US Open 2013: The skies have it – Justin Rose joins Frank Lampard and Lionel Messi in the trend for a pointed celebration

view gallery VIEW GALLERY

Pointing to the skies in celebration is becoming ever more popular

He didn’t know if it was going to be the shot that clinched the US Open when he knocked it in. But, when Justin Rose holed his final putt for par on the treacherous 18th hole at Merion, his first instinct was to look up to the sky, kiss his finger and point to the heavens in memory of his late father, Ken, who died in September 2001.

Ken Rose had coached and nurtured his son through an incredible near-win as an amateur at The Open in 1998 to missing a moral-sapping 21 successive cuts having turned professional. When Rose Jr finally made it to the pinnacle of his sport in Philadelphia on Sunday, his first thought – on father’s day – was for his old man. It was a moving moment.

Rose isn’t the only one pointing to the skies at a moment of triumph. It’s become the go-to way for sports people to silently pay tribute to a loved one.

Perhaps the most famous example came in the 2008 Champions League semi-final between Liverpool and Chelsea. With the game poised at 1-1 in extra-time, Sami Hyypiä bundled over Michael Ballack on the edge of the Liverpool area. A still-grieving Frank Lampard, whose mother had passed away just six days earlier, was handed the ball to take the crucial penalty.

Almost rattling with emotion on his run-up, Lampard buried it. After being buried by his teammates, Lampard stood up kissed his hands and put both hands to the sky, before pointing towards his father, Frank Senior, in the stands. It would have taken a hard heart not to have had a minor sniffle.

Lionel Messi is also a proponent. He told Spanish sports paper Marca that his post-goal heaven-points are for his late grandmother, who “continues to help” him with his game. With 186 club goals in the last three seasons, Grandma Messi must be very, very good at helping him.

Hopefully for British tennis fans, the point-to-the-heavens we’ll see the most of this summer will come from the sweaty wrists of Andy Murray on his way to Wimbledon glory. Murray has used it as his trademark celebration – notably during his run to the Wimbledon and Olympic finals in 2012. When asked why he did it by New York Times readers during his run to US Open victory in September he revealed that he wanted to keep it as close to his chest as a sweaty practice T-shirt: “I got asked about it pretty much every single match, and then I just kept it to myself. So I’ll keep it secret.”

Sure, it may lack the ballsiness of a printed T-shirt (sorry, Mario) or a coordinated dance routine, but for actually, properly, meaningful celebrations, the point-to-the-sky tops the lot.

Voices
On the last day of campaigning before the polling booths open, the SNP leader has written to voters in a final attempt to convince them to vote for independence
scotland decidesIs a huge gamble on oil keeping First Minister up at night?
Arts and Entertainment
Rosalind Buckland, the inspiration for Cider with Rosie died this week
booksBut what is it like to be the person who inspires a classic work of art?
Life and Style
techApple has just launched its latest mobile operating software – so what should you do first?
News
A male driver reverses his Vauxhall Astra from a tow truck
newsThe 'extremely dangerous' attempt to avoid being impounded has been heavily criticised
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Lionel Messi in action for Barcelona
filmSo what makes the little man tick?
Arts and Entertainment
tvReview: An undercooked end (spoiler alert)
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Pharrell dismissed the controversy surrounding
musicThe singer said 'the last thing I want to do is degrade'
Sport
Cesc Fabregas celebrates his first Chelsea goal
footballChelsea vs Schalke match report
Arts and Entertainment
Toby Jones (left) and Mackenzie Crook in BBC4’s new comedy The Detectorists
tvMackenzie Crook's 'Detectorists' makes the hobby look 'dysfunctional', they say
Life and Style
fashion

Olympic diver has made his modelling debut for Adidas

News
i100
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

The Imitation Game, film review
England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week