It has been 13 years since the first footballer first appeared on the popular Saturday evening TV show, with none performing especially strongly
The 17th series of BBC One’s Strictly Come Dancing will begin on Monday, August 26 with a red carpet launch, although a date is yet to be confirmed for when the first program will air.
The Saturday evening staple has announced that former England international goalkeeper David James and women’s international star Alex Scott will be among the 15 celebrities battling it out to win the coveted Glitterball in 2019.
There has been a long history of footballers taking part in the programme. Here are those who have blazed the trail for James and Scott – and how they performed.
Former Manchester United goalkeeper Peter Schmeichel was the first footballer to appear on the show in 2006. Paired with dancer Erin Boag, the Old Trafford legend was eliminated seventh out of the 14 celebrities to take part.
Despite that respectable finish, Schmeichel only averaged a score of 24.7 per dance and twice finished as the lowest scorer, mustering a mere 19 points in the Samba and Pasodoble.
The series was won by England cricketer Mark Ramprakash, while former England rugby player Matt Dawson was the runner-up. As such, Schmeichel came last in the three sportsmen who were involved.
It was the turn of Liverpool and England legend John Barnes to take to the dancefloor in Series 5, which took place in 2007. He and partner Nicole Cutler lasted one week longer than Schmeichel as he was the eighth celebrity to be voted out, though he did survive longer than sports anchor Gabby Logan.
Like Schmeichel, Barnes twice finished as the worst dancer, with American Smooth and Foxtrot proving to be his Achilles heel. However, his overall score of 27.1 was significantly higher than the former Red Devil.
Musician Alesha Dixon won the overall prize.
After a two-year hiatus without a footballer on the show, England goalkeeper Peter Shilton was given a call up in 2010 for Series 8, with Erin Boag his partner.
He did not, however, prove as capable on the dancefloor as between the sticks as he lasted just three weeks before elimination, clocking up an average of just 20.3 points.
He was not so bad as to be retained by viewers purely for entertainment purposes, like former politician Ann Widdecombe, who consistently ranked among the worst dancers but managed to finish sixth.
Actress Kara Tointon won the show that year.
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The last footballer to go on the show was way back in Series 9, with former England footballer Robbie Savage, now better known as a pundit, teaming up with Ola Jordan.
The ex-Wales international midfielder actually proved to be quite handy on the dancefloor as he finished sixth overall, making him the most successful former player to take part. That is borne out by the 27.2 points he averaged over the course of the series.
McFly drummer Harry Judd was the overall winner.