On This Day

December 1970 in Sports History

Events in Sport

  • Dec 3 Claude Ruel resigns as coach of the NHL Montreal Canadiens; replacement Al MacNeil leads Habs to a Stanley Cup championship 5 months later
  • Dec 5 LA Rams Willie Ellison sets NFL record of 247 yards rushing
  • Dec 5 Stanley Cup, Conn Smythe Trophy & Bill Masterson Trophy stolen from Hockey Hall of Fame
  • Dec 6 Cleveland Cavaliers 1st NBA home victory, beating Buffalo Braves 108-106
  • Dec 10 North American Soccer League awards NY & Toronto franchises

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Dec 15 Stan Smith and Rod Laver finish with 4-1 records atop inaugural season ending ATP Masters Grand Prix tennis standings in Tokyo, Japan; Smith wins event after beating Laver 4–6, 6–3, 6–4 in the rounds

Tennis Player Rod Laver
Tennis Player
Rod Laver

Sport awardFootball Awards

Dec 29 Ballon d'Or: Bayern Munich striker Gerd Müller wins award for best European football player ahead of West Ham United defender Bobby Moore and Cagliari forward Luigi Riva

Footballer and Striker Gerd Müller
Footballer and Striker
Gerd Müller
  • Dec 31 Would have been start of Aust/Eng Test Cricket at MCG, washed out

