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Football: Footballers with famous names

Footballers and sports stars command the limelight in their own right nowadays and they can often eclipse musicians, actors and actresses and television presenters in the fame stakes.

This article was originally published on 5 June 2022

There's also a crossover with famous people from other walks of life getting involved in the ownership and running of football clubs. Some players happen to share their name with some illustrious stars from the wider world. Let's take a look at a few of them.

Chris Martin

Chris Martin is a well traveled forward and he enjoyed his most prolific spell when scoring 65 goals in 186 games for Derby.

The striker is now plying his trade at Bristol City after spells at Fulham, Hull and Reading.

The 33-year-old came through the youth ranks at Norwich and fired in 25 goals for the Canaries. Martin shares his name with the frontman of the band Coldplay, whose breakthrough 2000 hit Yellow, happens to be the colour of Norwich's strip.

Yellow was the second single released from Coldplay's fantastic debut album titled Parachutes.

The band followed up with the cracking A Rush of Blood to the Head and a Masterpiece of an album in X & Y.

Coldplay haven't quite reached the heights of those opening three efforts in their latest releases, and Higher Power, the opening single from the 2021 Music of the Spheres collection, was a dismal effort.

However, Coldplay remain one of the biggest bands in the world and Martin is still banging in the goals for Bristol City.

Various artists

Following the music theme, there are plenty of footballers with musical namesakes.

Robbie Williams is a left-back currently playing in Ireland, having previously had spells with Huddersfield, Barnsley, Stockport and Plymouth. However, Robbie Williams, the former member of Take That, is by far the most famous version.

The Manchester band have recorded 12 UK number one singles and Williams has also forged a successful solo career since leaving the group.

All but one of the 48-year-old's 12 studio albums have reached top-spot in the charts and his 1997 hit Angels is a timeless classic.

James Morrison was a gifted midfield player, who made 309 appearances for West Brom.

The Darlington man also had a spell with Middlesbrough and he made 46 appearances for the Scotland national side.

It's also the name of an English singer-songwriter best known for You Give Me Something and his Broken Strings collaboration with Nelly Furtado.

There's also James Brown. The former Hartlepool winger and the Godfather of Soul.

Ex-Burnley man Paul Weller shares his name with one of the greatest singer-songwriters of modern times.

Weller was part of the Jam until 1982, before then finding further success with the Style Council and crafting some wonderful solo material The Modfather continues to perform and produce fantastic music to this day.

David Gray has released 12 albums and his 1998 effort titled White Ladder is a modern classic.

Babylon, a pop banger, is joined by the beautiful emotion-packed melody of This Year's Love and the dreamy Sail Away.

There's a cover of Soft Cell's Say Hello, Wave Goodbye, plus another cracking original tune in Please Forgive Me.

Released in 2002, A New Day at Midnight, is another corking collection from Cheshire songwriter. Dead in the Water, Caroline, Be Mine and The Other Side all stand up to scuritny, as does Gray's following album, Life in Slow Motion.

Alibi is a beautiful track on the 2005 release and The One I Love is another mind-wandering tune.

Away from the musical talents of Gray, the 54-year-old is a namesake of a former Hibs midfielder.

Gray made 126 appearances for the Edinburgh side, after spells at Preston, Stevenage and Burton and the Scot is now a first-team coach at Easter Road.

Steve Palmer

The former Ipswich, Watford, QPR and MK Dons defender enjoyed the best spell of his career, when part of the Golden Boys' back-to-back promotion winning team of the late 90s.

However, the centre-back has some way to go to match the achievements of the Racing Post's golf guru of the same name.

Steve Palmer is a two-time Sports Journalists' Association Betting Writer of the Year winner and the Penatrator is golf's premier judge.

Since joining the Racing Post as a tipster in 2000, he has had only two losing years and he has established himself as the leading voice on golf betting.

Steve can be seen and heard each week on the Sweet Spot - a golf podcast on the Racing Post's YouTube channel.

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