Famous Irish Sportspersons

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Vote for Your Favourite Irish Sportspersons

 1 
Conor McGregor
(Mixed Martial Artist)

Conor McGregor
26
Birthdate: July 14, 1988
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Crumlin, Dublin, Ireland

The highest paid fighter of Ultimate Fighting Championship, Conor McGregor is one of the most famous athletes in the world. His ascent from humble beginnings to becoming ‘The Notorious’ has been fuelled by McGregor’s mastery of martial arts, skilful fighting style and powerful punches. He is the first fighter to hold both UFC Featherweight Championship and UFC Lightweight Championship simultaneously.

 2 
Roy Keane
(Footballer Midfielder)

Roy Keane
11
Birthdate: August 10, 1971
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Cork, Ireland

One of the most successful footballers from Ireland, Roy Keane became one of the stars of Manchester United. A talented midfielder, he has helped the team win multiple FA Cups and Premier League championships. Post-retirement, he has also managed teams such as Sunderland and Ipswich Town.

 3 
Michael Fassbender
(Best Known for His Films: '12 Years a Slave', 'Steve Jobs' and 'Magneto' in Marvels 'X-Men' Films)

Michael Fassbender
5
Birthdate: April 2, 1977
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Heidelberg, Germany

Michael Fassbender is a critically-acclaimed Irish-German actor best known for playing a sex addict in the psychological erotic drama film Shame. Apart from being an actor, Michael is also a well-known racing driver; he started his auto racing career in 2017 and currently races for Proton Competition in the European Le Mans Series.

 4 
Finn Balor
(Professional wrestler)

Finn Balor
14
Birthdate: July 25, 1981
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Bray, Ireland

Irish wrestler Fergal Devitt performs as Finn Bálor for the NXT brand under WWE. He has won titles such as the NXT Championship, the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship, and the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Championship. Also known as Prince Devitt, he co-founded NWA Ireland, his own promotion.

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 5 
Becky Lynch
(One of WWE's Most Recognizable and Highest-Paid Wrestlers)

Becky Lynch
41
Birthdate: January 30, 1987
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Limerick, Ireland
Becky Lynch is a four-time WWE champion and was named sixth on Twitter’s 2019 Top Female Athletes Worldwide list. She initially wrestled as "Rebecca Knox", teaming up with her brother. She became the only woman to hold both the Raw Women's Championship and the SmackDown Women's Championship simultaneously.

 6 
Robbie Keane
(Footballer)

Robbie Keane
5
Birthdate: July 8, 1980
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Dublin

The most capped footballer of the Irish national team, Robbie Keane is also Ireland’s top goal-scorer, with 68 international goals. Starting his career at 17, he was initially part of the English league system and played for teams such as Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur. He later also represented LA Galaxy.

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 7 
Sheamus
(Professional wrestler)

Sheamus
17
Birthdate: January 28, 1978
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Cabra, Ireland
Irish wrestler Stephen Farrelly, better known as “Sheamus,” performs for Raw, under WWE. He is a four-time world champion and the first Irish WWE champion. He has won five tag-team championships with his partner Cesaro. He has also appeared in movies such as The Buddy Games and The Escapist.
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 8 

Katie Taylor
4
Birthdate: July 2, 1986
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Bray, County Wicklow, Ireland

A 5-time world champion and an Olympic gold medalist, Katie Taylor is one of Ireland’s best boxers. She also has 6 gold medals at the European Championship. Born amid poverty in the coastal town of Bray, to a boxer father, Katie was initially trained by him.

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 9 
John Fury
(Professional boxing)

John Fury
6
Birthdate: May 22, 1964
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Tuam, Ireland

Better known as boxer Tyson Fury’s father and trainer, John Fury was himself as boxer and bare-knuckle fighter in his own right. Also popular as Gypsy John Fury because of his Irish traveler origins, he was once convicted of gouging a man’s eye out during an argument over a beer bottle.

 10 
Shane Long
(Football player)

Shane Long
4
Birthdate: January 22, 1987
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Gortnahoe, Ireland

Irish-born footballer Shane Long is best known as a striker for English club Southampton. He had also been a national-level hurler and a Gaelic footballer in the past. He was part of the 2011 Nations Cup-winning Irish squad and has won a Football League Championship with Reading, too.

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 11 
Chris Hughton
(Footballer)

Chris Hughton
4
Birthdate: December 11, 1958
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Stratford, London, England, UK

Born to a Ghanaian father and an Irish mother, Chris Hughton became the first biracial footballer from Ireland. Mostly known for his stint with Tottenham Hotspur as a player, he later also coached the team. He was part of the FA Cup- and UEFA Cup-winning squads of Tottenham.

