Famous 20th Century British Sportspersons

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Find out more about the greatest 20th Century British Sportspersons, including Jamie Vardy, Charles Salvador, David Beckham, Lewis Hamilton and Wayne Rooney.
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 1 
David Beckham
(Football player)
David Beckham
78
Birthdate: May 2, 1975
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: 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 
Mo Farah
(Athlete)
Mo Farah
16
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.
 3 
James Hunt
(Racing driver)
James Hunt
10
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.

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 4 
Gary Lineker
(Football Player)
Gary Lineker
24
Birthdate: November 30, 1960
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Leicester, England

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.

 5 
Tyson Fury
(British Professional Boxer and Two-Time World Heavyweight Champion)
Tyson Fury
13
Birthdate: August 12, 1988
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Wythenshawe, Manchester, England

A 2-time world heavyweight champion, British Tyson Fury has had an undefeated run in his 32 matches, with 31 wins and 1 unlucky draw in a match against Deontay Wilder. He has also released a bestselling memoir, Behind The Mask, and was named to the Forbes list of the World's Highest-Paid Athletes 2020.

 6 
Jenson Button
(British Racing Driver Who Won the 'Formula One World Championship' title in 2009)
Jenson Button
13
Birthdate: January 19, 1980
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Frome, England

Jenson Button is a British racing driver best known for winning the Formula One World Championship title in 2009. A popular driver, Button is the recipient of several prestigious awards such as the Lorenzo Bandini Trophy and the Hawthorn Memorial Trophy. In 2017, Jenson Button was made an inductee of the FIA Hall of Fame.

 7 
Bobby Charlton
(Football Player)
Bobby Charlton
11
Birthdate: October 11, 1937
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Ashington, Northumberland, England

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.

 8 
Alan Shearer
(Football Player)
Alan Shearer
15
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.
 9 
Jackie Stewart
(British Retired Racecar Driver Who Competed in 'Formula One')
Jackie Stewart
5
Birthdate: June 11, 1939
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Milton, Dunbartonshire, Scotland

Jackie Stewart is a British retired racecar driver who competed in Formula One. He won three World Drivers' Championships between 1965 and 1973. He is best known for playing a key role as a campaigner for better safety measures at motor racing circuits. After retiring from racing, Jackie Stewart appeared as a sports commentator for ABC network.

 10 
Davey Boy Smith
(Professional wrestler)
Davey Boy Smith
16
Birthdate: November 27, 1962
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Manchester, England, UK
Died: May 18, 2002
 11 
David Coulthard
(Racecar Driver)
David Coulthard
9
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.
 12 
Michael Owen
(Football player)
Michael Owen
17
Birthdate: December 14, 1979
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Chester, England
 13 
Steven Gerrard
(Football Player)
Steven Gerrard
21
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.
 14 
Nigel Mansell
(British Formula One Racing Driver and Winner of 1992 World Championship )
Nigel Mansell
7
Birthdate: August 8, 1953
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Upton-upon-Severn, Worcestershire, England
 15 
Scott Adkins
(Actor who gained noteriety for his role as Yuri Boyka in the 2006 film Undisputed 2)
Scott Adkins
14
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.  

 16 
Adam Peaty
(Swimmer)
Adam Peaty
4
Birthdate: December 28, 1994
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Uttoxeter Uttoxeter, England
 17 
Jack Grealish
(Association football player)
Jack Grealish
20
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. 

 18 
Harry Maguire
(Football player)
Harry Maguire
10
Birthdate: March 5, 1993
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Sheffield, England
 19 
Tammy Abraham
(Association football player)
Tammy Abraham
18
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. 

 20 
James Milner
(Footballer)
James Milner
7
Birthdate: January 4, 1986
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Wortley, Leeds, England
 21 
Trent Alexander-Arnold
(Association football player)
Trent Alexander-Arnold
8
Birthdate: October 7, 1998
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Liverpool, England
 22 
Colin McRae
(British Rally Driver Who Died in a Helicopter Crash in 2007)
Colin McRae
5
Birthdate: August 5, 1968
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Lanark
Died: September 15, 2007

Colin McRae was a British rally driver who won the British Rally Championship title in 1991 and 1992. In 1995, he became the youngest person and the first British driver to win the World Rally Championship Drivers' title. Colin McRae's career was cut short by his sudden demise in 2007 when he was killed in a helicopter crash. 

 23 
James Anderson
(Cricketer)
James Anderson
8
Birthdate: July 30, 1982
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Burnley, Lancashire, England
 24 
Gareth Southgate
(British Football Manager and Former Player Who Played as a Defender and Midfielder)
Gareth Southgate
11
Birthdate: September 3, 1970
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Watford, Hertfordshire, England

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. 

 25 
Ian Wright
(Television and Radio Personality and Former Professional Football Striker)
Ian Wright
14
Birthdate: November 3, 1963
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Woolwich, London, United Kingdom

Ian Wright is an English former football player. Renowned for his speed, Wright played for popular clubs like Arsenal and helped his national team qualify for the 1998 FIFA World Cup. After retiring from the sport, Wright went on to become a TV and radio personality; he currently contributes as a commentator for ITV Sport and BBC Sport.

 26 
Aaron Ramsey
(Footballer)
Aaron Ramsey
6
Birthdate: December 26, 1990
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Caerphilly, Gwent, Wales
 27 
Damon Hill
(British Retired Racing Driver Who Won the 1996 'Formula One World Championship' title)
Damon Hill
5
Birthdate: September 17, 1960
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: London, England

Damon Hill is a British retired racing driver best known for winning the Formula One World Championship title in 1996. He is currently a part of the broadcasting team of Sky Sports F1, providing expert analysis. Damon Hill is also known as the son of former Formula One World Champion, Graham Hill.

