On This Day

Birthdays in Sport in 1956

  • Jan 1 Mike Mitchell, American basketball small forward (NBA All Star 1981; Italian League top scorer 1998), born in Atlanta, Georgia (d. 2011)
  • Jan 3 Willy T. Ribbs, American auto racer (first African-American to drive in Indianapolis 500), born in San Jose, California
  • Jan 7 Rosalyn Bryant, American 4x400m runner (Olympic silver 1976), born in Chicago, Illinois
  • Jan 9 David Smith, English cricketer (England lefty batsman in 2 Tests v WI 1986), born in Balham, London
  • Jan 15 Paul Parker, English cricketer (one Test England v Australia 1981), born in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe
  • Jan 15 Vera Sosulya, Soviet tobogganist (Olympic gold 1980)
  • Jan 16 Wayne Daniel, West Indies cricketer (WI fast bowler 1976-84), born in Saint Philip, Barbados
  • Jan 16 Martin Jol, Dutch football manager, born in The Hague, Netherlands
  • Jan 20 John Phillips Naber, American swimmer (Olympic-4 gold/silver-76), born in Evanston, Illinois
  • Jan 30 Keiichi Tsuchiya, Japanese racing driver, born in Tomi, Japan
  • Feb 1 Mike Kitchen, Canadian ice hockey defenceman (NJ Devils) and coach (St. Louis Blues 2003-07), born in Newmarket, Canada
  • Feb 3 John Jefferson, American football player
  • Feb 5 Hector Rebaque, Mexican racing driver, born in Mexico City, Mexico
  • Feb 9 Philip Jackson Ford Jr, NC, basketball player (Olympic gold 1976)
  • Feb 13 Liam Brady, Irish footballer, born in Dublin, Ireland
  • Feb 13 Yiannis Kouros, Greek-Australian runner, born in Tripoli, Greece

  • Feb 14 Dave Dravecky, American pitcher & amputee (SF Giants), born in Youngstown, Ohio
  • Feb 14 Howard Edward Davis Jr., American boxer (Olympic silver 1976), born in Glen Cove, New York (d. 2015)
  • Feb 15 Desmond Haynes, West Indian cricket batsman and administrator (116 Tests; 7,487 runs @ 42.29; 238 ODIs; Director WI Cricket Board), born in Saint James, Barbados
  • Feb 15 Hitoshi Ogawa, Japanese racing driver (d. 1992)
  • Feb 19 Steve Randell, Tasmanian cricket Test umpire (international panel)
  • Feb 22 Amy Alcott, American golfer (5-time major title winner; US Open 1980), born in Kansas City, Missouri

Person of interestEddie Murray

Feb 24 Eddie Murray, American MLB Hall of Fame 1st baseman, 8x All-star, 3x Golden Glove (Baltimore Orioles, 1977-88 & 96; L.A. Dodgers, 1989-91 & 97, and three other teams), born in Los Angeles, California

MLB 1st Baseman Eddie Murray
MLB 1st Baseman
Eddie Murray
  • Feb 25 Davie Cooper, soccer star
  • Feb 28 Jimmy Nicholl, Canadian-born Northern Irish footballer
  • Mar 1 Mark Todd, New Zealand equestrian rider (Olympic gold individual eventing 1984, 88), born in Cambridge, New Zealand
  • Mar 2 Eusebio Pedroza, Panamanian boxer (WBA featherweight champion 1978-85), born in Panama City, Panama (d. 2019)
  • Mar 2 Gary Pearce, English rugby union prop (36 caps; Northampton Saints), born in Dinton, England
  • Mar 3 Jim Barton, American sailor (1996 Olympic bronze in Soling class), born in Lincoln, Nebraska
  • Mar 3 John F Reid, New Zealand cricket batsman (19 Tests, 1296 runs @ 46.28, 6 x 100s), born in Auckland, New Zealand (d. 2020)
  • Mar 3 Zbigniew Boniek, Polish footballer
  • Mar 6 Peter Roebuck, English cricketer and journalist, born in Oddington, Oxfordshire, England (d. 2011)
  • Mar 8 Laurie Cunningham, English former footballer (d. 1989)
  • Mar 9 Mark Dantonio, American football coach for Michigan State University, born in El Paso, Texas
  • Mar 10 Janet Alex-Anderson, American golfer (US Open 1982), born in West Sunbury, Pennsylvania
  • Mar 12 Dale Murphy, slugger (Atlanta Braves, 2 time NL MVP), born in Portland, Oregon

