Robin van Persie Facts

Here are some facts about Robin van Persie, the Dutch footballer.

  • Robin van Persie was born on 6th August 1983 in Rotterdam in the Netherlands.
  • His parents were both artists.

  • As a youth he played for Excelsior and Feyenoord.
  • He made his Feyenoord debut at the age of 17.
  • He scored five goals for Feyenoord in 2003 in a  6 – 1 win against AGOVV Apeldoorn in the Amstel Cup.
  • Van Persie signed for Arsenal on 17th May 2004 for £2.75 million.
  • He scored 96 goals for Arsenal in 194 appearances.
  • He scored 18 goals in the Premier League during the 2010/11 season (despite being injured for nearly half of it), and in the 2011/2012 season he scored 30 league goals.
  • He won the PFA Player of the Year award for the 2011/2012 season.
  • On 17th August 2012, Robin Van Persie signed for Manchester United for £24million. He scored 30 goals for his club in all competitions and Manchester United won the Premier League.
  • Robin Van Persie made his international for the Netherlands in 2005 and he has scored more than 35 goals for his country.
  • Van Persie was a poor pupil at school and he was often suspended.
  • He has two children – a son called Shaqueel and a daughter called Dina.

Neymar: Facts and Information

Here are some facts about Neymar, the Brazilian football player.

  • Neymar’s full name is Neymar da Silva Santos Junior
  • He was born on 5th February 1992 in Mogi das Cruzes, Brazil.

  • He is 5′ 9″ tall (about 1.75 metres).
  • As a youth, he played for Portuguesa Santista and Santos FC.
  • On 7th March 2009 he made his full professional debut for Santos FC. He was only 17 years old. He went on to score 14 goals in his first season.
  • In 2010, Neymar scored five goals in a victory against Guarani in the Brazilian Cup.
  • He scored 42 goals in 60 games during the 2010 season.
  • In 2011 he won the South American Footballer of the Year award for the first time. He retained the award in 2012, after scoring 43 goals in 47 appearances.
  • Neymar joined FC Barcelona on 27th May 2013. The transfer fee was £48.6 million.
  • He made his first appearance for the Brazil national side on 10th August 2010 in a friendly against the United States. He scored after 28 minutes.
  • In 2012 he scored a hat-trick for Brazil in a friendly against China.
  • He has scored more than 20 international goals.
  • Neymar can play as a forward, a winger or as a creative midfielder.
  • His footballing idols are Cristiano Ronaldo, Wayne Rooney, Andres Iniesta and Xavi.
  • The great Brazilian forward, Pele, is of the opinion that Neymar is a better player than Lionel Messi.

Laura Robson: Facts and Information

Here are some facts about Laura Robson, the British tennis player.

  • Laura Robson was born on 21st January 1994 in Melbourne, Australia.
  • She moved to the UK when she was six years old.

  • She is 1.80 metres tall (5′ 11″) and she is is left-handed.
  • Laura became a professional tennis player in 2008.
  • In 2007, as an unseeded player, Laura Robson won the Wimbledon Junior Girls’ Championship.
  • She uses a single-handed forehand and a double-handed backhand.
  • In the 2012 Olympic Games, partnering Andy Murray, Laura Robson won a silver medal in the Mixed Doubles event.
  • She has also represented Great Britain in the Fed Cup.
  • Laura has beaten some of the world’s top players, recording victories against Venus Williams, Kim Clijsters, Angelique Kerber, Petra Kvitova, Agnieszka Radwanska and Maria Kirilenko.
  • She is good friends with fellow tennis players, Sorana Cristea, Marina Erakovic and Eugenie Bouchard.
  • Laura Robson has over 200,000 Twitter followers. Her user-name is @laurarobson5
  • She has two black Labrador dogs called Kiri and Ella.
  • Laura Robson is an avid music fan, she reads a lot and she enjoys watching documentaries.

Cristiano Ronaldo: Facts and Information

Here are some facts about Cristiano Ronaldo, the Portuguese footballer (soccer player).

  • Cristiano Ronaldo was born in Funchal, Portugal, on 5th February 1985.
  • He is 6′ 1″ tall (1.86 metres).

