Famous 20th Century British Sportspersons

Find out more about the greatest 20th Century British Sportspersons, including Jamie Vardy, Charles Salvador, David Beckham, Lewis Hamilton and Wayne Rooney.

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 David Beckham

David Beckham.
61
Famous As: Former English Footballer
Birthdate: May 2, 1975
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Leytonstone, London, England
David Beckham is a former English footballer who was football superstar on-field and a heartthrob off-field. A former player for Manchester United, Real Madrid and Milan, among others, Beckham was a free-kick specialist, a brilliant crosser of the ball and the first English player to win league titles in four countries. His passion for football, charisma and fashion style have made him an international sensation.  

 2 Wayne Rooney

Wayne Rooney.
36
Famous As: Footballer
Birthdate: October 24, 1985
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Croxteth, Liverpool, England, United Kingdom

Regarded as one of the best football players of the current era, Wayne Rooney is the record goal-scorer for the Manchester United FC and England national team. Originally a boxer, Wayne continues to pursue boxing as a recreational activity. Wayne has been controversy's favorite child for many years now; from allegations of infidelity to legal issues, he has faced them all!

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 3 Mo Farah

Mo Farah.
10
Famous As: Athlete
Birthdate: March 23, 1983
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Mogadishu
Long-distance runner Mo Farah shot to fame with his 10,000-meter and 5,000-meter wins at the 2012 London Olympics. The first athlete to score a quadruple double, Farah has won 10 major international titles. He became the European Athlete of the Year thrice and has also received the CBE.

 4 James Hunt

James Hunt.
7
Famous As: Racing driver
Birthdate: August 29, 1947
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Belmont, Surrey, England,
Died: June 15, 1993

James Hunt was a British racing driver who earned the nickname 'Hunt the Shunt' for his action-packed and often reckless exploits on the track. In 1976, he won the Formula One World Championship in his first year with McLaren, which inspired several teenagers to take up motor racing. James Hunt has inspired racers, such as Kimi Räikkönen.

 5 George Best

George Best.
11
Famous As: Footballer
Birthdate: May 22, 1946
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Belfast
Died: November 25, 2005
Manchester United winger/midfielder George Best was the 1968 European Footballer of the Year and was placed sixth on the FIFA Player of the Century list. A skilled dribbler, the Northern Irish player was also known for his stunning good looks and his affinity for women and alcohol. 

 6 Alan Shearer

Alan Shearer.
6
Famous As: Football Player
Birthdate: August 13, 1970
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Gosforth, England
Former Newcastle United striker Alan Shearer has also worked as a BBC football pundit and a football manager. The Euro 1996 Golden Boot-winner has also represented Southampton and Blackburn Rovers, winning the 1994-1995 Premier League with the latter. With 260 goals, he became the Premier League’s leading goal-scorer.

 7 Gary Lineker

Gary Lineker.
17
Famous As: Footballer
Birthdate: November 30, 1960
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Leicester

Gary Lineker is a British former football player who currently works as a sports broadcaster. Considered one of the greatest British strikers of all time, Gary Lineker is the third-highest goal-scorer for England. During his 16-year playing career, Lineker never received a red or yellow card, due to which he was honored with the FIFA Fair Play Award in 1990.

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 8 Scott Adkins

Scott Adkins
11
Famous As: Actor, Martial artist, Film actor, Taekwondo athlete
Birthdate: June 17, 1976
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Sutton Coldfield

Scott Adkins is an English actor, producer, and screenwriter. He is a trained gymnast and martial artist and is best known for his action films. He played Casey Bowman in the film Ninja and its sequel Ninja: Shadow of a Tear. He considers Jean-Claude Van Damme to be his idol and has appeared in four films with him.  

 9 Lennox Lewis

Lennox Lewis.
9
Famous As: Professional boxer
Birthdate: September 2, 1965
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: West Ham, London, England
Three-time world heavyweight champion Lennox Lewis also won the super heavyweight gold for Canada at the Seoul Olympics in 1988. He has won numerous accolades, including the CBE and the BBC Sports Personality of the Year. He has been named as the sixth-best heavyweight boxer of all time by BoxRec.

 10 Bobby Charlton

Bobby Charlton.
6
Famous As: Football Player
Birthdate: October 11, 1937
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Ashington, Northumberland, Englan

Widely considered one of the greatest players ever, Bobby Charlton was an important member of the England national football team that emerged victorious at the 1966 FIFA World Cup. The recipient of several prestigious awards, including the Ballon d'Or, Charlton received a knighthood in 1994. He is the second-highest goalscorer for England.