  • Mar 14 Tessa Sanderson, British javelin thrower (Olympic gold 1984), born in Kingston, Jamaica
  • Mar 14 Colin Ayre, British football player (Newcastle United), born in Ashington, Northumberland
  • Mar 15 Clay Matthews, NFL linebacker (Atlanta Falcons)
  • Mar 16 Ozzie Newsome, NFL tight end (Cleveland Browns)
  • Mar 18 Ingemar Stenmark, Swedish alpine skier (2 Olympic gold 1980), born in Joesjö, Sweden
  • Mar 21 Ingrid Kristiansen, Norwegian long distance athlete (World C'ship gold 10,000m 1987; WR 5,000m, 10,000m, marathon; NYC 1989; Boston Marathon 1986, 89), born in Trondheim, Norway
  • Mar 24 Ijaz Faqih, cricketer (Pakistan off-spin all-rounder in 5 Tests 80-88)
  • Mar 25 Sonia M Lannaman, England, 4X100m relayer (Olympic bronze 1980)
  • Mar 26 Tatyana Kochergina, Ukrainian handball player (Olympic gold 1976, 80 USSR), born in Ovidiopol, Ukraine
  • Mar 27 Brian Kelly, American CFL wide receiver (Edmonton Eskimos), born in Arcadia, California
  • Mar 27 Thomas Wassberg, Swedish cross country skier (4 Olympic gold 1980, 84, 88), born in Lennartsfors, Värmland, Sweden
  • Mar 28 Asoka De Silva, Sri Lankan cricket leg-spinner (Sri Lanka in 10 Tests 1985-91), born in Kalutara, Sri Lanka
  • Mar 28 Evelin Jahl, German discus thrower (Olympic-2 gold-1976), born in Annaberg-Buchholz, Germany
  • Mar 28 T A Sekar, Indian cricket pace-bowler (2 Tests 1982-83 little impact), born in Chennai, India
  • Mar 29 Kurt Thomas, American gymnast (first American male to win gold medal at World Championships, floor 1978; floor, horizontal bars 1979), and actor (Gymkata), born in Miami, Florida (d. 2020)
  • Apr 4 Tom Herr, American baseball player, born in Lancaster, Pennsylvania
  • Apr 6 Dilip Vengsarkar, cricketer (prolific Indian batsman 1976-92)
  • Apr 6 Mudassar Nazar, cricketer (son of Nazar Mohammad Pakistani batsman)
  • Apr 9 Miguel Ángel Russo, Argentine footballer, born in Lanús Partido, Argentina
  • Apr 13 Michael Nikolay, German gymnast (Olympics silver 1980), born in Berlin, Germany
  • Apr 13 Peter "Possum" Bourne, New Zealand race car driver, born in New Zealand (d. 2003)
  • Apr 15 Michael Cooper, American NBA star (LA Lakers), born in Los Angeles, California
  • Apr 18 David Edwards, American golfer (US Masters 1984 3rd; 4 PGA Tour titles), born in Neosho, Missouri
  • Apr 19 Sue Barker, British tennis player (French Open 1976), born in Paignton, England
  • Apr 21 Rick DeMont, American 400m swimmer, drug disqualification (1972 Olympics)
  • Apr 27 Dennie Shupryt-Knoop, American beach volleyballer (Olympics 1996), born in Chicago, Illinois
  • May 3 Gillian Rolton, Australian equestrian (Summer Olympics 1992, 1996- gold), born in Adelaide, South Australia (d. 2017)
  • May 4 Ulrike Meyfarth, German high jumper (Olympic gold 1972), born in Frankfurt, Germany
  • May 4 Ken Oberkfell, American baseball player, born in Highland, Illinois
  • May 6 Tim Simpson, American golfer (4 PGA Tour titles, born in Atlanta, Georgia
  • May 8 Jeff Madrigali, soling sailor (Olymp-bronze-96), born in Walnut Creek, California
  • May 12 Bernie Federko, Canadian ice hockey player
  • May 15 Alice Miller, American golfer (Nabisco Dinah Shore 1985), born in Marysville, CA
  • May 15 Dan Patrick, American sportscaster

