A Legacy of Sporting Heroes
Poland is a diverse country in many senses, including sports. Like many advanced European countries, Poland serves and supports most sporting disciplines from basketball to volleyball, from football to hockey, and many more. Although in recent years Poland hasn’t particularly stood out in most disciplines, it has always somehow been present. In fact, Poland co-hosted the UEFA Euro with Hungary in 2012, the first time the country hosted such a big football event. Poland has made quite a few appearances in the World Cup, the last being in 2006 and plenty of football players have sported jerseys from the Premier League.
English-born Phil Jagielka has been playing for Everton since 2007, and his brother Stephen was part of Shrewsbury Town’s roaster as a midfielder. Another Everton alumni is Andrew Johnson, an English striker of Polish descent who has made a name for himself in the Premier League’s minor teams. Perhaps the most recognised English-born of Polish descent player is Paul Martyn Konchesky who has sported jerseys for Tottenham, West Ham United and Liverpool, amongst others, as well as playing for the English national team on two occasions.
Poles Stand Out at Different Disciplines
Footballers aren’t the only gift Poland has granted the United Kingdom. A handful of rugby players in the UK are of Polish descent, such as Craig Kopczak, who currently plays for the Salford Red Devils in Greater Manchester, Kris Radlinski who represented England for six years and Great Britain for eight years, and Alex Szostak, who was born in England but represented Scotland for most of his career. Other athletes, cyclists, weightlifters and more have also been the pride of England in many disciplines. Lisa Dobriskey represented Great Britain at the Berlin World Championships in 2009 taking home a silver medal for athleticism in the 1,500 mts race, and England at the Melbourne 2006 Commonwealth Games where she took gold. Another outstanding Polish athlete is Robert Grabarz, who secured England’s bronze medal at the 2012 Summer Olympic Games in London for high jump.