Since the Olympics in London, 2012, UK sport has influenced million of people around the world. And it’s not just mainstream sports people such as footballers and cricketers, but also now athletes such as Jessica Ennis and Mark Cavendish have been thrust into the spotlight. So whilst the English football team, for example, has always had the pressure of world expectation on their shoulders, cycling, swimming and athletics are increasing in prominence and influence. Here, the Vivi team tell us who they think the most influential person in UK sport is, and why.
Tom Verghese – David Beckham has just become a global icon really, all through his prominence as a footballer and role model. In his early career he took a lot of stick for his deemed intelligence, or lack of, but he has truly gone on to become one of the most recognised faces in, arguably, the world in 2015. His influence on not only football, but sport as a whole, cannot be underestimated. He is now more than just a sports person, he is an ambassador for British sport.
Chris Smith – It really pains me to say this (being a Liverpool fan), but I’d have to say Sir Alex Ferguson. Football is the biggest sport on the planet, period, and in the modern game there has been none other who has elevated UK football onto the world scene. Man Utd have become the most dominant force in English football history, taking over from Liverpool. The Man Utd club he has built has helped inspire millions around the world, promote the sport of football, and revolutionise the commercial side of the game (both as a business and bringing top talent to the Premier League). It was Fergie after all who took a punt on a young, raw talent named Cristiano Ronaldo.
Dan Casey – Bradley Wiggins perhaps? One of a host of cyclists whose achievements seem to have spawned a nation of cycling enthusiasts. I’ve gone for Wiggins as he is not only an incredibly successful sports person, but also a cultural hero in the UK (think sideburns!).
Sam Jones – Sir Dave Brailsford. Whilst not an athlete himself, the current Team Sky general manager and former GB head coach has helped produce talent after talent after talent. Laura Trott, Bradley Wiggins, Chris Froome – they have all blossomed under his tutelage. He has helped put cycling on the map in the UK, and with cycling continuing to grow in popularity his influence on UK sport is enormous.