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Sports People

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Sports People

This page is mainly about the non–sporting exploits of people who are or were involved in sport; but it also includes anything that doesn't fit in on other Sport pages (for example because it involves two different sports).

Arsenal and England football captain, jailed for drunk driving 1990 Click to show or hide the answer
Boxers featured in the 1996 documentary film When We Were Kings Click to show or hide the answer
Click to show or hide the answer
The most successful jockey of the Victorian era (2,748 winners, including five Derbies); committed suicide by gunshot in 1886, aged 29, suffering from depression after the death of his wife Click to show or hide the answer
Appeared twice in the same episode of Top of the Pops in 1982: first singing We Have a Dream with the Scotland World Cup squad, and then alongside his Spurs teammates and Chas and Dave for Tottenham, Tottenham Click to show or hide the answer
Played cricket for Leicestershire and football for Doncaster Rovers on the same day (in 1975); next day completed a century and took three wickets; played 117 League games for Huddersfield Town and 376 for Carlisle United, before ending his career at Doncaster and then Queen of the South; also played two Tests for England Click to show or hide the answer
Scottish skier: stripped of his bronze medal at the 2002 Winter Olympics after testing positive for drugs ingested from a Vick's inhaler Click to show or hide the answer
Former cricketer and umpire: subject of a statue unveiled in Barnsley in 2009 Click to show or hide the answer
Claimed he ate over 1,000 Chicken McNuggets during the ten days of the Beijing Olympics Click for more information Click to show or hide the answer
Australian cricketer, reputed to have drunk 52 cans of beer on the flight from Sydney to London in 1989 Click for more information Click to show or hide the answer
Born Georgetown, Guyana 1928; one of the pacemakers (along with Chris Chataway) for Roger Bannister's four–minute mile (1954); won the 3,000 metre steeplechase at the 1956 Olympic Games in Melbourne; launched a revolutionary walking boot (with the comfort of a running shoe), 1978. Founded the London Marathon in 1981, along with the Welsh steeplechaser John Disley. He and Disley were instrumental in popularising the sport of orienteering in the UK; died in 2003 aged 74 Click to show or hide the answer
Controversial motor racing team manager (Benetton, Renault) – forced to resign 2009 after claims that Renault driver Nelson Piquet Jr. was ordered to engineer a crash to benefit his team mate Fernando Alonso; also chairman of Queens Park Rangers FC, 2007–10 Click to show or hide the answer
Ivory Coast rugby player left paralysed for life after the 1995 World Cup Click to show or hide the answer
Olympic 400m hurdles champion, 1928; originator of, and still the only man ever to complete, the Great Court Run at Trinity College Cambridge (as featured in the film Chariots of Fire – although the scene in the film, where Harold Abrahams beats a character based on Lord Burleigh, is fictitious) Click to show or hide the answer
Arrested for shoplifting in 1993 and possession of marijuana in 1994, aged 17 and 18, during a 14–month break from tennis; became world No. 1 in 2001 Click to show or hide the answer
Named Britain's Brainiest Footballer in a TV quiz, in 2002 (when playing for QPR); appeared on Countdown, winning two games, in 2010 (while Burnley captain); retired 2013, aged 33. Twice banned from driving for drink–driving (2011 and 2015); hospitalised for several weeks after being hit by a lorry in December 2014, two days after the second drink–driving episode, in what he later admitted was a suicide attempt Click to show or hide the answer
Leading British tennis player, 1986–92; later became a versatile TV presenter Click to show or hide the answer
Former England footballer (retired 1986), obtained a racehorse trainer's licence 1990 and enjoyed considerable success; seriously injured in 2008, in a car crash in which a friend died Click to show or hide the answer
Carried the Olympic torch on part of its journey to Melbourne in 1956; became a pofessional snooker player in 1963 Click for more information Click to show or hide the answer
Dominated women's tennis, 1951–4; retired aged 19 after a riding accident in which her leg was crushed by a truck; died of stomach cancer in 1969, aged 34 Click to show or hide the answer
