Today in Sports history: April 28 - Muhammad Ali takes a personal and political stand

The COVID-19 pandemic has wiped out live sport all around the globe, but history will never be erased.

While you contemplate streaming yet another Netflix drama or rewatching another replay of your favorite sporting moments, here are some stories that were making news in years past on April 28.


The iconic Wembley Stadium opens, with the FA Cup final between Bolton Wanderers and West Ham United. 

Bolton won the match 2-0. 


Muhammad Ali refuses induction into army, and is subsequently stripped of WBC, WBA, Ring Magazine and Lineal heavyweight boxing world title 

'The Greatest' cited his religious beliefs and opposition to the Vietnam War. Ali's suspension was overturned in 1971 and he returned to the ring after a near-four-year absence, eventually climbing the heavyweight summit again in 1974, with an upset win over George Foreman.


A protracted battle over the future of Kiwis star Ruben Wiki is settled out of court, when the Auckland Warriors agree to allow him to continue playing with Canberra.

Ruben Wiki playing for Canberra in 1998.
Ruben Wiki playing for Canberra in 1998. Photo credit: Getty

Wiki was registered by both clubs for the 1995 season, with the Raiders claiming the then-talented youngster was desperate to remain in the Australian capital.Wiki would eventually return home in 2005, helping the Warriors get to within a game of the Grand Final in 2008 - his final season. 


Manly fine winger John Hopoate AU$10,000 and impose an eight-week suspension for misconduct, after arriving at training in an "unacceptable state". 

Hopoate agreed to stop drinking and undergo rehabilitation, but it was a sign of things to come for the ferocious winger, whose many off and on field incidents tarnished his career. Hopate retired in 2005, before pursuing a relatively unsuccessful professional boxing career.


Australia claim a third successive Cricket World Cup, defeating Sri Lanka by 53 runs in Barbados. 

The title was Australia’s fourth overall and featured a brilliant 149 off 104 balls by wicketkeeper-batsman Adam Gilchrist, propelling his team to 281/4 in a rain-shortened 38-over final.

Glenn McGrath celebrates with teammates during the 2007 World Cup final
Glenn McGrath celebrates with teammates during the 2007 World Cup final Photo credit: Getty

Sri Lanka managed 215/8 in 36 overs, handing Ricky Ponting’s side victory, via the Duckworth-Lewis method.

Bowler Glenn McGrath was named Player of the Tournament.


Lima Sopoaga in action for the Highlanders
Lima Sopoaga in action for the Highlanders Photo credit: Getty

Lima Sopaga kicks a penalty after the full-time siren to help the Highlanders to a 29-28 win over the Bulls in Loftus Versfeld. 

On the same day, the Crusaders recorded a 21-8 win over the Brumbies, while the Jaguares beat the Blues 20-13.


1964 - Former Black Sticks women's hockey coach Mark Hager

1966 - Controversial American golfer John Daly 

1980 - Olympic champion and 2012 Tour de France winner Bradley Wiggins


1999 - World Cup-winning English football manager Alf Ramsey, aged 79.

Newshub's top story 12 months ago 

Shaun Johnson caught using phone during match, against the rules

Today in Sports history: April 28 - Muhammad Ali takes a personal and political stand
Photo credit: AAP

Cronulla Sharks pivot Shaun Johnson could face sanction from the NRL, after cameras caught him using his mobile phone in the dressing sheds, after going off injured during his side's defeat to the Broncos.

The Kiwis five-eighth left the field injured in the 22nd minute, after picking up a hamstring injury, while trying to chase down Broncos winger Corey Oates.

Just before halftime, the broadcast coverage cut to images of a downcast Johnson sitting with an ice pack around his left hamstring, with what looked like a phone in his hand mid-match.

Under an NRL policy introduced two years ago, players are banned from using phones in the rooms to eliminate the possibility of inside information leaking and illegal bets being placed.

While the 28-year-old was most likely letting his family in New Zealand know he was fine, the NRL may not be lenient, due to past incidents.