Tag Archives: Lewis

Isle of Wight: 30 Under 30

From the 1960’s through to the early ‘noughties’, the Isle of Wight was considered something of a production line for successful creatives. This was in part due to the prosperity of Level 42, The Bees, Jeremy Irons, Bear Grills, Anthony Minghella et al. Thereafter, the conveyor belt has been a  little less prolific.

The sweaty scent of resurgence is now in the air though, making it the perfect time to present a list of 30 gifted creatives under the age of 30 that are worth keeping your eyes, ears and nostrils peeled for in late 2017 and beyond. Please share your thoughts in the comment section below the article.

30. Hester Chambers – Singer/Songwriter

With breathy, Karen Carpenter-esque vocals, Hester Chambers has a simple, beautiful tone that is like marshmallow to the ears.

Ostensibly a bag of nerves right up until the moment she utters her first note, thereafter she morphs into a hauntingly captivating melody maker. Has most recently found a niche in collaboration with Summer festival royalty, the Plastic Mermaids.

29. Sam Morris – Musician

The BaDow bass guitarist is the brains behind the catchy riffs that have seen the three-piece rock outfit scoop multiple accolades since the current lineup was established in 2013, including winning a place on the Bestival main stage by beating off fierce, more experienced competition at an event at Northwood House.

As their status has grown, Sam’s own legacy has continued to flourish. Currently on a studio sabbatical to tour Europe, talk of a potential solo project has been rife around his native Cowes in his absence.

28. Carlie McGarity – Illustrator

Understated freelance graphic designer and illustrator who has romped onto the scene following a transition from retail worker to full-time artist.

In the year since that plunge towards uncharted territory, she has produced stunning images for the likes of Nakamarra, Chelsea Theatre and Duveaux amongst others.

Chalkpit Records subsequently snapped her up as an in-house designer, with her images splashed all over their website. Destined for even bigger and better things as her confidence continues to grow.

27. Doris Doolally – Creator

To pigeon hole Doris Doolally would be akin to clipping the wings of a unicorn. Her illustrations and creations have become a regular feature at BoomTown Fair since 2014.

Seemingly on a solo mission to bring the Dodo bird back into public consciousness, her spoken word performances are one of many other strings to her overloaded bow.

26. Dylan Kulmayer – rapper/music producer/video editor.

USA born, Isle of Wight raised Dylan Kulmayer released his debut rap EP, Retroverted Propulsion, via the platform of Soundcloud at the tender age of 18. Not content with that, the next phase of his development saw him produce his own beats and embellish his audio with punchy visuals, as rough edges continued to be levelled.

Currently at University, Dylan can usually be found on a film set or in the recording studio. The hugely aspirational 21 year-old workaholic has lofty sights set, with a much anticipated follow-up album in the works.

25. Laura Watt – TV Producer

Having studied for a career in production at Cheltenham University, Laura’s story is one of perseverance overcoming adversity, with a heavily populated and diluted marketplace resulting in ‘paying her dues’ as a runner.

Eventually she found her stride, selected to work on several reality TV series, most notably Big Brother, as well as a slew of other production pilots.

Ms Watt returned to the Isle as part of the Red Bull TV team that made a short documentary based around the 2016 Bestival.

24. Greg Barnes – Singer/Songwriter

South Coast Jack Johnson soundalike in flip-flops with a shock of red, ringed hair. Greg Barnes is at the forefront of the Ventnor music community, with his monthly events offering a platform for up and coming performers to hone their craft.

With an uninhibited  soulfulness beyond his years, most recent release Early Summer provided further evidence of a young musician with an ever expanding box of tools.

23. Buddy Carson – Spoken Word Artist/Musician.

Buddy Carson has been a trailblazer for the modern interpretation of spoken word on the Isle of Wight, a genre which has since spawned numerous local acts inspired by his emotionally charged delivery.

Now based in Bristol, a productive partnership with Emmy J Mac (of ‘The Voice’ fame) saw the duo become a fixture at events all over the UK, with the pair later focusing predominantly on mentoring youngsters keen to work in one of the creative industries.

22. Liam Burke – Singer/Songwriter

Liam Burke is a product of the Isle of Wight music college, Platform One, who has found himself touted for breakout stardom since he covered Stevie Wonders’ Fingertips aged just 14 at a Christmas show in New Orleans.

He specialises not in a specific genre, preferring instead to mesh dozens of them together to create something entirely original – often with instruments as far-fetched as rusty salad spoons, zeusaphones and stolen road signs.

21. Ivana Popov – Poet/Songwriter

Born in the Bahamas to French and English parents, Ivana somehow navigated a path to the Isle of Wight, before hitch-hiking across the globe by boat in order to escape again.

