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2002: The best and worst of times

APRIL: THE 155th Grand National smashed all the records as 20-1 shot Bindaree romped to victory.

The UN Security Council elected to send a fact-finding team to a refugee camp in Jenin after reports that "hundreds" of Palestinians had been killed there.

Television company ITV Digital collapsed, ceasing all pay TV services.

Chancellor Gordon Brown introduced an £8bn tax hike in the Budget.

Six British plane spotters arrested near a Greek air force base in 2001, were found guilty of spying by a court in the southern town of Kalamata. They were sentenced to three years in jail.

MAY: AT THE launch of Liverpool's bid to become European Capital of Culture, it received a surprise backer - Manchester.

It is hoped the simultaneous promotion will raise both cities' profiles.

The Government gave the go-ahead to Liverpool's £800m Grosvenor Henderson Bluecoat Triangle shopping and leisure complex, backed by one of Britain's wealthiest men, the Duke of Westminster, who lives at Eaton Hall, Chester.

At Liverpool's Walker Art Gallery, Sir Paul McCartney opened his first major art paintings exhibition.

Stephen Byers

Transport Secretary Stephen Byers resigned, claiming it was the "right thing to do for the Government and the Labour Party". Alistair Darling replaced Mr Byers.

Arsenal beat Chelsea to win the FA Cup final. They secured the double by beating Manchester United to be crowned Premiership champions.

Seven people died and dozens were injured when a passenger train derailed, smashing into a bridge and platform at Potters Bar in north London.

Beckham-mania hit the Far East as the England captain was greeted by a screaming 600-strong crowd when Sven Goran Eriksson's squad touched down in Japan for the World Cup. The Government gave away the Millennium Dome and its surrounds for free in the hope of getting £550m back over the next 20 years.

JUNE: WEST Derby MP Bob Wareing managed to sabotage the Mersey Tunnels Parliamentary Bill which would have allowed owner Merseytravel to raise tolls through the two tunnels in line with inflation.

PM's wife Cherie Blair and Yoko Ono unveiled sculptor Tom Murphy's 7ft tall statue of John Lennon at Liverpool John Lennon Airport.

Sir Paul McCartney topped the bill at the Queen's Golden Jubilee Party at the Palace - and married ex-model Heather Mills.

The cricket world was in shock following the death of disgraced former South African cricket captain Hansie Cronje in a plane crash.

Postal group Consignia announced 17,000 job cuts, record losses of £1.1bn and a 1p rise in the price of stamps.

Bobby Robson, the man who led England to the semi-finals of the World Cup in 1990, received a knighthood in the Queen's Jubilee Birthday Honours List. Veteran Rolling Stone rock star Mick Jagger became Sir Mick.

David Seaman watches as England crash out of the World Cup 2002

England crashed out of the World Cup in Japan when they were defeated in the quarter finals 2-1 by Brazil - the eventually winners.

The London stock market saw more than £35bn wiped from shares as traders reacted to a massive accounting scandal from US giant WorldCom.

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