 11 Jenson Button

Jenson Button
5
Famous As: Formula One driver
Birthdate: January 19, 1980
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Frome, England

 12 Tyson Fury

Tyson Fury
11
Famous As: Boxer
Birthdate: August 12, 1988
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Wythenshawe, Manchester, England

 13 James Anderson

James Anderson
4
Famous As: Cricketer
Birthdate: July 30, 1982
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Burnley, Lancashire, England

 14 Joe Calzaghe

Joe Calzaghe
5
Famous As: Boxer
Birthdate: March 23, 1972
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Hammersmith

 15 Jason Statham

Jason Statham.
4
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: July 26, 1967
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Shirebrook. England

One of Hollywood's most important action heroes, Jason Statham debuted with Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels and later starred in more action film series like The Transporter, The Expendables and The Fast and the Furious. The martial artist, known for performing most of his own stunts himself, was once a world class diver, fashion model and black-market salesman.

 16 Nigel Mansell

Nigel Mansell
6
Famous As: Formula One driver
Birthdate: August 8, 1953
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Upton-upon-Severn, England

 17 David Coulthard

David Coulthard.
6
Famous As: Racecar Driver
Birthdate: March 27, 1971
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Twynholm
Former race-car driver David Coulthard, also known as DC, gained fame for his 15-season stint with Formula One. He has 13 Grand Prix wins and 62 podium finishes to his credit. Following his retirement from F1, he worked a BBC commentator and later joined the Deutsche Tourenwagen Masters series.

 18 Alistair Overeem

Alistair Overeem
8
Famous As: Mixed martial artist, Kickboxer
Birthdate: May 17, 1980
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Hounslow, England

 19 Steven Gerrard

Steven Gerrard.
13
Famous As: Football Player
Birthdate: May 30, 1980
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Whiston
Steven Gerrard spent most of his career as a Liverpool midfielder and also captained Liverpool and the English national team. His phenomenal performance in the 2006 FA Cup Final led it to be called The Gerrard Final. The Order of the British Empire member now manages the Scottish club Rangers.

 20 Stirling Moss

Stirling Moss.
4
Famous As: Racing Driver
Birthdate: September 17, 1929
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: West Kensington, London, England
Died: April 12, 2020

British Formula One race-car driver Stirling Moss won several contests such as the British Grand Prix and the New Zealand Grand Prix. He was inducted into the International Motorsports Hall of Fame, too. He later had a broadcasting career with Wide World of Sports and narrated Roary the Racing Car.

 21 Gareth Southgate

Gareth Southgate
6
Famous As: Football manager
Birthdate: September 3, 1970
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Watford, Hertfordshire, England, UK

Gareth Southgate is an English football manager. A former player, he used to play as a defender and midfielder for Aston Villa, Middlesbrough, and Crystal Palace. He retired in 2006, after more than 500 league appearances and began his stint as a football manager. He has been managing the England national team since 2016. 

 22 Adam Peaty

Adam Peaty
4
Famous As: Swimmer
Birthdate: December 28, 1994
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Uttoxeter Uttoxeter, England

 23 Jack Grealish

Jack Grealish
11
Famous As: Association football player
Birthdate: September 10, 1995
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Birmingham, England

Jack Grealish is an English professional footballer. At present, he is affiliated with Premier League club Manchester City and the England national team. He plays as a  winger or attacking midfielder. He joined the Highgate United Youth Club as a boy and started playing professionally as a teenager. He is known for his ability to run and dribble past defenders. 

 24 Damon Hill

Damon Hill
4
Famous As: Formula One driver, Businessperson
Birthdate: September 17, 1960
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: London, England

 25 Michael Bisping

Michael Bisping
17
Famous As: Mixed martial artist, Kickboxer, Thai boxer
Birthdate: February 28, 1979
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Nicosia, Cyprus

 26 Colin McRae

Colin McRae
4
Famous As: Co-driver, Racecar driver
Birthdate: August 5, 1968
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Lanark
Died: September 15, 2007

 27 John Terry

John Terry
7
Famous As: Association football player
Birthdate: December 7, 1980
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Barking

 28 Ashley Cole

Ashley Cole
8
Famous As: Association football player
Birthdate: December 20, 1980
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Stepney

