Mar 2019

The Most Impressive Irish Sports Stars Of All Time

by Christine in Features category

Saint Patrick’s Day was only yesterday and we don’t know about you, but we’re still basking in the green glow. Okay, maybe feeling green around the gills is a little more accurate… But we haven’t sworn off all things Irish just yet. So while you’re still in the mood to celebrate all the Emerald Isle has to offer, check out our rundown of the best Irish sports stars.

Some of them will undoubtedly be familiar to you already and some of them won’t be. However, what the best Irish sports stars of all time have in common is that they wear the green colours with pride and do their country proud.

And if learning more about all these talented people ignites the wish to place a bet, we’d suggest looking no further than Bet365. And the great news is that if you sign up now using our exclusive bonus code, you’ll get a swanky welcome offer to boot.

Boxing: Katie Taylor

Women’s boxing wasn’t very popular in Ireland until the whole country got behind Katie Taylor in the 2012 Olympics. This was the first time women’s boxing was included in the games and hoardes of people watched her fights. She eventually defeated all her opponents to take home an Olympic gold medal.

Her story began boxing in Bray, a suburb just outside of Dublin. Her Dad, Peter Taylor, is a former boxing champ and coached her in her formative years.

Four years after her Olympic victory, she turned professional. Holding both the World Boxing Association and International Boxing Federation titles, she’s currently the female lightweight champion of the world. She’s also recognised by BoxRec as the best active female lightweight boxer on earth.

She truly is one of the best Irish sports stars that ever lived.

Rugby: Brian O’Driscoll

If you’re a rugby fan, we’re betting you’ve heard of Brian O’Driscoll. And if you’re not Irish, we’re betting that you’ve cursed this man more than once when he’s come up against your team.

Not just one of the best Irish sports stars who ever lived, Brian O’Driscoll is one of the best rugby players the world has ever produced. This 40-year-old has had a spectacular career and although he’s now retired, his legend is still alive to everyone in Ireland. And they wouldn’t mind welcoming him back for the odd match either…

In total he’s played 141 test matches for the Rugby Union, making him the second most-capped player in history. He’s also scored 46 tries for his country, making the Irish people big fans of Brian O’Driscoll.

You can regularly see him on BT Sport and ITV Sport, where he works as a rugby analyst. Or else, for a glimpse into his personal life, check out his actor wife Amy Huberman’s hilarious Instagram account.

Snooker: Ken Doherty

Now approaching the age of 50, Ken Doherty is one of the most recognisable faces in Irish professional snooker. He’s been playing snooker professionally since 1990 and has won six ranking tournaments to-date.

One of his most spectacular triumphs resulted in him winning the 1997 World Snooker Championship, where he beat the infamous Stephen Hendry in the final.

Whip smart and with an insatiable appetite for the sport, Ken Doherty is one of the most prolific break-builders, with a total of over 300 century breaks under his belt.

Football: Roy Keane

A somewhat controversial figure in Ireland, it has to be said that Roy Keane is also one of the best Irish sports star in the history of the Republic.

He was a star player at Manchester United for much of his most successful years, during the period when the club won 17 major trophies.

As well as that, he was a fixture on the Irish national team for a long stretch of time. But things turned slightly sour when he was sent home from the 2002 World Cup after a somewhat legendary argument with coach Mick McCarthy.

But to this day, the famously firey Corkonian frequently turns up on best player lists.