Famous 20th Century Australian Sportspersons

Find out more about the greatest 20th Century Australian Sportspersons, including Kyrie Irving, Shane Warne, Jarryd Hayne, Tim Cahill and Peter Norman.

This ranking is based on an algorithm that combines various factors, including the votes of our users and search trends on the internet.

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 1 Daniel Ricciardo

Daniel Ricciardo
31
Famous As: Racecar driver
Birthdate: July 1, 1989
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Perth, Australia

Daniel Ricciardo is an Italian-Australian racing driver. He currently competes in Formula One for McLaren. Over the years, Ricciardo has had eight Grand Prix victories, including a win at the 2021 Italian Grand Prix, in Formula One. He has also received several awards like BRDC The Bruce McLaren Trophy. In 2014, he was named GQ Australia Sportsman of the Year.

 2 Sir Donald Bradman

Sir Donald Bradman
12
Famous As: Greatest Batsmen Ever
Birthdate: August 27, 1908
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Cootamundra, New South Wales, Australia
Died: February 25, 2001

Australian cricketer, Sir Donald Bradman, is widely acknowledged as the greatest batsman of all time. He started playing cricket as a young man and scored numerous records within a few years. In a career spanning around two decades, he retired with a career test batting average of 99.94. He retained a pre-eminent position in the game for decades following his retirement. 

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 3 Shane Warne

Shane Warne
7
Famous As: Cricketer
Birthdate: September 13, 1969
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Upper Ferntree Gully

Shane Warne is an Australian retired cricket player best known for his leg-break bowling. Widely regarded as one of the greatest spin bowlers of all time, Warne is the second-highest wicket-taker in international test match cricket. He was also one of the most controversial cricketers. In 2013, Shane Warne was inducted into the ICC Cricket Hall of Fame.

 4 Rod Laver

Rod Laver
8
Famous As: Tennis player
Birthdate: August 9, 1938
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Rockhampton

Australian former tennis player Rod Laver is widely regarded to be one of the greatest tennis players of all time. He was ranked world No. 1 in nine different years. He holds 200 singles titles--the most in tennis history. He excelled on a variety of court surfaces: grass, clay, hard, carpet, and wood/parquet. The Laver Cup Tournament is named after him.

 5 Greg Norman

Greg Norman
4
Famous As: Australian Golfer
Birthdate: February 10, 1955
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Mount Isa, Queensland, Australia

Greg Norman is an Australian retired professional golfer and entrepreneur. One of the greatest Australian golfers ever, Norman was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 2001. In 2009, he was named in Queensland's Q150 Icons list as a sports legend. Also a philanthropist, Norman established the Greg Norman Golf Foundation, which provides guidance to students.

 6 Mark Webber

Mark Webber
7
Famous As: Racing driver
Birthdate: August 27, 1976
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Queanbeyan, Australia

Mark Webber is an Australian former racing driver. From 2002 to 2013, Webber competed in Formula One, winning the 2010 British Grand Prix. From 2014 to 2016, he competed in the FIA World Endurance Championship, winning the 2015 season for Porsche alongside Timo Bernhard and Brendon Hartley. In 2019, Mark Webber was inducted into the FIA Hall of Fame.

 7 Glenn McGrath

Glenn McGrath
5
Famous As: Cricketer
Birthdate: February 9, 1970
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Dubbo, New South Wales, Australia

Glenn McGrath is an Australian former international cricketer. A fast-medium pace bowler, he is considered one of the greatest Australian international bowlers of all time. He played international cricket for 14 years and was a leading contributor to Australia's domination of world cricket in the 1990s and 2000s. He is currently the director of MRF Pace Foundation. 

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 8 Cathy Freeman

Cathy Freeman
7
Famous As: Sprinter
Birthdate: February 16, 1973
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Slade Point, Mackay, Queensland

Cathy Freeman is a former sprinter known for her achievements in the 400 meters events. Her personal best of 48.63, set at the 1996 Olympics, makes her the eighth-fastest woman of all time. She gave Australia an Olympic gold at the 2000 Olympics. Also a humanitarian, Freeman is credited with founding the Cathy Freeman Foundation.

 9 Evonne Goolagong Cawley

Evonne Goolagong Cawley
6
Famous As: Tennis player
Birthdate: July 31, 1951
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Griffith, New South Wales, Australia

 10 Adam Gilchrist

Adam Gilchrist
6
Famous As: Cricketer
Birthdate: November 14, 1971
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Bellingen

 11 Steve Waugh

Steve Waugh
4
Famous As: Cricketer
Birthdate: June 2, 1965
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Canterbury

 12 Alexander Volkanovski

Alexander Volkanovski
13
Famous As: Mixed martial artist
Birthdate: September 29, 1988
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Shellharbour City Council, Australia

Alexander Volkanovski is an Australian mixed martial artist who currently competes in the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC). Volkanovski is the current featherweight champion in UFC and is currently ranked fourth in the UFC men's pound-for-pound list. Alexander Volkanovski has had one successful title defense and one Fight of the Night honor in his UFC career so far.

