Happy Birthday: Jordan, de Villiers, Marquez

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Michael Jordan is widely regarded as the greatest basketballer to play the game.

The mercurial talent led Chicago Bulls to six NBA titles between 1991 to 1998 and the No.23 also won numerous MVP and All-Star awards.

Jordan retired from the game in 2003 after two seasons at the Washington Wizards.

The 54-year-old is the current owner of the Charlotte Hornets.

Other sport stars born on this day

1984 – AB de Villiers, South Africa batsman, captain, scorer of the fastest ODI century, known as Mr 360.

1982 – Adriano – Former Brazil, Inter Milan and Roma striker.

1993 – Marc Marquez, Spain’s three-time Moto GP World Championship winner.

1975 – Julian Golding, Britain’s former Commonwealth 200 metres champion.

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Happy Birthday: Kelly, Hamilton, Di Maria

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These sporting stars are celebrating birthdays.

It’s hard to get closer to winning a Super Bowl without grabbing the Lombardi Trophy, but even though he missed out on a ring, Jim Kelly had a superb NFL career.

The former quarterback, who turns 57 today, spent his entire career with the Buffalo Bills and famously led the franchise to four Super Bowl appearances from 1991 to 1994.

Each of those seasons ended in disappointment as the Bills couldn’t get over the hump, but their ‘K-Gun’ offence was prolific and entertaining to watch.

Kelly was a big reason for that, being a five-time Pro Bowler and First-team All-Pro in 1991. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2002 and his No12 jersey is one of two numbers retired by the Bills.

Since retiring, Kelly has also battled health problems with cancer and MRSA, but is currently leading a healthy life.

Other sport stars born on this day

1951: Kevin Keegan, ex-England and Liverpool forward who went onto unsuccessfully manage his nation (66).

1978: Richard Hamilton, prolific ex- Detroit Pistons shooting guard who played 14 season in the NBA (39).

1985: Tyler Clippard, relief pitcher for New York Yankees and a two-time MLB All-Star (32).

1988: Angel Di Maria, inventive and direct winger for Paris Saint-Germain and Argentina (29).

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Happy Birthday: Collina, Marquez, Murray

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He may have taken charge of his last game more than a decade ago but Pierluigi Collina still remains one of the most famous ex-referees in football today.

Collina, who celebrates his 57th birthday today, wasn’t recognisable just because he’s bald but the fact that he won admiration from fans, coaches and even players for his actions on the pitch. During his teenage years, he had played as a central defender before taking up a refereeing course.

Within three years the Italian was officiating in the top-flight and that was just the start. He was named FIFA’s Best Referee of the Year six times and officiated in the finals of the 1999 UEFA Champions League, 2002 World Cup and 2004 UEFA Cup.

Having taken charge of his last international match in 2006, he is still involved in football, and is now on the UEFA Referees’ Committee.

Other sports stars born on this day

1979: Rafael Marquez, former Barcelona defender, who now plays for Atlas in his native Mexico (38).

1981: Luisao, a footballer who represents Benfica and Brazil national team (36).

1982: Michael Turner, ex-NFL running back, who played for the San Diego Chargers and Atlanta Falcons (35).

1986: Jamie Murray, three-time tennis grand slam doubles champion and brother of Andy (31).

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