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Streaks, ‘Mickeyleaks’ revive memories of sports headline gem

Having spent much of my working life writing sports headlines, amongst other things, to keep baked beans on the table, I can’t help but admire the occasional gem these days.

What with State of Origin streaks and cricket’s “Mickeyleaks”,  headline writers all around the country have had a field day lately — which had me thinking about some of the better sports headlines I’ve seen down through the years.

Coincidentally, given that we’ve got a British Open golf championship being played out this weekend, one of the oldies but goodies featured an Aussie British Open champion – Kel Nagle (winner of the Centenary Open at St Andrews way back in 1960).

From memory, the headline in question appeared somewhere in the late Sixties when Nagle, no stranger to streaks himself, was en route to one of his record seven NZ Opens – at the Shirley Golf Club in Christchurch.

What I do remember quite clearly is that it was published in Wellington’s Evening Post – around the same time as a certain young sports nut was embarking on a career in journalism on that very same newspaper.

Bearing in mind that it was an afternoon publication, and the NZ Open’s leading players were still out on the course when the edition went to press, the headline appeared above a story restricted to a report on a Nagle birdie blitz on Shirley’s front nine.

It read …


Anyone got a sports headline favourite?

— Peter Thomson




2 Responses to Streaks, ‘Mickeyleaks’ revive memories of sports headline gem

  • Phil Campbell says:

    In the 1990s USA baseballer Daniel Strawberry decided to swear off drugs. A Daily Post (Rotorua, NZ) headline punned, ‘Strawberry Yields Forever?’ . Typical NZ modesty forbids naming the author. – Phil Campbell.

    • Admin says:

      Thanks for that Phil. Paul McCartney would have been suitably impressed, I’m sure. As it happens, I received another goodie from a similarly modest type with ABC TV connections (we’ll call him JC). His email read: “I was producing the ABC TV news at 7pm [on the day of 1987 Rugby World Cup final between NZ and France]. We’d have general news headlines at the top of the bulletin, followed by a sports story teaser, with vision.
      You need to picture the images. First up was a shot of the All Blacks doing the haka, with a wonderfully fortuitous rainbow in the Eden Park background. The broadcast headline led into match commentary and vision of an All Blacks try. The headline read: ‘And in sport tonight, New Zealand’s rainbow warriors sink the French in Auckland…'”

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