Brit teen prodigies who shot to stardom from nowhere like Rooney and Hamilton, after Emma Raducanu's heroics at US Open

Brit teen prodigies who shot to stardom from nowhere like Rooney and Hamilton, after Emma Raducanu's heroics at US Open

09/10/2021

FORGET teenage dreams, these young overachievers actually lived their dreams.

Tennis sensation Emma Raducanu, 18, has done the unthinkable by reaching the US Open final as a qualifier – the first time that's ever been in the history the game.

With her stunning win over Greek world No18 Maria Sakkari 6-1 6-4, she has also become the first Brit woman to make a Grand Slam final since 1977.

And she's not the only sporting star who has been propelled into stardom at a very young age from absolutely nowhere.

WAYNE ROONEY

Behind-the-scenes at Everton, there were rumblings about a prodigious talent coming through the ranks.

And he announced himself in the most spectacular way possible with a screamer against Arsenal – ending the Gunners 30-game unbeaten run in the process in a 2-1 win for the Toffees at the tender age of 16.

Two years later, aged just 18, he announced himself to the world at Euro 2004 for England scoring twice in a 3-0 win over Switzerland and added another double in a 4-2 win over Croatia.

That summer, he completed the fairytale start to his career by signing for Manchester United in a £30million deal.

Not only did he become the Red Devils all-time top goalscorer, he also holds the international record for England with 53 goals.

LEWIS HAMILTON

It's been 14 years since Lewis competed in his first season in F1 with McLaren.

Before that, he was a teenage whizz in a go kart that led to him joining the McLaren young driver programme aged just 13.

Astonishingly, in only his second season he won the World Championship indramatic fashion in 2008 aged just 23.

Hamilton was neck-and-neck with Felipe Massa going into the last race – the Brazilian Grand Prix.

In the final corners of the last lap, the Brit overtook Timo Glock to clinch fifth position and denied race-winner Massa the title by just one point.

Hamilton has since won a joint-record seven World Drivers' Championship titles (tied with Michael Schumacher), and holds the records for the most wins, pole positions, and podium finishes.

MICHAEL OWEN

A little like Rooney, Owen exploded out the traps on the international stage – albeit this was at the World Cup.

During the 1997-98 campaign, he burst into the Liverpool line-up – scoring 23 goals in all competitions in his first full season at 17.

And at the 1998 World Cup he continued his ascension with a wonder strike against Argentina in a last-16 class at 18.

He topped it all off by winning the BBC Sports Personality of the Year.

Owen would win the European Footballer of the Year in 2001, and go on to play for Real Madrid and Manchester United in a glittering career, as well as score 40 goals for his country.

JUSTIN ROSE

Rose's early years in the game were nothing short of miraculous and earned him the tag the 'next Tiger'.

By the age of 11, he broke 70 for the first time and was a plus three handicap at just 14.

Then, aged 17, he rose to worldwide prominence at the 1998 Open Championship at Royal Birkdale.

He holed a dramatic shot from the rough from about 50 yards for birdie on the 18th hole, to finish in a tie for fourth.

Rose's biggest success came in 2013, when he won the US Open aged 33. But the Masters has so far eluded him, finishing tied second twice.

SKY BROWN

At thirteen, Sky is the youngest on the list.

But, despite her tender years, she's already achieved so much in the sport of skateboarding.

At the 2020 Olympics, she won a bronze medal in the Park event – becoming Great Britain's youngest ever medallist.

The Japanese-born starlet now has her eyes set on competing in surfing at the next Games.

BUKAYO SAKA

Arsenal fans would've already told you how good Saka was.

In a struggling team, the level-headed winger became a firm fans' favourite when he came to prominence in the 2019-20 season at the age of 18.

Last season, only his second in the first team, he was voted Arsenal's Player of the Season by supporters.

He carried that form into Euro 2020, where his incredible performances helped his country reach the final at the tender age of 19.

A missed penalty against Italy did nothing to harm his reputation or confidence, as he continues to go from strength to strength.

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