  • His full name is Cristiano Ronaldo dos Santos Aveiro.
  • He has played for several different football clubs, including Andorinha (Portugal), Nacional (Portugal), Sporting CP (Portugal), Manchester United (England), Real Madrid (Spain), and Juventus (Italy).
  • Real Madrid paid Manchester United £80 million for Ronaldo in 2009.
  • Ronlado scored a goal in each of his first four La Liga games. He is the only person to have done this.
  • In 2010-11 season, he became the first player to score more than 40 La Liga goals in one season. He repeated this feat in the 2011-12 season by scoring 46 league goals, and 60 in all competitions.
  • From 2009-2013, Ronaldo averaged more than 1 goal per game, making him one of the most prolific goalscorers to ever play the game.
  • Ronaldo made his international debut in 2003, and he scored his first goal for Portugal in 2004 against Greece. He has since scored more than 100 goals for his country, and in 2021 he broke the international goalscoring record.
  • Ronaldo was reluctant to wear the number 7 shirt when he joined Manchester United because it had previously been worn by great players such as George Best, Eric Cantona, and David Beckham. Alex Ferguson convinced him to make the number his own. Ronaldo also wore the number 7 shirt for Real Madrid and Portugal.
  • Ronaldo has won many individual and team honours. He is often described as an all-time great player and, had he not been playing in the same era as Lionel Messi, he would be a unanimous choice of the best player of his generation.
  • Ronaldo is a brilliant dribbler, is incredibly fast and he has great reactions and coordination. He doesn’t have any weaknesses in terms of his forward play. He can score with both feet, is a very good header of the ball.
  • In 2021, in a game against Luxembourg, Ronaldo scored his tenth international hat-trick.
  • Ronaldo has played in five European Championship tournaments – he is the only player to have done this.
  • He has won more than 30 club trophies, including seven league titles and five Champions League trophies.
  • Ronaldo has scored more than 800 goals in his professional career.
  • In March 2021, Ronaldo scored his 20th goal of the season for Juventus. This meant that he had scored at least 20 goals in a season for the last 12 consecutive seasons.
  • In August 2021, Ronaldo returned to Manchester United from Juventus.
  • Ronaldo has scored more than 130 goals in the Champions League during his career.
  • Ronaldo’s son, Cris, joined the Manchester United academy at the age of 11, playing alongside Wayne Rooney‘s son, Kai.
  • Ronaldo does not drink any alcohol.
  • When he was growing up he had two nicknames: Little Bee (because of his speed) and Cry Baby.
  • Ronaldo was the first Portuguese player to play for Manchester United.
  • In 2001, a one-of-a-kind Ronaldo NFT football trading card (minted by the soccer game company Sorare) sold at a Bonhams auction for more than $400,000.
  • A mint condition Ronaldo Panini rookie sticker from 2002-2003 sold at auction in the US for $80,000.

Last updated: June 2022

Jessica Ennis: Facts and Information

Here are some facts about Jessica Ennis, the British Olympic athlete.

  • Jessica Ennis was born in Sheffield on 28th January 1986.
  • She won a gold medal in the heptathlon in the 2010 European Championships, the 2009 World Championships and the 2012 Olympic Games in London.
  • Jessica lives in Sheffield and she is a fan of Sheffield United Football Club.
  • Following her Olympic success, Jessica featured in a special edition of The Beano comic – Dennis the Menace became Ennis the Menace.
  • She was made a CBE in 2013.
  • One of her favourite TV shows is Grey’s Anatomy.
  • She has been coached by Toni Minichiello since she was just 13.
  • Jessica Ennis did not compete in the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games in 2008 due to injury.
  • Her coaching staff are nicknamed ‘Team Jennis’.
  • Her star sign is Aquarius.
  • One of the stands at Bramhall Lane (the home stadium of Sheffield United FC) has been named after Jessica Ennis.

David Beckham Facts

Here are some facts about David Beckham, the former English footballer and current co-owner of the football clubs Inter Miami CF and Salford City FC.

  • David Beckham was born on 2nd May 1975 in Leytonstone, London.
  • He played for a youth team called Ridgeway Rovers.

