MEET our pick of Ayrshire’s sporting legends. And if you are wondering where all the footballers are, they’re coming in another top 10 very soon.

1. Sam Torrance

Born 1953, Largs

Ardrossan and Saltcoats Herald:

One of Scotland’s most successful golfers, Torrance was a leading European Tour star, but today is most known for his Ryder Cup success. He represented Europe eight times in the competition and, famously sank the putt on the 18th hole of The Belfry in 1985 which saw Europe take the trophy for the first time in 28 years. He later led the team to 2002 Ryder Cup success as non playing captain.

2. Drew McIntyre

Born Ayr, 1985

Ardrossan and Saltcoats Herald:

The 6ft 5 wrestler is the first British World Champion in the WWE. Once billed as Drew Galloway, he is a two time WWE champ and now resident in Tampa, Florida. He won his second WWE title last year and remains champion. He is also one of the few Ayrshire men in any sport to have a playable video game character, appearing in many WWE titles.

3. Paul Foster

Born Troon, 1973

Ardrossan and Saltcoats Herald:

Foster is the second most prolific winner of the World Indoor Championship singles title, behind six-times winner, pairs partner and close friend Alex Marshall. He has five wins from six final appearances (in 1998, 2001, 2005, 2011 and 2017. He also has four Commonwealth Games gold medals, two of them for pairs with Marshall.

4. Graeme Obree

Born Nuneaton, 1965

Ardrossan and Saltcoats Herald:

The Flying Scotsman may have been born in England, but has lived most of his life in Irvine and the Three Towns. The cyclist twice broke the world hour record and was the individual pursuit world champion in 1993 and 1995. He was known for his unusual riding positions and for the Old Faithful bicycle he built which included parts from a washing machine. Johnny Lee Miller played Obree in a 2006 biopic.

5. Lewis Gibson

Born Prestwick 1994.

Ardrossan and Saltcoats Herald:

Inspired by Dancing on Ice, Gibson began skating in 2006 in Scotland, training at Ayr Ice Rink and Stevenston's Auchenharvie Leisure Centre. The ice dancer, with partner Lilah Fear, is a two time British National Champion and has won medals in Europe and in Canada. They have also competed in the World Championships.

6. Gordon Brown

Born Troon, 1947

Ardrossan and Saltcoats Herald:

‘Broon Frae Troon’ was a Scottish rugby legend. A product of Marr College, he was part of the famed ‘Mean Machine’ regarded as the best front five Scotland ever had. He won 30 caps for Scotland and eight caps for the British Lions between 1969 and 1976. He sadly died from non-Hodgkin lymphoma aged 53 in March 2001 and was inducted into the World Rugby Hall of Fame in 2015.

7. Rhona Martin

Born 1966, Dunlop

Ardrossan and Saltcoats Herald:

Rhona was skip of the British Women’s curling team which won gold at the 2002 Winter Olympics. Very much the underdogs, Britain beat Canada in a thrilling final, won by Martin’s last stone. Earlier, she led her quarter to the Scottish Women’s Championship title and they went on to represent Scotland at the World Curling Championships. She was later awarded an MBE.

8. Young Tom Morris

Born St Andrew’s, 1851

Ardrossan and Saltcoats Herald:

The first golfing prodigy Young Tom Morris moved as an infant to Prestwick, where his father, winner of four of the first eight Open Championships had become head greenkeeper. Tom jnr remains the youngest Open winner ever, taking the title aged just 17 in 1968. He won the next three titles too, a feat that has never been equalled. Four months after losing his wife and baby during childbirth, broken hearted Young Tom died on Christmas Day 1875 from a pulmonary hemorrhage.

9. Jemma Reekie

Born Beith, 1998.

Ardrossan and Saltcoats Herald:

The Beith athlete, still just 22, set new British records for the indoor women’s 800m and the indoor mile last year. Her time for the mile was the fifth fastest history – astonishingly she only finished third, behind American and German runners Earlier, she won gold medals for 800 and 1500 metres at the 2019 European Under 23 championships in Gavle. A big hope for the future of Scottish athletics.

10. Ian McLauchlan

Born Tarbolton, 1942

Ardrossan and Saltcoats Herald:

Known as Mighty Mouse because of his small but powerful frame, rugby prop McLauchlan won 43 caps for Scotland between 1969 and 1979, captaining them 19 times. He also played in eight tests for the British Lions, losing only once. McLauchlan became the 122nd President of the Scottish Rugby Union from 2010 to 2012.