On This Day

Sports Stars Who Died in 1978

  • Jan 6 Burt Munro, New Zealand motorcycle racer, dies at 78 (b. 1899)
  • Jan 9 Eddie Gilbert, cricket (Aboriginal Qld quick got Don for a duck), dies
  • Jan 13 Joe McCarthy, American Baseball Hall of Fame manager (World Series 1932, 36–39, 41, 43; New York Yankees), dies at 96
  • Jan 14 Harold Abrahams, British athlete (Olympic gold 100m, silver 4x100m 1924; depicted in film "Chariots of Fire"), dies at 78
  • Jan 22 Herbert Sutcliffe, English cricketer (54 Tests for England 4555 runs), dies at 83
  • Jan 25 Tango Duke, dies in Australia at 42; oldest known thoroughbred horse
  • Feb 9 Costante Girardengo, Italian cyclist (b. 1893)
  • Feb 14 Paul Governali, American professional football player (b. 1921)
  • Mar 7 Steve Bilko, American baseball player, dies at 49
  • Mar 12 Theresa Weld Blanchard, American figure skater (US Singles C'ship 1914, 20-24; Pairs C'ship 1920-27; Olympic bronze 1920), dies at 84
  • Mar 13 Ghulam Guard, Indian cricketer (lefty pace bowler in 2 Tests for India 1959), dies at 52
  • Mar 17 George Dickinson, New Zealand ruby player and cricketer (8 wickets in 3 Tests for NZ), dies at 75
  • Mar 27 Dutch Zwilling, American baseball outfielder (Federal League HR all-time leader), dies at 89
  • Mar 29 Jayasinghrao Ghorpade, Indian cricket batsman (8 Tests @ 15.26), dies at 47
  • Mar 30 George Paine, English cricket spin bowler (4 Tests, 17 wickets; Warwickshire), dies at 69
  • Mar 30 Harold Gimblett, English cricket batsman (3 Tests, 1 x 50; 265 career FC sixes; Somerset CCC), dies from an overdose at 63
  • Apr 8 Ford C Frick, American Baseball HOF executive (NL President 1934-51; MLB Commissioner 1951-65), dies at 83
  • Apr 9 Vivian McGrath, Australian tennis player (Australian C'ship 1937), dies at 62
  • Apr 27 John Doeg, American tennis player (US Nat C'ship 1930), dies at 69
  • May 5 Alfred (Harold] Gilligan, English cricketer (4 Tests for England), dies at 81
  • May 6 Ethelda Bleibtrey, American swimmer (Olympic gold 100m, 300m, 4x100m freestyle relay 1920; first US female champion), dies at 76
  • May 13 Alby Roberts, New Zealand cricket fast bowler (5 Tests, 7 wickets; Canterbury, Otago), dies at 68
  • May 19 George Gladstone, cricketer (one Test WI v England 1930), dies
  • May 29 Carl Reynolds, American baseball outfielder (2nd player in MLB history to hit home runs in 3 consecutive innings 1930; Chicago White Sox), dies at 75
  • May 31 József Bozsik, Hungarian footballer (b. 1925)
  • Jun 22 Tom Gorman, Australian rugby league centre and captain (10 Tests; Queensland 34 games), dies at 77
  • Jul 10 Joe Davis, English snooker player (World Champion 1927-40, 1946), dies at 77
  • Aug 5 Dutch Clark, American Pro/College Football HOF back (Colorado College; 6 × First-team All-Pro; 3 × NFL rushing TD leader & NFL scoring leader; Portsmouth Spartans/Detroit Lions), dies at 71
  • Aug 21 Vinoo Mankad, Indian cricketer (44 Tests for India, 2,109 runs), dies at 61
  • Aug 26 José Manuel Moreno, Argentine footballer, dies at 62
  • Sep 6 Adolf Dassler, German entrepreneur (founder sportswear company Adidas), dies at 78
  • Sep 10 Ronnie Peterson, Swedish auto racer (World F1 runner-up 1971, 78), dies in crash during Italian F1 GP at 34
  • Sep 11 Mike Gazella, American baseball player (NY Yankees), dies at 82
  • Sep 23 Lyman Bostock, MLB outfielder, 1975-78 (Minnesota Twins, California Angels), shot and killed by the estranged husband of the sister of a friend, at 27
  • Oct 3 Alfred Strange, English soccer right half (20 caps, 3 as captain; Sheffield Wednesday, 253 games), dies at 78
  • Oct 8 Jim Gilliam, American MLB player and coach (LA Dodgers), dies of a brain hemorrhage at 49
  • Oct 10 Ralph Metcalfe, American athlete, politician (Rep-D-Ill; joint world record 100m, Olympic gold 4x100m relay 1936), dies of a heart attack at 68
  • Oct 18 Frank Woolley, English cricket all-rounder (64 Tests, 5 x 100, 23 x 50, HS 154, 83 wickets, BB 7/76; Kent CCC), dies at 91
  • Oct 26 George "Jackie" Grant, West Indian cricketer (West Indian captain 1930-35), dies at 71
  • Nov 6 Heiri Suter, Swiss road cyclist (Grand Prix Wolber [unofficial World C'ship] 1922, 25), dies at 79
  • Nov 7 Gene Tunney, American boxer (world heavyweight champion 1926-28), dies at 80
  • Nov 11 Bennie Borgmann, American Basketball Hall of Fame forward and coach (Kingston Colonials, Original Celtics; coach Syracuse Nationals), dies at 77
  • Nov 13 George Hearne, South African cricket batsman (3 Tests; Western Province), dies at 90
  • Nov 15 Dick Chapman, American golfer (1940 US amateur, 1951 British amateur), dies of a stroke at 67
  • Dec 11 Paul O'Dea, American baseball player (b. 1920)