Few players in NBA history have been as dominant and bursting with personality as the man who simply goes by ‘Shaq’.
Turning 45 today, O’Neal managed to be larger than life, both literally at 7ft 1in and 325 pounds, and metaphorically as a superstar who embraced his fame.
He was drafted first overall by the Orlando Magic in 1992, but it was with the Los Angeles Lakers where he truly became a household name, helping the renowned franchise to three straight titles from 2000-2002 while earning Finals MVP each time and the league’s MVP in 2000.
After moving on to the Miami Heat, he won another ring in 2006 before bouncing around from Phoenix to Cleveland to Boston at the tail end of his career.
Shaq is also known for his starring role in the film ‘Kazaam’ and now works as an analyst for TNT.
Other sport stars born on this day
1954: Harald Schumacher, ex-Germany goalkeeper who infamously fouled Patrick Battiston in 1982 World Cup (63).
1979: Tim Howard, goalkeeper for Colorado Rapids andowner of 111 international caps for United States (38).
1986: Jake Arrieta, baseball pitcher for Chicago Cubs who threw the only no-hitter in the 2016 regular season (31).
1989: Agnieszka Radwanska, Polish tennis player who was a finalist at Wimbledon in 2012 (28).
There’s a reason why Shahid Afridi is nicknamed as ‘Boom Boom’ by his fans.
Celebrating his 37th birthday, all-rounder Afridi announced his international retirement last month but will go down as one of Pakistan’s gifted cricketers to take to the field.
During his time, he has played some astonishing innings in major competitions around the world thanks to his aggressive batting style.
It didn’t take him long to announce himself on the big stage, making headlines as a 16-year-old, when he set a ODI-record 37-ball ton in his first innings.
He went on to captain the national team in all formats, but it was in T20s, where Afridi began to enjoy his best days.
He holds the record of most wickets (97) and most player-of-the match awards and has more than 500 wickets and 23,000 international runs to his name.
Other sport stars born on this day
1952: Martin O’Neill, coach of Ireland and former Leicester City and Sunderland manager (65).
1953: Carlos Queiroz, current manager of Iran and exassistant for Manchester United (64).
1983: Anthony Tupou, Australian professional rugby league footballer for Newcastle Knights (34).
1989: Carlos Vela, Mexican and former Arsenal footballer who plays for Real Socieded (28).
Goalkeeping great Dino Zoff is the only Italian player to have won both the World Cup and the European Championships, having claimed the 1968 European title with the Azzurri before becoming the oldest World Cup winner in 1982, where he captained his nation to glory and was also named goalkeeper of the tournament – aged 40.
Zoff, 75 today, played the majority of his club career with Turin giants Juventus, where he won six Serie A titles, two Coppa Italias and a UEFA Cup, while also finishing runner-up in two European Cup finals. He finished second to Johan Cruyff in the 1973 Ballon d’Or.
With 112 caps, he is the fifth-most capped player for the Azzurri, whom he also went on to manage after retiring, finishing second at Euro 2000. He also managed Juve to the UEFA Cup and Coppa Italia double in the 1989/90 season.
Other sports stars born on this day:
1940: Mario Andretti, American race car driver who won the 1978 F1 title. Also raced in IndyCar and NASCAR (77).
1961: Barry McGuigan, Irish boxer and former WBA and lineal featherweight champion. Record of 32-3 (56).
1973: Eric Lindros, ex-ice hockey player for the Philadelphia Flyers. Won Olympic gold with Canada in 2002 (44).
1985: Jelena Jankovic, Serbian former world No1 tennis player. Reached the 2008 US Open final (32).