She didn’t stay away for long thankfully, and upon her return quickly became notorious for her amusing, offbeat poems and quirky ukulele ditties, including an album of animal related tracks that she occasionally dusts off at PETA meetings.

20. Lewis Shepperd – Musician

Lewis Shepperd is a musician from the isle of wight with a degree in commercial music. He has performed at various festivals and venues such as the Isle Of Wight Festival, Bestival, Camp Bestival and the NEC Arena in Birmingham.

He has been compared to Prince, not only for his lavish leopard skin robes and insistence on yellow M&M’s in his dressing room, but also a deeply intoxicating voice and elaborate range of self-penned tracks.

His debut single ‘Me’ has to date received 16,519 views on YouTube… 16,520 now that I’ve watched it. Despite this success he remains the same humble person that he was during his first job as a moonshiner in 2013.

19. Tina Edwards – TV Presenter

Tina Edwards fell into TV Presenting almost by accident. She had gone to London for a separate audition, when she was spotted and placed on a presenting course due to the huge potential those television executives present had seen in her.

Starting out with street interviews (some of those interviewed more articulate than others), she was able to hone her craft and become a producer for Balcony TV in London. Wouldn’t look out of place as the host of Channel Four’s Streetmate.

18. Isabelle L’Amour – Burlesque Performer/Model

Isabelle L’Amour, known to at least half a dozen people as the ‘South Coast Sweetheart’, is a UK based and award-winning international Burlesque & Cabaret performer, teacher and model.

Creator of The Blue Moon Revue, her show has had sell-out residency across the UK and hosted some of the biggest names in Burlesque, with Kitten de Ville, Natsumi Scarlett & Domino Barbeau all gracing her stage at various times.

17. Sarah Murphy – YouTube Fashion Vlogger

Sarah’s classic, old Hollywood beauty and style really shows through on her various social media platforms. She films everything from hauls to ‘look books’ for her viewers to enjoy.

The fashion vlogger, already boasting around 6,000 subscribers on her YouTube channel, is also known for benevolent acts of kindness, something borne out in her life philosophy: “I always try to make someone smile every day, it’s so important to be positive in life and to be kind to people”

16. Jazzy Heath – Musician/Music Producer

With the Summer release of new single ‘My Little Island‘ proving her most well received to date, Jazzy Heath shows no signs of reducing the relentless pace that has raised her profile as a musician around the UK.

Performing sporadically with her band, Pretty Censored, the 20 year-old and her entourage have come a long, long way together since the hard times and the good – the good being when she was part of the backing chorus for Fatboy Slim at the Bestival in 2011 (the gag’s a stretch I’ll admit.)

Also a talented beat maker, she has yet to decide which path to focus on post-studies.

15. Kes Eatwell – Recording Artist

Kestrel ‘Kes’ Eatwell is one of the most capricious artists to emerge from Isle of Wight music circles in recent years.

He turned down a set at Bestival in 2016 after winning a local spoken word competition, an incredibly bold act that paved the way for him to head to London in search of greater glory.

A proficient freestyler, Kes has wit and vocal dexterity in equal measure to ensure that it’s surely only a matter of time before he’s forged a successful career within the orbit of hip-hop.

14. Charlotte Tobitt – Journalist

Charlotte (far right) during her Yoppul days.

Charlotte Tobitt is something of a triple-threat creative force, graduating from Kingston University (In London, not Jamaica) with First Class Honours in journalism, having already secured a music qualification from the University of York, as well as becoming one of the UK’s premier cat whisperers in 2015.

Working her way up the ranks of the Surrey Advertiser via the Isle of Wight County Press’s youth offshoot, Yoppul, Charlotte secured the MA journalist of the year gong at Kingston in late 2014.

13. Jack Whitewood – Entrepreneur

The brains behind the Ventnor Fringe Festival, Jack has been a regular champion for the Isle of Wight arts, hosting and funding an abundance of productions from his HQ at Ventnor Exchange.

The festival itself has evolved from humble beginnings in 2010 to a week long explosion of luminosity, sound and general quirkiness that envelops the entirety of the seaside town, temporarily transforming it into a postcard of the French Riviera.

12. Olly Fry – Actor/Playwright

Olly Fry is ostensibly a man who never sleeps – not far beyond his juvenescence, he has written, directed and starred in more than 40 plays already, and could conceivably follow in the thespian footsteps of fellow Isle of Wighter, Jeremy Irons.

His critically acclaimed one man show, I Hooky, an undercard highlight of the 2017 Isle of Wight Festival, served as a brutally candid, anarchic glimpse into the past tribulations of an actor sufficiently bold to blend bleak with blissful.

