Harrow’s Sporting Heroes
Despite a population of less than 300,000 people, Harrow has produced more than its fair share of talent including film and television stars, iconic fashion designers and, of course, sporting giants.
From boxers to Premier League footballers, it seems that Harrow folk are champions when it comes to excelling at sports. Here’s just a few famous names who began their lives in our beautiful borough:
Sir Roger Bannister
The first athlete to complete a mile run in under four minutes, Sir Roger Bannister enjoyed an extremely successful career as an athlete before going on to become a distinguished neurologist. Born in Harrow in 1929, Sir Roger attended Vaughan Road Primary school before eventually leaving Harrow to attend Oxford University. Sir Roger Bannister sadly passed away this March aged 89.
Olympic gold medal winner, Audley Harrison, was a professional super-heavyweight boxer until his retirement in 2013. Born in Park Royal, Audley signed a £1 million deal with the BBC in 2001 whereby the broadcasting giant retained the exclusive rights to his next 10 fights. Since his retirement in 2014, Audley has stayed out of the spotlight in order to enjoy time with his wife and children.
Cricketer, Mark Ramprakash, was born in Bushey in 1969 and attended Gayton High School (now renamed Harrow High School). Mark was selected to play for England at the tender age of 21 and enjoyed a long and successful career. He is one of only 25 cricketers to have scored 100 first class centuries. Nicknamed ‘Bloodaxe’ by his Middlesex team-mates, Mark confirmed his retirement from professional cricket in 2012 and, has since appeared on BBC’s Strictly Come Dancing.
Born in Stanmore in 1989, Theo Walcott is a Premier League football player who was also part of the England squad back in 2006. Theo currently plays as a forward for Premier League team, Everton and was the youngest ever player to score a hat trick for England.
Although born in Watford, renowned footballer and actor, Vinnie Jones, played football for Alliance Premier League side Wealdstone at the age of 19. Following a phenomenal football career which included playing for Manchester United and Leeds United, Vinnie went on to become a popular actor in films such as Snatch, X-Men and Mean Machine.
As another year draws to a close, we look forward to seeing more of Harrow’s heroes on the world’s pitches and tracks in the future.
By Nicci Rae