Inspiration when choosing your baby’s name can come from a variety of places, and sometimes your favourite sports stars can help you make that decision.
It can be a player who provided an iconic moment for the team you support, or a player who has achieved great things over their career.
Here at Betsperts, we took a look at some of the most iconic moments in British sport over the past two decades, and some of the greatest athletes, to see which players and moments inspired the most baby names in England and Wales.
UK Sporting Moments Which Inspired Baby Names
This time we turn to the UK to see which sporting moments had fans naming their baby after.
Steven Gerrard, 2005 Champions League Final – 325%
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 in the name, Gerrard, the following year.
Thierry Henry, 2003/04 Invincibles Season – 96.15%
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 the year after The Gunners achieved something which had never been done before, and is still yet to be matched.
Mohamed Salah, 2017/18 Record Breaking Season – 76.74%
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.
Athletes Whose Careers Inspired Baby Names UK
It’s not only those iconic moments which can inspire a baby’s name. Sometimes an athlete who has dedicated their lives to the game can cause an increase in baby names over time. That’s why we looked at whose name caused an increase in baby names since their debut.
Lando Norris, Formula 1 – 4,861% increase in baby names since debut
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.
Sir Alex Ferguson, Football – 333% increase in baby names since debut
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%.
Sir Lewis Hamilton, – Formula 1 – 217% increase in baby names since debut
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%.
Most Popular Sports-Inspired Names
We’ve looked at all of the athletes included in our lists to reveal which sports-inspired names were the most popular between 2000 and 2020.
To get our sporting moments, we used lists from Express and Star, BBC, and Bleacher Report. We looked at the baby names the year before the moment, and the year after the moment to see whether it had an impact. For the sporting moments, we looked at the year of the moment, and the year after to see which had the more baby names. We removed any names which were lower than 20 during its peak year.
We used YouGov for the sports personalities. We used this list to find athletes with unique names, who made their debut or retired after the year 2000. We looked at when the athlete made their debut and totalled the number of times the names had been used before and after their debut, before calculating the percentage increase.
We used the Office of National Statistics to find the increases in baby names for each athlete.
Read More: Sports Inspired Baby Names