On This Day

Birthdays in Sport on April 1

  • 1882 Paul Anspach, Belgian fencer (Olympic gold individual epée, team epée 1912), born in Burcht, Belgium (d. 1981)
  • 1884 Hugo Bezdek, Czech American College Football Hall of Fame coach (University of Oregon, University of Arkansas, Penn State; NFL: Cleveland Browns; MLB: Pittsburgh Pirates), born in Prague, Czech Republic (d. 1952)
  • 1891 Frank Rankin, Canadian Hockey Hall of Fame rover (Toronto Eatons, Toronto St. Michael's Majors) and coach (Toronto Granites-Canada Olympic gold 1924), born in Stratford, Ontario (d. 1932)
  • 1897 Doc Alexander, American College Football Hall of Fame guard (Syracuse; All Pro 1921, 22; Rochester Jeffersons; NFL C'ship 1925; NY Giants), born in Silver Creek, New York (d. 1975)
  • 1900 Stefanie Clausen, Danish diver (Olympic gold 10m platform 1920), born in Vesterbro, Denmark (d. 1981)
  • 1901 Johnny Farrell, American golfer (US Open 1928), born in White Plains, NY (d. 1988)
  • 1906 Sigve Lie, Norwegian sailor (Olympic gold dragon class 1948, 52), born in Haugesund, Norway (d. 1958)
  • 1911 Joe Fortenberry, American basketball forward (captain Olympic gold 1936), born in Leo, Texas (d. 1993)
  • 1915 Jeff Heath, Canadian baseball outfielder (MLB All Star 1941, 43, 45; Cleveland Indians), born in Fort William, Ontario (d. 1975)
  • 1921 Ken Reardon, Canadian Hockey Hall of Fame defenseman and executive (Stanley Cup 1946; NHL All-Star 1946-50; Montreal Canadiens), born in Winnipeg, Manitoba (d. 2008)
  • 1921 Beau Jack, American boxer (NYSAC world lightweight champion 1942-44), born in Waynesboro, Georgia (d. 2000)
  • 1922 Emil 'Bus' Mosbacher, American yachtsman (America's Cup 1962 [Weatherly], 1967 [Intrepid]), born in White Plains, New York (d. 1997)
  • 1926 Denis Lalanne, French sports journalist ('Le grand combat du XV de France'; 'Rugbymania: French flair attitude'), born in Pau, France (d. 2019)
  • 1927 Walter Bahr, American soccer midfielder (19 caps) and coach (Penn State), born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (d. 2018)
  • 1929 Bo Schembechler Jr., American College Football Hall of Fame tackle (Miami U), coach (Miami U 1963-68, University of Michigan 1969-89; career record 234–65–8), and administrator (Michigan), born in Barberton, Ohio (d. 2006)
  • 1930 Dennis Young, New Zealand rugby union hooker (22 caps; Canterbury 139 games), born in Christchurch, New Zealand (d. 2020)

  • 1933 Robert Shavlakadze, Georgian high jumper (Olympic gold high jump for Soviet Union 1960), born in Tbilisi, Georgia (d. 2020)
  • 1935 John Murray, England cricket wicketkeeper (21 Tests; 55 dismissals), born in London, England (d. 2018)
  • 1935 Billy Whelan, Irish soccer forward (4 caps, Rep Ireland; Manchester United 79 games; died Munich air disaster), born in Dublin, Republic of Ireland (d. 1958)
  • 1936 Ron Perranoski, American MLB pitcher (World Series 1963, 65; LAD; AL saves leader 1969, 70; Minnesota Twins) and coach (World Series 1981, 88; LAD), born in Paterson, New Jersey
  • 1939 Phil Niekro, American Baseball Hall of Fame pitcher (no-hitter 1973; 5 x MLB All Star; 5 x Gold Glove; Milwaukee / Atlanta Braves), born in Blaine, Ohio
  • 1939 Nick Peters, American Baseball Hall of Fame writer (Oakland Tribune, Sacramento Bee, Berkeley Gazette, San Francisco Chronicle), born in San Francisco, California (d. 2015)
  • 1939 Vitali Davydov, Russian ice hockey defenceman (Olympic gold 1964, 68, 72; HC Dynamo Moscow), born in Moscow, Russia
  • 1941 Ajit Wadekar, Indian cricket batsman and captain (37 Tests; top score 143), born in Mumbai, India (d. 2018)
  • 1944 Rusty Staub, American baseball utility (6 x MLB All Star; Houston Colt .45s / Astros; Montreal Expos; NY Mets; Detroit Tigers) and broadcaster (Mets games 1986-95), born in New Orleans, Louisiana (d. 2018)
  • 1946 Manfred Stengl, Austrian luger (Olympic gold men's doubles 1964), born in Salzburg, Austria (d. 1992)
  • 1946 Arrigo Sacchi, Italian soccer coach (Italy national team 1991-96; Serie A 1987-88; European Cup 1989, 90; AC Milan; Atlético Madrid, Parma), born in Fusignano, Italy
