To some, names mean everything. My own personal favourite forename is David, and so I shall be celebrating my all time top 10 sports related David’s. In no particular order.
1. David ‘Lord’ Triesman. The maverick chairman of the F.A has made waves during his first year in office, most notably by dismissing Brian Barwick as chief executive, finally disposing the F.A reputation of an ‘old boys club.’ The verbose, erudite Triesman is also the first ever independent chairman of the F.A, and boasts four years as a member of the House Of Lords, and perhaps more saliently, seven years as a member of the Communist Party, during the seventies. A believer in power to the people, here’s hoping that he continues to make the right decisions first, rather than the safe ones.
2. David ‘Hayemaker’ Haye. The former undisputed Cruiserweight boxing champion of the world, and now the number one contender in the Heavyweight division, Haye is one of a rare breed – an intelligent sportsman. Fantastically charismatic, and able to put his money where his mouth is, Haye’s dynamite fists have taken him to the brink of his sports biggest prize. It is a testament to his dedication and mental strength that he was able to bounce back from an early career loss to Carl Thompson, by only choosing the best opponents to fight, rather than cherry pick his way through various boxing bums. An upcoming bout with Vitali Klitschko could cement his legacy within the sport.
3. David ‘Goldenballs’ Beckham. Perhaps the most famous sportsman in the world, Beckham has seen his stock rise over the last year by actually seeking to improve himself as an athlete as a result of his transfer to AC Milan, from the soccer backwaters of Los Angeles. Despite his enormous fortune, Beckham has never stopped dedicating himself to his sport, and remains one of the finest crossers of a ball in football, which is no mean feat considering Ronaldo’s soirées with male prostitutes in Brazil last year.
4. David ‘Because I’m Worth It’ Ginola. Owner of perhaps the finest barnet in football (sorry Bee’s fans) David Ginola was an elegant, exciting football player who exuded cool on a grand scale, hell he even made black and white stripes look cool. Not many men could appear in shampoo adverts and still remain a fans favourite, but he managed it thanks to his sensational mazy runs, and precise finishing. Although he never really peaked with the French national team (earning a mere 17 caps) he will forever be looked back on fondly, by northerners and southerners alike.
5. David ”Stylish’ Gower. A feared left handed batsman in his pomp, with a hugely impressive average of 44.25, the ex England captain has carved out a successful post cricket career, first with a memorable stint as team captain on sports show ‘They Think It’s All Over’, and latterly as the anchor of Sky Sports excellent coverage of cricket. David was awarded the “Oldie Of The Year” award in 1993, joining an exclusive club featuring such luminaries Tony Blackburn, and Spike Milligan. Also once flew a plane over an Australian cricket ground. A true gentleman.
6. David ‘Campo’ Campese. Campese was uniquely great in rugby – equally blessed with both genius, and madness. One minute he would be cantering down the wing at breakneck speed, and the next rueing a terrible passing error. An arrogant Aussie – an oxymoron I’m sure you’re thinking, Campese once boasted of being a millionaire. No big deal for a high class sportsman, only rugby had yet to turn into a professional game at this time, and any prize money earned would have been minuscule. Perhaps most notably, he was referenced in the song ‘Self Suicide’, by the most critically acclaimed hip-hop group of all time, Goldie Lookin’ Chain.
7. David ‘Vs’ Goliath. Not one of the more recent David’s that’s for sure, but this David had everything a modern sportsman should have – bravery, dedication, and a slingshot. Some of Britain’s underachievers should study tapes of David’s most famous victory, his annihilation of the dreaded behemoth ‘Goliath,’ a two-hundred feet monster. In scenes vaguely reminiscent of Evander Holyfield’s fight with the lumbering Russian giant Nikolai Valuev, David worked the body with a barrage of sling-shots, and eventually won on a split decision, unlike Holyfield who was robbed. There was no rematch.
8. David ‘Safe Hands’ Seaman. Although he shares a last name with a sticky substance that comes out from seemingly nowhere, Seaman cannot be blamed for spilling Nayim’s cheeky effort in the ’94 Cup Winners Cup final all over himself. In fact, Seaman’s strength of character is huge – who else can come back from such glaring errors, most obviously his horrific goalkeeping jersey during Euro ’96. Luckily for him, his goalkeeping skills, and his uncanny resemblance to the man on the front of Pringle’s tubes are sure to see him through as a true British hero.
9. David ‘Square Jaw’ Coulthard. David, or DC to anybody who watched ITV’s coverage of Formula One at all, was a racing driver who never quite made it to the pinnacle of the sport, but was always there or there abouts. A terrific team mate of Mika Häkkinen during the nineties, DC always maintained a sense of dignity, and always kept his head whilst others were losing theirs. That was until Felipe Massa cut him up at a corner during the 2008 season, and caused him to crash his car. “I know I screwed up in the same way last season, but I took full responsibility for it and I would expect Felipe to do the same,” Coulthard said, reasonably. “And if he doesn’t then I’m going to kick ten colours of shit out of the little bastard.” For that alone, he makes my list.
10. David ‘Trophies’ May. Seemingly at Manchester United forever, May became infamous during the 1998-1999 season, when he was seen celebrating wildly during each of United’s treble trophy wins, despite only playing a mere 85 league games in NINE seasons with the club. Still a hero for winning double the amount of Premiership titles as Alan Shearer with minimal effort. A true hero for the name David.