On This Day

December 2019 in Sports History

Events in Sport


Event of interestEvent of Interest

Dec 1 British Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton wins season-ending Abu Dhabi GP to claim his 6th F1 World Drivers C'ship by 87 points from teammate Valtteri Bottas; Mercedes' 6th straight Constructors title

Formula 1 Driver Lewis Hamilton
Formula 1 Driver
Lewis Hamilton

Sport awardFootball Awards

Dec 2 FIFA Ballon d'Or: Barcelona forward Lionel Messi wins his record 6th award from Liverpool's Dutch defender Virgil van Dijk; American midfielder Megan Rapinoe is Women's World Player of the Year

Football Star Lionel Messi
Football Star
Lionel Messi
Soccer Star Megan Rapinoe
Soccer Star
Megan Rapinoe
  • Dec 9 World Anti-Doping Agency bans Russia from all major sporting events including 2020 Tokyo Olympics and 2022 football World Cup in Qatar for manipulating laboratory data
  • Dec 14 85th Heisman Trophy Award: Joe Burrow, Louisiana State University (QB); highest percentage of first place votes ever with 90.7%
  • Dec 15 Presidents Cup Golf, Royal Melbourne GC: US wins 6 of the 12 final day singles with 4 tied to beat the International team, 16-14; 8th straight American victory
  • Dec 15 Raiders play their final NFL game in Oakland conceding 17 unanswered 2nd half points to go down 20-16 to the Jacksonville Jaguars; team to play out of Las Vegas in 2020

Sports record brokenNFL Record

Dec 16 Drew Brees breaks Peyton Manning's NFL record (539) for career touchdown passes as New Orleans Saints rout Indianapolis Colts, 34-7; Brees 29 of 30 for 307 yards & 4 TDs for record 96.7% pass completion

NFL Quarterback Drew Brees
NFL Quarterback
Drew Brees
  • Dec 17 England's Fallon Sherrock becomes first woman to win a match at the PDC World Darts Championship, beating compatriot Ted Evetts, 3-2 at the Alexandra Palace in London
  • Dec 22 New Orleans wide receiver Michael Thomas sets NFL record for most catches in a season with his 144th as Saints beat Tennessee 38-28; breaks 17-year old record held by Marvin Harrison (143)
  • Dec 28 49th Fiesta Bowl (College Football Playoff semifinal), #3 Clemson beats #2 Ohio State, 29-23
  • Dec 28 52nd Peach Bowl (College Football Playoff semi final): #1 LSU beats #4 Oklahoma, 63-28
  • Dec 30 86th Orange Bowl: #6 Florida beats #24 Virginia, 36-28

