Sports Stars Who Died in 1997

  • Jan 1 John Burgess, English rugby coach & administrator (England coach 1971-75; RFU President 1987-88), dies at 71
  • Jan 10 George Young, Scottish football player, dies at 74
  • Jan 16 Jim Kensil, NFL president (NY Jets), dies of heart failure at 66
  • Jan 18 Neville Crump, British racehorse trainer, dies at 86 [1]
  • Jan 20 Curt Flood, American baseball player (St Louis Cards), dies of throat cancer at 59
  • Jan 22 Ian Munro, British medical journalist, humanitarian and cricketer, dies at 73
  • Jan 27 David Townsend, English cricket batsman (3 Tests, HS 36; Durham CCC), dies at 84
  • Feb 1 Ed Danowski, American football quarterback & halfback (NFL Championship 1934, 38; New York Giants; Pro Bowl 1938), dies at 85
  • Feb 2 Erich Eliskases, Austrian chess player (grandmaster 1952), dies at 83
  • Feb 19 Stan Pearson, English soccer inside forward (8 caps; Manchester United, Bury, Chester), dies at 76
  • Feb 20 Zachary Breaux, American jazz guitarist, dies of a heart attack while trying to save a distressed swimmer in Miami Beach at 36
  • Mar 6 Ed Furgol, American golfer (US Open 1954), dies at 79
  • Mar 13 Leo O'Brien, Australian cricket batsman (5 Tests; Victoria), dies at 89
  • Mar 20 Tony Zale, American boxer (World Middleweight Champion 1940-47, 48), dies at 83
  • Apr 3 Judy Flannery, American triathlete, killed by a car while training at 56
  • Apr 3 Sergei Filatov, Soviet equestrian dressage (Olympic gold 1960), dies at 70
  • Apr 6 Jack Kent Cooke, Canadian entrepreneur, NFL team owner (Washington Redskins), dies at 84
  • Apr 7 Luis Aloma, Cuban baseball player, dies at 73
  • Apr 7 Sam Parks Jr., American golfer (US Open 1935), dies at 87
  • Apr 13 Foffie Williams, West Indian cricket all-rounder (4 Tests; 9 wickets, 1 x 50; Barbados), dies at 83
  • Apr 13 Voldemar Väli, Estonian wrestler, dies at age 94
  • Apr 23 Dennis Compton, England cricket batsman & footballer (5,807 Test runs, Arsenal 1950 FA Cup), dies at 78
  • Apr 30 Henry Picard, American golfer (Masters 1938, PGA 1939), dies at 90
  • May 3 Sébastien Enjolras, French racing driver, killed in a practice crash at 21
  • May 9 Bob Devaney, American College Football Hall of Fame coach (National C'ship, University of Nebraska 1970, 71; University of Wyoming; career record 136–30–7), dies at 82
  • May 16 Horace "Bones" McKinney, American basketball forward, coach and broadcaster (Washington Capitols, Wake Forest), dies at 78
  • May 25 Jay Hebert, American golfer (PGA Championship 1960), dies at 74
  • Jun 2 Helen Jacobs, American tennis player (7 Grand Slam singles titles, US Open 1932-35), dies of heart failure at 88
  • Jun 3 John Holt, West Indian cricket batsman (17 Tests, 1066 runs at 36.75; 2 x 100s), dies at 73
  • Jun 20 John Akii-bua, Ugandan athlete (Olympic gold 400m hurdles 1972), dies at 49

Don Hutson

Jun 26 Don Hutson, American College, Pro Football Halls of Fame wide receiver (Green Bay Packers), dies at 84

  • Jun 30 Larry O'Day, Australian wrestler, dies of cancer at 53
  • Jul 6 Brun Smith, New Zealand cricket batsman (4 Tests @ 47.40), dies at 75
  • Jul 7 Jerry Doggett, American sportscaster (Brooklyn and Los Angeles Dodgers), dies at 80
  • Jul 20 Clifford McWatt, West Indian cricket wicketkeeper (6 Tests, 10 dismissals; British Guiana), dies in a car crash at 75
  • Jul 23 Chūhei Nambu, Japanese athlete (Olympic gold triple jump 1932; only person to have held WRs in both long jump & triple jump), dies at 93
  • Jul 24 Brian Glover, British actor and wrestler (Alien 3, Kes), dies of a brain tumor at 63
  • Jul 24 Frank Parker, American tennis player (4-time Grand Slam singles winner), dies at 81

