The Joy of Six: players who have exceeded in more than one boast | Michael Butler and Ian McCourt

From a gun-slinging Jackie Stewart to Tadhg Kennellys exploits in Gaelic football and AFL, there are half-a-dozen jocks who have switched sports

1) Simen Agdestein

For most people, football and chess has not been able to be more different. One is played in the silt and rainwater. The other does not even expects trainers. Football is a team game played on instinct, a chaos hypothesi in which two parallels are never the same, with musicians reacting to a round objective pin-balling around a rectangle of grass. Some beings struggle to see chess as a play wholly( it is, and has been recognised as such by the International Olympic Committee since 2000) but it remains an introverted campaign that is built on patterns and plan, with criticizes and counterattacks often prepared a dozen moves in advance.

How Simen Agdestein managed to master these two restraints remains a marvel. Born in Oslo in 1967 to a civil engineer and a secretary, he only started knocking a ball around at the age of eight, and only played chess seriously at 11. By 15 “hes been” “the member states national” chess endorse( the first of 7 claims ). Three year later he was Norways firstly grandmaster and had also been called up to the junior national football unit. When I came home from academy I slept a bit, he said in 2007. Then it was out to football prepare, and when I got home I sat up and read chess into the darknes. I was quite tired at institution the next day.

What is so making about Agdesteins story is that these two lives one huddled in quiet rooms with a ticking clock, the other out on blustery tones in the Scandinavian elements is they loped concurrently, even interdependently.

Agdestein knew then what grandmasters have now been started addressing that physical circumstance is fundamental to becoming a world-class participate, especially when energy-sapping matches last for hours at a time, in tournaments that last days. Magnus Carlsen, the present world-wide No1 and undeniably the sign son of chess, often plays football and runs on a treadmill every day. It is no coincidence that Carlsen, too a Norwegian, was coached by Agdestein when he became the youngest ever grandmaster in 2004. Carlsen is now coached by Agdesteins brother, Espen.

There are lots of similarities between the two[ sports ], Agdestein told the New York Times in 1996. The part of the preparations for my football matches and chess activities was very similar. I would work on my own. I would concentrate and sleep a lot. It was a good balance I was strong physically. I would take risks; and I would also are in conformity with strong post and contend and come back to win activities I shouldnt win. The physical facet is the most important thing.

Around the time Agdestein reached his international debut for Norway in 1988, against an Italian defense that included Franco Baresi and Paolo Maldini, the striker was also at the heyday of his chess-playing abilities, rising to No17 in “the worlds”. His solitary international aim, emanating against Czechoslovakia afterward that time, played out like a pre-planned chess move. Agdestein knew what opening he was going to manipulate, knew what he was going to do with the ball before he received it, back to objective, just like he knew what he was going to do with a castle or with a cavalier. One suggestion, two, three. Unexpectedly the pellet was in the net. It is a beautiful goal.

If football was his first love, chess was always his priority. Despite being prolific for his hometown football area Lyn, Agdestein would often be granted leave by the manager Egil Olsen( who would eventually control Norway and Wimbledon) to performance and rule chess. He once refused to meet with scouts from Besiktas because it clashed with a chess tournament in Holland. He missed a World cup finals preparing coincide against Scotland in 1989 to performance the members of the commission in Belgrade.

After eight international appearances, Agdestein was forced to retire from football at the age of 23 because of a knee hurt, and without a physical shop, he was no longer able to concentrate for long periods of time, and would often hyperventilate or develop shooting pains in his arms during chess competitors. He would never contact the same summits in either play, and had to fall back on to other things, like his degree in political science, writing for a national newspaper and playing classical piano. Both an imposing 6ft 2in striker and a softly-spoken grandmaster, he was at home in those two resisting natures and seemingly lost without them. Michael Butler

2) Sir Jackie Stewart

Jackie Stewart simply turned to engine hastening in the 1960 s after his hopes of vying at the 1960 Olympics were extinguished. Image: PA Photo/ PA

Everybody knows the Running Scot. The three-time Formula One world championis synonymous with machine racing, renowned for his flat detonators, sunglasses, sideburns and indomitable approach to driving in arguably the boasts most dangerous span. As a son however, Stewart was not so intrepid, in fact he was quite the opposite. Bullied at school and beaten up on Dumbarton High Street in his house town for the purposes of an apparent lack of knowledge which was in fact owing to a serious dyslexia his youth was blighted by a lack of confidence, social skills and direction.

