On This Day

Birthdays in Sport on May 31

  • 1909 Thor Thorvaldsen, Norwegian yachtsman (Olympic gold dragon class 1948, 52), born in Bamble, Norway (d. 1987)
  • 1920 Edward Bennett Williams, American lawyer/team owner (Washington Redskins, Baltimore Orioles), born in Hartford, Connecticut (d. 1988)
  • 1924 Russell Endean, South African cricket wicketkeeper (28 Tests, 3 x 100, HS 162no, 41 dismissals; Transvaal, MCC), born in Johannesburg, South Africa (d. 2003)
  • 1926 Probir Sen, Indian cricket wicketkeeper (14 Tests, 31 dismissals; Bengal), born in Comilla, Bangladesh (d. 1970)
  • 1928 Pankaj Roy, Indian cricket batsman (45 Tests, 5 x 100, HS 173; WR opening partnership [Vinoo Mankad] 413; Bengal), born in Dhaka, Bangladesh (d. 2001)
  • 1928 Derek Ufton, English soccer defender (1 cap; Charlton Athletic), manager (Plymouth Argyle) and cricket wicketkeeper (Kent), born in Crayford, England (d. 2021)
  • 1934 Bent Peter Rasch, Danish canoeist (Olympic gold C-2 1000m 1952), born in Copenhagen, Denmark (d. 1988)
  • 1936 Tony Pajaczkowski, Canadian Football Hall of Fame offensive guard (CFL All-Star 1962–65; Calgary Stampeders, Montreal Alouettes), born in Montreal, Quebec (d. 2022)
  • 1937 Bob Ferry, American basketball forward (St. Louis Hawks, Detroit Pistons, Baltimore Bullets) and executive (GM Washington Bullets; NBA Exec of the Year 1979, 82), born in St. Louis, Missouri (d. 2021)
  • 1941 Gil Morgan, American golfer (Senior Players C'ship 1998, The Tradition 1997, 98), born in Wewoka, Oklahoma
  • 1941 Wolfgang Fahrian, German soccer goalkeeper (10 caps DRG; SC Fortuna Köln), born in Blaustein, Germany (d. 2022)

Joe Namath

1943 Joe Namath, American Pro Football Hall of Fame quarterback (Super Bowl 1969; Super Bowl MVP 1969; Pro Bowl 1972; NY Jets), born in Beaver Falls, Pennsylvania

  • 1946 Steve Bucknor, Jamaican cricket umpire (record 128 Tests, 181 ODIs; FIFA referee), born in Montego Bay, Jamaica
  • 1954 Thomas Mavros, Greek soccer striker (36 caps; Panionios FC, AEK Athens), born in Athens, Greece
  • 1955 Laura Baugh, American golfer, writer, broadcaster (LPGA Tour Rookie of the Year 1973), born in Gainesville, Florida
  • 1957 Jim Craig, American ice hockey goaltender (Olympic gold 1980; Atlanta Flames, Boston Bruins, Minnesota North Stars), born in North Easton, Massachusetts
  • 1958 Gary Hallberg, American golfer (3 PGA Tour titles), born in Berwyn, Illinois
  • 1960 Norm Johnson, American football place kicker (First-team All-Pro 1984; Pro Bowl 1984, 93; Seattle Seahawks, Atlanta Falcons, Pittsburgh Steelers), born in Inglewood, California
  • 1960 Peter Winterbottom, British rugby union flanker (58 caps England, 7 British & Irish Lions; Headingley, Harlequins RFC, Hawkes Bay, Transvaal), born in Otley, England
  • 1962 Henry 'Gizmo' Williams, American-Canadian CFL receiver (Edmonton Eskimos), born in Memphis, Tennessee
  • 1962 Joe Orsulak, American MLB outfielder (Florida Marlins), born in Glen Ridge, New Jersey
  • 1965 Annette Renee Peters [nee Hand], American 1500/3000 runner, born in Reno, Nevada
  • 1966 Jessica Monroe, Canadian rower (Olympics 1996), born in Palo Alto, California
  • 1966 Roshan Mahanama, Sri Lankan cricket batsman (52 Tests, 4 x 100, HS 225; 213 ODIs; Colombo CC, Bloomfield CC), born in Colombo, Sri Lanka
  • 1967 Kenny Lofton, American MLB outfielder (Cleveland Indians), born in East Chicago, Indiana
  • 1969 Juliet Haslam, Australian hockey midfielder (Olympics 1996), born in Adelaide
  • 1970 Cory Mantyka, Canadian CFL guard (BC Lions), born in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan
  • 1971 Brad Elberg, Canadian CFL running back (Winnipeg Blue Bombers), born in Regina, Saskatchewan
  • 1971 Murray Hocking, Australian badminton player (Olympics 1996), born in Victoria, Australia
  • 1971 Troy Malave, Venezuelan outfielder (Boston Red Sox), born in Cumana, Venezuela
  • 1972 John Godina, American shot putter (World C'ship gold 1995, 97, 01; Olympic silver 1996), born in Fort Still, Oklahoma
  • 1972 Dave Roberts, American baseball outfielder (World Series 2004 LA Dodgers) and manager (World Series 2020 LA Dodgers; NL Manager of the Year 2016), born in Naha, Japan
  • 1973 Dominique van Roost, Belgian tennis player (1995 Futures-GBR), born in Verviers, Belgium
  • 1973 Marty Janzen, American pitcher (Toronto Blue Jays), born in Miami, Florida
  • 1973 Tyrone Williams, American NFL defensive back (Green Bay Packers-Super Bowl 31), born in Bradenton, Florida
  • 1974 Jim Carey, American NHL goalie, 1994-99 (Washington Capitals, and 2 other teams), born in Dorchester, Massachusetts
  • 1974 Steve Martin, American NFL defensive tackle (Indianapolis Colts, Philadelphia Eagles), born in St. Paul, Minnesota
  • 1974 Chad Campbell, American golfer (US masters 2009 runner-up, 4 PGA Tour titles), born in Andrews, Texas
  • 1976 Matt Harpring, American basketball player (Utah Jazz) and analyst, born in Cincinnati, Ohio
  • 1977 Joachim Olsen, Danish shot putter and politician, born in Aalborg, Denmark
  • 1977 Moses Sichone, Zambian footballer, born in Mufulira, Zambia
  • 1977 Theodoros Baev, Bulgarian-born Greek volleyball player
  • 1977 Phil Devey, Canadian baseball player
  • 1977 Domenico Fioravanti, Italian swimmer
  • 1977 Greg Leeb, Canadian ice hockey player
  • 1981 Jake Peavy, American baseball player (San Francisco Giants), born in Mobile, Alabama
  • 1984 Nate Robinson, American basketball player (first three-time slam dunk champion), born in Seattle, Washington
  • 1985 Ian Vouyoukas, Greek basketball player (Panathinaikos), born in London, England
  • 1985 Jordy Nelson, American NFL player (Green Bay Packers), born in Manhattan, Kansas
  • 1989 Marco Reus, German football player (Borussia Dortmund, German national team), born in Dortmund, West Germany
  • 1990 Erik Karlsson, Swedish ice hockey player (NHL - San Jose Sharks)), born in Landsbro, Sweden
  • 2000 Gable Steveson, American wrestler (Olympic Gold freestyle 2020), born in Apple Valley, Minnesota
  • 2001 Iga Świątek, Polish tennis player (French Open 2020, 22), born in Warsaw, Poland