1973 BRITISH SUPERSTARS

The BBC had sent a crew to Rotonda, Florida in February to record the first-ever Superstars event. Quickly, TransWorld International made plans for a similar competition in Britain. David Vine was the television host for the BBC, announcing the seven competitors as the "Sporting Superstars." The competition was held in and around Crystal Palace in London, site of the 1948 London Olympic Games. The seven competitors were among the most prominent British sportsmen of the day. Similar to the American competition, but slightly smaller in scale. There were only seven athletes instead of ten, this meant that each athlete would participate in eight events, and the point scoring system was adjusted to have the top four finishers score points on a 7-4-2-1 scale.

Another difference from the American competition was the idea of a handicapping system, essentially used for track and field athletes who would otherwise be eliminated from two events. This was to have an impact on the final standings. Rugby's Barry John won the first event the 100 meter dash, but behind John and tennis player Roger Taylor, Jackie Stewart was providing what would be the biggest surprise of the first event. The three-time Formula One auto racing champion was able to hold off the much larger Joe Bugner for third place and Stewart remained a strong contender throughout the event. An even bigger surprise was in store in the next event as Stewart was the clear favorite in the shooting event. Each competitor had twenty shots to break five clay discs at a distance 10 meters with an air rifle. Each broken disc was worth 20 points, with three points deducted for every extra shot required to break all five discs. Jackie Stewart had been a competitive skeet shooter with a rifle, and most considered him the favorite here. But Joe Bugner hit all discs with just eleven shots, while Stewart needed twelve shots. Hemery won the swimming and then Stewart took the lead with a playoff win over Barry John in the three hole golf event.

The next event was to become the signature of British Superstars over the years. Commentator Ron Pickering had devised a four part event to test the overall fitness of the competitors. Each athlete would compete in a shuttle run; standing long jump; squat thrusts and the soon-to-be-famous parallel bar dips. Hemery took top honors to capture the lead at the halfway mark. Barry John won the next two events, the tennis and the soccer penalties to recapture the lead. Hemery won the bike race and was second to Bugner in the weightlifting to set up a showdown in the 600 meter steeplechase with John, Hemery and Bugner all in contention for the crown. Hemery, a 400 meter hurdler was handicapped 100 meters. Fortunately for Hemery, the rest of the field started off at a very leisurely pace. Hemery quickly overtook Bugner and Moore, and passed John and Moore with 60 meters to go and sprinted to the victory in the steeplechase to become the first British Superstars champion.

The event was broadcast on New Year's Eve and very soon the Superstars would grow on both sides of the Atlantic.

London, England

Competition Dates: August 20 & 21, 1973

Air Date: December 31, 1973

Announcer: David Vine and Ron Pickering.

PLC. NAME, SPORT

100m

SHOOT

SWIM

GOLF

GYM

TEN

SCCR

BIKE

WL

600st

TOTAL

MONEY

1. David Hemery, 400 Hurdles

X

2

7

X

7

0

2

7

4

7

36

£4,000

2. Barry John, Rugby

7

X

1

4

2

7

7

0

X

4

32

£2,500

3. Joe Bugner, Boxing

1

7

2

X

4

X

4

0

7

0

25

£750

3. Jackie Stewart, Auto Racing

2

4

X

7

1

4

1

4

2

X

25

£750

5. Roger Taylor, Tennis

4

0

X

2

0

X

0

1 1/2

1

2

10 1/2

6. Bobby Moore, Soccer

0

X

4

1

0

2

X

0

0

1

8

7. Tony Jacklin, Golf

0

1

0

X

0

1

0

1 1/2

0

X

3 1/2

INDIVIDUAL EVENT RESULTS

100 METER DASH
1. Barry John

N/A

2. Roger Taylor

N/A

3. Jackie Stewart

N/A

4. Joe Bugner

N/A

5. Bobby Moore

N/A

6. Tony Jacklin

N/A

SHOOTING
1. Joe Bugner

82

2. Jackie Stewart

79

3. David Hemery

70

4. Tony Jacklin

55

SWIMMING - 50 Meters
1. David Hemery

N/A

2. Bobby Moore

N/A

3. Bobby Moore

N/A

4. Joe Bugner

N/A

GOLF - 3 holes
1. Jackie Stewart *

15

2. Barry John

15

3. Roger Taylor

18

4. Bobby Moore

N/A


* Stewart won in a playoff

GYM TEST - Shuttle run; standing long jump; squat thrusts; parallel bar dips
1. David Hemery

N/A

9' 1"

N/A

25

2. Joe Bugner

N/A

N/A

68

22

3. Barry John

N/A

N/A

N/A

N/A

4. Jackie Stewart

N/A

N/A

N/A

19

Tony Jacklin

N/A

N/A

52

N/A

TENNIS
1. Barry John

7

2. Jackie Stewart

4

3. Bobby Moore

2

4. Tony Jacklin

1

SOCCER PENALTIES - 6 shots vs. Pat Jennings
1. Barry John *

3

2. Joe Bugner

3

3. David Hemery

N/A

4. Jackie Stewart

N/A

* John won a shootoff

CYCLING - 800 Meter Time Trial
1. David Hemery

N/A

2. Jackie Stewart

N/A

3. Tony Jacklin

N/A

3. Roger Taylor

N/A

WEIGHT LIFTING - adjusted to body weight
1. Joe Bugner

220

2. David Hemery

180

3. Jackie Stewart

125

4. Roger Taylor

N/A

600 METER STEEPLECHASE
1. David Hemery

N/A

2. Barry John

N/A

3. Roger Taylor

N/A

4. Bobby Moore

N/A

e = estimated time

r = Superstars record

N/A = result not available

dnf - did not finish

nm - no mark

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