  • He signed for Manchester United when he was 14. His parents were massive Man U fans and Beckham had been the Manchester United mascot when the team played West Ham at Upton Park in 1986.
  • Beckham made his Premier League debut for Manchester Utd on 2nd April 1995.
  • He scored a memorable goal on 17th August 1996 when he scored from the halfway line against Wimbledon.
  • Beckham became well-known for the quality of his crosses, free kicks, and corners.
  • He played 265 league matches for Man Utd, scoring 62 goals.
  • Beckham left Manchester United for Real Madrid in 2003.
  • In 2007 Beckham signed for the Los Angeles Galaxy of the MLS. He played nearly 100 times for the Galaxy in the MLS and he also played for AC Milan on loan during the MLS off-season.
  • Beckham joined Paris Saint-Germain during the 2012/13 season.
  • David Beckham married Victoria Adams (one of the Spice Girls) in 1999. They have four children: Brooklyn, Romeo, Cruz, and Harper.
  • Beckham played for England over 100 times. He was often named captain.
  • He has more than 20 tattoos.
  • Beckham was involved in a successful bid to bring the Olympic Games to London in 2012.
  • He was made an OBE in 2003 and was named BBC Sports Personality of the Year in 2001.
  • David Beckham retired as a footballer at the end of the 2012/13 season. In his final game, he wore custom Union Jack-themed boots with the names of his wife and children incorporated into the design.
  • Beckham played 115 times for England and scored 17 goals.
  • During his career, he won titles in England, Spain, the US, and France, making him the first English footballer to win titles in four different countries.
  • Inter Miami CF (an MLS expansion team Beckham bought in 2014) played its first MLS game on 1st March 2020, losing 0-1 to Los Angeles FC.
  • In 2019, Beckham joined his other Man United Class of 92 teammates (Gary Neville, Phil Neville, Ryan Giggs, Paul Scholes, and Nicky Butt) in becoming a co-owner of Salford City FC. He has a 10% stake.
  • When Beckham moved to the United States in 2007, a welcoming party was held at the Museum of Contemporary Art. Many celebrities attended, including Steven Spielberg, Will Smith, Tom Cruise and Oprah Winfrey.
  • A statue of David Beckham outside LA Galaxy’s stadium is the first-ever statue of a former MLS player.
  • Beckham appeared as the character Trigger in the King Arthur: Legend of the Sword movie.
  • Some of his early football (soccer) cards and stickers sell for hundreds of pounds.

  • He has a lifetime sponsorship deal with Adidas.
  • David Beckham’s son Romeo Beckham has played professional football for USL League One club Fort Lauderdale CF.

Last updated: 04 Feb 2022

Sir Steve Redgrave Facts

Here are some facts about Sir Steve Redgrave, the great Olympic rower.

  • Sir Steve Redgrave was born on 23rd March 1962 in Marlow, Buckinghamshire.
  • He is 6′ 5″ (1.95 metres) tall.

  • Redgrave won 5 Olympic gold medals. He won his first in 1984 in Los Angeles (in the Coxed Four event). He then switched to the Coxless Pair boat and won gold medals in Seoul in 1988, Barcelona in 1992, Atlanta in 1996 and Sydney in 2000.
  • He has also won 9 gold medals at the World Championships, competing in the Coxed Pair, Coxless Pair and Coxless Four events.
  • Sir Steve Redgrave has had to manage several illnesses and conditions during his career. He was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis in 1992, and, in 1997, it was discovered that he had Type 1 Diabetes.
  • Steve Redgrave is dyslexic.
  • He was named BBC Sports Personality of the Year in 2000.
  • Since retiring from rowing, Steve has raised millions of pounds for charity by running the London Marathon.
  • He was involved in the Diamond Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II (he was one of the rowers of the Gloriana) and he was one of the last torch bearers of the 2012 London Olympic Games.
  • He has rowed with other Olympic stars, such as Matthew Pinsent and James Cracknell.
  • Steve married Ann Callaway, an Olympic rower, in 1988. They have three children, Natalie, Sophie and Zak.

Lionel Messi: Facts and Information

Here are some facts about Lionel Messi, the incredible Argentinian footballer.

  • Lionel Messi was born on 24th June 1987 in Rosario, Santa Fe Province, Argentina.
  • His father, Jorge, was a steelworker, and he also coached the local youth football team.