Deaths in Sport

  • Dec 1 Pat Sullivan, American College Football Hall of Fame quarterback (Heisman Trophy 1971, Auburn University; NFL: Atlanta Falcons) and coach (TUC, Samford), dies from cancer at 69
  • Dec 2 Francesco Janich, Italian soccer defender (6 caps; Bologna), dies at 82
  • Dec 4 Bob Willis, English cricket fast bowler and captain (90 Tests, 325 wickets; 64 ODIs), dies of prostate cancer at 70
  • Dec 4 Ockie Oosthuizen, South African rugby union front rower (9 caps; Transvaal), dies from cancer at 64
  • Dec 6 Jo Ann Washam, American golfer (Women's PGA C'ship 1975 3rd; 3 LPGA Tour titles), dies at 69
  • Dec 7 Chalmers "Bump" Elliott, American College Football Hall of Fame halfback and coach (U of Michigan) and college athletics administrator (Iowa), dies at 94
  • Dec 7 Denis Lalanne, French sports journalist ('Le grand combat du XV de France'; 'Rugbymania: French flair attitude'), dies at 93
  • Dec 7 Ron Saunders, English soccer striker (Portsmouth) and manager (Manchester City, Aston Villa, Birmingham City), dies at 87
  • Dec 8 Rogério Pipi, Portuguese soccer forward (15 caps; Benfica), dies at 97
  • Dec 10 Jim Smith, English soccer midfielder and manager (Birmingham City, QPR, Portsmouth, Derby County), dies at 79
  • Dec 12 Peter Snell, New Zealand athlete (Olympic gold 800m 1960, 64; 1,500m 1964), dies of heart failure at 81
  • Dec 12 Jorge Hernández, Cuban boxer Olympic gold light flyweight 1976; World C'ship gold 1974, 78), dies at 65
  • Dec 12 Vaughan Johnson, American NFL linebacker (Pro Bowl 1989-92; New Orleans Saints, Philadelphia Eagles), dies of kidney disease at 57
  • Dec 12 Brian Muller, New Zealand rugby union prop (14 caps; Taranaki), dies at 77
  • Dec 13 Carl Scheer, American basketball executive (general manager Denver Nuggets, LA Clippers, Charlotte Hornets; inventor NBA Slam Dunk Contest), dies from complications of dementia at 82
  • Dec 13 Yasuhiro Takai, Japanese baseball first baseman, designated hitter and broadcaster (NPB record 27 career pinch-hit home runs; Hankyu Braves), dies of kidney failure at 74
  • Dec 16 Basil Butcher, West Indies cricket batsman (44 Tests; 3,104 runs @ 43.11), dies at 86
  • Dec 17 Hayden Fry, American College Football Hall of Fame coach (SMU 1962-72, North Texas State University 1973-78, University of Iowa 1979-98), dies from cancer at 90
  • Dec 17 Karin Balzer, German athlete (Olympic gold 80m hurdles 1964; bronze 100m hurdles 1972), dies at 81
  • Dec 19 Saoul Mamby, American boxer (WBC super lightweight title 1980-82), dies at 72
  • Dec 19 Shahdon Winchester, Trinidadian soccer winger (27 caps; Murciélagos), dies in a traffic collision at 27
  • Dec 20 Roland Matthes, German swimmer (Olympic gold 100, 200m backstroke 1968, 72; WR x 19), dies at 69
  • Dec 20 Junior Johnson, American auto racer and team owner (Daytona 500 1960; NASCAR Hall of Fame), dies from Alzheimer's disease at 88
  • Dec 20 Frank Foster, English rugby league lock (1 Test GB; Workington Town, Hull Kingston Rovers, Bradford Northern) and coach (Barrow, Whitehaven), dies at 79
  • Dec 20 Eduard Krieger, Austrian soccer defensive midfielder (25 caps; Austria Wien, Club Brugge K.V., LASK Linz), dies at 73
  • Dec 20 Yuri Pshenichnikov, Soviet soccer goalkeeper and coach (19 caps; FC Pakhtakor Tashkent, CSKA Moscow), dies at 79
  • Dec 21 Martin Peters, English soccer midfielder (67 caps; West Ham United, Tottenham Hotspur, Norwich City), dies from Alzheimer's disease at 76
  • Dec 21 Sam Strahan, New Zealand rugby union lock (17 caps; Manawatū), dies at 74
  • Dec 22 Fritz Künzli, Swiss soccer striker (44 caps; FC Zürich, FC Winterthur, FC Lausanne-Sport), dies from Alzheimer's disease at 73
  • Dec 23 Alan Harrington, Welsh soccer defender (11 caps; Cardiff City 348 games), dies at 86
  • Dec 23 Duncan MacKay, Scottish soccer defender (14 caps; Celtic 162 games), dies at 82
  • Dec 24 Walter Horak, Austrian soccer striker (13 caps; Wiener Sport Club, Sochaux), dies at 88
  • Dec 26 Elbert Dubenion, American football wide receiver and running back (AFL All Star 1964; Buffalo Bills), dies from complications related to Parkinson's disease at 86
  • Dec 26 Eigil Nielsen, Danish soccer midfielder (10 caps; Basel), dies at 71
  • Dec 27 Ilias Rosidis, Greek soccer defender (29 caps; Olympiacos FC), dies at 92
  • Dec 28 Vilhjálmur Einarsson, Icelandic athlete (Olympic silver triple-jump 1956; Iceland's first ever Olympic medal), dies at 85
  • Dec 28 Carley Ann McCord, American sports reporter (Cox Sports TV; in-game host New Orleans Pelicans, New Orleans Saints), dies in a plane crash at 30
  • Dec 29 LaDell Andersen, American college basketball coach (Utah State, BYU), dies at 90
  • Dec 30 Johnny Ward, English rugby league hooker (4 Tests Great Britain, 3 England; Castleford 262 games), dies at 78
  • Dec 31 Basil Watts, English rugby league second rower (5 Tests Great Britain, 1 England; World Cup 1954; York RLFC), dies at 93