On This Day

Deaths in Sport in 2003

  • Jan 1 Joe Foss, American fighter ace, football executive (Medal of Honor-1943; first commissioner American Football League) and politician, dies at 87
  • Jan 3 Sid Gillman, Pro & College Football Hall of Fame end (Ohio State U) and coach (U of Cincinnati, LA Rams, Houston Oilers), dies at 91
  • Jan 9 Will McDonough, American sports journalist (b. 1935)
  • Jan 20 Bill Werbeniuk, Canadian snooker player (b. 1947)
  • Jan 26 Valeriy Brumel, Soviet Olympic athlete (b. 1942)
  • Feb 4 André Noyelle, Belgian cyclist (b. 1931)
  • Feb 9 Vera Ralston [Věra Helena Hrubá], Czech figure skater and actress (Dakota, Accused of Murder), dies of cancer at 83
  • Feb 13 Kid Gavilan, Cuban boxer (b. 1926)
  • Feb 14 Johnny Longden, Canadian Racing Hall of Fame jockey/trainer (1943 Triple Crown on Count Fleet), dies of a stroke at 96
  • Feb 20 Harry Jacunski, American football player
  • Feb 21 Eddie Thomson, Australian soccer coach (Socceroos 1990-96), dies of cancer at 55
  • Feb 26 Christian Goethals, Belgian racing driver, dies at 74
  • Feb 28 Chris Brasher, English athlete (b. 1928)
  • Mar 10 Barry Sheene, British motorcycle racer, dies at 52
  • Mar 12 Andrei Kivilev, Kazakh cyclist (b. 1973)
  • Mar 18 Karl Kling, German race car driver, dies at 92

  • Mar 31 George Conner, American College and Pro Football Hall of Fame tackle / linebacker (Pro Bowl 1950–53; First-team All-Pro 1950–53, 55; Chicago Bears), dies at 78
  • Apr 15 Leonard Tose, American trucking magnate & owner of NFL Philadelphia Eagles 1969-85, dies at 88
  • Apr 20 Daijiro Kato, Japanese motorcycle racer (b. 1976)
  • Apr 22 Michael Larrabee, American athlete (Olympic gold 400m, 4x400m relay 1964), dies from pancreatic cancer at 69
  • Apr 25 Samson Kitur, Kenyan athlete (b. 1966)
  • Apr 30 Peter "Possum" Bourne, New Zealand race car driver, dies at 47
  • May 1 Miss Elizabeth [Hulette], pro wrestling valet (Randy Savage), dies of overdose at 42
  • May 1 Wim van Est, Dutch road cyclist (3 x stage winner Tour de France), dies at 80
  • May 6 Art Houtteman, baseball player (b. 1927)
  • May 10 Milan Vukcevich, Yugoslavian chemist and a grandmaster of chess problem composition, dies at 66
  • May 11 Ernie Toshack, Australian cricket fast bowler (12 Tests, 47 wickets), dies at 88
NBA Forward and MLB Player Dave DeBusschere
NBA Forward and MLB Player
Dave DeBusschere
  • May 21 Alejandro de Tomaso, Argentine-Italian racing driver and car manufacturer, dies at 74
  • May 29 David Jefferies, British motorcycle racer, dies at 30
  • Jun 1 Johnny Hopp, American baseball outfielder, first baseman (MLB All-Star 1946; World Series 1942, 44, 50, 51; St. Louis Cardinals, Boston Braves, Pittsburgh Pirates), dies at 86
  • Jun 8 Leighton Rees, Welsh darts player (BDO World Champion 1978), dies at 63
  • Jun 18 Larry Doby, American Baseball Hall of Fame outfielder (MLB All-Star 1949–55; World Series 1948; AL HR leader 1952, 54; 1st African-American in AL; Cleveland Indians), dies of cancer at 79
  • Jun 21 Roger Neilson, Canadian ice hockey coach (b. 1934)
  • Jun 23 Doug Ring, Australian cricketer (Australian leggie of the late 40's early 50's), dies at 84
  • Jun 26 Marc-Vivien Foé, Cameroon soccer midfielder (62 caps; collapsed during international match, died; Lens, West Ham, Lyon), dies of heart failure at 28