Stewarts grandfather was a gamekeeper and he would find solace in the wild as small children, stalking deer on the banks of Loch Lomond and shooting parsnips that his father would roll down hills.

My life changed on New Years Day 1953 when, aged 13, I took part in a neighbourhood clay pigeon hitting tournament, Stewart wrote in his autobiography. Shooting schooled me how to deal with pressure, how to mix with beings from different walkings of life, how to conduct myself when I prevailed and when I lost. It also made me aware that I play-act best when I was hungry.

Leaving school at 15, happenings moved tight for Stewart, and he promptly became a dead-eye net crap-shooter, winning national deeds, qualifying for the British squad and rivalling at the 1957 European Championships in Paris. In 1958 he would shoot at Monza, where seven years later he would prevail the first of his 27 F1 hastens. But Stewarts career could have been forever altered in 1960 when, on his 21 st birthday, he came within one shot of qualifying for the Olympic Games in Rome. I think its the biggest disappointment of my boasting life, he afterwards declared. Until I was 23 my life was hitting. In killing, you cant blame the car, it wasnt any of the cartridges and it certainly wasnt the gun.

Jackie Stewart at the 1986 Rolex Clay Pigeon Shoot. Photograph: Rex Shutterstock

Following that blow, Stewart turned to motor hastening for the purposes of the alias of AN Other to frustrate his mother finding out and the rest is history. I have always said that my filming had a huge amount to do with the success that I achieved in machine racing, Stewart remarked. By the time I had got there[ F1 ], I had had the excite of win and the agony of overcome with my Olympic experience. I had “ve been through” all of the absolute requisite for total focus, for total commitment. MB

3) Tadhg Kennelly

The siren had blown. It was over. The mob and commentators appeared. The commentators too: For the first time in 72 years, the Swans are champions of the AFL. The 2005 Grand Final had been one of the most significant of all time, with Sydney defeating the West Coast Eagles by four points.

After the competition, the dressing room was flooded with fans and the media but Tadhg Kennelly managed to find their own families. When “his fathers” hugged him, the snaps of pleasure began to fall. Right at that moment, he wrote in his autobiography, Unfinished Business, I was the most wonderful humankind in the world. Id reached the pinnacle in my choose sport, done something no Irishman had ever done before[ and] done something that almost everyone imagined I couldnt do.

From a young age, Kennelly was eager to follow in the steps of “his fathers”, Tim. The latter had five All-Ireland wins medallions with Kerry. By persons under the age of 17, Kennelly Jr was well on his road. He was the Listowel elderly musician of the year and give full play for Ireland Under-1 7s in the international rules sequence. It was then he caught the eye of the AFL recruiters.

Initially, he was none very impressed at future prospects. What the fuck is this? he requested upon being handed an elliptical AFL ball for the first time. This is bollocks. What am I supposed to be doing with it? Kennellys AFL experience had been limited to watching spotlights on Sport Daily and hearing about the manipulates of Jim Stynes and SA( c) an Wight but he soon got to controls with the athletic and exceeded in two tests. The second one of the following options envisioned him being offered a full award by the Swans. The words were generous amongst other things, they are able to communicate him to university and paid under his accommodation but his mothers were unsure.

He was adamant he wanted to go. The happen that was driving me was the nightmare Id had all through my childhood of being a professional sportsman. While I desired Gaelic football, “theres only” ever going to be an amateur sport.

The Swans persevered and so did the family arguings with many interspersed by some typical teenage opening slamming until Kennelly got his path and was sent off to Australia with a shindig at his parents pub and with John B Keane guiding the carols. It was his first time leaving the country; hed had opportunities to leave before when the English football clubs Tranmere Rovers and Crewe Alexandra offered him tribulations but he had said no. It wasnt my cup of tea.

Once in Australia, he was the No9 pick in the 1999 rookie draft, and he made his professional introduction 2 years later. By the time of the 2005 final, Kennelly was an integral part of the Swans side, playing in every round that season, kicking objectives like this and famously dancing a jig with his championship honour around his neck. His exploits for the team was ultimately find him inducted into their auditorium of fame.

Tadhg Kennelly, right, on the attack for Sydney Swans in the 2005 AFL Grand Final. Image: Adam Pretty/ Getty Images

However, his emptines to follow his family habit and to succeed with Kerry what he described as his calling had not been sated and in 2009, he announced that he would return to Ireland. I want to go back home, be with my family and be fit enough to still play at home, he told at the time. Constituting this decision is on equivalence with me coming out here in the first place it is a risk.

