It was one of the iconic sporting moments of the year so far and it didn’t even result in victory. Putting the despair for Jonathan Brownlee at missing out on the triathlon World Championship by 300-odd metres to one side, the sight of his brother Alistair Brownlee dragging him towards the finish and pushing him over the line for second place as his body began to shut down in searing Mexican heat inspired as well as pulled at the heart strings. This dramatic moment inadvertently shone the spotlight upon two of Great Britain’s finest ever athletes, brothers in arms who have won 13 Olympic and World Championship medals between them. Here Sport Lived take a look at some of the other famous siblings we have seen over recent years;-
Bob and Mike Bryan
Such is the focus on singles tennis, the achievements of the top doubles players sometimes slip a little under the radar. That isn’t the case with probably the most famous doubles players of all time, the American Bryan brothers Bob and Mike. The identical twins with their famous chest pumping celebration have been dominating doubles tennis for a decade. They have 27 Grand Slam doubles titles to their names, winning 16 of them together. And don’t forget about the 2 Olympics gold medals and a Davis Cup win. The records they hold indicate the stranglehold they have had on the game. They have won more matches, tournaments and Grand Slams than anyone else and jointly held the doubles world No 1 ranking for an amazing 438 weeks until October 2015.
The Burgess Brothers
It is unfortunate for Sam Burgess that many will now remember him as the man who tried and failed to make it in rugby union, yet in the league format of the game he continues to have an almighty impact. What is even more remarkable is that he has three brothers who have also been thriving at the pinnacle of the sport. The fearsome foursome of Sam, Luke and twins Tom and George became the first set of four siblings to play for an Australian NRL top-flight side in the same game for more than a century when representing the South Sydney Rabbitohs. All have made immense contributions to club and international rugby league, particularly Sam, whose famous match-winning performance in the 2014 NRL Grand Final with a broken cheekbone has become the stuff of rugby legend. All of the brothers were in the squad that day. The sport is fortunate that their influence upon and success within the game will continue for many years yet.
Serena and Venus Williams
When you think of women’s tennis, you think of the Williams sisters. After two decades the game simply won’t be the same without them when they eventually retire. They arguably revolutionised women’s tennis with the incredible power they introduced to the game. There was a time when it was surprising not to see them battling it out against each other in finals. Whilst the younger Serena has gone on to achieve greater success than her sister and will surely break Margaret Court’s record of 24 Grand Slams, the 7 Slams won by Venus is still some achievement. They have an astonishing 29 between them at present, as well as 5 Olympic Gold medals. They have also never been beaten in a major doubles final together. The fact they are both still playing and competing for titles in their late thirties is testament to their durability, drive and skill. Few athletes have been able to truly transcend their sport – Serna and Venus Williams certainly have.
Steve and Mark Waugh
Almost 20,000 Test runs, over 50 Test Hundreds and two World Cups. These are just some of the achievements of Australia’s most famous cricket siblings, Steve and Mark Waugh, two players who played an enormous part in defining Australian cricket as it is today. If you were to have a debate about who has been the most stylish and successful opening batsmen of all time, Mark Waugh would be a strong contender. However, his elder brother Steve went on to even grander heights. In addition to developing into one of the greatest ever middle-order batsmen, he became one of Australia’s finest captains in a side with talents such as Adam Gilchrist and Shane Warne to name but a few. He established the now renowned ‘Baggy Green’ cult and led his team to 15 of their record 16 Test wins in a row. It is unlikely that we will ever see two more successful cricket siblings.
Gary and Phil Neville
Every football fan has heard of the legendary Class of 92 team that went on to achieve such tremendous success under Sir Alex Ferguson at Manchester United. The two Neville brothers Gary and Phil played a huge role in that success, as well as both being part of the national side for a number of years, earning a combined 144 caps. They were only separated when Phil departed Old Trafford to join Everton in 2005. Admired for their hard work and professionalism as much as their defensive quality, both went on to be inspiring captains for United and Everton respectively and are widely tipped to eventually go on to be impressive managers. The 14 Premier League trophies, 3 Champions League and 3 FA Cup winner’s medals won between them says it all.