  • 1947 Norm Van Lier, American basketball point guard (NBA All Star 1974, 76, 77; Chicago Bulls) and broadcaster (Comcast SportsNet), born in East Liverpool, Ohio (d. 2009)
  • 1948 J. J. Williams, Welsh rugby winger (30 caps Wales, 7 British & Irish Lions), born in Nantyffyllon, Wales
  • 1948 Willie Montañez, Puerto Rican baseball first baseman (MLB All Star 1977; Philadelphia Phillies, Atlanta Braves), born in Cataño, Puerto Rico
  • 1948 Javier Irureta, Spanish soccer midfielder (6 caps; Atlético Madrid, Athletic Bilbao) and manager (Deportivo La Coruña 1998-2005), born in Irun, Spain
  • 1949 Sammy Nelson, Irish soccer left back (51 caps Northern Ireland; Arsenal), born in Belfast, Northern Ireland
  • 1953 Aftab Baloch, Pakistan cricket batsman (2 Tests; 7th player to pass the 400 first class run milestone, 428 for Sind 1974), born in Karachi, Pakistan
  • 1953 Alberto Zaccheroni, Italian soccer manager (AC Milan, Lazio, Internazionale, Torino, Juventus, UAE, Japan), born in Meldola, Italy
  • 1954 Giancarlo Antognoni, Italian soccer midfielder (73 caps; Fiorentina 341 games), born in Marsciano, Italy
  • 1955 Dan Pohl, American golfer (US Masters 1982 runner-up; 2 PGA Tour titles), born in Mt Pleasant, Michigan

  • 1955 Ockie Oosthuizen, South African rugby union front rower (9 caps; Transvaal), born in Johannesburg, South Africa (d. 2019)
  • 1957 David Gower, English cricket batsman and captain (117 Tests; 8,231 runs @ 44.25; 18 x 100; 114 ODIs), born in Tunbridge Wells, Kent, England
  • 1957 Donnie Hammond, American golfer (2 PGA Tour titles), born in Frederick, Maryland
  • 1958 Toni Innauer, Austrian ski jumper (Olympic gold individual normal hill 1980; silver long hill 1976), born in Bezau, Austria
  • 1960 Reijo Ruotsalainen, Finnish ice hockey defenceman (Stanley Cup 1987, 90; Edmonton Oilers; Olympic silver 1988), born in Oulu, Finland
  • 1961 Jim Jeffcoat, American NFL defensive end (Super Bowl 1992, 93 Dallas Cowboys) and coach (Dallas Cowboys DL 1998-2004), born in Long Branch, New Jersey
  • 1961 Sergio Scariolo, Italian basketball coach (NBA: assistant Toronto Raptors; head coach Spain; World Cup gold 2019), born in Brescia, Italy
  • 1964 John Morris, British cricketer (England right-hand batsman v India 1990), born Crewe, Cheshire, England
  • 1964 Kevin Duckworth, American basketball center (NBA All Star 1989, 91; Portland Trail Blazers), born in Harvey, Illinois (d. 2008)
  • 1964 Scott Stevens, Canadian Hockey Hall of Fame defenseman (13 x NHL All Star; Stanley Cup 1995, 2000, 03; Con Smythe Trophy 2000; NJ Devils), born in Kitchener, Ontario
  • 1964 Erik Breukink, Dutch road cyclist (Tour de France 1990 3rd) and manager (Rabobank), born in Rheden, Netherlands
  • 1965 John "Jumbo" Elliott, American NFL offensive tackle (Super Bowl, Pro Bowl 1990, NY Giants; NY Jets), born in Lake Ronkonkoma, New York
  • 1965 Mark Jackson, American basketball guard (NBA All Star 1989; Rookie of the Year 1988; NY Knicks), coach (Golden State Warriors) and broadcaster (ESPN), born in Brooklyn, New York
  • 1966 Mehmet Özdilek, Turkish soccer midfielder (31 caps; Beşiktaş) and manager (BB Erzurumspor), born in Samsun, Turkey
  • 1969 Arnaud Boetsch, French tennis player (Davis Cup 1996) and broadcaster (France Télévisions), born in Meulam France
  • 1969 Kevin Dean, American ice hockey defenseman (Stanley Cup, NJ Devils; NHL All Star 1995) and coach (Boston Bruins), born in Madison, Wisconsin
  • 1971 Daniel Vacek, Czech tennis player (French Open doubles 1996, 97; US Open doubles 1997), born in Prague, Czech Republic
  • 1971 James Page, American boxer (WBA Welterweight champion 1998-2000), born in Pittsburg, California
  • 1972 Mike McCoy, American football coach (NFL: San Diego Chargers 2013-16), born in San Francisco, California
  • 1972 Darren McCarty, Canadian NHL right wing (Stanley Cup 1997, 98, 2002, 08; Detroit Red Wings), born in Burnaby, British Columbia
  • 1973 Ferdy Vierklau, Dutch soccer left back (2 caps; FC Utrecht; Ajax), born in Bilthoven, Netherlands