It was a risk worth take. He rendered at the start of the year and by March he had realise his senior entry. Hurts to key players intend he played in the opening games of the Championship and he impressed as he came off the bench against Dublin in the quarter-finals in front of 81, 890 at Croke Park. That conduct heard him promoted to the first team, and he tallied two points in Kerrys cozy semi-final overcome of Meath. There was simply one competitor left and as hard as Cork tried they were a couple of points onward after 15 minutes but thanks to good work from Kennelly( who perhaps “shouldve been” cast off for his welcome-to-the-game shoulder indictment on Nicholas Murphy) as well as Colm Cooper and TomA! s A” SA( c ), Kerry ran in at half-time two onward no one was botching Kennellys dream.

Once more rips accompanied success. This time, nonetheless, they were bittersweet. His father had passed away four years earlier, months after that Grand Final success in Australia. Treading up to removing the trophy that day, Kennelly recollected the epitomes of his father lifting the accolade and remembered his jig from 2005. As I stepped up, the crowd seems to appreciation what was coming. As I started dancing, they exited bananas. I then grabbed the Sam Maguire and thrust it upwards to the sky. Thats for you, dad.

An emotional Tadhg Kennelly hoists the Sam Maguire accolade at the 2009 All Ireland Final between Kerry and Cork. Photo: Inpho Photography/ Getty Images

Afterwards, Kennelly said the win over Cork outperformed everything else he had achieved but he moved back to Sydney and AFL the next year, playing for two more seasons before announcing his retirement. Ian McCourt

4) Snowy Baker

Can you appoint 29 plays? Maybe you are able to, perhaps you cannot, but lucks are you will get to about 20 before “youre starting” scratching your brain. It is hard enough reeling them off, never mind exceeding in that many trains, but that is exactly what the gorgeously called Snowy Baker did, emulating at territory or national level in everything from hockey to polo, rugby union to equestrian.

Born in Sydney in 1884, Snowy was a jack of all trades, but he was not quite at the top of his trading in any, even though he became the first and only Australian to become involved in three athletics in one Olympic Games, in London in 1908. Boxing is where he came here closest to magnificence, winning a silver medal after a contentious defeat in the middleweight fraction final to Johnny William Henry Douglas, another man of multi-sport aptitude Douglas would later captain the England cricket team and was gifted the Wisden Cricketer of the Year in 1915. Despite contracting enteric delirium and pneumonia in London, Baker had duelled through the qualifying rounds including 3 crusades in one day but was adjudicated to have lost to Douglas on a disputed decision. The official report did not call the referees but Baker afterwards indicated Douglass father, who was then the president of the Amateur Boxing Association, had presided over the decision to handwriting Baker silver.

Actress Anna Q. Nilsson prepares to knock a cigarette out of Australian superstar player Snowy Bakers lip at 15 hoofs with a bullwhip in March 1925. Baker educated her the stunt and she is said to be the only maiden in the US that could do it. Picture: Underwood Archives/ Rex Shutterstock

Baker challenged Douglas to a bare-knuckle fight 2 days later, and knocked the Englishman out cold. Douglas would continue to be baited by the Australian mob during his cricket vocation, and was nicknamed Johnny Wont Hit Today, as a play on his initials and on account of the 1908 polemic as well as his miserly impres proportion with the bat.

Baker was a natural entertainer and, in his later years, diverged out into films, and even educated Elizabeth Taylor, Shirley Temple, Greta Garbo and Rudolph Valentino how to journey horses, barrier and swim before he himself became a silent movie star. But he never get that Olympic gold, and will forever be known as a roughly being who spread himself a little too thin. MB

5) Lottie Dod

Five miles south of Liverpool, on the east side of the Wirral Peninsula, lies Lower Bebington. Of late, it has been famed for being deemed the most desirable home to live in England but it should also be celebrated as the birthplace of Lottie Dod.

Lottie Dod, far left, was a five-time winner of Wimbledon, an Open golf champ, a hockey international and a silver Oympic medallist in archery. Photograph: Ullstein Bild via Getty Images

Dod, who was born there in 1871, was of a prosperous family they were bankers and sellers who obliged coin in the cotton sell which yielded her a privileged childhood as well as the opportunity to indulge in boast without having to worry about future job. She firstly took up tennis( on their own families own courts) at the age of nine and she first tasted success at persons under the age of 14 when she won the singles, doubleds and mixed doublings at the Waterloo tournament. That led to her being dubbed the Little Wonder by the press but her better manipulates were hitherto to come.