Person of interestSugar Ray Leonard

May 17 Sugar Ray Leonard, American boxer (Olympic gold 1976), born in Rocky Mount, North Carolina

  • May 18 Naomichi 'Joe' Ozaki, Japanese golfer (32 Japan Tour titles), born in Tekushima, Japan
  • May 20 Andrew Hilditch, cricketer (Australian opening bat 1979-85)
  • May 20 Tomas Smid, Czech, tennis star
  • May 23 Mark Shaw, New Zealand rugby union flanker (30 caps; Manawatu, Hawke's Bay), born in Palmerston North, New Zealand
  • May 23 Buck Showalter, American baseball manager (AL Manager of the Year 1994, 2004, 14; NY Yankees, Arizona Diamondbacks, Texas Rangers, Baltimore Orioles) and analyst (ESPN, YES network), born in DeFuniak Springs, Florida
  • May 27 Nick Lowery, NFL kicker (NY Jets)
  • May 28 Jeff Dujon, cricket wicket-keeper (WI 1981-91, their most successful)
  • May 28 Markus Höttinger, Austrian racing driver (d. 1980)
  • Jun 3 Suren Nalbandyan, USSR, lightweight (Olympic gold 1976)
  • Jun 3 George Burley, Scottish football player and manager
  • Jun 4 John Treacy, Irish marathoner (Olympic silver 1984), born in Villierstown, County Waterford
  • Jun 4 Terry Kennedy, American baseball player, born in Euclid, Ohio
  • Jun 4 Martin Adams, English darts player (BDO World Champion 2007, 10-11), born in Sutton, Surrey, England
  • Jun 6 Andy Pycroft, cricketer (Zimbabwe Test batsman)

Person of interestBjörn Borg

Jun 6 Björn Borg, Swedish tennis player (11-time Grand Slam winner), born in Stockholm, Sweden

Tennis Player Björn Borg
Tennis Player
Björn Borg
  • Jun 7 Robert Dover, American equestrian dressage (Olympic bronze 1996), born in Chicago, Illinois

Person of interestJoe Montana

Jun 11 Joe Montana, NFL quarterback (San Francisco 49ers), born in New Eagle, Pennsylvania

NFL Quarterback Joe Montana
NFL Quarterback
Joe Montana
  • Jun 12 Terry Alderman, Australian cricketer (prolific Australian medium-pacer 1981-91), born in Subiaco, Perth, Australia
  • Jun 14 Fred Funk, American golfer (The Tradition 2008, 10; US Senior Open 2009), born in Takoma Park, Maryland
  • Jun 15 Lance Parrish 'Big Wheel', American baseball player, born in Clairton, Pennsylvania

  • Jun 17 Nick Cook, English cricketer (left arm slow bowler in 15 Tests 1983-89), born in Leicester
  • Jun 20 Peter Reid, English former footballer
  • Jun 21 Mikhail Burtsev, Soviet sabre fencer (Olympic gold 1976, 1980), born in Moscow (d. 2015)
  • Jun 21 Rick Sutcliffe, American baseball pitcher (LA Dodgers, Chicago Cubs), born in Independence, Missouri
  • Jun 22 Alfons De Wolf, Belgian cyclist
  • Jun 23 Tony Hill, American football player
  • Jun 27 Jeff Odintz, American horse trainer, born in Brooklyn, New York
  • Jun 27 Brad Childress, American football coach, born in Aurora, Illinois
  • Jun 29 Pedro Guerrero, Dominican MLB player (LA Dodgers), born in San Pedro de Macorís, Dominican Republic
  • Jul 1 Brian Sabean, American MLB executive (SF Giants World Series 2010, 12, 14), born in Concord, New Hampshire
  • Jul 2 Leslie Reid, equestrian dressage (Olympics 1996), born in Vancouver, British Columbia
  • Jul 3 Eddie Edwards, South African tennis star, born in Johannesburg, South Africa
  • Jul 5 James Lofton, American NFL wide receiver (Bills, Packers, Raiders), born in Fort Ord, California
  • Jul 6 Matt Bahr, American NFL placekicker (NE Patriots, NY Giants), born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  • Jul 8 Millard Frank Hampton, 4x100m runner (Olympic gold 1976), born in Fresno, California
  • Jul 12 Mario Soto, Dominican baseball player
  • Jul 13 Bill Caudill, American MLB reliever (All Star 1984), born in Santa Monica, California
  • Jul 13 Michael Spinks, American boxer (undisputed world light heavyweight title 1983-85; lineal world heavyweight title 1985-88; Olympic gold middleweight 1976), born in St. Louis, Missouri
  • Jul 15 Kathy Kreiner, Canadian giant slalom (Olympic gold 1976)
  • Jul 15 Toshihiko Seko, Japanese runner (world record 25/30 km)

