5 Famous Football Players Who were Good Cricketers
Being an athlete is not easy. One must simply commit their time and energy fully to the sport they are playing in. From the extensive hours of training from morning until night, building relationships with teammates, facing criticism from coaches and viewers, maintaining a strict diet, the injuries that take time to heal and seems like a new normal for them, and last but not least, the constant traveling from one place to another in order to play against opponents and to meet fans from other parts of the world. However, it is very impressive to get to know some athletes who are versatile and excel in more than just one sport and plays with high levels of expertise. Talk about being a multitasker and person with proper time management.
In this article, you will get to know some athletes, footballers to be specific, who were not just amazing in football but also played professionally on the cricket field. Witness their skills and achievements!
The List of the Most Popular Former Cricketer Who Became Footballers
1. Sir Geoff Hurst
First, on the list, Sir Geoff Hurst, is a former footballer, the striker of the English team. The cricket sport almost robbed the ace who brought victory to the English Football back in the 1966 World Cup. Hurts was in the Essex County Cricket Club back in 1962. His journey back in cricketing did not start off on a good note but redeemed his career when he continued playing for the Essex Second Team. His career in cricketing was only short-lived because he retired from the sport back in 1964 and started investing his time only in his other sport, football.
Also See: How Many Umpires Are There in Cricket?
2. Gary Neville
Gary Neville, another English footballer who is currently a football coach was also a cricketer. He batted with Matthew Hayden, another cricketer who was trying to make a title for himself. Due to the lack of time, Neville chose to play for the Red Devils, England’s football team whilst his sports companion remained in cricket. The sudden change of careers and permanent retirement from cricket made England wonder? Could he have been one of the greatest losses in the world of cricket?
3. Phil Neville
Another Neville takes the list of former cricketers. And, yes, Phil and Gary are brothers. Phil in all honestly had the bigger chance of being an all-time ace cricketer than his brother, Gary. He was already good enough to play for the Lancashire second XI. He was a teenager! Phil Neville became the captain of the England U15 side. But following his brother’s footsteps, he decided to leave the cricketing career and flourished in football in which is where his career really soared. The younger Neville brother is currently one of the coaches of David Moye’s at Old Trafford.
4. Denis Compton
Former footballer, Denis Compton used to play in one of the greatest football leagues, the Arsenal. The Arsenal had acquired victory during 1937-1938, the 1947-1948, and the famous FA Cup back in 1950. This bonafide athlete also played a dozen times for England during World War 2, even if the games were not really deemed to be official football matches. Whilst being one of the greatest footballers, he was also on top of his game in cricket. He was an excellent Test cricketer and had played over 78 Tests for England, and had gained a whopping 5,807 runs with an average of 50.06. Denis Compton did not sacrifice either of the two sports he was playing in. Now that is what you call an ace and a very versatile athlete! His legacy remains because his grandson, Nick, followed in his footsteps by playing Test cricket for England. Great athletic skills run is hereditary!
Also See: How to Make a Cricket Pitch?
5. Steve Ogrizovic
The Serbian-born player for England, Steve Ogrizovic, was the former goalkeeper who played for Chesterfield, Liverpool, and Shrewsbury before becoming the ace of Coventry City. While he was still at Shrewsbury Town, he also played cricket for Shropshire County Cricket Club. Even if he only played three games for the team, as a bowler, he has Vivian Richards’ wicket. At the present time, Ogrizovic is the coach in goalkeeping at the team he used to play for, Coventry City.
Although most of the star athletes from the list had given up one sport for another, there is no denying that they remain talented and filled with excellence to juggle different sports. Added to that is the title they possessed throughout the years of their athletic career. They also opened doors of opportunity for neophyte athletes by inspiring them and challenging them once the said athletes from the list became coaches, who hone and shapes the future generation of excellent athletes. Not only that it took them some time to master the skills at a high level, one thing is for certain that it also took them some time to educate themselves on the rules and regulations of two different sports. And was it mentioned about the criticism they take from different coaches and fans of the different sports they participate in?
They serve as great models for aspiring athletes like them who want to achieve as much as they did. These versatile athletes also serve as a general role model and motivator to those who do not believe one can only have a sole purpose, great dream, and a singular mastery. They are the embodiment of an all-around genius because they spread a big influence to people to encourage them to believe that there is no such thing as too many skills.
On a realistic note as well, since some of the athletes from the list had sacrificed the other sport they were specializing in, it’s because of time. Time for themselves and time to spend with relatives. Pressuring oneself to compress all skills that it robs the time for you to redeem yourselves. These athletes also give people a lesson to not overload themselves for the sake of achieving so many but depriving themselves of a break. They are still humans after all and humans need time to rest.
Main Image Source: Pixabay
Also See: Australian Cricket Stadiums