11. Charlie Jones – Singer/Songwriter

Raised on the Isle of Wight under the guidance of a high profile musician father, Charlie Jones was classically trained but discovered a love of electo whilst studying law in France.

Part of indie-electo quintet, Nakamarra, (a band named after this song by Hiatus Kaiyote) she’s blessed with a full vocal range, and her performances are theatrically expressive. Temptress, the band’s latest single, is an ode to innocence and expectation.

10. Alex Vanblaere – Music Man/Fashionista

Eccentric, wackily maned bassist who is the heartbeat of math-pop starlets Signals. Alex expertly tip-toes along the line between hipster and flower child, without ever coming across as contrived or overly rehearsed.

To fixate on this personality and musk would be to underestimate the prowess of his playing, which has seen him compared to legendary funkster Bootsy Collins.

9. Nye Russell-Thompson – Actor/Playwright

An engaging and charming personality who has performed his shows all across the UK, receiving a nomination for a Filmflare Award for his hugely popular Stammermouth show.

This spirited one man presentation focuses on the difficulty of suffering with a stammer by utilising a brew of dark humour, hopelessness and a concise storyline arch – all exquisitely showcased without ever threatening to cross into melancholy.

8. Annabelle Spencer – Musician

Annabelle Spencer is 17 years old; she plays 7 instruments, writes her own music, teaches and has a voice that sends chills down the stiffest spine… I’m not jealous, I’m honestly not – those are tears of joy.

In addition to a range of her own material (including recent release Feather on the Tide), she covers all genres from bubble gum pop to rock depending on the mood, all of this whilst still studying at Platform One and maintaining follicles that would make Macy Gray envious.

7. Rhain – Musician

The artist formerly known as Babooshka Baba Yaga has come a long way since her initial live piano recitals which began to spread her name along the south coast, thereafter finding her calling as an operatic solo artist and integral member of the Plastic Mermaids.

It is with the latter that she broached the local mainstream, with their rousing Magnum Opus, Beyond the Cosmos After Death, a track which provides an ideal vehicle for Rhain’s extensive vocal dexterity.

6. Sepia – DJ

Sepia, or Theo Bennett to those who know him best, carved his reputation as a blockbusting DJ in Brighton, Bristol and… Brading (as well as other places not starting with ‘br’) and has enjoyed extensive  airplay on Radio One.

Sharing a stage with names as high in profile as James Blake and Joy Orbison, Sepia’s output generally has an uncomplicated veneer, with smooth transitions accompanying beats full of vitality.

5. Lauran Hibberd – Singer/Songwriter

With the afore mentioned Red Bull TV Bestival documentary (see no.25: Laura Watt) issuing a sub-section dedicated to her, Lauran Hibberd’s momentum threatens to elevate her to juggernaut status among fellow poppy-folk music makers.

After recently supporting Clean Cut Kid, and fresh from the Bestival main stage Lauran’s ever-growing Industrial Folk sound hints at a grander live vision, captured eloquently in her recordings to date.

4. Louis Checkley – Jazz singer

An award winning vocalist from Wroxall, Louis has carved out a niche for himself within the Brighton jazz scene with his often witty and elegantly wrought tunes infused by a piquant flavour of soul.

Though steering clear of vocal gymnastics, Louis’s ample range is light in tone, conversational in its approach and, with an effortlessly dulcet lilt, stands out from the crowd enough to earn its place among premier contemporary jazz singers, aptly demonstrated by his reaching the summit of the Balcony TV Worldwide charts in 2014.

3. Dayita – Innovator

A non-conforming human glitter ball who can’t be pigeon-holed by genre, Dayita materialised on festival stages around the Isle of Wight in the summer of 2017, providing a vivid audio/visual experience that invigorated a principally pop-rock landscape.

Her recent single release, Six Seconds, was an explosion of silver glitter, seductive articulation and Pinnochio-falling-down-the-stairs backing beats apt both for nighttime club use and daytime radio play.  Wonderfully kooky.

2. Adam Pacciti – Film Maker/ Online Personality

A master of the viral video, Adam Pacciti first surfaced on a national stage when releasing his Girl of My Dreams video, where he claimed to have been rescued from the zombie apocalypse by a dazzling dame paddling around his pineal, subsequently scrawling a (deliberately indistinguishable) sketch of her and urging viewers to assist in the search.

The publicity of more than half a million views across social media saw Adam featured on a glut of national television programmes, notably ITV News and GMTV.

A second viral endeavour, via a billboard in London pleading for a job, aligned with his increasing clout as a presenter of Whatculture, blazed the spotlight more brightly upon him, before his recent departure from the group led to speculation that he’s set to open his own wrestling company. Watch this space.