Person of interestBryan Trottier

Jul 17 Bryan Trottier, American NHL Center (NY Islanders), born in Val Marie, Saskatchewan

NHL Star Bryan Trottier
NHL Star
Bryan Trottier
  • Jul 18 Razor Shines, American baseball player (Montreal Expos), born in Durham, North Carolina
  • Jul 20 Charlie Magri, Tunisian British world champ flyweight boxer (1983), born in Tunis, Tunisia

Person of interestMima Jausovec

Jul 20 Mima Jausovec, Yugoslavian tennis player (French Open-1977), born in Maribor, Yugoslavia

Tennis Player and French Open Champion Mima Jausovec
Tennis Player and French Open Champion
Mima Jausovec

Person of interestDorothy Hamill

Jul 26 Dorothy Hamill, American figure skater (Olympic gold 1976), born in Chicago, Illinois

Figure Skater Dorothy Hamill
Figure Skater
Dorothy Hamill
  • Jul 29 Teddy Atlas, American boxing trainer and commentator
  • Jul 31 Bill Callahan, American college football and NFL coach (Nebraska; Oakland Raiders), born in Chicago, Illinois
  • Aug 3 Balwinder Sandhu, Indian cricket all-rounder (8 Tests; 22 ODIs), born in Mumbai, India
  • Aug 3 Todd Christensen, NFL player (Oakland) and sportscaster, born in Bellefonte, Pennsylvania (d. 2013)
  • Aug 4 Gerry Cooney, American heavyweight boxer (US Olympics team 1980), born in Manhattan, New York

  • Aug 10 Dianne Fromholtz Balestrat, Australian tennis player (1977 Australian Open doubles winner and single finalist), born in Albury, New South Wales
  • Aug 12 Sidath Wettimuny, Sri Lanka cricket opener (190 v England Lords 1984)
  • Aug 14 Rusty Wallace, American race car driver, born in Arnold, Missouri
  • Aug 16 Colleen Walker, American golfer (du Maurier Classic 1997), born in Jacksonville, Florida (d. 2012)
  • Aug 16 Dominic Erban, French rugby international player
  • Aug 16 Daniel Willems, Belgian cyclist
  • Aug 17 Álvaro Pino, Spanish cyclist, born in Ponteareas, Spain
  • Aug 18 Sandeep Patil, Indian cricketer (Indian batsman Great 174 v Adelaide 1981), born in Mumbai, India
  • Aug 19 Cindy Nelson, American skier (Olympic bronze 1976)
  • Aug 20 Alvin Greenidge, West Indian cricketer (WI opener, no relation to Gordon or Geoff), born in Bath Village, Christ Church, Barbados
  • Aug 22 Jeffrey Lloyd, South African jockey based in Australia, born in Durban, South Africa
  • Aug 22 Paul Molitor, infielder (Mn Twins, 1993 World Series MVP), born in Saint Paul, Minnesota
  • Aug 22 Peter Taylor, Australian cricketer (Australian off-spinner 1987-92), born in North Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
  • Aug 25 Henri Toivonen, Finnish rally driver, born in Jyväskylä, Finland (d. 1986)
  • Aug 26 Mark Mangino, American football coach
  • Aug 28 Beverley Goddard-Callender, English track and field athlete (Olympic bronze 1980, 84), born in Barbados
  • Sep 2 Mario Tremblay, Canadian hockey player and coach
  • Sep 3 Hans-Georg Beyer, East German team handball player (Olympic gold 1980), born in Eisenhüttenstadt, Germany
  • Sep 5 Steve Denton, American tennis player (world's fastest tennis serve-138 mph), born in Kingsville, Texas
  • Sep 7 Byron Stevenson, British footballer (Leeds United), born in Llanelli, Wales (d. 2007)
  • Sep 8 Maurice Cheeks, American NBA guard (NY Knicks, Philadelphia '76ers), born in Chicago, Illinois
  • Sep 12 Chip Beck, American golfer (US Open 1986, 89, Masters 1993 runner-up; shot 59 in 1991), born in Fayetteville, North Carolina
  • Sep 12 Ricky Rudd, American race car driver, born in Norfolk County, Virginia
  • Sep 14 Ray Wilkins, English former footballer and captain of the National Soccer Team, born in Hillingdon, England (d. 2018)
  • Sep 16 Anatoly Beloglazov, Russian 52 kg freestyle wrestler (Olympic gold 1980), born in Kaliningrad, Russia
  • Sep 16 Sergei Beloglazov, Russian 57 kg freestyle wrestler (Olympic gold 1980, 88), born in Kaliningrad, Russia
  • Sep 17 Thad Bosley. American major league baseball player
  • Sep 18 Peter Šťastný, Slovak-Canadian ice hockey player, born in Bratislava, Czechoslovakia
  • Sep 19 Juan Manuel Fangio II, Argentine racing driver, born in Balcarce, Buenos Aires, Argentina
  • Sep 21 Jack Givens, American basketball player

