Vox Pop: As the year draws to a close, what are the abiding memories of 1998?

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The Independent Online
DAVID MOORCROFT

UK Athletics chief executive

Doug Walker, Julian Golding and Doug Turner finishing first, second and third in the 200m at the European Championships in Budapest symbolised the future of British athletics. With Linford having retired - and the sport being on a downer - it is a tremendous credit to all our young sprinters that they have won so many races. 1998 has also been a year of transition for the athletes as well as the governing body. Both on and off the track, the baton has been transferred from the old to the new.

LORD MacLAURIN

ECB chairman

England beating South Africa at Headingley in the last Test match of the summer was a very special time for our cricket. We had not won a major Test series in this country for 12 years, so to come from behind and beat the South Africans was a magnificent achievement. It all came down to the last day and both sides could have won the match. On the final morning, we got the last two wickets we needed to clinch the series - those closing 30-40 minutes were very tense and, ultimately, very good.

DAVID LLOYD

GB Davis Cup captain

Beating India in the Davis Cup was a defining moment because it meant a return to the World Group for the first time in six or seven years. It was such an exciting match: After the first day, we were 2-0 in front as Greg [Rusedski, after saving three match points] and Tim [Henman] won their singles. Then we lost the doubles, making the score 2-1. The capacity crowd in Nottingham gave great support on a very tense final day, which saw Tim win his match and take us back among the tennis elite.

CLIVE WOODWARD

England rugby coach

After a pretty up-and-down year, hearing the final whistle - synonymous with victory - against South Africa a couple of weeks ago, was a big moment. On the back of a difficult 12-months - which included a reasonably good Five Nations, a tour of the southern hemisphere with a weakened side, and some difficult decisions being taken - it was very satisfying to see the team come strong in the end. We stopped South Africa winning 18 on the trot and proved we can compete with the best.

DANNY KELLY

Editor, Football 365.co.uk

The one sporting moment for me was when England beat Argentina. I was in a TV studio at the time, watching the match on a monitor, when Sol Campbell - clearly our best player in the World Cup - scored a header from a corner. I turned away, hugged everyone I could find and ran out of the room. When I returned 40 seconds later, I was told that the game was continuing at 2-2. That moment summed up how fantastic sport can be: you're up one minute; kicked in the trousers the next.

RAY STUBBS

BBC sports presenter

It's impossible not to look at England vs Argentina; the whole evening was so emotionally charged. It seems now that, every couple of years, there is a sporting event which binds the nation together and brings out a passionate, often previously unknown, side of people's character. Even my mother was calling the mobile during France 98! That final moment in Saint Etienne, just after David Batty's penalty miss, was sporting history. It may not have been a joyful moment, but it did mark us all.

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