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Sports Stars Hobbies

Paul Aitken looks at the surprising hobbies and talents of famous sports stars.

It takes thousands of hours of practice to master something truly. Where the sport is concerned, this endless practice needs to be supplemented with natural talent, an abundance of knowledge, and excellent physical fitness. They need to devote most of their spare time to their craft to achieve this mastery, leaving little time for anything other than sleeping, eating, exercising, and maybe a few golf games. But some sports stars turn down the golf course, the gaming consoles, and other typical ways to relax in favour of more surprising pursuits.

Neil Robertson

Robertson is currently the best snooker player to ever hail from Australia. He is one of the greatest globally and once scored more than 100 centuries in a single season, a record that no one has been able to top.

When he is not potting balls at the table, he is painting intricate fantasy figurines and playing fantasy computer games because Robertson is a self-proclaimed geek. In the past, he has admitted being a little too obsessed with gaming, saying that it affected his performances at the table at one point.


The Portuguese and Juventus forward is one of the greatest players ever to kick a ball. He is iconic, he is a sex symbol, but he also loves an occasional bingo game.

It is not something you would associate with a young footballer and is more something you would expect from your grandmother or great-aunt, but Ronaldo once professed his love of the game to a Portuguese newspaper and tried to play as much as he can.

He is not the only player to love gambling either. Former players like Matthew Etherington and Keith Gillespie admitted to having massive gambling problems in the past, focusing more on the best online casino ratings than pregame tactical analysis.

Shane Ward

The former cricket superstar is currently one of the biggest names on the live poker scene, racking up many wins and endorsing the 888 Poker brand, among others. He seems to spend most of his time playing online games, but he has also made a few appearances in top live poker tournaments.

He is not the only sports star to make the switch to poker, many have done it before him, and there are also actors like Jennifer Tilly and musicians like Kirk Hammett who appear on the scene regularly.

Mike Tyson

Tyson was one of the most feared men for many years. He fought at the very top, the heavyweight division champion, and he beat some of the best fighters ever to put on a pair of gloves. He also spent time in jail and had a private life rarely out of the newspapers.

So, it may surprise some to learn that Tyson is a pigeon fancier and a big animal lover in general. When he is not collecting exotic pets such as Bengal Tigers, he looks after his flock of pigeons.

David Beckham

He had one hell of a right foot and used it to fire Manchester United, Real Madrid, and LA Galaxy to the top. But when you put him in fetching attire and give him a sword.

He is a keen fencer and is also pretty adept at the sport after taking it up several years ago and mastering the craft.

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About the Author

Paul Aitken is a freelance writer and the author of The Online Writer's Companion. He writes under several different pseudonyms, and his work has been featured on many of the web's most prominent sites, including many major print publications in the UK and US.