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Five fairytale endings from the world of sport

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Brian O'Driscoll, pictured left, has been integral to Ireland's search for his successor, according to Joe Schmidt

Brian O'Driscoll, pictured left, has been integral to Ireland's search for his successor, according to Joe Schmidt

Brian O'Driscoll, pictured left, has been integral to Ireland's search for his successor, according to Joe Schmidt

Steven Gerrard will leave Liverpool at the end of the season but his Reds career could end in fairytale fashion if the Anfield side can win the FA Cup final, which is due to be played on his 35th birthday.

Here are five times that the fairytale came true:

1) Brian O'Driscoll

After an illustrious career which saw him lauded as the greatest player of his generation, Brian O'Driscoll's amazing career finished in fitting circumstances.

An amazing 22-20 triumph over France at the Stade de France, the hallowed turf where he rewrote Irish rugby history 15 years earlier with his hat-trick of tries to end a long barren spell at the home of Les Bleus.

The French press gave him the man-of-the-match award which he grudgingly accepted. He would add the Pro12 title with Leinster to his CV two months afterwards.

2) JJ Delaney

JJ Delaney's retirement sent shockwaves through the world hurling but no one can deny that his inter-county career didn't end in the best possible fashion.

The 32-year-old will rightly go down as one of the game's greatest defenders and his performances in 2014 were among the best he has ever displayed.

The nine-time All-Ireland and seven-time All Star winner and his team mates were victorious in every competition they entered into in 2014.

They will have a job repeating that feat in 2015 without Delaney.

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JJ Delaney and Brian Hogan departed on a high note. Pat Murphy / SPORTSFILE

JJ Delaney and Brian Hogan departed on a high note. Pat Murphy / SPORTSFILE

SPORTSFILE

JJ Delaney and Brian Hogan departed on a high note. Pat Murphy / SPORTSFILE

 

3) Frankel

Arguably the greatest racehorse the world has ever known. He made it 14 wins out of 14 in the Champion Stakes at Ascot in 2012 in front of a sell-out crowd.

Thankfully, his trainer Henry Cecil, who was battling stomach cancer at the time, was present for all his triumphs. He sadly passed away in June 2013.

Frankel now service over 200 mares during each breeding season and is one of the most sought-after stallions on the planet. Quite a retirement.

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Frankel, seen here with Tom Queally up, has sired his first foal. PA WIRE

Frankel, seen here with Tom Queally up, has sired his first foal. PA WIRE

PA

Frankel, seen here with Tom Queally up, has sired his first foal. PA WIRE

 

4) Steve Redgrave

The most successful rower in Olympic history, Steve Redgrave is the only person to win gold at five consecutive Olympic Games.

To end you career with gold in a titanic race at the Sydney Olympics in 2000 isn't a bad way to bow out.

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<p><strong>Steve Redgrave</strong></p><p>There are many great Olympians but few come close to Sir Steve for the longevity in their chosen event. Picking up his first gold medal in the Coxed Four event in Los Angeles in 1984, few could have predicted he would be winning his fifth consecutive Olympic gold at the Sydney Games in 2000 - least of all himself. After winning his fourth gold in 1996, Redgrave famously declared that if anyone saw him close to a boat again they could shoot him. Thankfully no-one did.</p>

<p><strong>Steve Redgrave</strong></p><p>There are many great Olympians but few come close to Sir Steve for the longevity in their chosen event. Picking up his first gold medal in the Coxed Four event in Los Angeles in 1984, few could have predicted he would be winning his fifth consecutive Olympic gold at the Sydney Games in 2000 - least of all himself. After winning his fourth gold in 1996, Redgrave famously declared that if anyone saw him close to a boat again they could shoot him. Thankfully no-one did.</p>

<p><strong>Steve Redgrave</strong></p><p>There are many great Olympians but few come close to Sir Steve for the longevity in their chosen event. Picking up his first gold medal in the Coxed Four event in Los Angeles in 1984, few could have predicted he would be winning his fifth consecutive Olympic gold at the Sydney Games in 2000 - least of all himself. After winning his fourth gold in 1996, Redgrave famously declared that if anyone saw him close to a boat again they could shoot him. Thankfully no-one did.</p>

 

5) Matt le Tissier

Matt le Tissier didn't retire on May 19, 2001 but it was the end of one of the Premier Leagues most daunting venues, The Dell.

In the final game at the old ground, Southampton's golden boy, the man who had rescued them on so many occasions and who had stayed through to them during the hard times, scored a last minute penalty in a 3-2 win over Arsenal.

A stadium and a player that will never be forgotten by Saints fans.

Online Editors