1. Sarah Close – YouTuber/Musician

A product of Ryde School’s music choir during her childhood, Sarah Close began posting covers of songs onto YouTube in the late noughties, aged just 14.  Four years later she relocated to London to attend The Institute of Contemporary Music Performance, where she studied music and songwriting.

Sarah released her debut single ‘Call Me Out’ in March of this year, which charted at number one on the UK Official Physical Singles Chart, the first Isle of Wight solo artist to achieve the feat. 

Releasing follow-up, Only You last month, her YouTube channel is swiftly hurtling towards a whopping 800,000 subscribers.

Think we missed anyone out of the list? Leave a message in the comment section below and please throw Kureen a like on Facebook!

Written by Dom Kureen

As a young rapscallion stranded on an Island, my time is split between writing, performing spoken word, wrestling alligators and delivering uplifting pep talks to hairdressers before they prune me.
I meditate and wash daily when possible.

Top 10 British boxers of all time (Part Two)

In the first part of Ken Irons’ article he revealed the first half of his top ten British boxers of all time, this time we find out who made the top five (and more importantly the number one slot!)  So who did our man at ringside feel were the premier pugilists from the land of the Rose? Read on and find out…

5) Chris Eubank 

Middle & Super Middleweight (45-5-2, 23 KO’s)

London born Eubank moved, in his teens, to New York, where he eventually fought off drug, alcohol and shop lifting dependencies when he took up boxing. 

On his return to the U.K. he was undefeated world middleweight champion for over five years and unbeaten in all fights in his first ten years as a pro.

His lisping drawl, eccentric attire and foppish attitude antagonised some (including arch adversary Nigel Benn) but masked a steely character.

 4) Carl Froch

Super Middleweight (33-2, 24 KO’s)

Froch, from Nottingham, is generally regarded as the best pound for pound British fighter currently plying his trade.

Nicknamed ‘The Cobra’, the 38 year-old has won 33 of his fights (24 knock outs) and suffered his only defeats by decision, with a record of 9–2 in world title fights, four victories being by knock out.

 –

3) John Conteh           

Light Heavyweight (34-4-1, 23 KO’s)

Aged only 19 Lancastrian Conteh won a gold medal at middleweight in the 1970 Olympics.

On turning professional he won the WBC light heavyweight crown in 1974 and held it until 1977. He retired in 1980 with a record of 34 wins, 4 losses and a solitary draw.

Regrettably he was another superbly talented fighter who could have done better still had it not been for an alleged penchant for the high life.

 –

2) Joe Calzaghe CBE

Super Middleweight (46-0, 32 KO’s)

British Lionhearts v Italia Thunder - World Series of Boxing

Welsh southpaw Calzaghe held WBO, WBA WBC & IBF super middle titles and is the longest reigning super middle champion in history, retiring undefeated in 2009.

His popularity has since resulted in appearances on national TV shows, while a perfect professional record of 46-0 is one of the finest in the history of elite level sparring, trumped only by Rocky Marciano (49-0) and Floyd Mayweather Jr (47-0).      

– 

1) Lennox Lewis CM, CBE

Heavyweight (41-2-1, 32 KO’s)

Born in West Ham, Lewis moved to Canada in childhood but retains dual nationality. At 6 feet 5 inches and around 17 stone, easy going, chess playing Lewis was a supreme boxer with a knock out punch in either hand.

He held the undisputed world title and never ducked a fight in an era (nineties) when there were plenty of dangerous fighters around, such as Mike Tyson, Evander Holyfield and Vitali Klitschko (all of whom Lewis subjugated.)

His only professional defeats were duly and emphatically avenged in resultant re-matches.

What do you think of Ken’s choices? Should Ricky Hatton have made the cut? How about Frank Bruno or Herbie Hyde (ok, the last one might be a joke!)

Written by Ken Irons

I have always had a love of the written word and have frequently, over the years, exasperated editors, publishers et al with my copious submissions of work. My highly advanced years I find a plus, as it means not having to research so much – I can remember it if it’s in the last century or so!

Top Ten Heavyweight Boxers of all time (part two: 5-1)

Yesterday Ken Irons shared the first half of his top ten heavyweight boxers of all-time, now it’s time to step into the ring with the elite, as he reveals his top five!

Butterbean: Failed to make the cut
Butterbean: Failed to make the cut

5) JOE LOUIS
Record: 66-3 (52 KO’s)

Joe Louis is a boxing icon who held the title (before it became fragmented) from 1937 until 1949, the longest period ever for a champion to reign.