  • Jun 28 Wim Slijkhuis, Dutch athlete (b. 1923)
  • Jul 1 Wesley Mouzon, American boxer / trainer (Roy Jones Jr), dies of kidney cancer at 75
  • Jul 5 Roman Lyashenko, Russian ice hockey player, dies at 24
  • Jul 15 Tex Schramm, American football team president and general manager (b. 1920)
  • Jul 21 John Davies, New Zealand Olympic Committee president (b. 1938)
  • Aug 7 Mickey McDermott, baseball player (b. 1929)
  • Aug 8 Jack Noreiga, West Indian cricketer (9-95 WI v India 1971), dies at 67
  • Aug 9 Ray Harford, English footballer and manager (b. 1945)

Person of interestHerb Brooks

Aug 11 Herb Brooks, American ice hockey coach, dies in a car accident at 66

Ice Hockey Player & Coach Herb Brooks
Ice Hockey Player & Coach
Herb Brooks
  • Aug 14 Helmut Rahn, German footballer (b. 1929)
  • Aug 23 Bobby Bonds, American MLB baseball outfielder, 1968-81, 3x All-Star, 3x Golden Glove (San Francisco Giants, 1968-74 and 7 other teams), father of Barry Bonds, dies of lung cancer and brain tumor at 57
  • Aug 26 Jim Wacker, American football coach (b. 1937)
  • Sep 8 Gulabrai Ramchand, Indian cricketer (valuable all-rounder in 33 Tests for India), dies at 76
  • Sep 13 Kenneth Walter, South African cricket fast bowler (2 Tests, 6 wickets), dies at 63

Person of interestAlthea Gibson

Sep 28 Althea Gibson, American tennis player (7 Grand Slam singles titles), dies of respiratory and bladder infections at 76

Tennis Player Althea Gibson
Tennis Player
Althea Gibson
  • Oct 5 Dan Snyder, Canadian ice hockey player (b. 1978)
  • Oct 12 Joan Kroc [Mansfield], American philanthropist and 3rd wife of Ray Kroc, the owner of McDonald's and the San Diego Padres, dies of a brain tumor at 75
  • Oct 12 Bill Shoemaker, American Racing Hall of Fame jockey (8,833 career victories, Kentucky Derby 1955, 59, 65, 86), dies of natural causes at 72
  • Oct 16 László Papp, Hungarian boxer (b. 1926)
  • Oct 24 Veikko Hakulinen, Finnish cross country skier (Olympic gold 1952, 56, 60), dies in car accident at 78
  • Oct 25 Hemu Adhikari, Indian cricket batsman (21 Tests; HS 114 1st Test v WI 1948), dies at 84
  • Nov 6 Rie Mastenbroek, Dutch swimmer (3 x Olympic gold 1936), dies at 84
  • Nov 15 Ray Lewis, Canadian 4X400 relayer (Olympic bronze 1932), dies at 93
  • Nov 18 Ken Brett, American baseball player, dies at 55
  • Nov 19 Ian Geoghegan, Australian racing driver (b. 1940)
  • Nov 24 Warren Spahn, American Baseball Hall of Fame pitcher (17 × MLB All-Star; World Series 1957; Cy Young Award 1957; 8 × NL wins leader; Boston/Milwaukee Braves), dies at 82
  • Nov 28 Ted Bates, English former footballer, dies at 85
  • Nov 29 Tony Canadeo, American NFL hall of fame halfback (Green Bay Packers), dies at 84
  • Nov 30 Gertrude Ederle, American swimmer (1st female English Channel 1926), dies at 98
  • Dec 1 Eugenio Monti, Italian bobsledder (2 x Olympic gold 2-man, 4-man 1968; World C'ships 9 x gold), dies from a self-inflicted gunshot wound at 75
  • Dec 4 Iggy Katona, American auto racer (ARCA Series 1955-57, 62, 66-67; record 79 wins), dies at 87
  • Dec 9 Norm Sloan, American basketball coach (b. 1926)
  • Dec 15 Keith Magnuson, Canadian ice hockey player (b. 1947)
  • Dec 17 David Smith, English cricket fast-medium bowler (5 Tests), dies at 69

Person of interestOtto Graham

Dec 17 Otto Graham, NFL Quarterback, dies of a heart aneurysm at 82

NFL Quarterback Otto Graham
NFL Quarterback
Otto Graham
  • Dec 21 M. J. Gopalan, Indian cricketer (1 Test India v England 1933-34), dies at 94
  • Dec 24 Herman Keiser, American golfer (US Masters 1946), dies of Alzheimer's disease complications at 89
  • Dec 27 Ivan Calderón, Puerto Rican baseball outfielder (MLB All Star 1991; Chicago White Sox, Montreal Expos), dies from multiple firearm wounds at 41