 12 
Séamus Coleman
(Football player)

Séamus Coleman
4
Birthdate: October 11, 1988
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Killybegs, Ireland

Irish footballer Séamus Coleman is best known as the captain of Everton and the Irish national team. Though he scored his first international goal in his 40th match for Ireland, he had earlier captained the team to a UEFA Euro group game win over Italy.

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 13 
Denis Irwin
(Football player)

Denis Irwin
5
Birthdate: October 31, 1965
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Cork, Ireland

Known for his 12-year stint with Manchester United, Irish footballer Denis Irwin established himself as a dependable left-back, winning many championships with the club, such as the Premier League and the FA Cup. Post-retirement, he launched a successful media career as a sports presenter on channels such as MUTV.

 14 
James McClean
(Association football player)

James McClean
3
Birthdate: April 22, 1989
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Derry

Irish footballer James McClean is best known as a winger for Wigan Athletic and has also played for teams such as Sunderland and Derry City in the past. While he initially played for Northern Ireland junior team, he rejected a call to join their senior team and opted for the Republic of Ireland.

 15 
Darren Randolph
(Association football player)

Darren Randolph
5
Birthdate: May 12, 1987
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Bray, Ireland

Irish footballer Darren Randolph is best known as a goalkeeper for teams such as West Ham United and Birmingham City. He has also had a successful stint with the Scottish team Motherwell and with the Premier League team Charlton Athletic. He has also made headlines for his relationship with singer Alexandra Burke.

 16 
Nicky Byrne
(Singer-songwriter)

Nicky Byrne
5
Birthdate: October 9, 1978
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Dublin, Ireland

Once part of the popular Irish boy band Westlife, Nicky Byrne was initially a professional football player who was part of the Republic of Ireland junior team and the FA Youth Cup-winning team of Leeds United. He later also participated in shows such as Strictly Come Dancing.

 17 

Kevin McBride
3
Birthdate: May 10, 1973
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Clones, Ireland

Irish boxer Kevin McBride was in his teens when he represented his country in the 1992 Barcelona Olympics. His career saw him win many bouts, including the Irish senior heavyweight title. He is perhaps best known for his miraculous win over boxing legend Mike Tyson, former world heavyweight champion.

 18 
Darron Gibson
(Footballer)

Darron Gibson
3
Birthdate: October 25, 1987
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Derry

Once named the next Paul Scholes, Irish footballer Darron Gibson is known for his stints with Manchester United and Everton. However, his image suffered a massive blow after his brush with the law in a drunk-driving case and his expletive-laced rant with fans in a bar.  

 19 
Stephen Ireland
(Footballer)

Stephen Ireland
4
Birthdate: August 22, 1986
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Cork

Renowned as a talented midfielder, former Irish footballer Stephen Ireland is known for his stints with clubs such as Manchester City, Aston Villa, and Stoke City. He has been, in the past, been involved in controversies regarding his exclusion from the Ireland team, and amid speculations, eventually never returned to play.

 20 
Phil Laak
(Professional Poker Player)

Phil Laak
6
Birthdate: September 8, 1972
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Dublin, Ireland
Nicknamed The Unabomber for his signature style of hiding his face with his sunglasses and hoodie, Phil Laak was first introduced to poker on a camping trip. The world-renowned poker player is now also an actor, an author, and a real-estate investor, and is dating actor Jennifer Tilly.

 21 
James McCarthy
(association football player)

James McCarthy
3
Birthdate: November 12, 1990
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Glasgow

Scottish-born footballer James McCarthy is now best known as a dependable Celtic midfielder. He also represents the Irish national team, because his grandparents were Irish. He has previously won an FA Cup with Wigan Athletic, beating Manchester City, and has also played for the English club Everton.

 22 
Paul McGrath
(Football player)

Paul McGrath
3
Birthdate: December 4, 1959
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Greenford, England

Legendary Irish footballer Paul McGrath has been a dependable center back for teams such as Manchester United and Aston Villa. Born as an illegitimate child of a Nigerian father and an Irish mother, he was raised in an orphanage. In spite of being a sporting genius, he has had alcohol issues.

 23 
Sean Kelly
(Road bicycle racer)

Sean Kelly
3
Birthdate: May 24, 1956
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Carrick-On-Suir, Ireland

Of his 16-year-long stint as a professional cyclist, Sean Kelly has spent 5 years as the world’s number one racer. A specialist in classic races, he was the Paris–Nice winner for 7 consecutive times. Regarded as the second-best cyclist ever, he later had a successful career as a Eurosport commentator.

 24 

Padraig Harrington
3
Birthdate: August 31, 1971
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Dublin, Ireland

Irish golfer Padraig Harrington had started training in golf at age 5. Now a multiple Ryder Cup winner and a PGA champion, he has also won 2 British Open championship titles. He has been twice named the European Tour Golfer of the Year. He is promotes the Special Olympics as its global ambassador.