Birthdays in Sport

  • Dec 1 Todd Steussie, American NFL guard / tackle (Pro Bowl 1997-98; Minnesota Vikings), born in Canoga Park, California
  • Dec 2 Maksim Tarasov, Russian pole vaulter (Olympic gold 1992; World C'ship gold 1999), born in Yaroslavl, Russia
  • Dec 2 Alex Čejka, Czech-German golfer (Volvo Masters 1995), born in Mariánské Lázně, Czech Republic
  • Dec 3 Laura Schuler, Canadian ice hockey forward and coach (World C'ship gold 1990, 92, 97; coach Dartmouth College), born in Scarborough, Ontario
  • Dec 3 Lindsey Hunter, American basketball guard (NBA C'ship 2002, 04; LA Lakers, Detroit Pistons), born in Utica, Mississippi
  • Dec 3 Paul Byrd, American baseball pitcher and broadcaster (MLB All Star 1999; Philadelphia Phillies; Fox Sports Southeast), born in Louisville, Kentucky
  • Dec 3 Christian Karembeu, French soccer midfielder (53 caps; Nantes, Olympiacos), born in Lifou, New Caledonia
  • Dec 4 Jeff Blake, American NFL quarterback (Pro Bowl 1995; Cincinnati Bengals), born in Daytona Beach, Florida
  • Dec 5 Kevin Haller, Canadian NHL defenseman (Philadelphia Flyers), born in Trochu, Alberta, Canada
  • Dec 5 Susan Sloane, American tennis star, born in Lexington, Kentucky
  • Dec 5 Thomas Smith, American NFL cornerback (Buffalo Bills), born in Gates, North Carolina
  • Dec 6 Eric Mahlum, American NFL guard (Indianapolis Colts), born in San Diego, California
  • Dec 6 Isabelle Arnould, Belgian swimmer, born in Liège, Belgium
  • Dec 7 Courtney Browne, Barbadian cricketer (West Indies Test wicket-keeper 1995), born in Lambeth, London
  • Dec 9 Marlin Cannon, American 200m/400m runner, born in Dallas, Texas
  • Dec 10 Bryant Stith, American NBA guard (Denver Nuggets), born in Emporia, Virginia
  • Dec 11 Danan Hughes, American NFL wide receiver (KC Chiefs), born in Bayonne, New Jersey
  • Dec 11 Doug Nussmeier, American NFL quarterback (New Orleans Saints), born in Portland, Oregon
  • Dec 11 Errict Rhett, American NFL running back (Tampa Bay Bucs), born in Pembroke Pines, Florida
  • Dec 12 Ivano Newbill, American NBA center (Vancouver Grizzlies), born in Sedalia, Missouri
  • Dec 12 Orlando Brown, American NFL tackle (Cleveland Browns, Baltimore Ravens), born in Washington, D.C.
  • Dec 13 Basit Ali, Pakistani cricketer (exciting Pakistani batsman 1993-), born in Karachi, Sindh
  • Dec 13 George Van Os Jr, team handball left back (Olympics 1996), born in Houston, Texas
  • Dec 13 Tonja Yevette Buford-Bailey, American 400m hurdler (Olympic bronze 1996), born in Dayton, Ohio
  • Dec 14 Bradford Banta, American NFL tight end (Indianapolis Colts), born in Baton Rouge, Louisiana
  • Dec 15 Damon Thomas, American NFL wide receiver (Buffalo Bills), born in Clovis, California
  • Dec 15 Lawrence Funderburke, NBA forward (Sacramento Kings)
  • Dec 15 Mitchell Butler, NBA guard (Washington Bullets, Cleveland Cavaliers)
  • Dec 15 Frankie Dettori, Italian jockey, born in Milan, Italy
  • Dec 17 Michael Mols, soccer player (FC Twente)
  • Dec 18 Lucious Harris, NBA guard (NJ Nets, Dallas Mavericks)
  • Dec 19 Jon Cleveland, Canadian 100m/200m swimmer (Olympic bronze 1992, 96), born in Fresno, California
  • Dec 19 Robert Lang, Teplice CZE, NHL forward (Team Czech Rep, Los Angeles)
  • Dec 20 Grant Flower, Zimbabwean cricketer, born in Harare, Zimbabwe
  • Dec 20 Tony Semple, NFL guard (Detroit Lions), born in Springfield, Illinois
  • Dec 20 Travis Green, Canadian NHL center (NY Islanders; Toronto Maple Leafs; World C'ship gold 1997) and coach (Vancouver Canucks), born in Castlegar, Canada
  • Dec 21 Irving Spikes, NFL running back (Miami Dolphins), born in Ocean Springs, Mississippi
  • Dec 21 Monique Ambers, WNBA forward (Phoenix Mercury)
  • Dec 22 Gary Anderson, Scottish darts player (PDC World Champion 2015-16), born in Musselburgh, Scotland
  • Dec 23 Raymont Harris, American football running back (Chicago Bears), born in Lorain, Ohio
  • Dec 24 Michael Batiste, NFL/WLAF defensive tackle (Cowboys, Frankfurt Galaxy), born in Los Angeles, California
  • Dec 24 Romeo Wouden, Dutch soccer player (Dordrecht '90, Heerenveen), born in Amsterdam, Netherlands
  • Dec 25 Ghalid Salamat, Dutch soccer player (MVV), born in the Netherlands
  • Dec 25 Stu Barnes, Canadian NHL center (Florida Panthers), born in Spruce Grove, Canada
  • Dec 26 Radka Zrubakova, Slovakian tennis star (1994 Futures-GER), born in Bratislava, Slovakia
  • Dec 26 Willie Williams, NFL cornerback (Pittsburgh Steelers, Seahawks), born in England, United Kingdom
  • Dec 27 Lorenzo Neal, NFL fullback (New Orleans Saints, NY Jets)
  • Dec 28 Brenda Schultz-McCarthy, Dutch tennis player (95, 96 Oklahoma City), born in Haarlem, Netherlands
  • Dec 28 James Jett, US Olympic sprinter and NFL wide receiver (Oakland Raiders), born in Charles Town, West Virginia
  • Dec 29 Hidetoshi Mitsusada, Japanese racing driver, born in Osaka, Japan
  • Dec 30 Grant Carter, CFL defensive end (Winnipeg Blue Bombers)
  • Dec 30 Gus Nketia, 100m sprint (Olympics 1996), born in Auckland, New Zealand
  • Dec 31 Bryon Russell, American NBA forward (Utah Jazz), born in San Bernardino, California
  • Dec 31 Dan Howe, Canadian canoeist (Olympics 1996), born in Kingston, Ontario
  • Dec 31 Dunstan Anderson, NFL defensive end (Dolphins, New Orleans Saints, Rhein Fire), born in Fort Worth, Texas
  • Dec 31 Michel Brunet, Canadian ice dancer (1996 Canadians-2nd), born in Gatineau, Quebec

Deaths in Sport

  • Dec 1 Frank Smailes, English cricket all-rounder (1 Test; 8 County C'ships, Yorkshire), dies at 60
  • Dec 26 Lillian Board, British 400m athlete (Olympic silver 1968), dies at 22

Person of interestSonny Liston

Dec 30 Sonny Liston, American boxer (world heavyweight champion 1962-64), dies of lung congestion and heart failure at 40; foul play suspected

Boxer and World Heavyweight Champion Sonny Liston
Boxer and World Heavyweight Champion
Sonny Liston