He was undefeated until sustaining a 12-round loss to Germany’s Max Schmeling in 1936. After winning the title he had a return fight with the German in 1938, a fight which triggered deep emotions owing to the anti-Nazi feelings prevalent at the time (Hitler had reportedly personally encouraged Schmeling to win the title for the honour of the third Reich, although there was never any question that the fighter himself was involved in politics in any way). The fight lasted 124 seconds with Schmeling knocked senseless having been floored 3 times.

A tribute to Joe Louis in Detroit
A tribute to Joe Louis in Detroit

Louis retired in 1949 but then had to come back due to financial problems as he owed a large sum in taxes. This caused anger amongst fans and the general public as a whole because Joe had served his country well, both in wartime (in the U.S. Army) and as a unifying personality, loved by both blacks and whites.

The Government displayed no such sentimentality and Joe was reduced to working as a wrestler to pay off his debt, having first lost comeback fights to both Ezzard Charles and Rocky Marciano. He did receive official approval in death however, when the then U.S. President, Ronald Reagan, requested that he be buried at Arlington Cemetery.

4) GEORGE FOREMAN
 Record: 76-5 (68 KO’s)

George Foreman

Foreman, at 6 feet 3 inches, was not a stylish fighter but he was a devastating puncher, winning the title in 1973 against the seemingly invincible Joe Frazier when he demolished him in 2 rounds.

The following year, at age 25, he lost the crown to 32 year-old Muhammad Ali in the famous ‘Rumble in the Jungle’ in Zaire. Foreman was expected to win the contest but was overcome by Ali’s ‘rope a dope’ tactics whereby the latter leaned on the ropes, raised both gloves in protective mode and encouraged Foreman to eventually punch himself out.

Foreman always maintained that he had not felt right during the fight leading to some speculation that his water may have somehow been ‘spiked’, but this idea never got beyond the unsubstantiated rumour stage.

Foreman retired soon after and practised religion as a preacher. He came back to regain the title against Michael Moorer, at age 45. This made him the oldest man to win the title. He finally hung up the gloves for good in 1997.

3) LENNOX LEWIS
Record: 41-2-1 (32 KO’s)

London born but having spent part of childhood in Canada, Lewis holds dual nationality. At 6 feet 5 inches and 245 pounds, he was a superb boxer with a knock-out punch in either hand. 

Dispensing of all of the elite pugilists of his era, Lewis achieved amateur success when representing Canada at the Seoul Olympics in 1988, defeating future great Riddick Bowe for the gold medal, subsequently turning professional and switching allegiance to Britain during the same year.

He held the undisputed world title and never suffered an unavenged defeat, retiring in 2004, having stopped Vitali Klitschko via TKO in his final bout.

2) LARRY HOLMES
Record: 69-6 (44 KO’s)

Larry Holmes

Holmes has suffered more in his rightful claim to immortality than perhaps any other fighter due to the unfortunate timing of his rise to fame.

The fact that Muhammad Ali’s career was still ingrained in the hearts and minds of fans the world over when HolmesAli’s ex sparring partner, came into prominence, detracted greatly from the new champion’s overall standing.

He was, however, at 6 feet 3 inches, a consummate boxer/ fighter who could, in truth, match Ali in most aspects of his craft. As a one punch knock-out specialist he was perhaps superior to his old ‘employer’ who was more of adamaging’ puncher and his left jab is generally considered to be the best ever in the division.

Holmes was champion from 1978 – 1985 and his 19 consecutive defences of the title ranks second only to Joe Louis.

1) MUHAMMED ALI
Record
: 56-5 (KO’s 37)

Muhammed Ali

Muhammad Ali was a man whose fame transcended the sport due to his strongly held and fearlessly expressed political and religious beliefs (including his refusal to fight in Vietnam) and his generally extrovert personality.

He was the first champion to overtly ‘wind up’ his opponents, often causing trouble at press conferences, pre fight interviews and the like. This however was all part of his deliberate practice of getting the better of an opponent mentally which he invariably did, and which usually paid off for him in terms of results.

Ali’s dancing style, lightening fast reflexes and astonishing hand speed, wherein, in his own words,he “floated like a butterfly and stung like a bee”,were just too much for most of his bewildered and disheartened opponents to cope with

He is the only three time lineal world heavyweight champion, winning the title in 1964, 1974 and 1978. It should also be remembered that his ‘prime years’, 1967 – 1971, were taken from him when his license was taken away following the Vietnam draft incident.

So there it is, the top ten heavyweight boxers of all-time and not a Rocky Balboa or Butterbean in sight! Let us know your thoughts on Ken’s choices in the comment section below.

