On This Day

Sports Stars Who Died in 1981

  • Jan 1 Ceferino Garcia, Filipino boxer (World Middleweight champion 1939-40), dies at 74
  • Jan 1 Mauri Rose, American auto racer (Indianapolis 500 1941, 47, 48), dies at 74
  • Jan 17 Loukas Panourgias, Greek footballer (b. 1899)
  • 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
  • Mar 2 Tony Gulotta, American auto racer (Indianapolis 500 1927 3rd), dies at 78
  • Mar 6 George Geary, English cricket fast bowler (14 Tests, 46 wickets), dies at 87
  • Mar 7 Hilde Krahwinkel Sperling, German tennis player (Wimbledon 1931, 1936 runner-up), dies at 72
  • Mar 14 Ken Barrington, English cricketer (82 Tests for England, 6806 runs), dies of a heart attack at 50
  • Mar 17 Paul Dean, American baseball player (St. Louis Cardinals), dies at 68
  • Mar 19 Frank Lane, American MLB executive (GM Chicago White Sox, St. Louis Cardinals, Cleveland Indians, KC Athletics, Milwaukee Brewers), dies at 85
  • Mar 23 Mike Hailwood, MBE GM, British motorcycle road racer (World C'ships: 250cc – 1961, 66, 67; 350cc – 1966, 67; 500cc –1962, 63, 64, 65; 76 Grand Prix wins), dies in a car accident at 40
  • Mar 26 Tim Wall, Australian cricketer (SA v NSW 1933 is Sheffield Shield record), dies at 76
  • Mar 30 Noel Harford, New Zealand cricketer (8 Tests for NZ 1955-58), dies at 50
  • Apr 2 Delfo Cabrera, Argentine distance runner (Olympic gold marathon 1948), dies in a car accident at 62

Joe Louis

Apr 12 Joe Louis, American boxer (world heavyweight champion 1937-49), dies of cardiac arrest at 66

  • Apr 16 Eric Hollies, English cricket spin bowler (13 Tests, 44 wickets; dismissed Donald Bradman for 0 in his final Test innings), dies at 68
  • Apr 21 Harry Lee, cricketer (scored 18 & 1 in only Test for England), dies
  • Apr 28 Mickey Walker, American boxer (World Welterweight Champion 1922-26; World Middleweight Champion 1926-29), dies at 79
  • Apr 28 Cliff Battles, American football halfback (First-team All-Pro 1933, 34, 36; Boston Braves/Redskins, Washington Redskins), dies at 70
  • May 8 Maurice Fernandes, West Indian cricket captain (WI in 1st Test win, 1930 v England), dies at 83
  • May 9 Nip Pellew, Australian cricketer (10 Tests 484 runs at 37), dies at 87
  • May 25 Roy Brown, American R&B singer, songwriter ("Good Rockin' Tonight"), dies of a heart attack at 55
  • May 30 Don Ashby, Canadian ice hockey player (b. 1955)
  • Jun 3 Eric Dalton, South African cricket batsman (15 Tests, top score 117), dies at 74
  • Jun 28 Terry Fox, Canadian one-legged distance runner (Marathon of Hope 1980), dies of cancer at 22
  • Aug 2 Stefanie Clausen, Danish diver (Olympic gold 10m platform 1920), dies at 81
  • Aug 14 lDudley Nourse, South African cricket batsman and captain (34 Tests, 9 x 100s, HS 231; Nata), dies at 70
  • Aug 15 Pappy Waldorf, American College Football Hall of Fame tackle and coach (Northwestern, California), dies at 78
  • Aug 27 Valery Kharlamov, Soviet ice hockey player (b. 1948)
  • Aug 28 Béla Guttmann, Hungarian soccer midfielder (4 caps; MTK Hungária, Hakoah Wien) and coach (Benfica, AC Milan, FC Porto; Hungary, Austria, Netherlands, Italy, Brazil, Uruguay, Portugal), dies at 82
  • Aug 28 Paul Anspach, Belgian fencer (Olympic gold individual epée, team epée 1912), dies at 99
  • Sep 9 Phiroz Palia, Indian cricket batsman (2 Tests; United Provinces), dies at 71
  • Sep 29 Bill Shankly, Scottish football manager (Liverpool, 1959-74) dies of a heart attack at 68
  • Oct 2 Fidel LaBarba, American boxer (Olympic gold flyweight 1924; world flyweight title 1927), dies of heart failure at 76
  • Oct 4 Fred Lindstrom, American Baseball Hall of Fame utility (New York Giants), dies at 75
  • Oct 15 Philip Fotheringham-Parker, British racing driver (b. 1907)
  • Oct 30 Lew Jenkins, American boxer (World Lightweight Champion 1940-41), dies at 64
  • Nov 14 Robert Bradford, Northern Irish footballer (b. 1941)
  • Nov 22 Jack Fingleton, Australian cricket batsman (18 Tests, 1,189 runs @ 42.46, 5 x 100s), dies at 73
  • Nov 25 Morris Kirksey, American 4 X 100m (Olympic gold 1920), dies at 86
  • Nov 26 Max Euwe, Dutch World Chess Champion (1935-37), dies at 80
  • Dec 2 Hershy Kay, American composer (Olympic Hymn, A Chorus Line), dies at 62