Top numbers from a remarkable sporting year – globally, nationally and locally

The numbers game – a statistical look back at the sporting year – globally, nationally and locally.

By Simon Carter
Tuesday, 29th December 2020, 12:33 pm
Portsmouth's Matt Benfield was the second highest runscorer in the Southern Premier League in 2020. Picture Ian Hargreaves
Portsmouth's Matt Benfield was the second highest runscorer in the Southern Premier League in 2020. Picture Ian Hargreaves


30 – Liverpool ended a 30-year wait for a top-flight league title.

99 – final 2019-20 points haul for Jurgen Klopp’s side. Manchester City, with 100 in 2017/18, still hold the record.

Jamie Wilson was only 16 when he became the youngest Englishman to qualify from Q School, winning a two-year pro tour card as a result.

18 – the Reds’ Premier League record-equalling winning run up to February.

23 – Jamie Vardy’s Golden Boot-winning goal tally for Leicester. English players occupied three of the top four places, with Danny Ings scoring 22 for Southampton and Raheem Sterling 20 for Manchester City.

20 – City’s Kevin De Bruyne equalled Thierry Henry’s record for assists in a Premier League season. Tottenham striker Harry Kane is already into double figures this season.

180 – De Bruyne’s team-mate Sergio Aguero became the league’s all-time leading overseas goalscorer, passing Henry’s record by five.

Tommy Wright celebrates his stunning goal for Hawks in their 3-0 FA Cup fourth qualifying round win at Bath City in October. Pic: Kieron Louloudis.

9 – Celtic won their ninth consecutive Scottish Premiership title, though hopes of 10 in a row are already fading fast as Rangers pull clear.

1998 – Scotland reached their first major tournament since the 1998 World Cup by beating Serbia on penalties to qualify for the European Championship.

16 – Leeds’ promotion ended a 16-year absence from the Premier League.

7-2 – Liverpool both won and lost by the same unlikely scoreline in the space of 11 days, beating Lincoln in the Carabao Cup on September 24 before a shock league defeat to Aston Villa on October 4.

Hampshire's Shaheen Afridi celebrates dismissing Steve Finn - the second of four wickets in four balls during the T20 Blast match in September. Photo by Alex Davidson/Getty Images.

94,472 - pounds earned by Havant & Waterlooville from their FA Cup run, where they reached the second round proper for only the second time in their history before losing to two divisions lower Marine.

4 - number of goals scored by substitute Rudi Blankson in Baffins Milton Rovers’ Wessex League Premier Division record 8-1 win against Portland in September.

41 - goals scored by Fareham in their 11 home Wessex League Premier Division games in 2020, including two fives, a six and an eight.

2 - number of club record Hampshire Premier League wins recorded by Hayling United in the space of four Saturdays in the New Forest in October. First the Humbugs won 9-2 at Sway - defender Toby Wilson hitting a hat-trick - before romping to an 11-0 victory at Lyndhurst.

Rudi Blankson (middle) scored four goals against Portland after coming off the bench for Baffins Milton Rovers. Picture: Vernon Nash

30 - number of goals scored by Paulsgrove strikers Danny Lane and Zak Willett in the club’s first 10 Hampshire Premier League games of 2020/21. Both have netted 15 times.

0 - number of defeats Moneyfields Reserves have suffered since entering the Hampshire Premier League Division 1 in the summer of 2019. They topped the table on a points-per-game methodology in 2019/20 but were denied promotion as there was no promotion or relegation in the top tier of the HPL.


600 – James Anderson became the first fast bowler to reach 600 Test wickets…

500 – …while his long-time new-ball partner Stuart Broad reached 500, the seventh bowler and fourth paceman to do so. He ended the year on 514.

20,440 – first-class runs for Ian Bell, who retired at the end of Warwickshire’s season. He made 7,727 of those in Tests for England and scored 34,360 for club and country across all formats.

Paulsgrove's Danny Lane scores against Bush Hill - one of his 15 Hampshire Premier League goals in 2020/21.Picture: Chris Moorhouse

263 - runs scored by Joe Weatherley, making him Hampshire’s top scorer in their five first class Bob Willis Trophy matches.

4 - number of wickets taken by Shaheen Shaf Afridi in successive balls to wrap up the Middlesex innings in Hampshire’s T20 Blast win at The Ageas Bowl.

3 - wickets Afridi had taken in his previous 152 deliveries in the competition.

6 - wickets for Afridi at a cost of 19 runs against Middlesex, Hampshire’s best ever figures in the shortest form of the game.

365 - Southern Premier League East runs scored by Portsmouth & Southsea’s Matt Benfield, the second highest in a truncated SPL programme. Only Hampshire Academy batsman Tom Pest, with 412. Including the T20 Cup tournament, Benfield’s 455-run total was only bettered by Prest’s 462-run haul.

17 - Southern Premier League wickets for Havant’s skipper Chris Morgan, second only to New Milton’s George Watts (20). But when T20 Cup wickets were added, Morgan topped the list with 24.

103 - Runs scored by the Hampshire Academy in the T20 Cup final against Havant. Chris Morgan bagged 4-24 and then hit an unbeaten 20 as Havant coasted to an eight-wicket triumph with Chris Stone undefeated on 43.

88.67 - the batting average of Simon Jones while playing for Portsmouth 3rds in the Hampshire District League’s ‘micro bubble’ tournament in 2020. In his four innings, Jones scored 96 not out (v Waterlooville 2nds), 49 (v Emsworth 2nds), 68 (v Railway Triangle) and 53 (v Kerala 2nds)

6 - wickets taken at a cost of just 26 runs by Fareham & Crofton’s James Headen during a Hampshire District League ‘micro bubble’ game against Havant 2nds.

Rugby Union

152 – Wales captain Alun Wyn Jones set a new world record for Test caps, beating former New Zealand skipper Richie McCaw’s mark of 148.

29 – England won their seventh Six Nations and 29th title overall in the competition and its predecessors.

779 - points scored in 22 London 1 South games by Havant. After winning 17 of those games, they were top of the table when 2019/20 was halted by the pandemic, but were promoted as champions via a points-per-game methodology.

Formula One

7 – Lewis Hamilton matched Michael Schumacher’s all-time record for Drivers’ Championship titles.

95 – Hamilton’s career total of race wins, having passed Schumacher’s previous record of 91 during the season.

190 – with Hamilton absent for the Sakhir Grand Prix, Sergio Perez recorded his first win in his 190th race, the longest such wait in F1 history.

Horse racing

3 – Stradivarius won a third successive Gold Cup at Royal Ascot.

8 – trainer Nicky Henderson’s record tally of Champion Hurdle winners after Epatante’s win at March’s Cheltenham Festival.

Other sports

16 - the age Havant snooker starlet Jamie Wilson was when he became the youngest Englishman ever to win a two-year professional tour card after coming through Q School in Sheffield in August.

20 – Dustin Johnson’s Masters-record score under par as he won the rescheduled tournament at Augusta in November.

1,000 – Rafael Nadal became the fourth player to reach four figures for match wins on the ATP Tour, following Jimmy Connors, Ivan Lendl and Roger Federer.

108 – minutes taken for Ronnie O’Sullivan to beat Thepchaiya Un-Nooh 10-1 at snooker’s World Championship, the quickest game in the competition’s history.

40 – weight in pounds of the ring-walk costume Deontay Wilder blamed for his defeat to Tyson Fury in February.