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Famous Athletes from Northern Ireland

Updated June 14, 2019 9.5k views573 items

List of famous athletes from Northern Ireland, listed alphabetically with photos when available. Northern Ireland has seen some very talented athletes over the years, many of who have gone on to represent their country in the Olympics. These are some of the best Northern Irish athletes of all time, so if you're a native of Northern Ireland and are aspiring to compete in sports professionally then these are people you should look up to. If you're searching for a particular popular athlete from Northern Ireland then you can use the "search" box to find who you're looking for.

Examples of athletes on this list: Johnny Johnston, John Devine and many more.

This list answers the questions, "Who are the greatest Northern Irish athletes?" and "Which athletes are from Northern Ireland?"

You can click on the names of these legendary athletes of Northern Ireland in order to get more information about each one.
  • Rory McIlroy1
    Rory McIlroy (born 4 May 1989) is a professional golfer from Northern Ireland who is a member...  more

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    #27 of 162 The Best Golfers Of All Time#3 of 60 The Best Professional Golfers Right Now, Ranked

  • 2
    Charlie Nash (born 1951 in Derry, Northern Ireland), is a retired Irish boxer. As an amateur...  more
  • 3
    Patrick Gerard "Paddy" Barnes, (born 9 April 1987) is an Irish professional boxer who...  more
  • George Best4
    George Best (22 May 1946 – 25 November 2005) was a Northern Irish professional footballer who...  more

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    #47 of 1,427 The Best Athletes Of All Time#40 of 1,294 The Best Soccer Players of All Time

  • Maik Taylor5

    Maik Taylor

    Fulham F.C.

    BirthplaceHildesheim, Germany

    NationalityGermany,Northern Ireland,West Germany


    Maik Stefan Taylor (born 4 September 1971) is a former Northern Ireland international football...  more
  • 6
    Eamonn Loughran (born 5 June 1970 in Ballymena, Northern Ireland) is an Irish former...  more
  • Peter Doherty7
    Peter Dermot Doherty (5 June 1913 – 6 April 1990) was a Northern Ireland international...  more
  • Elisha Scott8
    Elisha Scott (24 August 1893 – 16 May 1959) was a Northern Irish football goalkeeper who most...  more
  • Whitey McDonald9
    Whitey McDonald (11 August 1902 – 7 June 1956) was an Irish soccer player who earned two caps...  more
  • Adam Carroll10
    Adam Carroll (born 26 October 1982) is a Northern Irish professional racing driver. He last...  more
  • Sam English11
    Samuel English (18 August 1908 – 12 April 1967) was a Northern Irish footballer who played for...  more
  • Joe Toner12
    Joseph Samuel Toner (30 March 1894 – 18 November 1954) was an Irish professional footballer....  more
  • Paul Carlyle13
    Paul Carlyle (born 19 July 1967 in Derry) is a former Northern Irish footballer and currently...  more
  • Ray Ferris14
    Raymond Osborn Ferris (22 September 1920 – 1 February 1994) was a Northern Irish professional...  more
  • Iain Dowie15

    Iain Dowie

    Hull City A.F.C.

    BirthplaceHatfield, Hertfordshire, England

    NationalityNorthern Ireland, England


    Iain Dowie (born 9 January 1965) is a football manager, sports pundit and former Northern...  more
  • 16
    Frank Loughran (31 January 1931 – 11 January 2008) was a Belfast-born footballer who was...  more
  • Jackie Vernon17
    John Joseph Vernon (26 September 1918 – 24 August 1981) also referred to as Jackie Vernon, was...  more
  • Darron Gibson18

    Darron Gibson

    Manchester United F.C.

    BirthplaceLondonderry, United Kingdom

    NationalityNorthern Ireland, Republic of Ireland


    Darron Thomas Daniel Gibson (born 25 October 1987) is a professional footballer from Derry,...  more
  • Steve Lomas19

    Steve Lomas

    St Neots Town F.C.

    BirthplaceHanover, Germany

    NationalityGermany,Northern Ireland


    Stephen Martin "Steve" Lomas (born 18 January 1974) is a Northern Irish former professional...  more
  • 20

    Boyd Rankin

    William Boyd Rankin (born 5 July 1984) is an Northern Irish cricketer who plays international...  more
  • Danny Wilson21

    Danny Wilson

    Swindon Town F.C.

    BirthplaceWigan, United Kingdom

    NationalityNorthern Ireland, England


    Daniel Joseph Wilson (born 1 January 1960) is a former footballer and manager. He has...  more
  • Marc Wilson22

    Marc Wilson

    Portsmouth F.C.

    BirthplaceAghagallon, United Kingdom


    PositionDefender, Midfielder

    Marc David Wilson (born 17 August 1987) is an Irish professional footballer who last played...  more
  • 23

    Tony Kane

    Carlisle United F.C.

    BirthplaceBelfast, United Kingdom

    NationalityRepublic of Ireland,Northern Ireland


    Anthony Michael "Tony" Kane (born 29 August 1987) is a Northern Irish footballer who plays for...  more
  • 24

    Aidan Davison

    Colchester United F.C.

    BirthplaceSedgefield, United Kingdom

    NationalityNorthern Ireland, England


    Aidan John Davison (born 11 May 1968) is an English-born Northern Irish former professional...  more
  • Alan Mannus25

    Alan Mannus

    Linfield F.C.

    BirthplaceToronto, Canada

    NationalityCanada,Northern Ireland


    Alan Mannus (born 19 May 1982) is a Northern Irish professional football goalkeeper. He began...  more