 28 
Tom Daley
(Diver)
Tom Daley
4
Birthdate: May 21, 1994
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Plymouth, England
 29 
Graham Hill
(British Racing Driver Who Won the 1962 and 1968 'Formula One' World Championship Title)
Graham Hill
3
Birthdate: February 15, 1929
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Hampstead, London, England
Died: November 29, 1975

Graham Hill was a British racing driver remembered for winning the Formula One World Championship title in 1962 and 1968. Counted among the greatest drivers of his era, Hill is the only driver to win the prestigious Triple Crown of Motorsport. Hill is also credited with inspiring his son Damon, who won the Formula One World Championship title in 1996. 

 30 
Kieran Trippier
(Football player)
Kieran Trippier
7
Birthdate: September 19, 1990
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Bury, England
 31 
Andrew Flintoff
(Cricketer)
Andrew Flintoff
10
Birthdate: December 6, 1977
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Preston, Lancashire, England, UK
 32 
Charles Salvador
(British criminal who has been referred to in the British press as the "most violent prisoner in Britain" and "Britain's most notorious prisoner)
Charles Salvador
4
Birthdate: December 6, 1952
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Luton, Bedfordshire, England

Former bare knuckle boxer Charles Salvador, also known as Charles Bronson, is also a highly infamous criminal, who was once convicted for an armed robbery. Known for his violent temper, he later penned several books, one of them on fitness. He is also a talented painter and poet.

 33 
Rio Ferdinand
(Football player)
Rio Ferdinand
9
Birthdate: November 7, 1978
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Camberwell, England
 34 
John Terry
(Association football player)
John Terry
11
Birthdate: December 7, 1980
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Barking
 35 
Jack Wilshere
(Football - Midfielder for England)
Jack Wilshere
6
Birthdate: January 1, 1992
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Stevenage, Hertfordshire, England
 36 
Kyle Walker
(Association football player)
Kyle Walker
6
Birthdate: May 28, 1990
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Sheffield
 37 
Kelly Holmes
(Middle-Distance Runner Who Won Two Golds in the 2004 Olympics in Athens)
Kelly Holmes
4
Birthdate: April 19, 1970
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Pembury, Kent, England

Kelly Holmes is a retired English middle-distance athlete who specialized in the 800 meters and 1,500 meters events. She won gold medals for both distances at the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens. Beginning her career with the British Army, she turned to professional athletics in 1993. She took part in her final major championship in 2004. 

 38 
Denise Lewis
(Athletics competitor)
Denise Lewis
3
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. 

 39 
Fred Perry
(British Tennis & Table Tennis Professional Who has Won Eight Grand Slam Tournaments & Two Pro Slam Singles Titles)
Fred Perry
5
Birthdate: May 18, 1909
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Portwood, 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.

 40 
Ashley Cole
(Association football player)
Ashley Cole
11
Birthdate: December 20, 1980
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Stepney
 41 
Paul Scholes
(Football Player)
Paul Scholes
11
Birthdate: November 16, 1974
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Salford, Greater Manchester, England
Paul Scholes, former Manchester United midfielder, had a 20-year stint with the team, winning major titles, including 11 Premier Leagues, 3 FA Cups, and 2 UEFA Champions Leagues. Over the course of his 718 appearances for the team, he has won 25 trophies. He now coaches Salford City.
 42 
Andy Carroll
(Association football player)
Andy Carroll
4
Birthdate: January 6, 1989
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Gateshead
 43 
Chris Eubank
(British Former Professional Boxer Best Known for His World Title Contests against 'Michael Watson' and 'Nigel Benn')
Chris Eubank
11
Birthdate: August 8, 1966
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Dulwich, London, England

British boxer Chris Eubank has been ranked the third-best super-middleweight boxer of all time in Britain. Initially raised in Jamaica, he later returned to Britain but lived amid poverty and battled drug and alcohol addiction, till he stepped into boxing, inspired by his elder brothers.

 44 
Dillian Whyte
8
Birthdate: April 11, 1988
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Port Antonio, Jamaica

Born in Jamaica, Dillian Whyte moved with his family to the UK as a 12-year-old. Initially a British kickboxing champion, he later moved on to boxing. He was banned for 2 years for consuming a banned drug. He apparently had his first child at age 13, becoming one of the world’s youngest fathers.

 45 
Linford Christie
(Retired Sprinter)
Linford Christie
6
Birthdate: April 2, 1960
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Saint Andrew, Jamaica

Linford Christie is a Jamaican-born British former sprinter who won gold medals in the 100 meters at the Olympic Games, the World Championships, the European Championships, and the Commonwealth Games. He is one of the most highly decorated British athletes of all time. He was awarded the BBC Sports Personality of the Year in 1993. 

 46 
Eric Dier
(Football player)
Eric Dier
6
Birthdate: January 15, 1994
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Cheltenham, England, UK
 47 
John Stones
(Association football player)
John Stones
4
Birthdate: May 28, 1994
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Barnsley
 48 
Mark Phillips
(Equestrian, Anne, Princess Royal's ex-husband)
Mark Phillips
4
Birthdate: September 22, 1948
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Tetbury, Gloucestershire, England
Noted British equestrian Mark Phillips is known for his Olympic gold-medal win in 1972. He also won an Olympic silver in 1988. He was married to Princess Anne from 1973 to 1992. He writes columns for Horse & Hound magazine, is the USEA chef d'equipe, and designs eventing courses. 
 49 
Jermain Defoe
(Association football player)
Jermain Defoe
7
Birthdate: October 7, 1982
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Beckton
 50 
Mark Hughes
(Football manager)
Mark Hughes
4
Birthdate: November 1, 1963
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Wrexham, Wales