 13 Pat Rafter

Pat Rafter
4
Famous As: Tennis Player
Birthdate: December 28, 1972
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Mount Isa

Pat Rafter became the first Australian male in the Open Era to win consecutive US Open titles. The former ATP singles number 1 is also the only person with an undefeated record against tennis legend Roger Federer and is remembered for his politeness and his habit of saying “Sorry, mate.”

 14 Dennis Lillee

Dennis Lillee
3
Famous As: Cricketer
Birthdate: July 18, 1949
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Perth

 15 Ken Rosewall

Ken Rosewall
4
Famous As: Tennis player
Birthdate: November 2, 1934
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Sydney, Australia

 16 Timothy F. Cahill

Timothy F. Cahill
11
Famous As: Footballer
Birthdate: December 6, 1979
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Sydney, Australia

Australian former professional footballer Timothy F. Cahill was known for "his aggressive and powerful approach and his ability to head the ball in the penalty area" during his playing years. Having scored 50 goals in 108 caps, he is the all-time leading goalscorer for the Australia national team. Currently, he works as a pundit for BBC Sport and Sky Sports. 

 17 Jack Brabham

Jack Brabham
3
Famous As: Formula One driver, Directeur sportif
Birthdate: April 2, 1926
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Hurstville
Died: May 19, 2014

 18 Andrew Bogut

Andrew Bogut
7
Famous As: Basketball player
Birthdate: November 28, 1984
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

 19 Roy Emerson

Roy Emerson
3
Famous As: Tennis Player
Birthdate: November 3, 1936
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Blackbutt, Queensland

Roy Emerson is a former tennis player from Australia. A former world No. 1, Emerson won 16 Grand Slam doubles titles and 12 Grand Slam singles titles, which includes a career Grand Slam in both singles and doubles. Emerson went on to achieve another career Grand Slam, becoming the first man to complete a double career Grand Slam in singles.

 20 Peyton Royce

Peyton Royce
20
Famous As: Professional wrestler
Birthdate: November 10, 1992
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Sydney, Australia

 21 Nathan Jones

Nathan Jones
9
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: August 21, 1967
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Gold Coast, Australia

 22 Phillip Hughes

Phillip Hughes
12
Famous As: Cricketer
Birthdate: November 30, 1988
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Macksville
Died: November 27, 2014

 23 Allan Border

Allan Border
3
Famous As: Cricketer
Birthdate: July 27, 1955
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Cremorne, Australia

 24 Greg Chappell

Greg Chappell
3
Famous As: Cricketer
Birthdate: August 7, 1948
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Unley

 25 Patty Mills

Patty Mills
5
Famous As: Baseball player, Basketball player
Birthdate: August 11, 1988
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Canberra

 26 Mitchell Starc

Mitchell Starc
4
Famous As: Cricketer
Birthdate: January 30, 1990
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Baulkham Hills, Sydney, Australia

Mitchell Starc is an Australian international cricketer. He plays for the Australian national team in international cricket and New South Wales in domestic cricket. Primarily a left-arm fast bowler, he is also a capable lower-order left-handed batsman. He was part of the Australian squad that won the 2015 Cricket World Cup. He is married to fellow cricketer Alyssa Healy. 

 27 Dawn Fraser

Dawn Fraser
4
Famous As: Swimmer
Birthdate: September 4, 1937
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Balmain

Dawn Fraser is an Australian freestyle champion swimmer. She won the Olympic individual event the women's 100-meter freestyle three times in her career. She also won six Commonwealth Games gold medals. Much respected for her athletic abilities, she was also known for her controversial behavior. She became a swimming coach after her retirement. She is also a former politician.

 28 Cadel Evans

Cadel Evans
4
Famous As: Professional Road Racing Cyclist
Birthdate: February 14, 1977
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Katherine

Tour de France-winning Australian cyclist Cadel Evans is also a four-time Olympian. His career took off when he earned a scholarship to the mountain biking program of the Australian Institute of Sport. An avid philanthropist, he has an adopted son from Ethiopia, along with a son from his second wife.

