MM’s Year in Review: October 2023

Rugby World Cup: The airwaves were dominated by the Rugby Union World Cup, which took place from October 8-28 at multiple stadiums across France. England’s Roses had a surprisingly good showing, suffering a last-gasp 15-16 semi-final defeat to eventual champions South Africa. The Springboks then became the first country to win four World Cups and the second to win back-to-back trophies after a tight 12-11 win over New Zealand. 

Simone Biles makes history: Simone Biles became the most decorated gymnast in history, winning five medals at the World Artistic Gymnastics Championships in Antwerp, Belgium from 30 September to 8 October, taking her tally of world and Olympic medals to 37. It was a triumphant return to international competition after a two-year break for her mental health. 

Hamas attacks Israel: The world was rocked by Palestinian paramilitary group Hamas launching an attack on Israel on October 7, which has since exploded into full-blown war, largely in the Gaza Strip. As of writing more than 85% of Gaza’s population has been displaced by the Israeli invasion, according to the UN, and over 2000 civilians – the vast majority Palestinian – killed.   

Matthew Perry dies: In the US, actor Matthew Perry was found dead at his home on October 28, aged 54. The Canadian-American star was best known for his portrayal of the sarcastic, funny but vulnerable Chandler Bing in the acclaimed sitcom ‘Friends’, which enjoyed worldwide fame and an enormous cultural impact that continues today due to the show’s popularity on Netflix. 

Storm Babet: Storm Babet made an unwelcome visit to UK shores, landing on October 20 and wreaking havoc across the UK, with flooding, power outages, and significant damage to many areas. At least seven people were killed and hundreds more made homeless over several days of the storm.  

Sir Bobby Charlton dies: Manchester United and England legend Sir Bobby Charlton died on October 21. The footballer was part of England’s 1966 World Cup winning squad – winning the Ballon d’Or that same year – and also triumphed in the European Cup in 1968, as well as playing 758 times for United over a 17-year career.

Manchester bus crash: A bus crashed into the T4 bubble tea shop in Piccadilly Gardens on October 16, with 11 people injured and taken to hospital and the entire front of the shop smashed in. A 77-year-old woman from south Manchester, Almena Amica, was later announced to have died from injuries and the driver was arrested at the scene for causing death by dangerous driving.

Featured image: JaumeBG via Wikimedia Commons.

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