One thing that has been ever present across the last few decades has been sport. Technologies evolve and trends change but sport has always been there. Sports fandom can be as strong as family bonds to some people. The passion and the support can go to extremes. Sports stars are idolised as heroes and role models and they can hugely influence people’s lives. When you throw in youthful awe and adult nostalgia, there are memories here which will never fade. There is no doubt that the term retro and the power of nostalgia can certainly be applied to sporting memories from our youth.

Retro industries including sport have become big business in recent times with many of us looking back on our childhoods and really investing our time into retro markets. You only have to look at all the retro shirts that are available for soccer teams these days, or throwback uniforms for the NFL, to realise that brands have realised there is a huge market here. The power of retro in general is hard to miss, with video game companies constantly releasing retro related mini consoles or remastered classic games. Other industries that have been benefitting in recent times include online casinos such as at Max Casinos as many people have been looking for online entertainment that they can create a profit from the comfort of their own homes. These casinos have a wide variety of games on the web, many of them retro based, with sign up deals for new customers is certainly something worth checking out. When you add in Hollywood movies, TV remakes and just fashion in general, the power of retro is undeniable.

Sport back in the 70s and 80s perhaps seemed just normal to us but now we are starting to really appreciate some of the superstars that we witnessed. Here are some of our favourite and greatest sports stars of what could be called the retro years.

First of all, we will start with no doubt the greatest footballer of that period and arguably the greatest of all time, Diego Maradona. The Argentinian sadly recently passed away in his native country and this managed to showcase his skill on the world stage again as the tributes flooded in. A whole new generation has now seen the amazing skills that he possessed on the pitch. Maradona obviously created one of the most influential and controversial goals at the World Cup in 86 when he played England and scored the Hand of God goal – something that broke England fans hearts for decades to come. But he should be remembered for being one of the most mesmerising footballers to ever grace the field. The late Maradona will go down as one of the greatest ‘retro’ sports stars of all times.

Image: CBS Sports

Moving over to cricket, Ian Botham was always one of our favourite sports stars from the 70s and 80s. Not only was Ian Botham one of the greatest cricket players of all time, with both bat and ball, but was also one of the most charismatic people to play sport. When Beefy spoke, you listened. He was always great on the classic BBC TV quiz show ‘A Question of Sport’. Not only that, he was knighted by the Queen of England and only this year become a lord in the House of Lords because of his work for charity. Who can forget his famous walk from John O’Groats to Lands End in 1985.

Image: Wikipedia

You could possibly argue that Michael Jordan shouldn’t classify for the ‘retro years’, as the bulk of his legendary play did happen in the mid-90s, but firstly that’s still nearly 30 years ago, and he did burst on the scene in the late 80s, but perhaps more importantly he became such an icon of late 80s and 90s fashion, with the Nike Air Jordan shoes that he can’t not be included. And if you were talking about the greatest sports stars of all time, there is a good chance that Michael Jordan would be at the top of that list. An unbelievable talent, an unbelievable determination to win and an incredible winning record.

Image: Flickr

And finally, possibly the scariest boxer of all time, ‘Iron’ Mike Tyson, who become the heavyweight champion of the world back in the mid 80s at the age of 20. Tyson was easily the most feared fighter on the planet even though he was small for a heavyweight, and he had several video game characters, both officially and unofficially modelled on him. Tyson has recently come out of retirement to fight in an exhibition match against Roy Jones Jr which ended in a draw and certainly was a spectacle for us old school fans. At 54 years young, Tyson is still one of the baddest men on the planet.

Image: USA Today

There are so many other amazing sports stars of the 80s we could list. Carl Lewis, Bjorn Bjorg, Wayne Gretzky, Daley Thompson, Steve Davis, Dan Marino, Joe Montana. The list could go on and on. And although Muhammad Ali was more 60s and 70s, he should obviously get a mention here of course! Pele too. All the main stars detailed above in this article have one thing in common. They transcended their sports. They became icons and heroes, or used their stardom to help communities and charities. And during their sporting prime, they gave us memories we will hold on to for ever. I wonder what modern day stars will be the heroes for the next generation.