Written by Ken Irons

I have always had a love of the written word and have frequently, over the years, exasperated editors, publishers et al with my copious submissions of work. My highly advanced years I find a plus, as it means not having to research so much – I can remember it if it’s in the last century or so!

50 Greatest British sports stars of all-time: Top 10

So here it is, the moment you’ve all been waiting for; the top ten British sports stars of all-time! To view the rest of the countdown simply click on the links below the picture. 10

50-41 / 40-31 / 30-21 / 20-11

10: Joe Calzaghe

A two-weight boxing champion with a perfect professional record, Welshman Calzaghe defeated virtually all of the notable names in his weight divisions over the course of a 15-year career.

His final pair of victories against Bernard Hopkins and Roy Jones Jr. were arguably the most notable scalps on Calzaghe’s CV, albeit both were admittedly past their best. A 2007 BBC Sports Personality of the year award and 2014 induction into the International Boxing Hall of Fame were testament to his in-ring excellence and enduring popularity.

9: Sir Ian Botham

One of the greatest  all-rounders the cricket world has ever seen, Botham was England’s talismanic, fearless match winner who overcame an unsuccessful spell as captain to destroy the Australians in 1981 during what came to be known as ‘Botham’s Ashes’.

A series of back issues latterly removed the zip from Beefy’s bowling, but for the first half of his career he was the most exciting cricketer on the planet. Aged 37 Botham found one final burst of form and fitness during the 1992 World Cup, with England making it to the final . A long overdue Knighthood arrived in 2007.

8: Linford Christie

After years of being the bridesmaid, Jamaican born Christie was officially crowned the fastest man on the planet when he blew away the competition to win the 100m Olympic title in Barcelona in 1992.

The following year he added World Championship gold to that, running a time of 9.87 seconds to set a British record that still stands today. That these feats were achieved when well into his 30’s makes them all the more remarkable.

7: Sir Nick Faldo

Faldo’s painstakingly measured approach to each hole made him one of the less exciting golfers during an era of big personalities, but his process brought six major titles, including a hat-trick of Masters green jackets.

His ill-fated captaincy of Britain’s Ryder Cup team in 2008 bore out what many had already suspected, Faldo’s huge ego making him a poor selection for the role. The single-mindedness and unrelenting self-belief that hindered him there were pivotal cogs during his run on top in the 1980’s and 90’s.

6: Sir Denis Compton

Kevin Pietersen has nothing on Compton, the most exciting and innovative batsman England has ever produced.

An average of more than 50 could have been even higher had Compton not been quite as flamboyant, his best Test score of 278 was achieved whilst seemingly attempting to devise as many new shots as possible. Not only was he an outstanding cricketer, he also represented Arsenal FC as a left winger, and even got a dozen caps for the English football team during wartime.

5: Fred Perry

Fred Perry is more than just a clothing line, despite what those adorned in the over-priced garments bearing his name may think; 70 years after his heyday Perry remains the most successful tennis player that Britain has ever produced (sorry Andy.)

Fred Perry statue

A bona fide celebrity, Perry secured eight Grand Slam singles titles in the space of four seasons from 1933-36. He also won every doubles and mixed doubles Grand Slam title available, as well as two US Pro championships. His Davis Cup pairing with Bunny Austin ensured that Great Britain retained the title for four consecutive years.

4: Sir Bradley Wiggins

Born in Belgium, Wiggins moved to England as a child and by the age of 12 had discovered an aptitude for road cycling, progressing through the amateur ranks before turning professional nine years later.

In 2012 he enjoyed his annus mirabilis, winning time trial gold at the Olympics and becoming the first Brit to gain the Tour de France title, both of which resulted in dozens of awards. Wiggins’ attempt to break the hour record this month was unsuccessful, proving that he is human after all.

3: Lennox Lewis

It wasn’t until the final few years of Lewis’ boxing career that he indisputably earned his position among the greats, this despite a constant stream of success for more than a decade – a flash knock-out suffered at the hands of the under rated Oliver McCall giving sceptics fuel for the fire.

Representing Canada on his way to Olympic gold in 1988, Lewis had switched allegiances to Britain when he turned pro (he was born in London.) He went on to beat every opponent he faced in the ring, avenging the only three blemishes on his record by convincingly winning the resultant rematches. ‘The Lion’ remains the most recent undisputed world heavyweight champion, as well as being recognised as the possessor of one of the most effective jabs the sport has ever seen.

2: Sir Steven Redgrave

“If anyone sees me in a boat again I give them permission to shoot me!” So stated Steve Redgrave after winning coxless pair gold for a fourth successive Olympics in Atlanta in 1996.

