Famous Scottish Athletes

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 Eric Liddell

Eric Liddell
5
Famous As: Rugby union player
Birthdate: January 16, 1902
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Tianjin, China
Died: February 21, 1945

Eric Liddell was a Scottish athlete who won a gold medal in 400 meters race at the 1924 Summer Olympics in Paris. In his later years, he became a Christian missionary. Though he was of Scottish origin, he was born in China, where he spent most of his life and died eventually.

 2 Eilish McColgan

Eilish McColgan
4
Famous As: Athlete
Birthdate: November 25, 1990
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Dundee

Eilish McColgan is a British middle-distance athlete. She competes in the 3000 meters steeplechase and 5000 meters. She represented Great Britain at the 2012 Olympic Games and the 2016 Olympic Games. She won the Great South Run in Portsmouth in 2018. She has a degree in mathematics and accountancy from the University of Dundee. 

 3 Liz McColgan

Liz McColgan
3
Famous As: Athlete
Birthdate: May 24, 1964
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Dundee

Olympic silver medalist Liz McColgan had apparently started training at age 12. The former British track and field athlete secured her first major win representing the University of Alabama at the NCAA Indoor Mile Championship. She is also two-time Commonwealth winner, apart from being a one-time world champion.

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 4 Angus MacAskill

Angus MacAskill
2
Famous As: Athlete
Birthdate: 1825 AD
Birthplace: Isle of Berneray, Sound of Harris, Scotland
Died: August 8, 1863

At 7’9”, Angus MacAskill was known as the world’s talent natural giant. The Scottish-born Canadian earned the nickname Gille Mòr, or Big Boy, in his neighborhood. Apart from touring the world for shows, he also worked at P.T. Barnum's circus and performed in front of Queen Victoria at Windsor Castle.

 5 Laura Muir

Laura Muir
0
Famous As: Middle distance runner, Long-distance runner
Birthdate: May 9, 1993
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Inverness, Scotland, United Kingdom

Scottish runner Laura Muir scripted history by becoming the first athlete to earn 2 golds at 2 consecutive events at any European Indoor Championship. Not known to many, she is also a trained vet. She also won a silver at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. Surprisingly, her clean diet bars coffee.

 6 Alastair Denniston

Alastair Denniston
3
Famous As: Field hockey player at the 1908 Summer Olympics
Birthdate: December 1, 1881
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Greenock, Renfrewshire, Scotland
Died: January 1, 1961

Alastair Denniston was a Scottish code breaker and hockey player. He was deputy head of the Government Code and Cypher School (GC&CS) from 1919 to 1942. As a member of the Scottish Olympic hockey team in 1908, he won a bronze medal. He worked as a code breaker during the war years. He taught French and Latin following his retirement. 

 7 Stephen Maguire

Stephen Maguire
4
Famous As: Snooker player
Birthdate: March 13, 1981
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Glasgow

Scottish snooker player Stephen Maguire has earned nicknames such as On-Fire and Maverick for his prowess in the game. Of the many tournaments he has won, one of the most notable is the UK Championship. His neck condition allows him to play without bow ties and closed collars.

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 8 Jock Semple

Jock Semple
1
Famous As: Athlete
Birthdate: October 26, 1903
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Glasgow, Scotland
Died: March 10, 1988

A physical therapist, masseur, and sports official, Jock Semple became a global villain of sorts after he attacked marathon runner Kathrine Switzer, attempting to rip off her numbers, at the 1967 Boston Marathon. Semple believed the Marathon specified women weren’t allowed, whereas Switzer claimed the rules mentioned no gender.

 9 Jemma Reekie

Jemma Reekie
1
Famous As: Athlete
Birthdate: March 6, 1998
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Kilbarchan, Scotland

Jemma Reekie is lauded for her meteoric rise in the Scottish running circuit. The 2017 European Junior champion scored a double win at the 2019 European U-23 Championships. She holds multiple British indoor records and was placed fourth in the 800m category in her Olympic debut at the 2020 Tokyo games.

 10 Gregor Edmunds

Gregor Edmunds
3
Famous As: Strongman
Birthdate: April 25, 1977
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Ninewells Dundee Scotland

The son of a strength sports specialist, Scottish strongman Gregor Edmunds is a World Highland Games champion and world record holder. Known for his huge 6’4.5” frame, he was named Scotland’s Strongest Man and was also a runner-up at the Britain’s Strongest Man contest. He now heads a highland games consultancy.

 11 Gillian Cooke

Gillian Cooke
1
Famous As: Track and field athlete and bobsledder
Birthdate: October 3, 1982
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Scotland

 12 David Denton

David Denton
2
Famous As: rugby union player
Birthdate: February 5, 1990
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Marondera

Former Scottish rugby player David Denton was born in Zimbabwe but could represent Scotland as his mother was Glasgow-born. While he initially studied economics, he later focused on his rugby career and represented teams such as the Leicester Tigers. After a long struggle with concussions, he retired in 2019.