Former Test cricketer (West Indies), became rector of St. Andrews University in 1968 Click to show or hide the answer
The first (and, up to 2015, only) boxer to be knighted Click to show or hide the answer
South Africa cricket captain, banned for life 2000 for his part in a match fixing scandal; died in a plane crash in 2002 Click to show or hide the answer
Olympic gold medallist 1964 (2–man bob with Tony Nash) – succeeded as Lord Glentoran 1998 Click to show or hide the answer
Played hockey for England, 1899; British ladies golf champion; Olympic silver in archery; 5 times Wimbledon singles champion; died 1990 Click to show or hide the answer
US competitor: the only person to win golds in the Summer and Winter Olympics (in a summer and a winter event – Boxing, light–heavyweight, Antwerp 1912; four–man bobsleigh, Lake Placid 1924) Click for more information Click to show or hide the answer
Footballer killed in the Munich disaster 1958, commemorated by two stained glass windows in his local church – St. Francis's, Dudley Click to show or hide the answer
Welsh rugby legend, who in 1989 set a record for the biggest pike caught in British waters (the record was beaten in 1992) Click to show or hide the answer
Colombian footballer, shot dead on returning home after scoring an own goal against USA in the 1990 World Cup finals Click to show or hide the answer
WBC middleweight champion 1990, WBO middleweight champion 1990–1, WBO super middleweight champion 1991–5; known for his eccentricities, cultivating a persona outside the ring as an English country gentleman (jodhpurs, tweed jacket, cane, bowler hat, riding boots, monocle); named Britain's best–dressed man, 1991 and 1993; bought the Lord of the Manor rights in Brighton at auction in 1996; first person ever evicted from the Celebrity Big Brother house (2001) Click to show or hide the answer
Former motor racing champion held hostage by Castro's revolutionaries in Cuba Click to show or hide the answer
Premiership footballer, denied involvement in vandalising the Blue Peter garden in 1984, when aged 17 Click to show or hide the answer
Famous British explorer: completed seven marathons on seven continents in seven days, in 2003 Click to show or hide the answer
Gave his name to a lean, mean grilling machine (manufactured by Russell Hobbs, Inc. – apparently a different company from the British brand of the same name) Click to show or hide the answer
England Test cricketer and Oxford blue; played for Southampton in the FA Cup final; played football once for England; shared the world long jump record, 1893–4; offered the throne of Albania Click to show or hide the answer
New York Yankees (baseball) star, 1923–39, died of amyotropic lateral sclerosis – the same disease that Stephen Hawking suffers from – which is now known in the USA by his name. Yankees retired his jersey number (4) after his death in 1941 – the first instance in world sport of this custom Click to show or hide the answer
British 100m breast stroke gold medallist at the 1980 Olympics – famous for his total lack of hair, caused by alopecia universalis; later revealed that he was dyslexic, and became a familiar media personality and motivational speaker Click to show or hide the answer
Born Los Angeles, 1959; set world records for the women's 100m and 200m, in 1988, both of which still stand (Feb 2012); died in her sleep in 1998, during an epileptic fit, aged 38 Click to show or hide the answer
World featherweight champion, 1995–2000: jailed for 15 months in 2006, and later stripped of his MBE, after being convicted of dangerous driving Click to show or hide the answer
Barred from competitive ice skating after admitting interference in an investigation into a kneecap attack on her rival Nancy Kerrigan (1994); later became a successful boxer, turning professional 2003 Click to show or hide the answer
The man behind the Hawk–Eye ball tracking system Click to show or hide the answer
Managed Steve Davis from 1976; founded Matchroom Sport to manage other snooker stars; later moved into boxing, managing Chris Eubank and Lennox Lewis (amongst others); chairman of Leyton Orient FC from 1995 Click to show or hide the answer
Snooker player involved in match fixing allegations made by the News of the World, May 2010 Click to show or hide the answer
Former Brtish army physical training instructor and judo champion, won two Olympic golds in 2004 (Athens) Click to show or hide the answer
