1) The great Benjamin Andrew Stokes will be playing in the Ashes! To celebrate, here’s the man himself at the wrestling. If you prefer cricket, please enjoy highlights from that Headingley knock here, TMS coverage of the winning moment and his winning shot captured from the crowd. Stokes has form in Australia – making his maiden Test ton at Perth in December 2013.
2) Rally driver Thierry Neuville tackles a 9.1km route in daylight – and in the dark.
3) On this day in 1997, the NBA announced that Dee Kantner and Violet Palmer would become the first women to officiate in a major male sports league. Here’s Kantner telling her story, and a Black History Month interview with Palmer, who was later honoured by the LA Lakers, her hometown team.
4) You can’t beat a bit of Bazza, so here’s the best of Barry Davies’ football commentary, a doc also featuring some of his work in other sports, a long interview with the great man, and a who’s-the-greatest with John Motson.
5) Wales face New Zealand on Saturday, with Wayne Pivac’s injury-hit squad not hopeful of ending a near 68-year wait to beat the All Blacks. In 2016 they made a flying start at Eden Park, but lost 39-21. Wales lost by a point in 2004, Joe Rokocoko breaking hearts in Cardiff; and by the same margin at the Arms Park in 1978.
6) Gregoire Akcelrod earned trials at English clubs and a contract offer from CSKA Sofia – despite having no professional experience. Here’s a Vice documentary on how he did it.
Our favourites from below the line last week
1) Your suggestions for great forgotten goals: Nigel Winterburn v Wimbledon in 1989 (with his right foot!), Frank Kopel for Dundee United in 1979 and Dragan Stojkovic’s double against Spain at Italia ‘90.
2) From forgotten goals to great non-goals – behold this Alex Teixeira finish for Besiktas against Sporting in the Champions League … chalked off by VAR.
3) Chester’s Eddie Bishop tries to head the ball back on the field from high in the stands during a pre-season game … with unfortunate (and amusing) results.
4) It’s miniature mayhem in the Diecast Demolition Derby.
5) The story of the ‘85 Bears, one of the NFL’s greatest ever defences.
Spotter’s badges: Fallinlikedominoes, gforsyth, M_T_Wallet, germit, smallboat01, drunkgiraffe, BrownBread74.