St. Patrick’s Day is a day that sees us celebrate all things Irish, and with the six nations coming to a close this weekend we thought we would pay tribute to something a little more meaningful than a pint of Guinness, Irish sport. With that in mind, we’ve pieced together a list of five of the most infamous sportsmen to have ever donned the green of Ireland.
The Notorious MMA and Ireland’s Champion. McGregor boasts an impressive 21-3 record and is the current UFC Lightweight Champion – quite the title when you consider that he fights over three weight categories. As his undoubted talent continues to raise his notoriety, he becomes a bigger scalp. The real question is, will we ever see this Mayweather fight?
Whilst Rory McIlroy continues to be the golfer in the public eye, Pádraig Harrington has been going about his business, picking up three major titles in the late 2000’s. The 45 year old Dublin-native has had a relatively quiet few years, however his dominance on the European tour places him on the list. Just out of hospital following an operation on a trapped nerve, we have not seen the last of him.
The only Irishman to win the Tour de France, Stephen Roche had an illustrious 13 year cycling career, peaking in 1987 with a Triple Crown of victories in the Tour de France, Giro d’Italia and the World Road Race Championship. A pioneer of cycling in Ireland, Roche went down in history as one of the best – and rightly so.
Irish rugby’s hero for the past decade, the towering centre captained the Irish national team for the best part of a decade alongside the British & Irish Lions on their 2005 tour of New Zealand. Currently registered the University College Dublin RFC, Ireland’s famous #13 currently holds the 6 Nations record for the most tries scored in the competition. Teammates and opponents alike openly refer to him as one of the best ever players of the sport.
Any list of Ireland’s best sportsmen would not be complete without the marauding winger. Making over 350 appearances for Manchester United, a 13 year international career placed him within the hearts of many, putting him firmly within the top 10 footballers of all time, ensuring legendary status amongst the likes of Charlton, Pele and Maradona. R.I.P. George Best.