Snooker player died in 2006, five days before his 28th birthday Click to show or hide the answer
US athlete (1976 Olympic decathlon champion): married Kris Kardashian in 1991, thus becoming stepfather to the Kardashian sisters; divorced in 2015 and changed gender, taking the name Caitlyn Click to show or hide the answer
Canadian sprinter: stripped of the men's 100m gold medal in Seoul, 1988, after testing positive for an anabolic steroid Click to show or hide the answer
US athlete, jailed for 6 months in January 2008 for perjury relating to her use of steroids Click to show or hide the answer
Footballer, had a hit in 1979 with Head Over Heels In Love Click to show or hide the answer
Described by John McEnroe in 2006 as "the single most important person in the history of women's sports" Click to show or hide the answer
Sky Sports commentator and former England, Essex and Warwickshire opening batsman: middle name Verity, and is a distant relative of the Yorkshire slow left–arm bowler Hedley Verity, who was killed in action in World War Two aged 38 Click to show or hide the answer
England cricketer, born in South Africa in 1954: appeared on television alongside Ian Botham in adverts for British meat Click to show or hide the answer
Footballer, reported by Mensa in 2009 to have scored "one of the highest set of marks ever recorded by the company doing the tests" (in IQ tests carried out during neurological research by his club's doctor) Click to show or hide the answer
Austrian former F1 motor racing driver, set up a budget airline 2003 and gave it his first name Click to show or hide the answer
Boxing manager and trainer, associated with Frank Bruno, Joe Calzaghe, Jim Watt, John L. Gardner, Charlie Magri, Maurice Hope, John H. Stracey (among others) – died in hospital in Marbella, Spain, Christmas Eve 2009, aged 76 Click to show or hide the answer
Lewis Hamilton (full name Lewis Carl Davidson Hamilton) was named after Click to show or hide the answer
Captain of the Leicestershire Schools cricket team, 1977–82 (aged 11 to 16); interviewed selling fruit and veg at his parents' market stall on Football Focus in 1985 (aged 24) Click to show or hide the answer
Died mysteriously at his home in Las Vegas, 1971, aged 39 (while still competing); cause of death controversially recorded as a heroin overdose Click to show or hide the answer
Hugh Cecil Lowther is better known, in the world of boxing, as Click to show or hide the answer
Banned from competing in the 1994 World Cup after testing positive for 5 different recreational drugs Click to show or hide the answer
Last to gain full England caps at both football (Arsenal 1951–5, 1 cap 1951) and cricket (Gloucestershire 1948–74, 6 caps 1958–9); died 2007 Click to show or hide the answer
Scottish boxer, died 1995 as a result of injuries sustained in a fight Click to show or hide the answer
Danish athlete, 1866–1955, devised (and gave his name to) a form of artificial respiration; also drew up the first modern set of rules for handball Click to show or hide the answer
Former world heavyweight champion, appeared in the 1975 film Mandingo Click to show or hide the answer
Successfully sank a record putt, claimed to have travelled 9.232 miles, on the way to the 1999 Ryder Cup Click for more information Click to show or hide the answer
29 Rugby Union caps for Ireland, 1955–70, and 10 for the British Lions; led the controversial Independent News & Media Group, 1973–2009; chairman and CEO of H. J. Heinz (1979–98); said to be Ireland's first billionaire; declared bankrupt in 2015 by a court in the Bahamas Click to show or hide the answer
Came 5th in the modern pentathlon at the 1912 Olympics Click to show or hide the answer
Olympic swimming champion, beat Terry Wogan's record for the longest successful putt on TV, in 2012, with a 53–yard putt in the pro–am Alfred Dunhill Links Championship Click to show or hide the answer
Sentenced to 3 years' imprisonment for tax irregularities, 1987; later stripped of his OBE Click to show or hide the answer
Controversial South African runner: born 1986 with absence of the fibula in both legs, had both legs amputated aged 11 months; runs on carbon fibre "blades"; ruled ineligible for IAAF competitions January 2008, decision reversed by the Court of Arbitration for Sport May 2008; failed to qualify for the 2008 Olympics; qualified for London 2012, reaching the semi–final of the individual 400m and being part of the South African team that finished last in the final of the 4 x 400m relay (qualifying on appeal after failing to finish in the semi–final); sentenced to 5 years imprisonment in 2014 for fatally shooting his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp on St. Valentine's Day 2013 Click to show or hide the answer
