While many tournaments and leagues were put on pause during the spring, lots of fans turned to documentaries to get their sporting fix. Fortunately, there was (and still is!) plenty to get stuck into on the various online streaming services.
Below is a list of some of the best one-off sports documentaries as well as a few of the most enjoyable series out there.
The Last Dance (2020) – Netflix
Unless you have been living under a rock, you will have heard all about The Last Dance, and with good reason. Regardless of whether or not you like basketball or even sports, this 10-part series is a must-watch.
A film crew was granted unprecedented access to the Chicago Bulls throughout the 1997-98 season, which turned out to be the final chapter in their dynasty under coach Phil Jackson.
The majority of the documentary is centered around Michael Jordan, but fellow stars Scottie Pippen, Dennis Rodman, Steve Kerr, and others play a big role in making this one of the greatest sports series ever released.
All or Nothing: Tottenham Hotspur (2020) – Amazon Prime
With the latest All or Nothing offering, football fans are given a behind-the-scenes look at Premier League outfit, Tottenham Hotspur.
The timing couldn’t have been better for this fly-on-the-wall series, as the campaign was far from dull for Spurs with boss Mauricio Pochettino being replaced by Jose Mourinho in November.
It has not been plain sailing for Mourinho since his arrival in north London. In fact, he is as short as 14/1 with some football betting sites to be the next top-flight manager to leave his post.
All or Nothing has been a huge success ever since it debuted in 2016 with the Arizona Cardinals series. In 2018, the first UK-centric All or Nothing was released with Manchester City taking centre stage.
Sadio Mane – Made in Senegal (2020) – Rakuten
Made in Senegal tells the incredible story of Sadio Mane’s journey from a small village called Bembali all the way to the very top of European football.
The Liverpool forward paints a picture of his childhood and reveals the lengths he had to go to in order to play the sport and try to get noticed as a youngster.
An injury almost brought an abrupt end to Mane’s career, and even Jurgen Klopp wasn’t convinced by him when the pair were first introduced, but suffice to say it has got better and better for the 28-year-old since.
This film is one of several free-to-watch sports programmes on the Rakuten TV service.
Formula 1: Drive to Survive (2019) – Netflix
This collaboration between Netflix and Formula One has been well received by critics and rightly so. To date, there have been two 10-episode series, and another is in the works.
While the top drivers get all of the attention during regular F1 coverage, Drive to Survive provides great insight into what it is like for the lesser teams and the issues they face on a weekly basis.
Guenther Steiner, team principal of Haas, is one of the stars of the show, and so is Australian driver Daniel Ricciardo, who throughout the series finds himself caught in two minds regarding his future.
Andy Murray: Resurfacing (2019) – Amazon Prime
Many consider Andy Murray the greatest British sportsperson of all time – he’s certainly in the conversation. But after becoming the first British man to win multiple Wimbledon singles titles since Fred Perry in 1936, things have not been easy for the three-time Grand Slam champion.
From 2017, injuries began to take their toll and this fascinating Amazon documentary tracks his progress as he battles through it all.
It is a very emotional watch, but inspirational all the same.
Tiger Woods: Back (2020) – Now TV
On April 14, 2019, the eyes of the sporting world were on Tiger Woods at Augusta National as the great man completed the ultimate comeback story to win the Masters Tournament two years after he underwent back surgery for the fourth time.
In one of the best films on the new Sky Documentaries channel, ‘Back’ tells the story of Woods’ rise and fall, and how he came roaring back against all odds.
The two-hour-long special includes interviews with golf legends such as Sir Nick Faldo, plus a host of individuals that have been close with Tiger over the years.
Tiger Roll: Horse of a Lifetime (2020) – Betfair YouTube channel
To win the Grand National once is something only a select few horses manage to do, but Tiger Roll was able to achieve the incredible feat two years on the trot – becoming the first horse to do so since Red Rum in 1973 and 1974.
In the build-up to what was supposed to be his attempt at a third in succession, Betfair released a 45-minute documentary on the gelding, with insight from trainer Gordon Elliott and various other connections.
Horse racing fans had to settle for a Virtual Grand National in 2020 due to the cancellation of the real race, and it remains to be seen whether Tiger Roll will make it three wins at Aintree in 2021.