Sports star-inspired baby names - from Hamilton to Tyson

The iconic sport stars who have inspired the most UK baby names revealed, is your fave on the list?

Baby with skate board and drop in image of baby with boxing gloves
(Image credit: Getty)

When it comes to baby names parents-to-be look in a wide range of places for inspiration but there's been a surge in the number of sport star inspired names as we look at the most popular choices.

Whether football, rugby or boxing is your go-to sport, or if you avoid anything sporty altogether, there is always a someone you know who can't stop talking about the great things their favourite sport star has achieved and more people are turning to iconic moments of British sport for some unique baby names inspiration.

While many expectant mothers have looked at movie inspired monikers, with the upcoming World Cup and Rugby League World Cup and following on from the Lionesses summer sporting success, the sports field might be a great place to look.

Betsperts have come up with a list of the most popular sport name choices, but has your favourite made the line-up?

Footballer inspired baby names

  1. Steven Gerrard (Gerrard) - Steven Gerrard is widely regarded as one of the Liverpool players of all time, and his involvement in Liverpool’s miracle comeback against AC Milan in the Champions League final cemented his place in Liverpool history. The Reds found themselves trailing by three goals to nil at halftime. Against all odds, Liverpool turned the game around and won the game on penalties. Gerrard opened the Liverpool scoring with a brilliant header before goals from Vladimir Smicer and Xabi Alonso equalled the scoring. As captain, Gerrard had the honour of lifting the Champions League trophy, and his success caused a huge spike (325%) in the name, Gerrard, the following year.
  2. Thierry Henry  (Thierry)- The French forward is regarded as one of the best Premier League players of all time, and his involvement in Arsenal’s invincible season will go down in history. Henry scored 30 goals to win the golden boot, and Premier League Player of the Season. The name Thierry almost doubled (96.15%) the year after The Gunners achieved something which had never been done before, and is still yet to be matched.
  3. Mohamed Salah (Salah) - Completing our top three is Mo Salah, whose last name increased by 76.74%. Salah joined Liverpool in the summer of 2017 and hit the ground running instantly. During his first season, Salah not only won the golden boot but also broke the record for the most goals scored in a 38-game Premier League season. The ‘Egyptian King’ scored 32 goals, breaking the record of 31. Salah also played a vital role in taking Liverpool to their first Champions League final in over 10 years.
  4. Trent Alexander-Arnold (Trent)
  5. Andy Murray (Murray)
  6. Riyad Mahrez (Riyad)

Athlete inspired baby names

Athletes who have dedicated their life to the sport are having their legacy marked with something much more everlasting than any trophy - they are increasingly being honoured with baby names. The following sports stars caused an increase in the baby names since their debut... 

  1. Lando Norris (Lando) - Lando Norris joined McLaren for his rookie season in Formula 1 in the 2019 season. Despite not reaching the podium during his first season, he showed many signs of promise, gaining 49 points across the campaign. During his second season, he achieved his first podium finishing third at the Austrian Grand Prix. Although entering the sport recently, the name Lando has increased by almost 5,000%, with fans in the UK taking a liking to his name.
  2. Sir Aelx Ferguson (Ferguson) - Sir Alex Ferguson is widely regarded as one of the greatest managers of all time, winning the Premier League 13 times, more than any other manager. He also won the UEFA Champions League twice, and the FA Cup five times during his 26 years at Manchester United. The Scotsman retired in 2013, and since his retirement, the name, Ferguson, has increased by over 300%.
  3. Sir Lewis Hamilton (Hamilton) - Lewis Hamilton entered Formula 1 as a rookie in 2007, and narrowly missed out on the World Championship by just one point. His second season is where it would come for him, clinching the title on the last lap. Since then, Hamilton has gone on to win over 100 races, and seven World Championships, equalling Michael Schumacher. His achievements on the track have inspired the name Hamilton to increase by over 200%.
  4. Tyson Fury (Tyson)
  5. Yaya Toure (Yaya)
  6. Zinedine Zidane (Zidane)
  7. Jessica Ennis (Ennis)
  8. Steven Gerrard (Gerrard)
  9. Wayne Rooney (Rooney)
  10. Didier Drogba (Didier)
  11. Lionel Messi (Messi)

The most popular sports inspired baby names in UK

Bringing all the athletes and sport stars together, the following list reveals which sports-inspired names were the most popular between 2000 and 2020.

  1. Andy Murray (Murray)
  2. Thierry Henry (Thierry)
  3. Tyson Fury (Tyson)
  4. Trent Alexander-Arnold (Trent)
  5. Zinedine Zidane (Zidane)
  6. Riyad Mahrez (Riyad)
  7. Mohamed Salah (Salah)
  8. Sergio Aguero (Sergio)
  9. Cristiano Ronaldo (Ronaldo)
  10. Steven Gerrard (Gerrard)

most popular sport baby names 2022

(Image credit: Betsperts)

To compile the research, Betsperts used sports reports to mark iconic sporting moments before looking at the baby names the year before the moment, and the year after the moment to see whether it had an impact. They used YouGov for the sports personalities to find athletes with unique names, who made their debut or retired after the year 2000. By looking at when the athlete made their debut and then totalling the number of times the names had been used before and after their debut, enabled them to calculate the percentage increase.

They used the Office of National Statistics to find the increases in baby names for each athlete.

Selina Maycock
Senior Entertainment Writer

Selina is currently a Senior Entertainment Writer for, formerly Senior Entertainment writer for Woman&Home, and My Imperfect Life and has more than 16 years of experience in newspapers, magazines and online. She currently writes a mix of Entertainment news - including celebrity births, weddings and reality show line-ups including Strictly, Dancing On Ice and The Great British Bake Off, reporting the the latest news about the Royal kids Prince George, Charlotte, Louis, Archie and Lilibet as well as Family news stories from baby names to store closures and product recall warnings. Before joining Future Publishing, Selina graduated from the University of Sheffield in 2006 with a degree in Journalism. She is fully NCTJ and NCE qualified and has 100wpm shorthand. When she's not interviewing celebrities you can find her exploring new countryside walking routes, catching up with friends over good food, or making memories.