 29 James Milner

James Milner
6
Famous As: Footballer
Birthdate: January 4, 1986
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Wortley, Leeds, England

 30 Trent Alexander-Arnold

Trent Alexander-Arnold
5
Famous As: Association football player
Birthdate: October 7, 1998
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Liverpool, England

 31 Harry Maguire

Harry Maguire
5
Famous As: Football player
Birthdate: March 5, 1993
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Sheffield, England

 32 Rio Ferdinand

Rio Ferdinand
5
Famous As: Football player
Birthdate: November 7, 1978
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Camberwell, England

 33 Jermain Defoe

Jermain Defoe
6
Famous As: Association football player
Birthdate: October 7, 1982
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Beckton

 34 Naseem Hamed

Naseem Hamed
5
Famous As: Boxer
Birthdate: February 12, 1974
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Sheffield

 35 Chris Eubank

Chris Eubank
9
Famous As: Boxer
Birthdate: August 8, 1966
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Dulwich

 36 Ian Botham

Ian Botham
7
Famous As: Cricketer
Birthdate: November 24, 1955
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Heswall, Cheshire, England

 37 Gordon Banks

Gordon Banks
4
Famous As: Football player
Birthdate: December 30, 1937
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Sheffield, England
Died: February 12, 2019

 38 Billy Joe Saunders

Billy Joe Saunders
4
Famous As: Boxer
Birthdate: August 30, 1989
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Hertfordshire

 39 Andrew Flintoff

Andrew Flintoff
7
Famous As: Cricketer
Birthdate: December 6, 1977
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Preston, Lancashire, England, UK

 40 Fred Perry

Fred Perry.
4
Famous As: Tennis player
Birthdate: May 18, 1909
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Stockport, England
Died: February 2, 1995

Fred Perry was a British tennis player. A former world No. 1, Perry won three successive Wimbledon Championships from 1934. He won eight Grand Slam tournaments, including a Career Grand Slam. He was the first player and only British player to date to achieve a Career Grand Slam. Also a table tennis player, Perry was the world champion in 1929.

 41 Dillian Whyte

Dillian Whyte
6
Famous As: Boxer
Birthdate: April 11, 1988
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Port Antonio, Jamaica

 42 Jim Clark

Jim Clark
4
Famous As: Formula One driver, Farmer
Birthdate: March 4, 1936
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Fife
Died: April 7, 1968

 43 Ben Stokes

Ben Stokes
6
Famous As: Cricketer
Birthdate: June 4, 1991
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Christchurch

 44 Kyle Walker

Kyle Walker
4
Famous As: Association football player
Birthdate: May 28, 1990
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Sheffield

 45 Aaron Ramsey

Aaron Ramsey
5
Famous As: Footballer
Birthdate: December 26, 1990
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Caerphilly, Gwent, Wales

 46 Charles Salvador

Charles Salvador
4
Famous As: Poet, Autobiographer, Boxer
Birthdate: December 6, 1952
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Luton

 47 Keith Flint

Keith Flint.
6
Famous As: Vocalist
Birthdate: September 17, 1969
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Redbridge, London, England
Died: March 4, 2019
Keith Flint, founding member of the electronic dance group The Prodigy, has delivered international hits such as Firestarter and Breathe. He later led the band Flint. He also owned a motorcycle racing team that became Isle of Man TT champions four times. He is known for his tattoos and piercings.

 48 Denise Lewis

Denise Lewis
3
Famous As: Athletics competitor
Birthdate: August 27, 1972
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: West Bromwich

Denise Lewis is a British sports commentator and former athlete. She won the heptathlon gold medal at the 2000 Sydney Olympics and became the first European to win Olympic gold in the heptathlon. A two-time Commonwealth Games champion, Lewis also won silver medals in the 1997 and 1999 World Championships. She was also the 1998 European Champion. 

 49 Ashley Young

Ashley Young
5
Famous As: Association football player
Birthdate: July 9, 1985
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Stevenage

 50 Tammy Abraham

Tammy Abraham
16
Famous As: Association football player
Birthdate: October 2, 1997
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Camberwell, England

Tammy Abraham is an English footballer. He currently plays as a striker for Serie A club Roma and the England national team. He is an academy graduate of Chelsea and made his first-team debut for the club in 2016. Since then, he has played for Bristol City and Aston Villa, scoring 25 goals in a single campaign for the team.