The Rundown

Top 10: Sporting family connections

The Rundown

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Bergkamp is back in British football!

Sadly, it is not the reincarnation of the miraculously skilled Dutch forward Dennis Bergkamp, who lit up Highbury in the 1990s with his incredible knack of scoring amazing goals.

Instead it is Dennis's nephew Roland, a 20-year-old striker who has just joined Brighton from Dutch side Excelsior.

Seagulls boss Gus Poyet quickly claimed that Bergkamp mk II is a "completely different" type of player from his famous uncle, though added that he has "the same talent" - though you might wonder if that were completely true then his destination might be a more illustrious one than the new Falmer Stadium.

Despite that, Roland Bergkamp has inspired us to take a look at some of sport's most impressive - and most unexpected - family connections.

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1. Tiger Woods and Cheyenne Woods

The former world number one golfer is currently riddled with injury and still fighting to bounce back from the car crash and subsequent revelations that triggered the collapse of his personal life in late 2009.

But despite Tiger being winless ever since, the Woods family has not been without golfing success in that time: Cheyenne Woods (left) , daughter of Tiger's half brother Earl Woods Jr, has been cutting a swathe through women's amateur golf, and at the age of 20 is considered one of America's best hopes for breaking the current Korean and Japanese stranglehold on the top echelons of the women's game.

2. Venus and Serena Williams

Back in 1997, when Venus Williams was an unseeded teenager who had made the final of the US Open at her first attempt, her father Richard proudly told the world how Venus was great, but that her younger sister Serena might be even better.

It seemed scarcely believable at the time, but Richard was as good as his word: between them, the Williams sisters have now won 18 Grand Slam singles titles (11 to Serena, seven to Venus) as well as 12 doubles titles while playing with each other.

3. Archie, Peyton and Eli Manning

Archie Manning had a great NFL career. He was selected second overall by the New Orleans Saints, played for 13 seasons and ranks 17th overall in career completions. Yet his sons Peyton and Eli have managed to go one better.

They were both number draft one picks, and have both led their teams - the Colts and the Giants - to Super Bowl victories, something their father never managed to do. Archie's eldest son Cooper was also set to star, but doctors diagnosed him with spinal stenosis which effectively ended the wide receiver's career.

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4. Mark and Zara Phillips

Princess Anne's husband won a gold medal in the team three-day event at the 1972 Olympics, and picked up a silver in the same event 16 years later in Seoul.

And in 2006 his daughter Zara Phillips (right) followed in her father's footsteps by picking up medals, becoming European and world equestrian champion on her horse Toytown.

5. Bobby and Jack Charlton, and the Milburns

Football's most famous brother combination, and still the only two brothers ever to be in a World Cup-winning side.

Midfielder Bobby remains arguably the greatest player ever to pull on an England shirt, and his 49 goals for the national side remains a record.

Centre-back Jack's later exploits as Republic of Ireland manager won him legendary status in the Emerald Isle, and even earned him the Freedom of Dublin - an honour previously bestowed on such luminaries as JFK, Nelson Mandela and William Gladstone.

With such strong footballing genes in their blood, it's probably not surprising that there were more top footballers in the family: Jack, George, Jim and Stan Milburn were uncles to the Charlton boys, while Newcastle and England legend Jackie Milburn was their mother's cousin.

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6. George Cohen and Ben Cohen

England and Fulham footballer George Cohen (left) was one of the men in Alf Ramsey's team when England won the World Cup at Wembley in 1966.

His nephew, Ben, joined him as the proud owner of a World Cup winners' medal when he starred for the England rugby team which beat the Australia in the final in Sydney in 2003.  

7. Yannick Noah and Joakim Noah

1980s French
tennis star Yannick is one of the brightest tennis talents ever to come
out of France, and won the French Open at Roland Garros in 1983 - the
first Frenchman to do so in 37 years, and the last to do so since then.

His
son Joakim is also a talented athlete: he was drafted into the NBA in
2007, being picked by the Chicago Bulls, and has continued to impress
ever since.

It's not just Joakim's dad who has tasted the
limelight: his paternal grandfather, Zacharie, played professional
football in Cameroon, while his mother Cecilia Rodhe was crowned Miss
Sweden in 1978.

8. Graham and Damon Hill

British hero Graham won two World Championships, with BRM and Lotus, and is the only driver to win the Indy 500, Le Mans 24 Hours and world title in the same year. He was tragically killed in a light aircraft crash in 1975 when son Damon was 15.

Damon concentrated on motorcycle racing to begin with but after moving into Formula One went on to match Graham's title feat when he beat Michael Schumacher in 1996 - becoming the only son of a world champ to win the big one.

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9. Gary, Phil and Tracey Neville 

Gary and Phil Neville shot to fame for their roles in the heart of Alex Ferguson's Manchester United, and while Gary recently hung up his boots Phil is playing some of the best football of his career at Everton.

But it's not just the brothers who are talented: their sister Tracey (left) is one of England's most-capped netball players - and she claims the boys often come to see her play. "We're a family who have always supported each other," she says. "My brothers have been to my matches, and have even been to support my mum's team in the local league because she still plays."

10. Ian, Greg and Trevor Chappell

The Chappell brothers were superstars of Australian cricket in the 1970s, with eldest Ian being a tough skipper with 5,000 Test runs to his name and sublimely-talented batsman Greg finishing his 87-cap Test career with an average of nearly 54.

Trevor was good, but undeniably the runt of the litter - and we know that's a tough judgement on a player who represented his country in three Tests and 20 one-day matches.

Even sadder, he's probably best remembered for being the man who bowled a pea-roller in the final ball of an innings in a one-day match against New Zealand when the Black Caps needed a six to win. The harshest irony of all? He did so on the instructions of his brother, Greg, who was Australian skipper for the match.

Honourable mentions:

The South African cricketing Pollock brothers

Tthe American footballing Matthews family

Manchester City star Ian Brightwell and his Olympic gold medallist mother Ann Packer

Aussie cricket brothers Mark and Steve Waugh

Danish footballing brothers Brian and Michael Laudrup

Cricketer Ian Botham and his professional rugby player son Liam

The unbeatable tennis doubles pairing that is the Bryan brothers

Frank Lampard, his uncle Harry Redknapp and cousin Jamie Redknapp

England rugby stars Rory and Tony Underwood

Tennis legend Billy Jean King and baseball star brother Randy Moffitt 

 

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