 25 
John Kavanagh
(Martial artist)

John Kavanagh
3
Birthdate: January 18, 1977
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Churchtown, Dublin, Ireland

John Kavanagh was introduced to martial arts at age 4 and had earned his karate black belt by age 12. While he initially also studied medical engineering, he later scripted history by becoming the first Irish martial artist to get a black belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu. He is now a renowned martial arts coach.

 26 
Brian O'Driscoll
(Rugby union player)

Brian O'Driscoll
3
Birthdate: January 21, 1979
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Dublin, Republic of Ireland Ireland

One of the most respected rugby players of all time, Brian O'Driscoll holds the Irish record for playing the most number of matches as a captain and also for try scores. He led his country to win a Grand Slam after 61 years and is part of the World Rugby Hall of Fame.

 27 
Jonathan Walters
(Association football player)

Jonathan Walters
3
Birthdate: September 20, 1983
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Birkenhead

Former Irish footballer Jonathan Walters has had a 10-year stint with the Premier League, playing for teams such as Stoke City. He has also captained Ireland and been capped 54 times for them. Post-retirement, he has focused on coaching and is now associated with the Ireland U19 team.

 28 
Joseph Duffy
(Mixed martial artist)

Joseph Duffy
4
Birthdate: February 18, 1988
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: County Donegal, Ireland

Former MMA fighter from Ireland, Joseph Duffy soared to fame fighting for Cage Warriors and The Ultimate Fighter. He also competed as a professional boxer. Also known as Irish Joe, he retired from MMA after losing the match at the UFC Fight Island 2 against Joel Álvarez.

 29 

Steve Collins
3
Birthdate: July 21, 1964
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Cabra, Ireland

Regarded as the most successful boxer from Ireland, Steve Collins created history by becoming the first to beat the then-undefeated British boxer Chris Eubank. He has been both a WBO middleweight and super-middleweight champion. He has also been an army boxing coach and has appeared in a film, too.

 30 

Rachael Blackmore
5
Birthdate: July 11, 1989
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Killenaule, Ireland

Irish jockey Rachael Blackmore scripted history as the first female winner of Britain’s Grand National horse race. Born to a dairy farmer, she was raised on a farm and spent her childhood riding ponies. She turned a professional jockey in 2015. She was also the first female leading jockey at Cheltenham.

 31 
Anthony Stokes
(Football Player)

Anthony Stokes
3
Birthdate: July 25, 1988
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Dublin, Ireland

Irish footballer Anthony Stokes is best known for his stints with teams such as Arsenal, Celtic, and Sunderland. Known for his volatile temper, he has been in trouble with the law for headbutting a car park attendant and for stalking his former girlfriend and sending her father abusive texts.

 32 
Richard Dunne
(Footballer)

Richard Dunne
3
Birthdate: September 21, 1979
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Tallaght

Richard Dunne had joined the youth team of Everton at age 15 and then had a 9-year stint with Manchester City. Known as Dunney to his fans, the former Irish football star became the first player to be named City’s Player of the Year 4 times. Post-retirement, he has focused on golf.

 33 
Shay Given
(Football player)

Shay Given
3
Birthdate: April 20, 1976
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Lifford, Ireland

Former footballer Shay Given is the second-highest-capped Irish player ever. He began his career as a teen and signed with Glasgow Celtic at 15. An ace goalkeeper, he has played for teams such as the Blackburn Rovers, Newcastle United, and Aston Villa. He now coaches Derby County.

 34 
Veronica Guerin
(Journalist)

Veronica Guerin
3
Birthdate: July 5, 1959
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Dublin, Ireland
Died: June 26, 1996

Veronica Guerin wasn’t just one of the most popular crime journalists of Ireland but also represented her country in both basketball and football. Her articles revolved around Irish drug lords and criminals, and she was eventually murdered by kingpin John Gilligan’s men while driving on the outskirts of Dublin.

 35 
Paddy Mayne
(Former Lieutenant colonel and appointed commanding officer of the re-formed 1st SAS Regiment)

Paddy Mayne
4
Birthdate: January 11, 1915
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Newtownards, United Kingdom
Died: December 14, 1955

Paddy Mayne was not just a British Army lieutenant colonel but also a legendary rugby player who had represented both Ireland and the British Lions. He was also known for his reckless behavior, including his drunken brawls. He was part of a huge debate after being denied the Victoria Cross.

 36 
Shane Lowry
(Golfer)

Shane Lowry
3
Birthdate: April 2, 1987
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Clara, County Offaly, Ireland

Irish golfer Shane Lowry became the second from his country to win a Major Championship title. Born to celebrated Gaelic footballer Brendan Lowry, Shane was always interested in sports. The 2015 World Golf Championship winner also supports his country’s Gaelic sports club. He was the third amateur to score a European Tour title.