John Sholto Douglas (1844–1900) is better known in the world of boxing, as Click to show or hide the answer
British tennis player, cleared after testing positive for nandrolone 2004 Click to show or hide the answer
Welsh footballer: appeared in an advert for milk, that also mentioned Accrington Stanley Click to show or hide the answer
Mo Farah's US coach from 2011, named in a BBC Panorama investigation into doping allegations Click to show or hide the answer
Serbian women's no. 1 tennis player, took two years out of the game (during which time she became a US citizen) after being stabbed in the back by Gunter Parche, a fan of her German rival Steffi Graf, in Hamburg April 1993 Click to show or hide the answer
South African 800m runner, subject of a gender controversy following her victory in the 2009 world championships Click to show or hide the answer
The Brazilian government declared three days of national mourning in 1994, following the death of Click to show or hide the answer
Played 16 games for Manchester United (1972–5), and 61 for Huddersfield Town; played for Yorkshire 1973–91, and one Test match for England (1985); his son Ryan played cricket for Yorkshire, Nottinghamshire and England Click to show or hide the answer
Yorkshire–based show jumper who gave his name to the two–fingered salute Click to show or hide the answer
Won a gold medal in the Olympic rowing eights, 1924 Click to show or hide the answer
Won an FA Cup winner's medal in 1964 (in goal for West Ham), and played in the Worcestershire team that won the County Championship in 1964 and 1965 Click to show or hide the answer
Canadian snooker player (world championship semi–finalist, 1980 and 1984): always played in a white or cream–coloured suit; admitted in 1986 that he was addicted to cocaine, after being accused by Silvino Francisco (South Africa) of taking stimulants during a match Click to show or hide the answer
Former Manchester City and England goalkeeper, died in the Munich air crash (reported on United's game against Red Star Belgrade for the News of the World) Click to show or hide the answer
Award–winning sports journalist and commentator: was English No. 1 in table tennis; competed for Great Britain in two Olympiads (Barcelona 1992 and Sydney 2000); began writing for The Times in 1999 Click to show or hide the answer
England spin bowler: lost four toes in a boating accident while on tour in the West Indies, 1968 Click to show or hide the answer
Manchester City goalkeeper, former German soldier and PoW Click to show or hide the answer
World heavyweight boxing champion 1926–8: married socialite and Carnegie heiress Polly Lauder; friends with Ernest Hemingway (who regularly sparred with him) and George Bernard Shaw; son John became Senator for California Click to show or hide the answer
British boxer, born Leamington Spa 1925, defeated Sugar Ray Robinson 1951 to become world middleweight champion; shot himself 16 May 1966, aged 38 Click to show or hide the answer
First player to represent his country in the World Cups of two different sports in the same year (Namibia, 2003, cricket & rugby) Click to show or hide the answer
Former boxer, famous for banging the gong at the start of J. Arthur Rank's films Click to show or hide the answer
New Zealand rugby international in both League and Union, also fought and won six professional boxing matches between 2009 and 2013 Click to show or hide the answer
Appeared on the pitch before England's football match in Tirana, in 2001, wearing a shirt that combined those of both the home nation and the visitors Click to show or hide the answer
Kalika Moquin, Rachel Uchitel, Loredana Jolie Ferriolo, Raychel Coudriet and Jaimee Grubbs are among 120 women who have allegedly had affairs with Click to show or hide the answer
Pakistan coach and former England test batsman, found dead in his hotel room on the day of Pakistan's elimination from the 2007 World Cup; police launched a murder investigation, but later retracted; inquest returned an open verdict Click to show or hide the answer

Sir Alec Douglas–Home, Sir Douglas Bader and Sir Geoff Hurst Click to show or hide the answer

© Haydn Thompson 2017–18