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All-time favourite female UK athletes

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  • All-time favourite female UK athletes

    I don't know who else has been watching the latest iteration of Pilgrimage on BBC, but Fatima Whitbread is taking part, and for someone approaching 60 she is looking incredibly well. It did make me wonder, given I am stuck indoors most of the time, who are my all time favourite British athletes. Though never quite the same Coe-Ovet axis of rivalry I was always on the Whitbread, as opposed to a Sanderson, divide, and she is well ensconced in my all time top ten female British athletes.

    So in the spirit of lists and debates with no actual athletics happening and this forum withering as a result ... who are your top ten?

    (mine to follow after breakfast...)

    Happy and safe Easter All
    Last edited by carterhatch; 12-04-20, 13:09.

  • #2
    OK... no takers between posting my new topic and breakfast, so to further encourage debate ...

    My first five were very easy to decide, although in no particular order ... Dame Kelly Holmes, Kathy Cook, KJT, Sally Gunnell and Jo Pavey

    I had to give some consideration to the next five, with my commitment to Fatima Whitbread (would her famous celebration wiggle cause outrage these days) already in place, DASHER, on the cusp of becoming a legend, then I had to include Shirley Strong, a name made for comic book heroines (though there is that fantastic photo of her with a medal in one hand, and a fag in the other!) and Perri Shakes-Drayton (oh what could have been) and my earliest recollection, (Lady) Mary Peters, bless her!


    Last edited by carterhatch; 12-04-20, 13:05.

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    • Alanx7
      Alanx7 commented
      Editing a comment
      Again in no particular order:

      Dame Kelly Holmes
      Tessa Sanderson
      Jess Ennis-Hill
      Lady Mary Peters
      Sally Gunnell
      Joe Pavey
      Judy Oakes
      Joyce Smith
      Mary Rand
      Donna Hartley

  • #3
    whoops.... yes, AlanX7, quite right, I forgot Jess Ennis - Hill! and it was a toss-up between Donna Hartley and Shirley Strong, with Donna Fraser an honourable mention.

    Comment


    • #4
      Thanks Laps, only took two days to winkle out another response... I have been pondering my top ten male equivalent but wont post another topic ...

      Very interesting that Jo Pavey has appeared on all three 'lists' a testament to the affection held for an athlete whose palmarès may not be as glittering as others, but no one could surpass her for sheer effort.

      for clarity my list ...

      Top 5 - almost set in stone

      Dame Kelly Holmes
      Kathy Cook
      KJT
      Sally Gunnell
      Jo Pavey

      Next 5 - a work in progress

      Fatima Whitbread
      Lady Mary Peters
      Perri Shakes-Drayton
      Jessica Ennis Hill
      DASHER

      Donna Hartley was probably my favourite as a small child, Shirley Strong, when my testosterone began to rise, and Donna Fraser, in full flow down a back straight of a 400 was a sight to behold . I am getting longer in the tooth but I am hoping that Amy Hunt may bring some joy once we get through this and challenge this list!

      Comment


      • #5
        Originally posted by Laps
        My top ten in rough order -

        Kathy Cook
        Mary Rand
        Jess Ennis-H
        Ann Packer
        Jo Pavey
        Perri Shakes-D
        Lilian Board
        Katarina J-T
        Christine Ohuruogu
        Kelly Holmes
        Good to see Lilian Board getting included.

        Dorothy Hyman another if you want to go back even further but before most peoples time on here. Very nearly a gold medalist in 1960 in the 100m.

        Comment


        • #6
          Sanderson and Whitbread would, unsurprisingly, both make my list.

          No mentions for Radcliffe so far.

          Comment


          • #7
            Remember folks this is your 'favourite' top ten... there needn't be a haul of medals to justify entry into the list, and entirely subjective much like my men's list

            top 5 - pretty much set in stone

            Alan Pascoe - probably my earliest athletics memories
            Dave Moorcroft - barely gets mentioned when us oldies talk about the golden days
            Seb Coe - Who?
            Roger Black
            Daley Thompson - very rarely star struck, but... saw him walking among a crowd at London 2012, and politely asked if i could shake the hand of a genuine sporting superstar...

            next 5 fluid and fickle

            Steve Backley - doesn't do a bad job as a commentator either
            Johnny 'two chests' Regis
            Brian Hooper - ok mostly for his superstar exploits
            Mark Richardson - where is he now?
            Adam Gemilli - a credit to his generation






            Comment


            • Alanx7
              Alanx7 commented
              Editing a comment
              Daley Thompson
              Steve Ovett
              Kriss Akabusi
              Roger Black
              David Hemery
              Steve Backley
              Dave Bedford
              Dick Taylor
              Ron Hill
              John Tarrant

          • #8
            I started watching athletics as a kid in 1979 but not intensively until '81/'82.

            In no particular order, (probably) my top ten:

            Yvonne Murray
            Christine Ohuruogu
            Jo Pavey
            Shireen Bailey
            Christina Boxer
            Sally Gunnell
            Jess Piasecki
            Laura Muir
            Steph Twell
            Jessica Ennis

            Goodnight.
            Last edited by LuckySpikes; 15-04-20, 01:07.

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            • #9
              I've seem to have left out a few good ones, but here's my list in alphabetical order:

              Kathy Cook (who would be a lot more famous if East Germany didn't dope)
              Jessica Ennis Hill (brilliant personality)
              Kelly Holmes (met her twice)
              Lynne MacDougall
              Laura Muir
              Yvonne Murray (I am a Scot if my justification for those three)
              Paula Radcliffe (one of the few I've been within Social distancing range)
              Joyce Smith (The first female to beat me in a road race, Hamstead 10 miles 1980)
              Shirley Strong (when I started to get AW, she was the first female on cover - Com Games 1500m on the first one I got)
              Leslie Watson (I watched her running a Marathon in London in 1980)

              Comment


              • #10
                Quite glad this popped up due to spam.

