12 Sep 2013
In - Football

Fans of the 72 Football League clubs have voted for Billy Bremner as the greatest captain in history. Known for his uncompromising style, the fiery redhead is widely regarded as the best player ever to have worn the Leeds United shirt.

But he's not the only ginger maestro to have lit up a football pitch. We asked former Arsenal, Southend and Stevenage midfielder (now a top football journalist) Adrian Clarke for five of his favourite redheads…

Gordon Strachan

I was lucky enough to play against one of Team Gingers' finest members when he was player-manager at Coventry, and I have to say he was an absolute pest. Energetic in the extreme, even as a veteran Strachan was one of the busiest, hard-working midfielders I've ever seen and a nightmare to play against. Thank goodness I never faced him when he was a youngster. The Scot was a brilliant team player, and especially outstanding during his time with Leeds. It's no coincidence United were so successful during the current Scotland manager's six-year spell at the club.

Neil Lennon

Celtic fans have affectionately dubbed their gaffer 'the Ginger Guardiola' but he was also a terrific player who made a name for himself south of the border with Crewe and Leicester during the nineties. A pivotal member of the Foxes side that won the League Cup in 1997 and 2000, Lennon was feisty, combative and never afraid to crunch into a tackle in the heart of midfield. Although he was also regarded as a good passer with a strong engine, it was the Northern Irishman's leadership skills that stood out most, so it's no surprise he's now a top manager.

Alan Ball

The youngest member of England's heroic 1966 World Cup-winning side was a much-loved character, who sadly passed away in 2007. With his fiery red hair, famously high-pitched voice and bubbly character, Ball's enthusiasm for the game was infectious and led to him being nicknamed 'Bouncy' by those who knew him. The diminutive midfielder was a top-class footballer too, and earned a cherished place in both Blackpool and Everton's respective hall of fames.

David Fairclough

Apart from Paul Scholes, the man they used to call 'Supersub' is possibly the most decorated red-haired British footballer of all time. During a phenomenal eight-year spell at Anfield, Fairclough won six Division One titles, three League Cups and a Uefa Cup. Oh, and three European Cups to boot! Famous for making an impact on crucial matches when coming off the bench, the popular winger went on to play for Norwich, Oldham, Tranmere and Wigan, but is best known as being one of Liverpool's biggest cult heroes.

Ben Watson

Watson's dramatic stoppage-time winner in last season's FA Cup final against Manchester City ensured his place in footballing folklore, so prepare yourself for re-runs of his famous header time and time again in the coming years. The popular Prince Harry lookalike is busy trying to help relegated Wigan regain their place in the Premier League this season but whatever happens, he's now a ginger legend. 

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