It’s not every day you pick up a famous passenger as a taxi driver in the UK, and it’s even rarer to pick up one of your heroes, but once in a while you might have the chance to have the back of your taxi honored with a Star.
Taxi drivers across the UK have shared some of the most famous football players and managers they have had the pleasure of transporting.
First, we have one of the most iconic figures in the sport of the past 20 years. Mr. Liverpool himself, Steven Gerrard. Gerrard captained Liverpool and England before moving into management. Gerrard currently manages Premier League side Aston Villa after joining them from Scottish Giants Rangers.
Next, we take a look at two of Manchester United’s greatest players, Ryan Giggs, and one of the most naturally talented footballers of all time, George Best. Giggs, who has played his entire professional career at Manchester United, has won 13 league titles, more than any other player in Premier League history. George Best is considered one of the finest players of his generation, having been named European Footballer of the Year in 1968. Best won 2 league titles and 1 European Cup before being inducted into the Hall of Fame of English football in 2002.
The next player we’re going to mention, and perhaps England’s most recognizable name because of what he did in the 1966 World Cup final, Sir Geoff Hurst. Sir Geoff Hurst is best known for scoring a hat-trick for England against Germany in a 4–2 World Cup victory; the only time England have won it. In total, he scored 24 goals for England in 49 appearances. He spent most of his club career at West Ham United, where he scored 242 goals in 500 first-team appearances for the East London side.
Remaining with West Ham, two other well-known faces also graced the back of a taxi; Joe Cole and “Mr West Ham” himself, Mark Noble. Both players rose through the ranks at the club before making their professional debuts.
Joe Cole went on to play for Chelsea and Liverpool, as well as his country, England. Mark Noble has spent his entire career at West Ham, hence the ‘Mr West Ham’ label, although he had two short loan spells at Hull City and Ipswich Town.
Keeping with the London theme, two players who played for Chelsea in west London, Frank Lampard and Cesc Fabregas, both spent time in the company of London’s iconic black cab drivers. Frank Lampard is one of Chelsea’s most successful players and one of the best midfielders of his generation. Frank was statistically named Premier League Player of the Decade from 2000 to 2010.
Cres Fabregas, a creative Spanish-born midfielder, joined Chelsea from Barcelona in 2014. In 2003, as a teenager for London rivals Arsenal, Cesc quickly proved he belonged with the big leagues. He played 212 times for the Gunners before joining the Spanish giants, where he played alongside footballing legends Andres Iniesta and Xavi. Cesc has also lined up alongside the greatest footballer of all time, Lionel Messi.
It’s not just famous footballers that taxi drivers can show they have in their taxis, managers have also been known to hail a cab or two.
Probably the most famous being Jose Mourinho. Jose is best known for his time at Chelsea. After securing a win for underdogs Porto over Alex Ferguson’s Manchester United at Old Trafford en route to lifting the Champions League trophy, Chelsea wasted no time securing his signature. During his time at the west London club, he led the team to two league titles, an FA Cup and two League Cups. Jose was known for his controversial, yet endearing character, but rest assured, taxi drivers have had nothing but good things to say about the man on their taxi rides.
Other football icons the taxi drivers have had the pleasure of picking up include: