Leeds: Home of Sporting Greats
Image Credit [University of Leeds]
Leeds, aside from the outstanding sporting teams that it possesses, also lays claim to having produced many a world-class sportsman and woman. The triathlon is but one example of this, with the city of Leeds hosting the UK’s Triathlon Centre. The Brownlee brothers, who originally hail from Leeds, one of whom having studied at this very university, are two of the best in this field. Having both won the World Title, as well as an Olympic gold for Alistair and bronze for brother Jonny, these are two of the finest triathletes in recent and British history. Recently crowned world title winner Vicky Holland also lives and trains here, as does flatmate Non Stanford amongst others.
You cannot mention Leeds sportspeople without talking about Rugby,
Nicola Adams, the first female as well as the first openly LGBT person to win an Olympic boxing gold for Britain, also hails from our great sporting city. She won Olympic gold at London 2012, and successfully defended her title four years later in Rio. She recently turned professional and won on her debut. She was awarded an honorary law degree from the University of Leeds.
There are also a plethora of English footballing stars who hail from Leeds. Current Premier League stars Aaron Lenon and James Milner are the best examples of these – the latter being a Champions League finalist last year and an experienced veteran in Jürgen Klopp’s ever improving and impressive Liverpool side. People may accuse him of being boring, but there is nothing slow about his football.
The late Paul Hunter, nicknamed Beckham of the Baize, won three Masters snooker titles – a feat only six people have achieved – before passing away at the young age of 27 in 2006. A talented snooker player, and a great person, Hunter has inspired many. The newly renamed Paul Hunter Trophy is indeed extremely fitting.
You cannot mention Leeds sportspeople without talking about Rugby, in both of its forms. Some, like Sam Burgess, have famously participated in both. Both Ben Cairns and Richard Metcalfe, Leeds born, played for Scotland in Rugby Union. Jason Robinson, like Burgess, played both codes of the game for England. Unlike the latter, however, Robinson not only took part in a great world cup campaign, but also scored a try in the World Cup final win in 2003. Leeds, therefore, not only has strong teams, but also world-class athletes across a wide range of sports.