August 19, 1975, England v Australia, a Test match that remains unique in British sporting history.

As the ground staff, led by George Cawthray, arrived at Headingley shortly after 7am for the fifth day of the match, it had all the makings of a thrilling final day.

Intriguingly poised the match was scuppered by vandals. The pitch they were using had been damaged beyond recognition.

Australia, who were 220-3 chasing 445 for victory, were thwarted in their efforts by activists protesting prisoner George Davis’ innocence, as they notably splattered across the walls surrounding the ground.

One of Davis’ closest friends was Peter Chappell, the man behind the Headingley stunt. In the days leading up to 19th August 1975, Chappell slammed his lorry into steps of newspaper offices on Fleet Street and into the gates of Buckingham Palace. Despite that, he realised, not enough people were paying attention to their plight.

Just as it seemed Davis might serve his full sentence, Chappell and Davis’ brother-in-law lead a team of campaigners to undertake one of the world’s largest publicity stunts. During the night when only one police officer was on guard, a group of protestors scaled Headingley’s walls overnight and made sure the pitch was dug up into enough of a state for the match, poised at such a crucial point, to be called off and a draw announced.

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