This year, there will be a celebrated crowd of amateurs competing at the team event of the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship – including several legendary football stars.
Sir Bobby Charlton, regarded as one of the greatest midfielders of all time and an essential member of the England team who won the World Cup in 1966, will participate in the event. For his performance in the cup, Charlton also won the prestigious Ballon d’Or prize – later in his life he was also knighted by the Queen. Jamie Redknapp, son of Harry Redknapp – the current manager of Queens Park Rangers in the Barclays Premier League, will also be in attendance. Redknapp won awards playing for Liverpool and Tottenham during his time as a professional footballer, and is now a pundit at SkySports. Dutch football legends Johan Cruyff and Ruud Gullit will join the amateur crowd participating this year. Cruyff is considered one of the most influential figures in football history – he led the Netherlands to the final of the 1974 World Cup, and his football philosophy has influenced managers all over the world. Gullit captained the Dutch team that won the European Cup in 1988, and is considered one of the best players in that decade.
Also participating is recently retired footballer Michael Ballack, who is among the top scorers in the history of the German national team – he also captained the team in the 2006 World Cup and Euro 2008. Another great, Gianfranco Zola of Italy, will be at the tournament this year. Zola won awards during his career playing in the Italian and English leagues as well as for his country, and is currently a football manager. Rounding off the list of football legends is Luis Figo, who won renown playing in the Portuguese, Italian, and Spanish premier divisions before retiring in 2009. He is also regarded as one of Portugal’s best international players, and captained the national team to their best ever result in a World Cup – 3rd place in 2006.
Other celebrities from the world of sport and entertainment will be joining the celebrated crowd at St Andrews. English film and TV star Hugh Grant, who frequents the town, will be part of the celebrity amateur crowd. He will be joined by fellow members of the entertainment industry – American actors Greg Kinnear and Kyle MacLachlan. In addition, rock music legends Don Felder of the Eagles, and Huey Lewis and Tico Torres from Bon Jovi will participate.
Cricketers who will join the tournament include England’s Sir Ian Botham and Allan Lamb, Australian spin bowling wizard Shane Warne, and South Africa’s Mark Boucher, the wicket-keeper who holds the record for the most Test dismissals. Among other stars competing at Dunhill are British Olympic rowing legend Sir Steve Redgrave, former No. 1 for British tennis Tim Henman, British racing driver and Formula One world champion Damon Hill, former Austrian downhill ski racer Franz Klammer, and recently retired Irish rugby legend taking some well-deserved time off Brian O’Driscoll.
With such a celebrated crowd of participants, this year’s competition is an event students will not want to miss.