                Christine Ohuruogu
                Jessica Ennis-Hill
                Kelly Holmes
                Nicola Sanders
                Jo Pavey
                Katarina Johnson-Thompson
                Dina Asher-Smith
                Goldie Sayers
                Perri Shakes-Drayton
                Helen Clitheroe

                Just shown how young I am, but they're mine in no particular order!

                Comment


                • carterhatch
                  carterhatch commented
                  Editing a comment
                  young-ish you may be, but a well rounded contemporary collection - I had thought about a further thread of one's top ten female UK moments of all-time and Nicola Sanders is certainly there for me (Birmingham 1007 European indoor 400m if anyone is wondering). Now, I know other forum users are lurking, so how about your choices! Plus another vote for Jo Pavey
                  Last edited by carterhatch; 19-04-20, 11:00.

              • #11
                Originally posted by MBChristie View Post
                I've seem to have left out a few good ones, but here's my list in alphabetical order:

                Kathy Cook (who would be a lot more famous if East Germany didn't dope)
                Jessica Ennis Hill (brilliant personality)
                Kelly Holmes (met her twice)
                Lynne MacDougall
                Laura Muir
                Yvonne Murray (I am a Scot if my justification for those three)
                Paula Radcliffe (one of the few I've been within Social distancing range)
                Joyce Smith (The first female to beat me in a road race, Hamstead 10 miles 1980)
                Shirley Strong (when I started to get AW, she was the first female on cover - Com Games 1500m on the first one I got)
                Leslie Watson (I watched her running a Marathon in London in 1980)
                Kathy Cook would be the 1982 European 200m Champion (and Bev Callender would have won the silver medal behind her btw), and the 1983 World 200m silver medalist (potentially gold medalist depending on how cynically you view Merlene Ottey's career doping wise). So yeah, you right in that she'd be a lot more well known in Britain outside of athletics fans if the East Germans were not there.

                Comment


              • #12
                Kathy Cook
                Sally Gunnell
                Tessa Sanderson
                Yvonne Murray
                Zola Budd
                Kelly Holmes
                Kirsty Wade
                Jess Ennis
                Christina Boxer

                A mix of old and new stars, for me. Jo Pavey just outside my top ten, along with Sotherton, KJT and Judy Simpson.

                Comment


                • Alanx7
                  Alanx7 commented
                  Editing a comment
                  I think there's room to squeeze a 10th nominee in?

                • carterhatch
                  carterhatch commented
                  Editing a comment
                  Alanx7 is correct - you have only named 9 so far, so still a chance for Ms. Pavey Seems i might be on the wrong side of the Whitbread/Sanderson divide .

              • #13
                LOL! Pavey it is. Thanks, both.

                Comment


                • #14
                  Top 10 British female athletes from my perspective, in no particular order...

                  Dame Jessica Ennis Hill (Obvious choice)

                  Kathy Cook (Was Britian's finest female sprinter.... until my next choice that is)

                  Dina Asher Smith (I'm so sad that we're not going to see her in Tokyo this year, going up against the best of the best. Who knows what shape she'll be in come 2021?)

                  Laura Muir (Has been unfortunate that she has arrived on the scene at the same time that the depth in women's 1500m running is pretty much at an all time high. But she is still one of my choices for her sheer guts, determination and persistance as she looks to win a major championship medal outdoors.)

                  Paula Radcliffe (Bar really unfortunate injuries coming at completely inopportune times in her career, she would be an Olympic champion in the marathon in 2004 and possibly in 2008 as well. Rather than just being known for her exploits on the streets of London and elsewhere, and holding the women's marathon record for so many years

                  Jo Pavey

                  Katerina Johnson Thompson (I'm *amazed* that more people haven't mentioned our latest multievents megastar after winning in Doha, in their lists)

                  Sally Gunnell (When her career is looked back upon, it's truly amazing what Gunnell achieved... Holding every major championship 400m hurdles title at the same time, while also breaking the world record? Crazy!)

                  Christine Ohuruogu (She should be recognized as one of the greatest female athletes, along with Ennis Hill, in world athletics, let alone British athletics. I mean, winning an Olympic title and two World titles, along with a Commonwealth title, is pretty freaking significant... and done in a not-weak era either for 400m too.)

                  Dame Kelly Holmes (Again, another obvious choice)



                  Last edited by RunUnlimited; 23-04-20, 09:54.

                  Comment


                  • carterhatch
                    carterhatch commented
                    Editing a comment
                    Glad you have done a list RunUnlimited- Interesting how you can take a stab at someones age from their choices, and you are a little younger perhaps than i thought ;.. Jo Pavey receives another endorsement - perhaps AW might write an article on her popularity among the forum. I agree Sally Gunnell doesn't get the credit she deserves, and you will note she is firmly rooted in my all time top 5....stay safe RU

                • #15
                  Sally in Barcelona was one of my first ‘big’ moments in athletics. Everyone had been talking about Linford and then bam...I remember trying to hurdle instead of walk everywhere! Kelly Holmes’ whole career was just an epic follow, as was Paula’s - classic British rooting for the nearly-woman. Females are dominating British athletics currently, and in a much more competitive era are holding their own worldwide

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