Ben Hogan

Jul 25 Ben Hogan, American golfer (9-time major title winner; US masters 1951, 53), dies of a stroke at 84

  • Aug 13 Emil 'Bus' Mosbacher, American yachtsman (America's Cup 1962 [Weatherly], 1967 [Intrepid]), dies at 75
  • Aug 16 Yanick Dupre, Canadian NHL left wing, dies of Leukemia at 24
  • Sep 7 Bill Strannigan, American all-round athlete and basketball coach (Uni of Wyoming), dies at 78

Richie Ashburn

Sep 9 Richie Ashburn, American Baseball Hall of Fame infielder (6 × MLB All-Star; NL batting champion 1955, 58; Philadelphia Phillies) and sportscaster (Phillies TV 1963-71), dies of a heart attack at 70

  • Sep 23 Abe Gibron, head coach (Chicago Bears), dies at 72
  • Oct 5 Dave Marr, American golfer (PGA Championship 1965), and broadcaster, dies of stomach cancer at 63
  • Oct 6 Johnny Vander Meer, American baseball pitcher (MLB All Star 1938-39, 42-43; World Series 1940; Cincinnati Reds), dies of an abdominal aneurysm at 82
  • Oct 8 Robin Lee, American figure skater, dies at 77
  • Oct 21 Dolph Camilli, Bkln Dodger/MVP (1941), dies at 90
  • Nov 2 Roy McMillan, American baseball infielder, coach and manager (MLB All Star 1956-57; Gold Glove 1957-59; Cincinnati Reds), dies of heart failure at 68
  • Nov 9 Helenio Herrera, French football player and coach (b. 1910)
  • Nov 11 Rodney Milburn, American athlete (Olympic gold 110m hurdles 1972), dies in a work accident at 49

Eddie Arcaro

Nov 14 Eddie Arcaro, American Racing Hall of Fame jockey (Triple Crown 1941 Whirlaway, 1948 Citation), dies of liver cancer at 81

  • Nov 16 Headley Keith, South African cricket batsman (8 Tests @ 21.19; Natal), dies at 70
  • Nov 18 Joyce Wethered, British golfer (English Ladies' champion 1920–24), dies at 96
  • Nov 20 Dick Littlefield, American MLB pitcher, dies at 71
  • Nov 27 Buck Leonard, American Baseball HOF first baseman (Negro League World Series 1943, 44, 48 Homestead Grays; 13 x NL All Star), dies from stroke complications at 90
  • Nov 29 Heikki Savolainen, Finnish pommel horse gymnast (Olympic medalist, 1928-52, including gold, 1948), and medical doctor, dies at 90
  • Dec 2 Steve Hamilton, American baseball pitcher (New York Yankees) and basketball forward (Minneapolis Lakers), dies of cancer at 63
  • Dec 6 Willy den Ouden, Dutch swimmer (WR 100m freestyle, 1:04.06 1933-56; Olympic gold 4×100m freestyle 1936), dies at 79
  • Dec 7 Billy Bremner, Scottish footballer (Leeds United), dies at 54 from a suspected heart attack
  • Dec 13 Harry Glaß, German ski jumper (Olympic bronze 1956), dies at 67
  • Dec 20 Dick Spooner, English cricket wicket-keeper (7 Tests; 12 dismissals), dies at 77
  • Dec 21 Bruce Woodcock, English boxer, European Heavyweight Champion, dies at 76
  • Dec 23 Keith Bentley, English international racing cyclist, dies at 72
  • Dec 28 George Fleming, cyclist, dies at 80
  • Dec 29 Pat Clarke, British cyclist, dies at 82