Some of the notable sports events of 1897:
Aston Villa becomes the second club to complete The Double in English football
John J. McDermott wins the first running of the Boston Marathon, then known as the B.A.A. Road Race. It is the world’s oldest major marathon.
In Aussie Rules football – Formation of Victorian Football League (now Australian Football League) with initial clubs being Carlton, Collingwood, Essendon, Fitzroy, Geelong, Melbourne, St Kilda and South Melbourne.
Essendon wins the 1st VFL Premiership (under the finals system used this year only, no Grand Final is played).
Britain’s Bob Fitzsimmons knocks out James J. Corbett in the 14th round in Carson City, Nevada to win the World Heavyweight Championship in the first championship fight ever captured on film. He is the lightest man ever to win the title.
Two English teams toured the West Indies
Galtee More does the colts Triple Crown
The first regular motor racing venue is Nice, France, where an annual “Speed Week” is established. To fill out the schedule, most types of racing event are invented here including the first hill climb, from Nice to La Turbie, and a sprint that has been called the forerunner of drag racing.
The first motorcycle race in Britain is held over one mile at Sheen House, Richmond and is won by Charles Jarrott.
Challenge Cup final – Batley 10–3 St Helens at Headingley Stadium, Leeds. This is the inaugural competition.
The first use of numbers in rugby when Queensland play New Zealand in Brisbane.
The inaugural French women’s singles championship is held. Françoise Masson (France) defeats P Girod (France) 6–3 6–1