What Did The World Of Sport Look Like When Queen Elizabeth's Reign Began In 1952?

We've taken a trip down memory lane to see what the sporting scene was like 70 years ago when the monarch’s reign began.
10:35, 02 Jun 2022

Queen Elizabeth II celebrates her Platinum Jubilee this week and to commemorate the occasion, we have decided to take a trip down memory lane to see what the sporting scene was like 70 years ago when the monarch’s reign began.



Legendary boss Sir Matt Busby guided Manchester United to their first league title in 41 years while Newcastle United retained their FA Cup crown after beating Arsenal 1-0 at Wembley Stadium in front of a crowd of 100,000.


Following the Second World War, Germany was split into West and East, and so too were the football leagues. The West had the Oberliga and the East had the DDR-Oberliga, which later became the Bundesliga.

Hamburger SV were the Oberliga winners and BSG Turbine Halle were the DDR-Oberliga champions.


Barcelona claimed their fifth La Liga title, boasting the highest winning margin by beating Real Gijon 9-0 and having the longest winning run of the season with eight matches.


Juventus stormed to their ninth Serie A title in 1951-52, finishing seven points clear of AC Milan in second and losing just four matches across the season.


Nice won the Division 1 title with 46 points having won 21 of their 34 games and lost nine times.



Frank Sedgman defeated Jaroslav Drobny 4-6, 6-2, 6-3, 6-2 for his only ever men’s Wimbledon title, while American Maureen Connolly defeated compatriot Louise Brough 7-5, 6-3 for her first win at SW19.

Formula 1

Italian driver Alberto Ascari stormed to the Drivers’ Championship for Ferrari. Despite not even competing in the first race in Switzerland, the Italian came first in the final six Grands Prix of the season, picking up the fastest lap on each track, and subsequently won his first title with ease ahead of Prancing Horse teammate Giuseppe Farina.

Rugby League

Wigan won their eighth Northern Rugby League title when they beat Bradford Northern 13-6 in the play-off final - Bradford had ended the season as the league leaders. The Challenge Cup winners were Workington Town, who beat Featherstone Rovers 18-10 in the final at Wembley.

SM Punches Marcianojpg


1952 saw a watershed moment in the heavyweight division as the legendary Rocky Marciano scooped the world title in September. Marciano was dropped in the first round of his title fight by Jersey Joe Walcott and was well behind on the scorecards, but a sensational one-punch knockout in the 13th round ended proceedings in emphatic fashion. Marciano would fight six more times before hanging up his gloves for good in 1955, retiring with an immaculate 49-0 professional record. 


In 1952, Finland played host to the Summer Olympics. Helsinki, the northernmost host city in Olympic history, saw the most world records broken until it was surpassed more than half a century later in Beijing. Among the records broken, the women’s 100m world record was smashed by Australia's Marjorie Jackson, who set a new record time of 11.5 seconds. The year also saw Olympic debuts for Israel and the Soviet Union, and was the first Games in which Germany and Japan were allowed to compete following the end of the Second World War. 

Horse Racing

Teal was the winner of the 106th renewal of the Grand National at Aintree. Teal was ridden by Arthur Thompson and they won by five lengths. The Cheltenham Gold Cup winner was French-bred Mont Tremblant, ridden by jockey Dave Dick. He was marketed at 8/1.



The 1952 World Snooker Championship incredibly saw just one match because there were only two participants. This was due to a dispute between the Professional Billiards Players' Association (PBPA) and the organisers for the event, the Billiards Association and Control Council (BACC). Most players withdrew, leaving just Australian Horace Lindrum and New Zealand’s Clark McConachy to duke it out for the title.

The match was held over 145 frames in a 13-day span, with Lindrum winning 94-49 with the last two frames remaining unplayed.

The Boat Race

The 98th annual men’s boat race between the Universities of Oxford and Cambridge was won by Oxford in “one of the closest fought of all time”. At no point in the race was there clear water between the two boats. It was Oxford’s second win in seven years. Cambridge won the women’s race.

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