I saw this pop up on a friends Facebook page yesterday and I filled out the list. I thought I would get away from the world of acting today and give you a quick insight to my list of favourite sports people.

Favourite sports player in each sport of all time...

 

Golf - Ian Woosnam

Golf isn't my favourite sport to play or to watch to be honest. The last day of a Major when two or more players are neck and neck is the only time I can really get behind it. So why Ian Woosnam of all players? Well for no other reason than one day while playing Pitch and Putt in Boharnabreena with my Dad and Brother (both of whom are significantly better at it than me) on hole 12 for no reason other than I'm a bit of an odd ball I decided to say "Watch this lads, the Woosnam effect" before I tee'd off. Why did I say it? Why Woosie, the Woose, King Woosnam himself? Not a fucking clue but I sliced across the ball and as soon as I hit it I knew (I didn't know) it was headed for a hole in one! My first and only ever one.

*I have said "the Woosnam effect" on every shot I've ever taken since and it appears the effect has worn off and gone in the direction of SHANKhill.

"Set of Golf Balls and 20 Benson + Hedges please Doris"

"Set of Golf Balls and 20 Benson + Hedges please Doris"

Tennis - Yevgeny Kafelnikov

This one is plain and simple. I thought I looked a bit like him when I was a kid. In our estate, like most estates across the country once Wimbledon was on we were straight out for a game of Tennis. We had perfect 'Tennis Courts' too as the tar lines on our roads formed perfect rectangle boxes split down the middle. We would steal two traffic cones and some orange roadwork mesh to use as our net and our own championships would begin. One of my mates was always Pete Sampras, the other Tim Henman (loved the Brits for some reason) and me with my Milky Bar kid hair and paintjob flat fringe would be Yevgeny Kafelnikov.  The lad could play and was a former World number one. Another reason I felt an affinity for the lad was because when I was very young and ventured out to ask the local kids could I play with them for the first time I decided to tell them I was Russian. I must have thought that would make me 'Exotic' or something. Imaginative for a 5 year old to be fair.

Jonesy getting a chocolate medal from AJ's Foodstore. Glenview Park, Tallaght circa 1996

Jonesy getting a chocolate medal from AJ's Foodstore. Glenview Park, Tallaght circa 1996

 

Basketball -  Larry Bird

Again, don't know loads about Basketball and I've gone for Larry Bird because I watched a documentary about him not too long ago and he seemed like one hell of a player. Also he played for the Boston Celtics and we like them.

Below is a Documentary (not the one I watched, a different one) about Bird's rivalry with Magic Johnson.

Snooker - Stephen Hendry

This was a tough one. I should really go with Ronnie because he's without doubt the best player to watch. The reason I've gone for Hendo is because it sticks with a pattern I've had all my life, which is wanting to be different to my family and friends when it comes to who I support in sport. For instance all my family support Manchester United. I follow QPR. I remember watching the 1994 Snooker World Championship Final in my Grandad's house and my Dad and Uncles all were cheering for Jimmy White. So, I remember wanting Hendry to win. Great player and a ruthless winner!

Below is the final frame of that final. it was 17-17 and White had the trophy in one hand...

F1 - Michael Schumacher

No real interest in Formula 1 to be honest. Schumacher was class and hopefully he is doing a little bit better these days after his horrific accident.

Anyone been down SuperKarts lately?


Rugby - Seamus Dennison 

1978. Thomond Park, Limerick. Munster 12 - All Blacks 0

As some of you may know I toured extensively with John Breen's play 'Alone it Stands', a hilarious story of this famous match and the lives of many characters directly and indirectly involved with the game.

One of the many characters I played in the production was Seamus Dennison. A man who almost didn't get named in the starting 15. He was small in stature but big in heart and persuaded manager Tom Kiernan that he could put any man down, even one of the mighty All Blacks! Dennison set the tone on the day with this monster tackle.

Me and Seamus Dennison after a production of ALONE IT STANDS in Roscommon 2013

Me and Seamus Dennison after a production of ALONE IT STANDS in Roscommon 2013

Football - David Mooney

Me friend since I was a little kid. One season we played up front together for our first club Tymon Bawn. He got 56 goals and I got 4. The following season I became a Centre Half. His clubs have included Shamrock Rovers, Longford Town, Cork City, Reading, Norwich, Charlton, Colchester, Leyton Orient and he currently plays with Southend United.

A former FAI Player of the Year award winner, he has played at Wembley in a League 1 Playoff final.

I set up most of those 56 goals by the way

I set up most of those 56 goals by the way

NFL - Aaron Rodgers

I've gotten into NFL in the last few years and although I find it hard to have big loyalty to any specific team I do like Aaron Rodgers of the Green Bay Packers. What a QB this lad is!

Cycling - Barry McCarthy

The creator of this website, my mate Barry. Loves a cycle and loves talking about Lance Armstrong and all those boys. Won a competition last year where he got to be in a teams car during the Giro D'Italia. Barry recommends reading the book Domestique by Charly Wegelius for an insight into the real grinders of pro cycling.

'French for Domestic is it?'

'French for Domestic is it?'

MMA - Conor McGregor

I could probably give it the large one about Chuck Liddell or Randy Couture but I won't. I'm a McGregor fan. Great fighter and great entertainment value. Slick entrance tune too.

Can he beat Floyd Mayweather? Hasn't a hope but good luck to em.


Boxing - Prince Naseem Hamed + Tyson Fury

I initally went with Floyd here because he is the GOAT boxing wise. There's obvo Tyson, Ali, Sugar Ray but I went for the two boys for pure enterainment value. How ridiculous were/are the antics of these two BUT they were World Champions and could scrap, no question.

Prince v Kevin Kelly is not only worth a watch 'cos it's a great fight but Naz is making his US Debut and his entrance lasts about 22 minutes!!! The boys at HBO are baffled and amused in equal measure.

Tyson Fury talking shit about Price/Bellew and about Philadelphia to Steve Cunningham is gold!


Wrestling - Bret Hart

The best there is, the best there was and there ever will be. Over the years it's fair to say that Bret became a bit of a whinger but growing up the 'excellence of execution' was my favourite. I'd love to think that the infamous 'Montreal Screwjob' was all a set up between Bret and Vince McMahon.  If so it's the greatest wrestling storyline of all time. I enjoyed his book and the documentary 'Wrestling with Shadows' is well worth a look whether you're knowledgeable about the sport/sports entertainment or not.


Darts - Anyone but Taylor

Big fan of MVG and Peter 'Snake-bite' Wright but my god do I despise Phil Taylor. I don't mind sportspeople being cocky and arrogant if that's part of their marketing/self-promotion but Taylor strikes me as a nasty fella who pretends to be humble but can't even make it through a simple interview without the mask dropping. Unbelievable career and achievements but I've never been a fan.

Cricket - Ian 'Beefy' Botham

Memories of watching 'A Question of Sport' with my family as a kid. I always cheered for Ian's team and my Dad always cheered for Bill's. See? Told ya!!

And of course this...


Olympian - Andrew Cousins

My mate growing up who has a youth Olympic medal for football with Ireland. A former professional footballer with Leeds Andy still works in the game as a scout and works with Manchester City and the Northern Ireland national team.

Shame he never made it on to a Weeties box though

It must be pointed out that all my selections are indeed men but that is mainly because they were my favourites as kids and boys usually go for boys as their favourites at a young age. Honorary mentions must go to Steffi Graf, Chyna, Sonia O'Sullivan, Katie Taylor, Emma Byrne and Ronda Rousey. 

Who are your favs and why??

Stephen