Yet return he did, and at the 2000 Sydney Olympics a 38-year old Redgrave made it five in a row. His place in Olympic and British sporting folklore assured, the veteran rower did this time stroll into the sunset, focusing his energy on becoming an ambassador for British athletics instead.

1: Sir Bobby Moore

The greatest captain England have ever had, and arguably the finest central defender that the world of football has ever seen. Moore usually reserved his best performances for his country, although he proudly represented his boyhood club, West Ham United, for more than 16 years.

Moore and Pele

His life after football was less successful, with a mediocre stint in management followed by poor business decisions, and a disgraceful shunning by the Football Association. Moore died of liver and bowel Cancer at the age of just 51 in 1993. In death his legacy shines brightly; his incredible tackle that stopped Brazil’s Jairzinho at the 1970 World Cup immortalized by the song ‘Three Lions’ during Euro ’96.

Do you agree with Kureen’s top 50? Let us know in the comment section below, and please remember to like our Facebook page and follow us on Twitter for the latest updates.

Written by Dom Kureen

As a young rapscallion stranded on an Island, my time is split between writing, performing spoken word, wrestling alligators and delivering uplifting pep talks to hairdressers before they prune me.
I meditate and wash daily when possible.

50 greatest British sports stars of all-time: 50-41

All this week Kureen will be counting down the 50 greatest British sports stars of all-time.

Andrew Flintoff: Narrowly missed the cut
Andrew Flintoff: Narrowly missed the cut

The 50 explained

There are some notable absentees from the list who just missed the cut. The likes of World Cup winning goalkeeper Gordon Banks, Ashes hero Andrew Flintoff, sailing superstar Ellen MacArthur, and former French Open tennis champion Sue Barker among them.

The top 50 is based upon the quality of the performer, not their star status. Hence the lack of a David Beckham or perennial underdogs Tim Henman, Frank Bruno and Sir Henry Cooper, who when push comes to shove were very good, but not great.

50: Sally Gunnell

Sally Gunnell remains the only woman to have won the European, World, Commonwealth and Olympic 400 metre hurdles titles. She is additionally the only British woman to have won those four titles in any individual event.

Her gold run in the major championships began in 1992 when she took the Olympic title in Barcelona, followed by a world record obliterating run at the World Championships the following year.

49. John Charles

Rated by many as the greatest ever all-round footballer to come from the British isles, Charles became a Leeds United icon in the 1950’s, before departing Elland Road to join Juventus in 1957 for a British record transfer fee of £65,000.

The Welshman flourished in Turin, leading the Serie A scoring charts with 28 goals in his inaugural season, as his new side won the league title. He placed third in the Ballon d’Or (Golden Ball) in 1959, and was voted Juve’s best ever foreign player during the club’s centenary celebrations in 1997, having netted 108 times in just 155 league matches, despite playing a third of those as a defender.

48: Lewis Hamilton

Few British sporting icons have polarised opinion like two-time Formula One world champion Lewis Hamilton; be it his on-off relationship with Pussycat Doll Nicole Scherzinger, a snarky arrogance or a perceived lack of patriotism, Hamilton is not held in the esteem usually associated with elite drivers from these shores.

After a staggering rise through karting, Formula Renault, Formula Three and GP2, Hamilton was snapped up by McLaren to partner double World Champion Fernando Alonso. The two couldn’t stand each other, but it was the Brit who outlasted his erstwhile colleague, collecting the world title in 2008, before a move to Mercedes brought another six years later.

47: Steve Ovett

Building his reputation as an athlete who could achieve remarkable times in disparate distances during the 1970’s, it was during the 1980 Moscow Olympics that Ovett’s rivalry with fellow Brit Sebastian Coe reached its peak.

Steve Ovett

Both men contested the 800m and 1500m distances, with Ovett surprising 800m favourite Coe by taking the title, and then experiencing a reversal of roles, with his three-year unbeaten streak over 1500m ending – Ovett settling for bronze as Coe kicked late to triumph.

46: Paula Radcliffe

The current women’s marathon world record holder would sit(or squat) far higher in the list if it wasn’t for her penchant to freeze on the biggest stage.

An incredible, dedicated long distance runner, Radcliffe has won enough gold to make even King Midas envious. Five Olympic finals failed to yield a medal, happily she fared better in the World Championships; securing marathon victory in 2005, and 10,000m silver in 1999.

45: Rory McIlroy

Rory Macilroy

The Northern Irish golfer appears to have the world at his feet at just 26 years of age. Indeed, in five years time he will probably make the top 10 of this list, such is the upside of a player who has been swinging a club since the age of three.