  • Messi played for Grandoli (his father’s club) at the age of five. He then went on to play for Newell’s Old Boys in Rosario, his home town. This team only lost one game in four years.
  • Messi suffered with growth hormone deficiency. Barcelona gave Messi a trial when he was eleven and agreed to give him a place in their youth academy as well as paying the medical bills for his treatment for growth hormone deficiency. Messi moved to Spain with his father.
  • Messi made his league debut for Barcelona on 16th October 2004. He was just 17.
  • Messi scored his first La Liga goal on 1st May 2005.
  • At the time of writing, Messi has scored more than 700 goals for Barcelona and Argentina, more than 400 of them in La Liga matches.
  • He has made more than 140 appearances for Argentina, scoring more than 70 goals.
  • Messi has won many trophies with Barcelona and he’s been awarded many personal medals and awards, such as the Ballon d’Or a record 6 times.
  • He also owns most of Barcelona’s goal-scoring records.
  • He has scored more than 30 hat-tricks in his career.
  • Messi was the top scorer in the Champions League in 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012.
  • He’s considered by most football experts to be the best footballer of his generation, although some would argue that Ronaldo is better.
  • Lionel Messi is 5′ 7″ tall (1.69 metres) and he wears the number 10 shirt for Barcelona.
  • He has won more than 30 trophies (including 10 La Liga titles).
  • Messi has more than 180 assists in his career.
  • He has three sons with his wife, Antonella Roccuzzo. They are called Thaigo, Mateo and Ciro.

  • In September 2020, a 2004 Panini Mega Cracks Lionel Messi Rookie Card sold for over $100,000.
  • A popular cougar at the Saransk Zoo in Mordovia, Russia is named Messi. after the player.
  • Red is his favourite colour.
  • His favourite musician is Sergio Torres, and his favourite book is El Martin Fierro by Jorge Luis Borges.

10 Jesse Owens Facts

Here are ten facts about Jesse Owens, the American athlete who won four gold medals at the Olympic Games in Berlin in 1936.

  • Jesse Owens was born on September 12th 1913 in Oakville, Alabama (USA).
  • He attended Ohio State University and was known as the ‘Buckeye Bullet’, winning 8 NCAA championships (4 in 1935 and 4 in 1936).

  • Due to racial segregation of the time and the fact that African-Americans were treated as second-rate citizens, Jesse had to live off-campus with the other African-American students. When he was attending athletic events with the Ohio State University team, he had to stay in a ‘black-only’ hotel and eat in a ‘black-only’ restaurant.
  • During an athletics meeting at Ferry Field on May 25th 1935, Jesse Owens set three world records (long jump, hurdles and sprinting) in  45 minutes.
  • Jesse Owens won four gold medals (100m, long jump, 200m and 4x100m relay) at the 1936 Berlin Olympic Games.
  • Adolph Hitler had planned to use the Berlin Olympic Games to showcase the superiority of the Aryan race. Germany did lead the medals table, but Jesse Owens was the star of the Games.
  • Owens returned to the US after the Olympics. In order to make a living, Jesse raced local sprinters (giving them a head start). He also raced against racehorses.
  • Jesse Owens was made a US Goodwill Ambassador in 1966.
  • Owens met his wife, Minnie, when he was fifteen. They had three daughters, Gloria, Marlene and Beverly.
  • Jesse Owens died in Tuscon, Arizona in 1980. He had smoked all of his life and developed lung cancer. Owens is buried in Chicago in Oak Woods Cemetery.

Jesse Owens

Tudor Football: Facts and Information

In Tudor times football was a very different game to the football (soccer) played today. Here are some facts about the Tudor game of football.

  • The number of players in each time was not limited. Sometimes one entire village or town would play against another.

  • The goal posts were not located at either end of a standard-size pitch. In Tudor times the goals might be more than a mile apart.
  • The ball could be kicked, but it could also be carried and thrown.
  • It was an exceedingly rough game – involving tackling, punching, tripping and kicking your opponent – and many injuries (and sometimes deaths) were suffered by the players.
  • Football was banned in 1540 (during the reign of Henry VIII) because so many young men were getting injured.
  • Football was seen as a sport for the poor and, as a result, the nobility didn’t take part.
  • Games of football could go on for hours (and days, in some cases).
  • The ball was made of a pig’s bladder stuffed with hair.

Check out this BBC video showing the Shrove Tuesday Football game in Ashbourne, Derbyshire.

Click here to find out more about Tudor sport and games.

Have a look at all of the Tudor resources on Primary Facts.