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Sporting legends and record breakers

Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson won the Sport Award in St David Awards 2014

For a small nation, we have accomplished some remarkable achievements in the world of sport. Learn about some of our renowned sports legends and heroes of past, present and future…


Gareth Bale is a football superstar, recognised worldwide. The Cardiff born professional footballer broke records becoming the most expensive player when he transferred to Real Madrid in 2013 for a world record transfer fee of little over €100 million. He was part of the Wales squad that made it to the semi-finals at UEFA Euro 2016 and has now achieved the feat of being Wales' all time top scorer. 


Gold medallist in the long jump in the 1964 Summer Olympics, Lynn Davies (nicknamed 'Lynn the Leap') was the flag bearer for Great Britain's team in the 1968 Olympic games. He is the only Welsh athlete to have won gold in an individual Olympic track and field event.


Rugby player Gareth Edwards was the first Welsh player to reach 50 caps for Wales. His 50th Test came at Twickenham at the start of Wales’ Grand Slam season. Edwards was part of 3 Grand Slam wins for Wales by the time he reached the age of 30.


Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson OBE is one of the world’s most successful Paralympians. Dame Grey-Thompson won 16 Paralympic medals between 1988 and 2004 in wheelchair track events; ten of the medals were gold. She has also won gold in two world championships and has won the women's wheelchair race at the London Marathon on six occasions.


110m hurdler Colin Jackson had a spectacular career in athletics. A former world record holder for 13 years; he was double world champion, four time European champion and twice Commonwealth champion. He is in the British Athletics Hall of Fame.


Cyclist Nicole Cooke MBE won gold at the 2008 Beijing Olympics. She followed this up with gold at the world championship road race just six weeks later, becoming the first cyclist in history to win Olympic and World Championship road race in the same year.


Joe Calzaghe CBE is a retired two-weight world boxing champion, who after 46 professional fights, and over 10 years as World Champion, remained undefeated. The Pride of Wales unified the WBA, WBO, IBF, WBO and Ring magazine super-middleweight titles and is regarded by many as the best British Boxer of all time.


Italian-Welshman Enzo Calzaghe MBE has trained 4 Welsh World Boxing champions including his son Joe, which is incredible considering there has only been 12 ever.


Winger, Shane Williams is the record Rugby Union try scorer for Wales, and is fourth on the international list of leading rugby union test try scorers of all time.


Ian Woosnam is a legendary professional golfer, competing in Masters Tournaments around the world. Since victory at the Swiss Open in 1982 ‘Woosie’ has won more professional golf tournaments than any other British golfer. He has achieved a staggering 47 worldwide tournament victories, including the US Masters at Augusta in 1991. In 1987 he became the first player to win £1 million in prize money in a single year!


Footballer John Charles is considered by many to have been the greatest all-round footballer ever to come from Britain. He was world class in both centre-half or centre-forward. When he joined the Italian club Juventus he broke transfer fee records at the time. He was also one of the first British professional players to be signed for an overseas team.


Bale’s school mate Sam Warburton is an International Rugby player. He gained his first senior cap for Wales in 2009. Since then he has captained the side and made more than 90 appearances for Wales. He was also selected to captain the British and Irish Lions tours in 2013 and 2017.


Ian Rush He is the all-time leading goal scorer for Liverpool Football Club, having scored a total of 346 goals in all competitions during his two spells. For Wales Rush scored 28 goals between 1980 and 1996 and is the nations 2nd highest goal scorer ever. 


Mark Williams is a 2 time World champion snooker player and he achieved the incredible feat of winning the Triple Crown of snooker trophies in the same year 2002/2003, which includes the World Championship, the UK Championship and the Masters. Only two other players have ever done that.


S7 classification swimmer, David Roberts is an eleven-time Paralympic gold medalist and is considered one of Great Britain's most successful Paralympians ever.


Helen Jenkins (formerly Tucker) is the greatest British female triathlete ever, having won 3 World championship triathlon gold medals, amongst winning and placing in a number of other elite events.


Non Evans MBE is a unique athlete. Not only did she captain the Welsh Rugby side scoring 489 points and 64 tries in her 87 appearances but she also represented Wales in weightlifting, wrestling and judo at two Commonwealth Games.


Marathon runner Steve Jones set a previous world record for the marathon in Chicago in 1984 with a time of 2:08:05. Amazingly this was a British record for 33 years. He also won a bronze medal at the Commonwealth Games in the 10,000m in 1986.


Nigel Owens MBE holds the Rugby Union record for most matches as an international referee. He became a record breaker when he took charge of the Fiji v Tonga World Cup qualifying match in June 2016, which was his 71st match as an international referee with many more to come.


Jade Jones won Great Britain's first Olympic Gold medal in Taekwondo in the London 2012 Olympic Games, then in the Rio 2016 she defended her title bringing home Olympic Gold for a second time.


400m hurdler Dai Greene from Felinfoel is a European, Commonwealth and World Champion claiming gold medals in 2010 and 2011.


Welsh rugby prop Gethin Jenkins has made an impressive 129 appearances for Wales making him the most capped Welsh player and has 5 caps for the British and Irish Lions. He has played in 4 Championship winning Welsh sides, including the Grand Slams of 2005, 2008 and 2012.


Geraint Thomas MBE who rides for the UCI World Team, Team Sky, Wales and Great Britain is a 2 time gold medalist! He is also the first Welshman to wear the prestigious yellow jersey in the Tour De France.


Elinor Barker MBE is now an Olympic champion, 2 time world and 3 time European champion in the team pursuit, as well as a world champion in the points race in 2017.