  • 1973 Stephen Fleming, New Zealand cricket batsman and captain (111 Tests; 7,172 @ 40.06; 280 ODIs), born in Christchurch, New Zealand
  • 1974 Hugo Ibarra, Argentine soccer right back (11 caps; Colón, Boca Juniors), born in El Colorado, Formosa, Argentina
  • 1974 Sandra Völker, German swimmer (world record 50m backstroke 28.71 1999; World C'ship gold 4x100m relay 2001), born in Lübeck, Germany
  • 1974 Vladimir Beschastnykh, Russian soccer forward (71 caps; Racing Santander, FC Spartak Moscow), born in Moscow, Russia
  • 1975 Kristine Quance, American swimmer (Olympics gold 4×100m medley relay 1996), born in Northridge, California
  • 1975 Magdalena Maleeva, Bulgarian tennis player (10 x WTA titles; World #4 1996), born in Sofia, Bulgaria
  • 1976 Clarence Seedorf, Dutch soccer midfielder (87 caps; AC Milan, Ajax, Real Madrid) and manager (AC Milan, Deportivo La Coruña, Cameroon), born in Paramaribo, Suriname
  • 1976 David Gilliland, American auto racer and team owner (pole Daytona 500 2007; Meijer 300 2006), born in Riverside, California
  • 1976 Hazem El Masri, Australian rugby league winger (Canterbury Bulldogs; NRL career point scoring record 2,418 points, 317 games; 159 tries, 891/1087 goals @ 81.97%), born in Tripoli, Lebanon
  • 1977 Tangela Smith, American basketball forward (WNBA All Star 2006; WNBA C'ship 2007, 09), born in Chicago, Illinois
  • 1977 Vítor Belfort, Brazilian mixed martial artist (UFC 12 Heavyweight Tournament 1997; UFC Light Heavyweight title 2004; Cage Rage World Light Heavyweight title 2007), born in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
  • 1978 Jean-Pierre Dumont, Canadian ice hockey right wing (World C'ship gold 2004; Buffalo Sabres, Nashville Predators), born in Montreal, Quebec
  • 1978 Miroslava Vavrinec, Swiss tennis player (married to Roger Federer), born in Bojnice, Slovakia
  • 1978 Antonio de Nigris, Mexican soccer striker (16 caps; Monterrey, Villarreal), born in Monterrey, Mexico (d. 2009)
  • 1979 Ivano Balić, Croatian handballer (198 caps; Olympic gold 2004; World C'ship gold 2003), born in Split, Croatia
  • 1979 Ruth Beitia, Spanish athlete (Olympic gold women's high jump 2016), born in Santander, Spain
  • 1981 Antonis Fotsis, Greek basketball power forward and captain (Ilysiakos, Panathinaikos, Real Madrid; NBA: Vancouver Grizzlies), born in Maroussi, Greece
  • 1981 Bjørn Einar Romoeren, Norwegian ski jumper (world record longest jump 239m 2005; Olympic bronze team 2006), born in Oslo, Norway
  • 1981 Bjørn Einar Romøren, Norwegian ski jumper (FIS Ski Flying World C'ship gold team 2004, 06; Olympic bronze LH 2006), born in Oslo, Norway
  • 1982 Andreas Thorkildsen, Norwegian athlete (Olympic gold men's javelin 2004, 08; World C'ship gold 2009), born in Kristiansand, Norway
  • 1983 Ólafur Ingi Skúlason, Icelandic soccer midfielder (36 caps; Zulte Waregem, Fylkir), born in Reykjavík, Iceland
  • 1983 Sean Taylor, American NFL free safety (Pro Bowl 2006, 07; All Pro 2007; Washington Redskins), born in Miami, Florida (d. 2007)
  • 1985 Beth Tweddle, English gymnast (World C'ship gold 2006, 09, 10; Olympic bronze 2012), born in Johannesburg, South Africa
  • 1986 Ireen Wüst, Dutch speed skater (Olympic gold 3,000m 2006, 14; 1500m 2010, 14; team 2014; World All-round C'ship gold x 7), born in Goirle, Netherlands
  • 1987 Ding Junhui, Chinese snooker player (Masters 2011; Shanghai Masters 2013, 16; UK C'ships 2005, 09, 19), born in Yixing, Jiangsu, China
  • 1987 Li Ting, Chinese diver (Olympic gold platform synchro 2004; World C'ships gold 2003, 05), born in Lingui, Guilin, Guangxi, China
  • 1987 Oliver Turvey, English auto racer (24 Hours of Le Mans – LMP2 2014), born in Penrith, Cumbria, England
  • 1988 Brook Lopez, American basketball center (NBA All Star 2013; New Jersey / Brooklyn Nets, Milwaukee Bucks), born in North Hollywood, California
  • 1989 Jan Blokhuijsen, Dutch long-track speed skater (Olympic gold team pursuit 2014; World Single Distance C'ship gold 2012, 13, 16, 17), born in Zuid-Scharwoude, Netherlands