On This Day

December 1979 in Sports History

Events in Sport

  • Dec 1 44th Iron Bowl: Alabama beats Auburn 25-18 in Birmingham
  • Dec 3 45th Heisman Trophy Award: Charles White, Southern California (RB)
  • Dec 4 Cleveland Cavaliers retire jersey # 7, Bingo Smith
  • Dec 11 Geoff Boycott scores cricket century in a limited-over international
  • Dec 16 68th Davis Cup: USA beats Italy in San Francisco (5-0)
  • Dec 16 Dallas QB Roger Staubach throws 3 TDs and 336 yards in his last NFL regular season game with the Cowboys, a 35-34 win over Washington Redskins at Texas Stadium
  • Dec 20 Philadelphia Flyers defenseman Behn Wilson scores with 4:08 remaining in regulation to earn a 1-1 tie with the Pittsburgh Penguins and equal NHL record for longest undefeated streak of 28 games; go on to break record and extend to 35 games
  • Dec 21 Garry Unger’s NHL record for consecutive games ends at 914, as his Atlanta Flames lose 5-1 to the St Louis Blues and he is benched by coach Al MacNeil; record eventually broken by Doug Jarvis (964)
  • Dec 23 NY Islanders greatest shutout lose (8-0) vs Chicago Black Hawks
  • Dec 25 Opening day of 4th Test Cricket, India 8-112 v Pakistan at Kanpur
  • Dec 25 9th Fiesta Bowl: #10 Pittsburgh beats Arizona, 16-10
  • Dec 25 Ballon d'Or: Hamburg's English forward Kevin Keegan wins his 2nd consecutive trophy as best football player in Europe; beats Bayern Munich forward Karl-Heinz Rummenigge and Ajax sweeper Ruud Krol
  • Dec 27 Red Army beats NY Rangers 5-2 at Madison Square Garden
  • Dec 27 Los Angeles left wing Charlie Simmer scores in a Kings' 3-0 shutout of the Quebec Nordiques to extend his modern day NHL goal-scoring streak to 13 straight games (ends next game)
  • Dec 29 Red Army beats NY Islanders 3-2 at Nassau Coliseum

Birthdays in Sport

  • Dec 2 Abdul Razzaq, Pakistan cricket all-rounder (46 Tests, top score 134, 100 wickets; 265 ODIs), born in Lahore, Punjab, Pakistan
  • Dec 4 Jay DeMerit, American soccer defender (25 caps; Watford, Vancouver Whitecaps FC), born in Green Bay, Wisconsin
  • Dec 5 Matteo Ferrari, Italian footballer, born in Aflou, Algeria
  • Dec 5 Niklas Hagman, Finnish ice hockey player, born in Espoo, Finland
  • Dec 5 Gareth McAuley, Northern Irish footballer (Rangers), born in Larne, Northern Ireland
  • Dec 6 Tim Cahill, Australian soccer forward (108 caps, 50 goals; Everton), born in Sydney, New South Wales
  • Dec 7 Lampros Choutos, Greek footballer, born in Athens, Greece
  • Dec 8 Christian Wilhelmsson, Swedish footballer, born in Malmö Municipality, Sweden
  • Dec 8 Daniel Fitzhenry, Australian rugby league footballer, born in Macksville, Australia
  • Dec 9 Stephen McPhail, Irish footballer, born in City of Westminster, London
  • Dec 12 Garrett Atkins, American baseball player, born in Orange, California
  • Dec 12 Nate Clements, American football player, born in Shaker Heights, Ohio
  • Dec 14 Kyle Shanahan, American NFL coach (San Francisco 49ers 2017-20), born in Minneapolis, Minnesota
  • Dec 14 Michael Owen, English footballer (Liverpool, Arsenal), born in Chester, England
  • Dec 16 Trevor Immelman, South African golfer (US Masters 2008), born in Cape Town, Western Cape
  • Dec 17 Matt Murley, American ice hockey player
  • Dec 18 Carlos, Portuguese footballer
  • Dec 20 David DeJesus, American baseball player, born in Brooklyn, New York City
  • Dec 20 Michael Rogers, Australian cyclist, born in Barham, Australia
  • Dec 23 Scott Gomez, American ice hockey player, born in Anchorage, Alaska
  • Dec 23 Kenny Miller, Scottish football player, born in Edinburgh, United Kingdom
  • Dec 26 Fabián Carini, Uruguayan footballer, born in Montevideo, Uruguay
  • Dec 26 Dimitry Vassiliev, Russian ski jumper, born in Ufa, Russia
  • Dec 27 David Dunn, English footballer
  • Dec 27 Carson Palmer, American NFL quarterback (Heisman Trophy 2002, USC; Pro Bowl 2005, 06, 15; Cincinnati Bengals, Arizona Cardinals), born in Fresno, California
  • Dec 28 James Blake, American tennis player, born in Yonkers, New York City
  • Dec 28 Bill Hall, American baseball player, born in Nettleton, Mississippi
  • Dec 29 Mitsuhiro Ishida, Japanese mixed-martial arts fighter, born in Ibaraki Prefecture, Japan
  • Dec 30 Flávio, Angolan footballer

Deaths in Sport

  • Dec 3 Dhyan Chand, Indian field hockey player (Olympic gold 1928, 1932, 1936; birthday 29/8 celebrated as India's National Sports Day), dies at 74
  • Dec 14 Nirode Ranjan Chowdhury, Indian cricketer (2 Tests for India, avg 205), dies at 56
  • Dec 21 Mac Anderson, New Zealand cricketer (Test for NZ 1946, scored five & one), dies at 60