  • Sep 23 Paolo Rossi, Italian soccer striker (48 caps; FIFA World Cup 1982 [Golden Boot, Golden Ball]; L.R. Vicenza, Juventus), born in Prato, Italy (d. 2020)
  • Sep 24 Ilona Slupianek, German shot-putter (Olympic gold 1980), born in Demmin, East Germany
  • Sep 26 Steve Butler, American racing driver, born in Amarillo, Texas
  • Sep 28 Bob Miller, American ice hockey center (47 games USA; Boston Bruins, Colorado Rockies, LA Kings), born in Medford, Massachusetts (d. 2020)

Person of interestSebastian Coe

Sep 29 Sebastian Coe, British 1500m runner (Olympic gold 1980, 84), born in London, England

1500m Runner Sebastian Coe
1500m Runner
Sebastian Coe
  • Oct 1 Leslie Burr-Howard, American equestrian rider (Olympic gold show jumping, team 1984), born in Union, New Jersey
  • Oct 4 Hans van Breukelen, Dutch soccer goalkeeper (73 caps; PSV Eindhoven; technical director KNVB), born in Utrecht, Netherlands

Person of interestSherri Turner

Oct 4 Sherri Turner, American golfer (Women's PGA C'ship 1988), born in Greenville, South Carolina

LPGA Golfer Sherri Turner
LPGA Golfer
Sherri Turner
  • Oct 13 Anura Ranasinghe, Sri Lankan cricketer (Sri Lankan batsman in 3 Tests 1982), born in Kalatura, Sri Lanka

Person of interestBeth Daniel

Oct 14 Beth Daniel, American golfer (Women's PGA C'ship 1990), born in Charleston, South Carolina

LPGA Golfer Beth Daniel
LPGA Golfer
Beth Daniel
  • Oct 16 Melissa Belote, American 100m/200m swimmer (Olympics 3 gold-1972), born in Washington, D.C.
  • Oct 16 Johnny Chavis, American football coach

Person of interestMartina Navratilova

Oct 18 Martina Navratilova, Czech/American tennis player (18 Grand Slam singles titles), born in Prague, Czech Republic

Tennis Player Martina Navratilova
Tennis Player
Martina Navratilova
  • Oct 19 Bruce Weber, American Basketball Coach, born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin
  • Oct 19 Didier Theys, Belgian racing driver
  • Oct 22 Frank DiPino, American baseball player
  • Oct 23 Betsy Nagelsen, tennis star, born in St Petersburg, Florida
  • Oct 23 Darrell Pace, archer (Olympic 2 gold/silver-1976, 84, 88), born in Cincinnati, Ohio

Person of interestPatty Sheehan

Oct 27 Patty Sheehan, American golfer (6 LPGA major titles; US Open 1992, 94), born in Middlebury, Vermont

