Bizarre sporting moments of 2016

From Rory McIlroy to Tyson Fury, we recall some of the more strange events over the past 12 months

BY Cian Roche 13:00 Tuesday 27 December 2016, 13:00 27 Dec 2016

Image: Nick Potts PA Archive/PA Images

The year just past has thrown up its fair share of controversial sporting moments, as well as some of the most unlikely results you'll see across all codes.

Many will view it as the year of the underdog, with the likes of Leicester City and Connacht prevailing in their own domestic leagues. Farther afield in Chicago, the Cubs' victory in the World Series and Ireland's victory over New Zealand will not be forgotten.

But while the attention will be focused on the unique sporting achievements of the year, we look back on some of the weird and wonderful snapshots of a hectic sporting calendar.

Tyson Fury Press Conference

Tyson Fury stunned the boxing world in November 2015 with his victory over one of the greatest heavyweight boxers of all time, Wladimir Klitschko. The Briton defeated Klitschko via unanimous decision to win the WBA (Super), WBO, IBF, IBO, The Ring and lineal heavyweight titles.

As per a condition in his contract, Fury was forced to grant him an immediate rematch. By being unable to defend the IBF title against a mandatory challenger, he was stripped of the belt.

The rematch, set for July 9, was billed as 'Repeat or Revenge' and on April 27 the pair met for one of the first press conferences in the build up to the event.

"You got beat by a fat man," Fury said at the event before removing his shirt for members of the press.

The incident was one of the bizarre during a series of pull-outs, press conferences and tweets from Fury. He was later withdrawn from his rematch for a second time and is medically unfit to fight, due to mental health issues.

"Does it matter what a pitbull looks like? Does it f**k..."

Tyson Fury with his t-shirt off during the press conference Manchester Arena, Manchester. Image: Nick Potts PA Archive/PA Images

Ryder Cup: Rory McIlroy ramps up the crowd

Darren Clarke described his decision to pick his wildcards for this year’s Ryder Cup was one of the most difficult of his career. And for good reason too.

Europe boasted six rookies in their ranks for the tournament as they looked to retain the title won under the stewardship of another Irishman, Paul McGinley, in 2014.

This in turn put more of the focus on and pressure on some of their more experienced stars.

Matthew Fitzpatrick, Andy Sullivan,  Rafael Cabrera-Bello, Chris Wood and Masters champion Danny Willett - all rookies - earned their place through automatic qualification.

Belgian Thomas Pieters was one of three wildcard picks with Lee Westwood and Martin Kaymer brought in to add more experience to the ranks.

It never really got going for Europe, blitzed in the Friday morning foursomes 4-0, before the afternoon fourballs saw them lose 5-3.

Rory McIlroy did everything in his power to try and rally the Europeans, every fist pump and gesture to the crowd saw him exert more and more energy, but ultimately come up short against Patrick Reed in the final singles.

These gestures may have been in reference to a piece written by Danny Willett’s brother PJ ahead of the start of the tournament  who insulted American fans and criticised their behaviour.

Tensions were clear from the start and McIlroy even confronted one heckler before the start of the tournament after abusing him during Saturday’s afternoon fourballs.

But the Holywood golfer kept his head focused on the task at hand and although he couldn’t get the better of Patrick Reed, he gave everything he could.

McIlroy silences the home crowd

And let's them know he means business...

Chris Froome ascends Mont Ventoux on foot

There were incredible scenes at stage 12 of the Tour de France this year, as a collision with a cameraman on a motorbike caused Chris Froome to be knocked from his bike.

The reigning Tour de France champion appeared to have surrendered his yellow jersey with defeat on Mont Ventoux, after being forced to run for some distance up the mountain.

A replacement neutral bike was sought and delivered to Froome but he appeared to struggle with the gears and demanded another.

Froome was able to hold onto his yellow jersey and came away with the victory for his third Tour de France title and his second in as many years.

Chris Froome, wearing the overall leader's yellow jersey runs after he crashed at the end of the twelfth stage of the Tour de France. Image: Stephane Mantey AP/Press Association Images

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