomplished in furthering the cause of women’s struggle for equality in the 1970s. She was the lightning rod in starting a professional women’s tour. But what is remembered most is that she humbled Bobby Riggs.

The “Battle of the Sexes” captured the imagination with King, then 29, running Riggs ragged, winning 6-4, 6-3, 6-3.

Other memorable events on this day…

1968: New York Yankee legend Mickey Mantle hits his 536 and final homer against the Boston Red Sox.

1988: Greg Louganis wins his second Olympic gold medal in springboard diving.

2013: Alex Rodriquez sets new MLB record with 24 Grand Slam home runs for the New York Yankees.

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Green Bay seeking revenge to send Seattle Seahawks packing

Jay Asser 09:32 20/09/2015
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Welcome home: Aaron Rodgers.

Eight months after the NFC Championship Game, the Green Bay Packers finally have their chance to avenge the nightmare ending to last season.

When the Packers host conference rivals the Seattle Seahawks on Sunday tonight, the heavyweight fight between the pair of Super Bowl contenders will hit Lambeau Field.

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Green Bay will hope to erase memories of its epic collapse to Seattle in January, when the Packers blew a 19-7 lead in the final minutes of the fourth quarter before losing in overtime.

While Green Bay would be justified in having extra motivation for the early-season encounter, coach Mike McCarthy has tried to keep emotions from taking over.

“Mike has always done a wonderful job of keeping things the same around here and keeping it even-keeled,” Packers guard Josh Sitton said. “There’s not a whole lot of highs and a whole lot of lows. We just try to stay on that plane and do what we do.”

Mike McCarthy celebrates after the Packers scored a touchdown against the Bears.

This time, Green Bay hold home-field advantage at a venue they went 9-0 in last season, including the playoffs, while the Seahawks enter vulnerable on the heels of a 34-31 overtime loss to the St. Louis Rams in their opener.

Aaron Rodgers has especially been infallible, with the Packers quarterback not having thrown an interception on his home field since December 2012. Rodgers has gone 17 games, 512 pass attempts and 41 touchdowns since the pick – all NFL records.

Green Bay’s defence, however, will have their hands full with Seattle’s ground attack after getting run over in Week 1 by the Chicago Bears, who totalled 189 rushing yards on 33 carries.

The Seahawks struggled to get their dominant run game going against St. Louis as they averaged just 3.9 rushing yards, but led the league last season at 5.3 yards per carry. To aid their effort in slowing down running back Marshawn Lynch, the Packers will get last year’s leading tackler, safety Morgan Burnett, back from injury.

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