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Moonlighting namesakes

ESPN staff
December 14, 2012
Glen Johnson: Liverpool right-back or combative boxer? © PA Photos

As George Groves prepares to meet a man this weekend who could just as likely be a Liverpool and England defender as a light-heavyweight Jamaican boxer, we take a look at ten names that moonlight in multiple sports.

Glen Johnson - Footballer and boxer

Glengoffe Donovan Johnson is known as the "gentleman" of boxing and still competes at the lofty age of 43. He is highly unlikely to be seen bursting 40 yards down the right flank and whipping balls into the box, but a tally of 35 knockouts suggests he might pick up a red card or two. Liverpool's Glen Johnson is in better form, scoring in his last game, while Glengoffe has lost three on the bounce.

Thiago Silva - Footballer and UFC fighter

Both Brazilian, both over six feet tall, and both combative characters. But that's where the comparison ends. Paris St Germain centre-back Thiago Silva recently commanded a €42 million transfer fee and is an Olympic silver medallist. UFC light-heavyweight Thiago Silva is a Muay Thai machine with 11 wins by knockout in his mixed martial arts career. Currently suspended for a failed drug test, he nevertheless has the respect of his namesake's PSG team-mate Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who is a huge UFC fan.

Richard Dawson - Boxer and cricketer

When the announcement was made that Andrew Flintoff would embark on a boxing career, it was little wonder that it initially failed to raise eyebrows. A former cricketer (Flintoff) taking on Gloucestershire spin coach (Dawson) in a ring was hardly mega news. But it was not the googlies of Dawson the cricketer that was the concern for Flintoff, it was his own as he faced an out-of-shape slugger from the States. The fight itself was pretty appalling to watch, unlike the smooth bowling action of Dawson the bowler.

Andrew Murray - Tennis player and boxer

Andy Murray the tennis player is known for his intensity, for his ability to put the heat on his rivals, and for his power off both wings. The same could be said for Andrew Murray the boxer, who has won 25 of 26 bouts. Winner of an Irish light-welterweight title, the 30-year-old cannot claim to be of Olympic gold medal standard like his namesake, but he probably throws a better strop than Andy on court.

Alex Higgins - Snooker player and footballer

The late Alex Higgins was the "Hurricane" of the snooker world, a former world No. 2 and two-time world champion. A fan favourite, he brought personality to the sport and was known to like a drink and a gamble. Alex Higgins the footballer played for Nottingham Forest and Derby, and even picked up a cap for Scotland. If one was the "Hurricane", the other was perhaps the "strong breeze".

Tom Watson- Golfer and UFC fighter

Legendary golfer Tom Watson won eight major trophies during his illustrious career and has just been named the new US Ryder Cup Captain. But he may have to concede that his namesake boasts a better swing. Tom "Kong" Watson recently entered the UFC having won multiple titles as a middleweight mixed martial artist. Kong Watson actually could have had a career in football, and admits there's still no feeling like scoring a goal.

Andrew Flintoff thought he was fighting an old cricket peer © PA Photos

Richard Hill - Rugby player and footballer

When you talk of great flankers in international rugby, you talk about England's Richard Hill. Superb at the breakdown, Hill was a key cog in the team that achieved World Cup glory in 2003. Known as the Silent Assassin, Hill was a one-club man - not too dissimilar to his namesake in the world of football. Richard Hill the footballer made over 350 appearances for Millwall, before having a brief swansong at Torquay towards the end of his career.

Ronaldo - Footballer and horse

Ronaldo, to our knowledge, has never won anything during his career and has amassed total earnings of £265. That's Ronaldo the horse of course. Ronaldo the footballer, be it Cristiano or Luis Nazario de Lima (the real Ronaldo), has earned rather more. A cruel man might suggest that the Brazilian Ronaldo probably weighs more than a horse nowadays, but both he and Cristiano have proved goalscoring machines on a football pitch. One's been put out to stud, the other remains a stallion.

Steve Davis - Snooker player and footballer

Nicknamed "the Nugget" due to his ginger top, Steve Davis the snooker player stole ownership of a moniker that could so easily have been taken by his namesake. Steve Davis the footballer has carved out a successful career with the likes of Aston Villa, Rangers and Southampton, winning three titles during his time in Scotland. The older, wiser Ginger Magician of the baize edges it for silverware though, claiming six world titles as he fought his way to the top ranking in the game.

Henry Terry - Footballer and cricketer

Not strictly within the rules, but Christmas is near so we thought we'd bend them a bit. Arsenal's record all-time goalscorer Thierry Henry might be the best player to ever grace the Premier League, winning two titles and three FA Cups before claiming the Champions League at Barcelona. Often dubbed Terry Henry by English fans, we've found a cricketer by the name of Henry Terry who won a silver medal at the Olympics back in 1900, the only time cricket featured in the Games.
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