I’ve been reading up on famous people who have ruptured their Achilles, and it makes for quite a good list of both sporting and non-sporting A-listers. Here are some of them, with a separate list of footballers due to my better knowledge of the game…
Brad Pitt (ironically whilst playing the part of Achilles in the film Troy)
Al Gore (trivially the same initials and surname as me, Mr A A Gore!)
Dwayne Johnson/The Rock (apparently an actor/wrestler)
Missy Elliott (rapper/producer)
Boris Becker (ex-Wimbledon champion)
Kelly Holmes (2 Olympic golds in Athens 2004 & BBC Sports Personality of the Year)
Darren Campbell (British former 100m and 200m sprinter)
Lewis Moody (England rugby player)
Simon Katich (Australian cricketer)
Mark Lewis-Francis (Team GB sprinter)
Alistair Brownlee (British triathlete and one of Britain’s best gold medal hopes in 2012)
Tiger Woods has also suffered with Achilles tendonitis, a sometimes precursor to a rupture, on a number of occasions.
David Beckham (you know who he is)
John Barnes (ex-Liverpool winger)
Yakubu (Blackburn striker)
Steven Taylor (Newcastle defender, ruptured his Achilles earlier this season: http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/football/16116940)
Curtis Davies (Birmingham City centre-half)
Jermaine Jenas (Tottenham midfielder, was on loan at Aston Villa and suffered injury in his first start)
Valeri Bojinov (ex-Manchester City striker now playing in Serie A, who had also previously suffered a knee ligament injury – quite an unlucky player)
Willy Sagnol (ex-France full-back who had to retire following his injury, suffering nerve damage during the surgery – glad I didn’t know this before my op!)
Fabio Aurelio (Liverpool defender)
I’m sure there are many more too. Some of these celebs and sports stars were admittedly older than me when they got their injury, but it’s good to know that it can happen to proper athletes as well as to amateurs, and it’s not just as a result of my poor fitness!
There are some devilishly handsome men in there too, so I’m in good company. The ratio of ruptures of men to women is somewhere between 5:1 and 20:1 depending on where you read. I haven’t read into this enough to know why, but maybe it’s due to men generally being heavier and therefore putting more pressure on the Achilles when pushing through? Not sure, this is just me speculating. In the case of David Beckham, I imagine his rupture was due to the way in which he takes a freekick or corner – planting his left foot next to the ball quite heavily before whipping it with his right foot, for 20 years plus, must have had an adverse effect.