LPGA Golfer Patty Sheehan
LPGA Golfer
Patty Sheehan
  • Oct 29 Wilfredo Gómez, Puerto Rican boxer
  • Oct 30 Leslie Webb, equestrian dressage (Olympics 1996)
  • Nov 3 Bob Welch, American baseball pitcher (AL Cy Young Award 1990; Oakland A's; World Series 1981, 89, 2001), born in Seal Beach, California (d. 2014)
  • Nov 6 Graeme Wood, Australian cricketer (Australian lefty opening batsman 1978-88), born in East Fremantle, Australia
  • Nov 15 Zlatko Kranjčar, Croatian soccer striker (2 caps; Dinamo Zagreb, Rapid Wien) and manager (Croatia, Montenegro, Dinamo Zagreb), born in Zagreb, Croatia (d. 2021)
  • Nov 16 Terry Labonte, American NASCAR driver
  • Nov 18 Tony Franklin, NFL kicker (Philadelphia Eagles, New England Patriots)
  • Nov 18 Warren Moon, NFL quarterback (Houston Oilers, Seahawks, Vikings)
  • Nov 18 Noel Brotherston, Northern Irish footballer (d. 1995)
  • Nov 20 Mark Gastineau, American NFL end (NY Jets, Pro Bowl 1981-85), born in Ardmore, Oklahoma
  • Nov 21 Mariana Simionescu, Romanian tennis player (1st wife of Björn Borg), born in Tirgu Neamt, Romania

  • Nov 23 Bruce Edgar, cricketer (NZ opener through the 80')
  • Nov 23 Shane Gould, Australian freestyle swimmer (Olympic-3 gold-1972), born in Sydney, Australia
  • Nov 25 Liana Vicens, Puerto Rico, 100m breaststroke (Olympics 1968)
  • Nov 26 Dale Jarrett, American race car driver (Daytona 500 champion 1993, 96, 2000), born in Conover, North Carolina
  • Nov 26 Marty Smith, American motocross racer (AMA 125cc 1974, 75; AMA 500cc 1977), born in San Diego, California (d. 2020)
  • Nov 29 Eric Laakso, American football player
  • Dec 4 Bernard King, American Basketball Hall of Fame small forward (NBA All-Star 1982, 84-85, 91; NY Knicks, Washington Bullets), born in Brooklyn, New York
  • Dec 4 Blagoi Blagoyev, Bulgarian weightlifter (World C'ship gold - 90kg 1991, 92, 93; Olympic silver - 82.5kg 1976), born in Veliki Preslav, Bulgaria
  • Dec 4 Costantino Rocca, Italian golfer (British Open 1995 runner-up; hole in one 1995 Ryder Cup), born in Bergamo, Italy
  • Dec 5 Klaus Allofs, German footballer (1. FC Köln), born in Düsseldorf, West Germany

Person of interestLarry Bird

Dec 7 Larry Bird, American Basketball Hall of Fame forward, coach, executive (Boston Celtics 3-time NBA champion, 12-time NBA All Star), born in West Baden, Indiana

NBA Legend Larry Bird
NBA Legend
Larry Bird
  • Dec 12 Johan van der Velde, Dutch cyclist (won Young Rider Classification of Tour de France 1980), born in Rijbergen, Netherlands
  • Dec 13 Dale Berra, American baseball infielder (Pittsburgh Pirates, NY Yankees), born in Ridgewood, New Jersey
  • Dec 13 Phil Hubbard, American basketball player (Olympic gold 1976), born in Canton, Ohio
  • Dec 14 Hanni Wenzel, German alpine ski racer (Olympic-2 gold-1980), born in Straubing, Bavaria, West Germany
  • Dec 19 Tom Lawless, American baseball player
  • Dec 21 Kevin Burnham, American sailor (Olympic gold 470 class 2004; silver 470 1992), born in Hollis, New York City (d. 2020)
  • Dec 23 Michele Alboretto, Italian racing driver (Ferrari), born in Milan, Italy
  • Dec 25 Mansoor Akhtar, cricketer (Pakistani batsman early 80's)

About 1956

How Old? 64 or 65 years old
Generation: Baby Boomer

Chinese Zodiac: Goat/Sheep (Jan 1 - Feb 11), Monkey (Feb 12 - Dec 31)