Having won 10 Premier League titles, three FA Cups, two League Cups, two Champions League titles and five FA Community Shields, Paul Scholes’ passion for Manchester United is clear. He returned with a win last season, but will his decision to bring back his shoes turn out to be the right one? Let’s take a look at other athletes who made a comeback with opposite luck…
Michael Jordan retired from basketball in 1993. While he cited a lack of desire and ambition after leading the Chicago Bulls to three championship titles, it was suggested that the decision was based on the recent murder of his father. Jordan returned to basketball in 1995 and led the Chicago Bulls to three more championship titles. He was inducted into the NBA Hall of Fame in 2009, whose website declared him “…the greatest basketball player of all time”.
Cycling legend, Lance Armstrong, was diagnosed with testicular cancer in 1996 at the age of just 25, with a survival probability of less than 40%. However, he returned to the sport two years later and went on to claim seven Tour de France titles, leading to a rivalry with Jan Ulrich which is seen as one of the biggest clashes in sporting history.
Kim Clijsters retired from professional tennis in 2007 at the age of 24, winning three Grand Slams and runner-up in four more. She said that her health and personal family life were more important to her as she was constantly surrounded by injuries. After becoming a mother in 2008, she returned to the sport the very next year, winning the US Open titles in 2009 and 2010 and the Australian Open in 2011. She now claims a tournament total of 41 WTA singles titles and 11 WTA doubles titles. The only mother to have won a major title since Yvonne Gulagong in 1980.
Few people have dominated their game like Michael Schumacher. Not only did Schumacher win the world championship unprecedented seven times, he holds several driver records including most race wins, fastest laps, pole position, points scored and most races won in a season (13). He became the only driver in Formula One history to finish in the top three in every race of a season and then also broke the record for most consecutive podium finishes. After retiring in 2007, he returned with Team Sauber Mercedes two years later, but his former success eluded him. Last season he failed to register a podium place and finished 316 points behind eventual winner Sebastian Vettel.
Mike Tyson made his boxing debut by becoming the youngest boxer to win the WBC, WBA and IBF heavyweight titles. His playing career came to a halt in 1992 when, after a very high profile trial, he served three years in prison for rape. Tyson made a series of comebacks but lost his heavyweight crown to Evander Holyfield and Lennox Lewis. Despite earning over £300 million during his boxing career, he was declared bankrupt in 2003.
So was Paul Scholes’ decision right? As a football PR agency we’d love to hear your thoughts – us @ENSLtdsportPR . Tweet