 29 Matthew Dellavedova

Matthew Dellavedova
5
Famous As: Basketball player
Birthdate: September 8, 1990
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Maryborough

 30 Ricky Ponting

Ricky Ponting
5
Famous As: Cricketer
Birthdate: December 19, 1974
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Launceston, Tasmania, Australia

Ricky Ponting is an Australian retired cricket player best known for his abilities as a batsman, fielder, and captain. Widely regarded as one of the modern-time greats, Ponting is the leading run-scorer for Australia in Test and ODI cricket. Ponting captained the Australian Test team between 2004 and 2011 and is considered one of the most successful cricket captains of all time.

 31 Lleyton Hewitt

Lleyton Hewitt
8
Famous As: Tennis player
Birthdate: February 24, 1981
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Adelaide

Lleyton Hewitt is an Australian professional tennis player and a former world No. 1. He has won one Wimbledon, one U.S. Open and one U.S. Open doubles title. The son of a sportsman, he developed an early interest in different kinds of sports and decided to pursue tennis professionally. He has been involved in several controversies. 

 32 Ian Thorpe

Ian Thorpe
6
Famous As: Swimmer, Autobiographer
Birthdate: October 13, 1982
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Sydney

Ian Thorpe is an Australian retired swimmer who won five Olympic gold medals. He predominantly competed in freestyle but was also skilled at backstroke and the individual medley. He emerged as the most successful athlete at the 2000 Summer Olympics, with three gold and two silver medals. He is openly gay and often talks about the challenges of being homosexual. 

 33 Michael Clarke

Michael Clarke
4
Famous As: cricketer
Birthdate: April 2, 1981
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Liverpool

 34 Jeff Horn

Jeff Horn
6
Famous As: Boxer
Birthdate: February 4, 1988
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Brisbane, Queensland, Australia

Jeff Horn is an Australian professional boxer. He held the WBO welterweight title from 2017 to 2018. He represented Australia at the 2012 Olympics as an amateur and reached the quarterfinals of the light-welterweight bracket. He made his professional debut the following year. He moved up to middleweight in 2018. He has worked as a physical education teacher as well. 

 35 Buddy Murphy

Buddy Murphy
10
Famous As: Wrestler
Birthdate: September 26, 1988
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Melbourne Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

 36 John Newcombe

John Newcombe
3
Famous As: Tennis Player
Birthdate: May 23, 1944
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Sydney, Australia

 37 Jason Day

Jason Day
6
Famous As: Golfer
Birthdate: November 12, 1987
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Beaudesert, Queensland, Australia

 38 Shane Gould

Shane Gould
3
Famous As: Swimmer
Birthdate: November 23, 1956
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

 39 Stephanie Rice

Stephanie Rice
3
Famous As: Swimmer
Birthdate: June 17, 1988
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Brisbane

 40 Mark Schwarzer

Mark Schwarzer
6
Famous As: Association Football player
Birthdate: October 6, 1972
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

 41 Grant Hackett

Grant Hackett
3
Famous As: Swimmer
Birthdate: May 9, 1980
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Southport

 42 Johnathan Thurston

Johnathan Thurston
7
Famous As: Rugby league player
Birthdate: April 25, 1983
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Brisbane

 43 Israel Folau

Israel Folau
10
Famous As: Australian rules footballer, Rugby league player, Rugby union player
Birthdate: April 3, 1989
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Sydney

 44 Matthew Hayden

Matthew Hayden
4
Famous As: Cricketer
Birthdate: October 29, 1971
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Kingaroy, Queensland, Australia

 45 Mile Jedinak

Mile Jedinak
5
Famous As: Association football player
Birthdate: August 3, 1984
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Sydney

 46 Anthony Mundine

Anthony Mundine
7
Famous As: Professional Boxer
Birthdate: May 21, 1975
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Newtown

Anthony Mundine is an Australian former rugby league footballer and former professional boxer. He competed from 2000 to 2021 as a boxer and held championship titles, such as the WBA super-middleweight title, the IBO middleweight title, and the WBA interim super-welterweight title. Before becoming a boxer, Mundine was a popular figure in the National Rugby League (NRL). 

 47 Leisel Jones

Leisel Jones
3
Famous As: Swimmer
Birthdate: August 30, 1985
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Katherine

 48 Peter Brock

Peter Brock
7
Famous As: Racecar driver, Racing driver
Birthdate: February 26, 1945
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Epworth Hospital
Died: September 8, 2006

 49 Mark Viduka

Mark Viduka
3
Famous As: Association football player
Birthdate: October 9, 1975
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Melbourne

 50 Conan Stevens

Conan Stevens
4
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: October 14, 1975
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Newcastle, New South Wales, Australia