 37 
Stephen Roche
(Road racing cyclist)

Stephen Roche
4
Birthdate: November 28, 1959
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Dundrum, Dublin, Ireland

 38 
Mick McCarthy
(Football manager)

Mick McCarthy
4
Birthdate: February 7, 1959
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Barnsley, England, UK

Starting his career with the youth team of his hometown Barnsley, footballer Mick McCarthy later played for the Irish national team and clubs such as Manchester City and Celtic. He has also coached teams such as the Wolverhampton Wanderers and Sunderland, apart from appearing as a sports commentator on TV.

 39 

Jennifer Gadirova
3
Birthdate: October 3, 2004
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Dublin, Ireland

Irish-born gymnasts of Azerbaijani origin, Jennifer Gadirova and her twin, Jessica, have both excelled at artistic gymnastics at the international level. Jennifer has not only won an Olympic bronze for Britain but also became the first British gymnast to earn a Junior World Championship medal, with her silver win in 2019.

 40 
Damien Duff
(Football player)

Damien Duff
3
Birthdate: March 2, 1979
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Ballyboden

Apart from winning 2 Premier Leagues with Chelsea, former Irish footballer Damien Duff also had a 14-year stint with the Irish national team, playing in over 100 matches with them and also representing them in a World Cup. Post-retirement, he turned coach and has managed teams such as Celtic and Shelbourne.

 41 
Gavin Bazunu
(Football player - Goalkeeper)

Gavin Bazunu
0
Birthdate: February 20, 2002
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Dublin, Ireland

 42 
Niall Quinn
(Football player)

Niall Quinn
3
Birthdate: October 6, 1966
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Dublin, Ireland

Dublin-born footballer Niall Quinn made waves as a striker for clubs such as Arsenal, Sunderland, and Manchester City. Known for his towering 6’4” frame, he won a Football League Cup with Arsenal. His popularity can be gauged by the fact that his fans created a song, Niall Quinn's Disco Pants, just for him.

 43 
Steve Finnan
(Footballer)

Steve Finnan
3
Birthdate: April 24, 1976
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Limerick

Irish-born Steve Finnan started his football career with the youth team of Wimbledon and then graduated to Birmingham City, Fulham, and Liverpool. Capped a little over 50 times for the Republic of Ireland, he is also the only player to have played for all 4 English football league levels and the Football Conference.

 44 

Michael Conlan
1
Birthdate: November 19, 1991
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Belfast, Northern Ireland

 45 
Michael Obafemi
(Football player - Striker)

Michael Obafemi
0
Birthdate: July 6, 2000
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Dublin, Ireland

Born to Nigerian parents in Dublin, Irish footballer Michael Obafemi grew up in London and began his youth career with teams such as Chelsea and Arsenal. His senior career saw him playing for Southampton and Swansea City. Though eligible to play for Nigeria, England, and Ireland, he chose to play for Ireland.

 46 
Glenn Whelan
(Football player)

Glenn Whelan
3
Birthdate: January 13, 1984
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Dublin, Ireland

Irish-born footballer Glenn Whelan is best known for his stints with teams such as Manchester City, Aston Villa, and Stoke City, and now represents the Bristol Rovers as a defensive midfielder. With his 90 appearances for Ireland, he also became the ninth-most-capped player from Ireland.

 47 
Jordan Devlin
(Professional wrestler)

Jordan Devlin
3
Birthdate: March 15, 1990
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Bray, Ireland

Irish wrestler Jordan Devlin had started training in the sport at age 12 and had even wrestled in Japan by age 21. Known for his long run as the NXT Cruiserweight champion, the WWE star is also popular by his ring names Frank David and Aguila II.

 48 
Andy Lee
(Boxer)

Andy Lee
3
Birthdate: June 11, 1984
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Bow, London, England

Born in London, Andy Lee grew up in Limerick, Ireland, and began training as a boxer at age 8. He competed as a 19-year-old at the Athens Olympics. Apart from winning silvers at the EU Championships and the World Junior Championships, he also won a gold at the 2004 European Championship.

 49 
Liam Miller
(Former Footballer midfielder)

Liam Miller
0
Birthdate: February 13, 1981
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Cork, Ireland
Died: February 9, 2018

 50 
Matt Doherty
(Footballer right-back)

Matt Doherty
0
Birthdate: January 16, 1992
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Swords, Dublin, Ireland

Footballer Matt Doherty, who had a successful youth career with teams such as Bohemians, is now a dependable defender of the Tottenham Hotspur and the Irish national team. Owing to his Dutch mother, he was eligible to play for the Netherlands, too, but chose the country of his birth instead.