from Life Style Sports
· O’Driscoll named Ireland’s greatest ever rugby player
· O’Gara’s Grand Slam winning drop goal the greatest ever Irish rugby moment
· Ireland’s victory over Australia in 2011 is the nation’s greatest RWC moment
· Packie Bonner’s penalty save against Romania in the 1990 World Cup identified as top footballing moment, despite 29% of those surveyed not being alive at the time
As the nation counts down to the start of the 2015 Rugby World Cup, Life Style Sports has taken 300 Irish sports fans on a trip down memory lane to establish Ireland’s greatest sporting moments to date.
With 35% of the vote, Ronan O’Gara’s drop goal to win the 2009 Grand Slam was voted the nation’s all-time greatest rugby moment. This was closely followed by Ireland’s land mark 43 -13 victory over England in Croke Park (26%). Ireland’s greatest ever Rugby World Cup moment was Ireland’s outstanding win over Australia in Eden Park in 2011 (77%).
Unsurprisingly, the recently retired Brian O’Driscoll topped Ireland’s greatest ever rugby player list with 64% of the vote. Munster royalty Paul O’Connell and Ronan O’Gara were next in the all-time great list with 14% and 12% of the vote ahead of former greats including Keith Wood (5%), Willie John McBride (4%) and Jack Kyle (1%).
When asked to choose their favourite 2015 RWC jersey, excluding the Ireland jersey, the nation has confirmed its love affair with the All Black jersey which received a staggering 40% of the vote. The Argentinian strip is the nation’s next favourite (15%) ahead of the Australian, South African and French strips all sharing the honours for third spot with (8%) of the vote. All 20 RWC jerseys are available from www.LifeStyleSports.com.
Greatest non-rugby sporting moments:
· Athletics – Sonia O’Sullivan’s 1995 World Championship gold
· Golf – Padraig Harrington’s back to back Open Championships
· Soccer – Packie Bonner’s 1990 World Cup penalty save
· Boxing – Katie Taylor’s 2012 Olympic gold medal
Despite 29% of those surveyed not being alive at the time, Packie Bonner’s penalty save against Romania in the 1990 World Cup was identified as the crowning jewel of our footballing top moments (39%). Appealing to a slightly younger generation, Robbie Keane’s equalising goal against Germany in the 2002 World Cup scored 19% of the vote for second place with notable mentions going to Ireland’s 1994 World Cup win against Italy (16%) and Ray Houghton’s historic goal against England in Euro ’88 (14%).
With 52% of the vote, the hugely popular Sonia O’Sullivan’s gold medal performance in the 1995 Gothenburg World Championships was a clear winner in the athletics category. Eamonn Coughlan’s 1983 World Championship Gold was a clear second with 17% of the vote with other legends of the sport including, Ronnie Delaney, Rob Heffernan and Derval O’Rourke in a photo finish for third place on (8%).
Padraig Harrington’s back to back Open Championship wins have cemented his place in the golfing history books and in the hearts of the Irish public with 40% of the vote. Tied for second place with 16% of the vote were Shane Lowry’s amateur win in the 2009 Irish Open and Rory McIlroy’s double major season in 2014.
Ireland’s top boxing moment is reserved for Katie Taylor’s Olympic gold medal in London 2012 (55%) ahead of Barry McGuigan for winning the World Featherweight title in 1988 (23%) and Michael Carruth’s Olympic gold medal win in 1992 (11%).
Life Style Sports has already backed Irish supporters by offering anyone who purchased their jersey in store or online on 24th, 25th or 26th July their money back should Ireland go all the way in October. The Irish retailer has a number of exciting initiatives planned for the coming weeks to help supporters back the Irish team. Irish rugby fans can join the conversation and back Ireland #ForVictory by following the hashtag on social media.