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Andy Murray: 10 very, very long waits for sporting glory

Magazine Monitor
A collection of cultural artefacts

image captionThe wait is over for a British man to win at Wimbledon

It took 77 years to banish the spectre of Fred Perry. What are the other big waits in global sport, asks Tom de Castella.

104 years. The Chicago Cubs have not won baseball's World Series since 1908 - it will be 105 years by the time the World Series is contested this October. They have become known as the "Loveable Losers". They came close in 1984 but were deprived of a place in the World Series final after losing out to the San Diego Padres. Some attribute the extent of the drought to a curse placed by a disgruntled goat owner.

113 years is India's wait for track and field medal at the Olympics. In India's first Olympics, Paris 1900, its only team member, Norman Pritchard, won two silvers. London 2012 was India's most successful Olympics in terms of total numbers of medals - two silver and four bronze in shooting, wrestling, badminton and boxing. There was a period when India dominated men's hockey - winning six successive gold medals from 1928-1956. But no athletics medals.

28 years since anyone from France won the Tour de France. Bernard Hinault in 1985 was the last. Hinault and fellow Frenchman Laurent Fignon between them won the Tour five times in a row 1981-1985. But France still has more Tour wins than any other country.

image captionA century on, moustaches are back in fashion but Preston are no closer to glory

123 years since Preston North End won the title. It last won the English football league first division in the 1889-90 season. In those days they were known as the Invincibles. They are still waiting to repeat the feat. They may be waiting another 123 years, unkind rival fans might add…

49 years of hurt for the US women's volleyball team. The US has never won an Olympic Gold in women's indoor volleyball, which became an Olympic sport in 1964. The team were seeded first at London 2012 but succumbed to Brazil in the final. By contrast the women's beach volleyball team have won golds at three successive Olympics.

image captionChris O'Neil, the last Aussie to win the Australian Open, with Serena Williams

37 years since an Australian won the men's singles at the Australian Open. The last man to do so was Mark Edmondson when he beat John Newcombe in an all Australian final in 1976. He is the lowest ranked player (212) to win a Grand Slam. Since then there have been Aussie grand slam winners - Pat Cash, Pat Rafter, Lleyton Hewitt - but no winner at their home championship. The wait for a woman winner is two years shorter - in 1978 Chris O'Neil won the women's singles final.

37 years Morocco have been waiting for African Cup of Nations glory. The Atlas Lions won the competition in 1976 but despite qualifying for four World Cup finals have never again lifted the African trophy. They were runners-up to Tunisia in 2004.

38 years of waiting for England to win the Cricket World Cup. The competition, which takes place every four years, began in 1975. England, despite hosting the tournament four times and reaching the final on three occasions, have never lifted the trophy.

85 years the UK has been waiting for gymnastics gold. Beth Tweddle won UK's first ever medal in individual women's gymnastics in 2012, but missed out on gold. In 2008, Louis Smith became the first British male gymnast to win an Olympic medal since Walter Tysall won silver at London 1908.

image captionA medal for British gymnastics, but not a gold

63 years for a woman to gain a whole point in Formula 1. Five women have entered a grand prix in the history of the Formula 1 World Championship. In 1975 Lella Lombardi came sixth in the Spanish Grand Prix becoming the only woman to register on the scoreboard. Unluckily for her it turned into half-a-point as the race was stopped early.

A selection of your suggestions is published below:

Hibs won the Scottish Cup in 1902. They have been in several finals over the years, including the last two, but have not won it for 111 years. Joe Clark, Solihull

The longest British sporting hurt is the America's Cup, which began in 1851. That's 162 years. Bife, Lisbon, Portugal

England winning the Football World Cup! 47 years and counting... Ravi, Elstree, Hertfordshire

Ireland have never beaten the All Blacks in 108 years of competitive rugby. Steve, Melbourne

Somerset holds the unenviable record of being the oldest established first class county never to have won the county championship. Despite success in limited overs cricket, the county has waited since 1882 (131 years and counting) to win a competition that has fewer than 20 competitors. David, Bridgwater, Somerset

62 years since Mayo last won the All-Ireland Football Championship (in 1951). Have lost ten of the thirteen finals they have competed in, with six of those in the last 23 years, more than any other county participating in the Championshop. I'm the third generation of my family to experience the agony. Eugene Quinn, Crawley, West Sussex

21 years since an Englishman won The Open. Rob, London

Ghana's 31 years wait for its 5th African Cup of Nations Trophy. The last triumph was in 1982. Michael Quarcoo, Basildon

The New York Knicks last won an NBA championship in the 1972 - 1973 season - 40 years ago and counting. Sean Casten, Downers Grove, IL, US

It has also been 77 years since Great Britain won Olympic Ice Hockey, having last prevailed in 1936. Martin Garrod, Portsmouth, Hants

Despite competing in nine World Cup Finals, the earliest being in 1934 - nearly 80 years ago - the Netherlands, masters of Total Football, have never won the trophy. They've finished runners-up three times, most recently in 2010. They've finished runners-up three times, most recently in 2010. Pete, London

It's now 36 years since Charlotte Brew rode in the Grand National in 1977. And still no female jockey has won the national. Andrew Gillespie, Tunbridge Wells, Kent

It's 77 years since a British team won the Davis Cup. Fred Perry won the deciding rubber in a 3-2 victory over Australia at Wimbledon, less than a month after his success in the 1936 Championships. Two finals, the latest in 1978, are the best that GB has managed since then. Francis Short, Croydon

52 years since Spurs last won the top flight league. It's a test of character being a Spurs supporter but our day will come. Alwyn Hayes, Tobermore, Northern Ireland

It has to be the entire city of Cleveland, Ohio. Despite having an NFL, NBA and MLB team, the city hasn't seen a championship in a major sport for 49 years since the Browns won the 1964 NFL championship game. Jonathan Callaghan , Bradford

Surely Benfica deserve a mention. After winning the European Cup against Real Madrid in Amsterdam in 1962, Guttmann, the manager at the time, asked for a raise in pay and was denied. His contract was allowed to expire, and Guttmann cursed the club, saying "Benfica will never be champions of Europe again without me". 51 years on, Benfica have been in seven European finals (five European cup, two Uefa cup/Europa league), and not won a single one. Ryan Doherty, Derry

No Australian has won the Aussie Formula 1 Grand Prix since it began in 1985. Mark Webber was fourth once and fifth a few times. Tony Lewis, Hong Kong

Britain last had a world champion in MotoGP/500cc world championship in 1977 - a certain Barry Sheene, 36 years ago. The last British rider to win a race in the premier class was at the Swedish Grand Prix in 1981 - Sheene again. We now look to Cal Crutchlow to end the drought as he is becoming a regular podium finisher. Tony Walsh, Lethworth GC

England have been waiting 41 years to beat Australia in a rugby league test series. Roar_some, Acton

Toronto Maple Leafs have not won the Stanley Cup since 1967 a wait of over 45 years for a city that is ice-hockey mad. They have not even returned to the finals since 1967 either. Ian Stewart, Aberdeen

Newcastle United to win the league - 86 years and counting. 1926-7 was the last time. Mark Knight, London

36 years since a British woman last won a Grand Slam - Virginia Wade at Wimbledon in 1977 (also the last Briton to win that tournament). Rose Collis, Telscomber Cliffs

How about Dumbarton? Won the first two Scottish football titles and none since. A wait of 121 years. Craig Barr, Lytham

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More on this story

  • Andy Murray: Is it really 77 years since Wimbledon was won by a British man?