My 13 sporting wishes for 2013 as follows. Unlucky thirteen?
Well, my wife just happens to have been born on a Friday the thirteenth and there is no evidence that she has encountered any ill fortune as a result. Ahem, apart from the obvious before you mention it.
As they say, “in no particular order...”
1: Match of the Day to beat both X Factor and Strictly Come Dancing in the ratings.
Reality TV to return to being real reality TV.
2: Sheffield United and Sheffield Wednesday to appear on the aforementioned programme. MOTD, I mean! Oops, have to hibernate for that one. 2014 anyone?
3: Steve Davis to win the World Snooker Championship! And while he’s about it he can be sure to bring back those 1.45am finishes, sorely missed. Crucible drama at its most gripping.
4: Jonny Marray and partner to retain their Wimbledon doubles crown. Forget Murray, Sheffield’s Marray was actually the first British male to win a major championship since 1936.
5: This column to remember not to forget multiple former world squash champion Nick Matthew when paying its next tribute to Sheffield’s sporting prowess.
6: A penalty to be awarded in the Premier League for shirt-tugging in the area - before a corner or free-kick is delivered. Only way to stop this blight on the game.
Mark Clattenburg came closest with his award to West Ham on New Year’s Day. More please.
7: Sheffield United to win a penalty shoot-out (but not have to go to the play-offs to do so - will have to be in the FA Cup then.)
8: Joe Root to pile on the runs in what has been a brilliant start to the former Sheffield Collegiate batsman’s Test career.
9: Free-kicks to be awarded against those players (everyone) who obstruct opponents to shepherd the ball out of play.
Boring, waste of time, another blot on the game.
10: Sheffield Wednesday to find a happy medium between sublime and ridiculous. (Oh, and regular pie and chips in the press room please! We love it.)
11: Manchester United to reclaim the Premier League title and send their “noisy neighbours” back to the supermarket.
12: Jessica Ennis and her fellow Olympians continue to prove such an inspiration to kids that sales of iPhones and MP3 players go through the floor.
13: This column to be right more often than it is wrong. You’ll be lucky!