Sunderland Winger Kieran Richardson Finds God, Here's 10 Other Religious Sportsmen (GALLERY)

The Huffington Post UK  |  By Posted: 18/04/2012 15:38 Updated: 18/04/2012 15:38

Kieran Richardson, once labelled lazy by Roy Keane at Manchester United and dubbed "Lord Snooty' by Reds' supporters, has revealed he is a born-again Christian.

Having once bought a Bentley after just 21 first-team appearances for United, he was once synonymous with football's bling culture, but has since discovered God.

The Sunderland winger scored against Wolves in December to reveal an "I Belong To Jesus" T-shirt, much alike one sported by Brazilian World Cup star Kaka.

And he is just one of 10 sportsmen, past and present, who have preached their religion.

  • Jack Charlton

    Ireland coach for two successive World Cups in the early 90s, for Italia 90 Charlton took the squad to the Vatican for an audience with the Pope John Paul II. He later admitted he fell asleep during the St Peter's service.

  • George Foreman

    He may flog Lean, Mean, Fat Grilling Machines, but Foreman's retirement from boxing pleaded with God to help him recover from exhaustion and heat stroke after a Puerto Rico fight with Jimmy Young. Having survived the experience, he stopped fighting and became a born-again Christian. Foreman was made an ordained minister of a church in Houston and opened a youth centre bearing his name.

  • Gavin Peacock

    After completing his punditry duties for the BBC at Euro 2008, Peacock moved to Canada for a three-year masters course in Divinity at Ambrose Seminary. His Peacock's aim was to become a pastor, vicar or minister, depending on which Christian denomination he chooses to work within.

  • Carlos Roa

    Scourge of England in the 1998 World Cup round-of-16 shootout, a year later he became a Seventh Day Adventist, refusing to sign for any club as he believed the world was coming to an end.

  • Kaka

    The one-time World Footballer of the Year has donated millions to his Evangelist Church and plans to become a pastor once he retires. He attributed his recovery, following a career-threatening and possibly paralysis-inducing spinal fracture as a result of a swimming pool accident at 18, to God.

  • Marvin Andrews

    The Trinidad & Tobago World Cup representative is a devout Pentecostal Christian, and when playing for Rangers, refused to have an operation on his cruciate ligament injury, insisting to medical staff that God would heal him.

  • David Icke

    Icke began as a goalkeeper before his career was cut short by arthritis in 1973. The former Coventry and Hereford stopper was only 21 when he was forced to leave the game for good but soon forged a new role as a BBC sport presenter. That ended when, following an encounter with a spiritual medium, Icke appeared on Wogan in 1991, claiming to be "the son of God". He has since gone on to publish more than 20 controversial books.

  • Linvoy primus

    Ex-Portsmouth defender Primus, now retired, is involved in the Christian charity "Faith & Football" and walked the Great Wall of China to raise £100,000 for their cause. Other charitable causes he has been involved in are the Alpha course, a cinema advertisement about Christianity and the formation of a prayer group at Portsmouth.

  • Jonathan Edwards

    Triple jumper Edwards began his athletic career by refusing to take participate in Sunday games. The son of a preacher and husband to a missionary's daughter, he later changed his mind about this, claiming a revelation had come to him encouraging him to jump on the Lord's Day.

  • Javier Hernandez

    Prior to every match, Hernandez kneels in the centre circle and prays. God answered his prayer quickly against Chelsea last season - the Mexican scored after 33 seconds.