With four majors already in the bag, and inevitable comparisons to a young, pre-scandal Tiger Woods, golf’s current world number one won both the PGA and Open Championships in 2014, and has already snaffled three titles on the tour this year. There’s no ceiling to his potential, as long as he doesn’t become distracted by extra curricular enterprises.

44: Charlotte Edwards

England’s current women’s cricket captain is one of the greatest players the sport has ever seen.

The only woman to score more than 2000 runs in T20 matches, Edwards made her international bow at just 16 years of age, remaining at the top of her craft for the next two decades. In 2014 she was part of the group of England players to be awarded central contracts by the ECB, another major milestone for the women’s game.

43: Nigel Mansell

Mansell often cut a grey, monotone mannequin among the glitz and glamour of motor racing, but it was from inside the cockpit that he came to life.

Having seen world titles snatched away on the final day of more than one season, 1992 finally brought the moustachioed Brummie the F1 championship he craved, with a little help from the unparalleled early 90’s Williams team. Within six months he’d become the first man to simultaneously hold that title and the CART Indy world series when he triumphed in his début season in America.

42: Sir Roger Bannister

With the 1952 Helsinki Olympics failing to provide the tonic of a 1500m medal that Bannister had long expected, the athlete became obsessed with another goal; becoming the first person to break the 4 minute mile.

6 May 1954:  Roger Bannister breaks the 4 Minute Mile in 3 Minutes 59.4 Seconds. Mandatory Credit: Allsport UK/Getty Images
6 May 1954: Roger Bannister breaks the 4 Minute Mile in 3 Minutes 59.4 Seconds. Mandatory Credit: Allsport UK/Getty Images

The feat was achieved in Oxford in 1954, with the stadium announcer drowned out by a fanatical support in the stands after uttering the number three (the final time was actually 3 minutes, 59.4 seconds.) Bannister managed this with only sporadic training while he studied to become a junior doctor.

41: Bunny Austin

Henry Wilfred “Bunny” Austin played during an era of high quality tennis players, thus missing out on Grand Slam glory despite reaching five major finals in all, .

He and Fred Perry ensured that Britain had a tight grip on the Davis Cup from 1933-36, with the tandem beating all-comers for four years before both wound down their careers. Austin is widely considered the greatest male player not to win a Grand Slam.

Bunny Austin only at number 41??? Come back tomorrow to find out who kept the legend of SW19 out of the top 40, as we focus on positions 40th down to 31st.

Written by Dom Kureen

As a young rapscallion stranded on an Island, my time is split between writing, performing spoken word, wrestling alligators and delivering uplifting pep talks to hairdressers before they prune me.
I meditate and wash daily when possible.

Enemy Within The Camp

Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg’s tempestuous alliance came to a head during qualifying for the Monaco Grand Prix last weekend, with the Brit feeling aggrieved at what he considered to be a deliberate sabotage of his final bid to prise pole-position away from his Mercedes cohort.

Kewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg

Rosberg went on to win the race, with Hamilton 2nd, meaning that the German regained top spot in the championship, having finished as runner-up to his team-mate on four consecutive occasions previously.

This isn’t the first occurrence of Nicole Scherzinger‘s bygone beau coming into conflict with an apparent ally, having locked horns with Spaniard Fernando Alonso when the two were on McLaren’s books during the 2007 F1 season.

There’s no doubt that the 28 year old’s pursuit of perfection often rubs those closest to him up the wrong way, nor that he possesses a volatile streak that is equal measures blessing and curse.

Conscious that he is the superior technician in the team, Hamilton is abundantly aware that, equipped with this season’s premier vehicle, a better opportunity will rarely, if ever, present itself to augment his single world-title haul, with 2008 providing an isolated triumph thus far.

Rosberg on the other hand is aiming for a first success and, whilst not as naturally blessed as Hamilton, is arguably the most psychologically stable competitor on the circuit.

With the German now four points clear of his sidekick, the remaining races promise to unfurl into an intense two-horse race to the title, with the uneasy union between the two Mercedes drivers only likely to get more fraught as the pressure intensifies.

One thing that is for certain is that while it’s a relief to see a team other than Red Bull dominate on the track, the same issues are still prevalent in motor sports’ premier competition, as one team has a set-up that is vastly superior to any other, guaranteeing that the only competition come courtesy of their own ranks.

On the plus side, this one promises to go down to the wire, unlike many of the glorified processions witnessed during Sebastian Vettel’s previous half a decade of supremacy.

 

Written by Dom Kureen

As a young rapscallion stranded on an Island, my time is split between writing, performing spoken word, wrestling alligators and delivering uplifting pep talks to hairdressers before they prune me.
I meditate and wash daily when possible.