On This Day

February 1981 in Sports History

Events in Sport

  • Feb 1 NFL Pro Bowl, Aloha Stadium, Honolulu, HI: NFC beats AFC, 21-7; MVP: Eddie Murray, Detroit Lions, PK
  • Feb 1 Australian cricket captain Greg Chappell sensationally instructs younger brother Trevor to bowl underarm to Brian McKechnie with NZ needing 6 from last ball to tie 3rd World Series ODI in Melbourne; Australia wins by 6

Sport awardNBA All-Star Game

Feb 1 31st NBA All-Star Game, Coliseum at Richfield, OH: East beats West, 123-120; MVP: Nate Archibald, Boston Celtics, PG

NBA Point Guard Nate Archibald
NBA Point Guard
Nate Archibald
  • Feb 3 Australia beats NZ 3-1 to win cricket's World Series Cup

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Feb 8 US male Figure Skating championship won by Scott Hamilton

Figure Skater Scott Hamilton
Figure Skater
Scott Hamilton
  • Feb 10 33rd NHL All-Star Game, The Forum, Inglewood: Campbell Conference beats Wales Conference, 4-1; MVP: Mike Liut, St. Louis Blues, G
  • Feb 10 Dennis Lillee becomes Australian Cricket's top wicket-taker with 249
  • Feb 12 Arbitrator Goetz declares Red Sox catcher Carlton Fisk a free agent

CarDaytona 500

Feb 15 23rd Daytona 500: Richard Petty wins record 7th title at Daytona, beating Bobby Allison to the line by 3.5 seconds

Auto Racer Richard Petty
Auto Racer
Richard Petty

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Feb 18 20-year-old Edmonton center Wayne Gretzky becomes first player in NHL history to score 5 career hat-tricks before age 21; scores 5 goals and 2 assists in 9-2 Oilers' home win against St. Louis

Ice Hockey Great Wayne Gretzky
Ice Hockey Great
Wayne Gretzky
  • Feb 20 Quebec's Czech rookie brothers Peter and Anton Stastny each score first career NHL hat-tricks in Nordiques' 9-3 win at Vancouver; Peter adds 3 assists and Anton 2
  • Feb 25 NHL most penalized game; Bruins vs Northstars, 84 penalties (392 mins)
  • Feb 25 NY Islanders give up their most goals (11) vs Calgary Flames
  • Feb 25 Exec Board of Baseball Players' Association votes unanimously to strike on May 29 if the issue of free-agent compensation remains unresolved
  • Feb 26 84 penalties (406 mins) assessed for a brawl between NHL Minn & Bost
  • Feb 28 Calvin Murphy (Hou), sets NBA record with 78 consecutive free throws

Birthdays in Sport

  • Feb 1 Luis Lamá, Angolan soccer goalkeeper (56 caps; Petro Luanda), born in Luanda, Angola
  • Feb 1 Graeme Smith, South African cricket batsman, captain and broadcaster (117 Tests, 9,265 runs @ 48.25, 27 x 100s; 197 ODIs), born in Johannesburg, South Africa
  • Feb 1 Rob Austin, British auto racer (British GT Championship - GT4 runner-up 2008), born in Evesham, England
  • Feb 2 Jason Kapono, American basketball player
  • Feb 3 Maurice Ross, Scottish footballer
  • Feb 4 Tom Mastny, Indonesian baseball player, born in Bontang, Indonesia
  • Feb 4 Johan Van Summeren, Belgian cyclist, born in Lommel, Belgium
  • Feb 4 Ben Hendrickson, American baseball player, born in St. Cloud, Minnesota
  • Feb 4 Jason Kapono, America professional basketball player, born in Long Beach, California
  • Feb 5 Loukas Vyntra, Greek football player, born in Město Albrechtice, Czechia
  • Feb 6 Ty Warren, American football defensive lineman, born in Bryan, Texas
  • Feb 9 Joël Camathias, Swiss racing driver
  • Feb 10 Andrew Johnson, English footballer, born in Bedford, United Kingdom
  • Feb 11 Scot Thompson, American soccer player, born in NYC, New York
  • Feb 13 Luisão [Ânderson Luís da Silva], Brazilian footballer, born in São Paulo, Brazil
  • Feb 13 Liam Miller, Irish soccer midfielder (21 caps; Sunderland, Hibernian), born in Cork, Republic of Ireland (d. 2018)
  • Feb 13 Luke Ridnour, US basketball player, born in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho
  • Feb 15 Diego Martínez, Mexican footballer, born in Mexico City, Mexico
  • Feb 16 Jay Howard, British racing driver
  • Feb 16 Jerry Owens, American baseball player
  • Feb 16 Qyntel Woods, American basketball player
  • Feb 17 Donielle Thompson, American gymnast (World-bronze-95, Olympics 1996), born in Wheat Ridge, Colorado
  • Feb 17 Lisa Skinner, Australian gymnast (Olympics 1996), born in Queensland, Australia
  • Feb 18 Andrei Kirilenko, Russian basketball player, born in Izhevsk, Russia
  • Feb 18 Ivan Sproule, Irish footballer, born in Castlederg, United Kingdom
  • Feb 18 Alex Rios, American baseball player, born in Coffee County, Alabama
  • Feb 19 Gil Reyes, American boxer
  • Feb 19 Nicky Shorey, English footballer
  • Feb 20 Tony Hibbert, English footballer
  • Feb 22 Fredson Camara, Brazilian footballer, born in Monção, Brazil
  • Feb 23 Gareth Barry, English footballer (West Bromwich Albion F.C.), born in Hastings, United Kingdom
  • Feb 23 Charles Tillman, American football cornerback, born in Chicago, Illinois
  • Feb 24 Lleyton Hewitt, Australian tennis player (US Open 2001, Wimbledon 2002), born in Adelaide, Australia
  • Feb 24 Mohammad Sami, Pakistani cricketer
  • Feb 25 Park Ji-Sung, South Korean footballer
  • Feb 26 Kertus Davis, American auto racer (competition director NASCAR team JD Motorsports), born in Gaffney, South Carolina
  • Feb 27 Elodie Ouédraogo, Belgian athlete, born in Saint-Josse-ten-Noode, Belgium
  • Feb 28 Florent Serra, French tennis player, born in Bordeaux, France

Deaths in Sport

  • Feb 5 Barend Barendse, Dutch sports reporter and actor (Zeskamp, Oebele), dies at 73
  • Feb 15 Jack Crapp, English cricketer (7 Tests for England 1948-49, 319 runs), dies at 68