The Rundown

Top 10 clever sports stars

Tom Daley: One bronze medal, three A-levelsLess than a week after winning his bronze medal at the Olympics, Tom Daley's A-level results came through the door.

And we have to hold up our hands: the 18-year-old diving superstar got As in two of his subjects - maths (AS) and Spanish (A2) - and an A* in his third, photography (A2).

How he has managed that given the year he's endured to date is incredible: most teenagers find just the exams themselves more than enough to cope with, but Daley has also been training for the biggest event of his sporting life, dealing with the tragic early death of his father and also finding time to become one of the faces of London 2012. Astonishing.

In honour of his achievement we take a look at the top 10 other athletes who are (or were) as blessed with brains as they are with physical talent.

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Shaquille O'Neal

Shaquille O'Neal receiving his doctorate in May 2012

Many sports stars end up with doctorates, but they are almost always bestowed as honorary degrees by institutions looking for a bit of publicity. Not so with the giant basketball legend, however, who earned his PhD in education from Barry University in Miami in May of this year.

Frank Lampard

The Chelsea star passed 12 GCSEs, including an A* in Latin, while at Brentwood School. He apparently has an IQ above 150 - that's higher than Carol Vorderman's, and is enough to qualify for Mensa.

Paul Manning

The British cyclist won Olympic gold at the velodrome in Beijing as part of the team pursuit quartet (a team that also included Bradley Wiggins, Geraint Thomas and Ed Clancy), but before he became one of the trailblazers of British track cycling he was a star student who earned a degree in life sciences from the University of Birmingham.

Roger Bannister

Roger Bannister

The first man to run a four-minute mile was a student at Oxford and dovetailed his postgraduate study with his athletic career before his famous run in 1954. But rather than sit back and bask forever in the glory of having broken sport's most iconic record, the 25-year-old rededicated himself to his studies and became an eminent neurologist. Indeed, he describes the advances in neurology that his work produced as being the most satisfying accomplishment of his life, ahead of the four-minute mile.

Iain Dowie

The wannabe striker had all but given up hope of becoming a professional footballer after being rejected by Southampton as a 16-year-old, so began to study at the University of Hertfordshire for a master's degree in Aeronautical Engineering. On completion of his degree he went to work for British Aerospace - literally as a rocket scientist - before Luton Town scouts spotted him playing for a non-league side and tempted him into football. He uses motivational books like 'Beyond Winning' and 'Chicken Soup for the Soul' in his managerial career.

Jamie Roberts, WalesJamie Roberts

The imposing Wales and Lions centre found time to earn a first class honours degree in sports and exercise sciences at the University of Wales while playing professional rugby for the Cardiff Blues. He has not left it at that, however: he is currently studying medicine part-time, and his ambition is to become an orthopaedic surgeon when his rugby career comes to an end.

Brian McClair

Or 'Brain' McClair, as his former team-mates used to call him. The striker earned a degree in maths from Glasgow University while playing for Motherwell, and claimed it gave him a "grounding outside football" when he want on to become a star for Celtic and Manchester United.

Jonathan Edwards

The triple jump world record holder and Sydney Olympic gold medallist earned a degree in physics from Durham University in 1987.

Jean Tigana

The former France international turned manager used to smatter his team talks with bons mots from the greats of French literature while in charge of Fulham. One player, on seeing Tigana reading a book by Marcel Proust, reportedly exclaimed: "Proust? I thought he was a Formula One driver."

Clarke CarlisleClarke Carlisle

The former Burnley defender is as eloquent off the pitch as he is skilled on it, and was the winner of a 'Britain's brainiest footballer' competition back in 2002. He even went on Channel 4's iconic afternoon quiz Countdown two years ago, winning two days in a row. (He is not the first footballer to go on Countdown, however: that was former Notts County star Neil MacKenzie in 2008, who won five shows in a row but got knocked out in the quarter-finals.)

Carlisle's brains have helped him earn a guest slot on Question Time and become chairman of the Professional Footballers' Association among other things - though he blotted his copybook severely last July when he was caught drink driving. Not so clever.