She made her behavior south for the 1877 publication of Wimbledon. Dods youth afforded her with an instant advantage over her contestants in the girls singles. As opposed to the restrictive, heavy, floor-length skirts executed upon the older musicians, Dods age signified she was allowed to wear a calf-length dress. Instead of stomping around like a Clydesdale, she could glide across the court. Dod also brought a brand-new style to the womens tournament. Unlike those who rose before her, she crushed and volleyed( in this she was aided by the fact that at 5ft 6ins she was taller than most at the time ).

In the final, she came up against Edith Cole before demolishing her in straight creates 6-2, 6-3 and so, at persons under the age of 15 times and 285 daylights, she became a very young winner of the dames singles at the All England Club. It would be the first of her five Wimbledon titles.

British tennis actor Lottie Dod visualized circa 1890. Photo: W. and D. Downey/ Getty Images

Dod retired from tennis in 1893 “ve lost” only four times in her vocation and never at Wimbledon( where she discontinued simply one situated) and briefly flirted with mountain climbing( inhibiting two mountains over 4,000 m ), frost skating and hockey. In the latter, she played two competitions for England, won both and, in the second one, scored twice in a 2-1 win over Ireland.

Golf, by comparison, maintained her attention for much more significant. She took it up around the time she stopped playing tennis and by 1904 was the British champ. That win entailed Dod was the first and surely the last girl to have ever been crowned Wimbledon and British amateur golf champion.

That cross-over busines would be impressive enough for anyone but it did not stop there for Dod. After golf and a move to Newbury in Berkshire in 1905, she assembled the local organization and took up archery. Three years later she was contesting at the 1908 Olympics in the womens double occasion. She contributed after the first day of the competitor but eventually had to settle for a silver medal. It was one of the few days that Dod, one of the most remarkable players of the Victorian and Edwardian age, “wouldve been” have to settle for second. IMC

6) Vsevolod Bobrov

First of all, gives dig up a few chronicles that belong to Vsevolod Bobrov. As a footballer, playing for Moscow line-ups CDKA( predecessor to CSKA ), VVS, Dynamo and Spartak, Bobrov tallied 97 days in 116 competitors, helping himself to three national championships. Remarkably he made only 3 illusions for the USSR, all during the 1952 Olympic Games in Helsinki, but scored five aims, most notably a hat-trick against Yugoslavia in which he somehow facilitated rescue a 5-1 inadequacy with exclusively 15 hours abiding on the clock.

Vsevolod Bobrov, left, strings up for Dynamo Moscow at Stamford Bridge before the Russian teams friendly against Chelsea in November 1945. Picture: Sputnik/ Alamy Stock Photo

Having also represented Russia at bandy, an ice-based boast played outdoors with a projectile, Bobrov would just like to detected ice hockey in 1945 on a tour of England with Dynamo Moscow, in which he scored six points against the likes of Arsenal, Chelsea and Rangers. By 1947 he had won the first of his seven Russian ice hockey titles.

In this new athletic of his, Bobrov supported even better with a puck than he had with a ball, tallying 254 goals in only 130 parallels a charge of nearly two a game. For our own countries, he netted 89 days in 59 competitions. Standing at less than 6ft tall but prodigiously speedy in the various regions of the ice, he guided his country to Olympic gold at the 1956 Games( he remains one of five people in any athletic to compete at both a summer and wintertime Olympics and triumph a medallion) and two World Championships, the first of which in 1954 passed after the Soviet Union beat their more established Canadian counterparts 7-2 in the final, widely seen as one of the greatest ever upsets. He would afterward oversee the USSR to two more succeeding nature names in 1974 and 1975.

Vsevolod Bobrov, right, in action against Czechoslovakia. Photo: Itar-Tass Photo Agency/ Alamy Stock Photo

Bobrov cheated demise on a number of parties, and was lucky to survive the second world war in Soviet grades. Additionally, in 1950, virtually the entire USSR hockey team was killed in a plane crash, with Bobrov admitting subsequentlies the only reason he was not on the aircraft was because he had overslept. He eventually passed away in Moscow in 1979, aged simply 56.

One of the first inductees into the International Ice Hockey hall of prestige in 1997, Bobrov was voted the third largest greatest Russian athlete of the 20 th century behind the famous football goalkeeper Lev Yashin who also played ice hockey in goal for Dynamo Moscow in the 1950 s and the Greco-Roman wrestler Alexander Karelin, who became undefeated for 13 years. MB

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