On This Day

Deaths in Sport in 2017

  • Jan 2 Jean Vuarnet, French alpine skier (Olympic gold downhill 1960; World C'ship gold 1960), dies after a stroke at 83
  • Jan 4 Milt Schmidt, Canadian Hockey Hall of Fame center (Stanley Cup 1939, 41; Boston Bruins) and coach/GM (Stanley Cup 1970, 72; Boston Bruins), dies from a stroke at 98
  • Jan 11 François Van der Elst, Belgian soccer winger (44 caps; Anderlecht, West Ham Utd), dies from cardiac arrest at 62
  • Jan 18 Roberta Peters, American operatic soprano (NY Met), dies at 86
  • Jan 18 Rachel Heyhoe Flint, English cricket batter and captain (22 Tests, 23 ODOs; captain winning England team in inaugural Women's World Cup 1973), businesswoman and philanthropist, dies at 77
  • Feb 6 Joost can der Westhuizen, South African rugby player, dies of motor neurone disease at 45
  • Feb 6 Roger Walkowiak, French road cyclist (Tour de France 1956), dies at 89

Person of interestMike Ilitch

Feb 10 Mike Ilitch, American businessman (founded Little Caesars Pizza, owner Detroit Red Wings, Tigers), dies at 87

Entrepreneur and Founder of Little Caesar's Pizza Mike Ilitch
Entrepreneur and Founder of Little Caesar's Pizza
Mike Ilitch
  • Feb 17 Peter Richardson, British cricketer (England batsman mid-50's), dies at 85
  • Feb 22 Ed Garvey, American labor leader (NFL Players Association), dies at 76
  • Feb 22 John McCormack, Canadian ice hockey player, dies at 91
  • Feb 23 Derek Ibbotson, English 5K runner (Olympic bronze 1956), dies at 84
  • Mar 2 Simon Hobday, South African golfer (US Senior Open 1994), dies of cancer at 76
  • Mar 3 Raymond Kopa [Kopaszewski], French footballer 'the Napoleon of football', dies at 85
  • Mar 10 John Surtees CBE, British auto racer (World F1 C'ship 1964) and motorcycle racer (World C'ships: 350 cc – 1958, 59, 60; 500 cc – 1956, 58, 59, 60), dies of respiratory failure at 83
  • Mar 13 Ed Whitlock, British-born runner, oldest person to run marathon under 4 hrs (at 85), dies at 86

  • Mar 15 Jackie Pung, American golfer (5 LPGA titles), dies at 95
  • Mar 19 Ken Still, American golfer (3 PGA Tour titles), dies of kidney failure at 82
  • Mar 19 Roger Pingeon, French cylist (Tour de France 1967 champion), dies at 76
  • Mar 22 Dallas Green, American baseball manager and pitcher (Phillies, Yankees), dies at 82
  • Mar 26 Brian Oldfield, American shot-putter (credited with making rotational technique popular), dies at 71
  • Mar 31 Rubén Amaro, Sr., Mexican baseball player (Philadelphia Phillies), dies at 81
  • Apr 6 Bob Cerv, American baseball player (Yankees), dies at 91
  • Apr 21 Ugo Ehiogu, English soccer defender (4 caps; Aston Villa, Middlesborough), dies from cardiac arrest at 44
  • Apr 23 Kenny Sears, American NBA player (NY Knicks), dies at 83
  • Apr 28 Luis Olmo, Puerto Rican NBA player (Brooklyn Dodgers), dies at 97
  • May 1 Sam Mele, American MLB outfielder/manager (Minnesota Twins record 102 wins 1965), dies at 95
  • May 5 Adolph Kiefer, American swimmer (Olympic gold 100m backstroke 1936), dies at 98
  • May 6 Steven Holcomb, American Bobsledder (Olympic gold 2010), dies at 37
  • May 11 Yale Lary, American NFL safety Hall of Famer (Detroit Lions), dies at 86
  • May 14 Frank Brian, American basketball guard (NBA All Star 1951, 52; Fort Wayne Pistons), dies at 94
  • May 22 Nicky Hayden, American motorcycle racer (MotoGP Champion 2006), dies after being hit by a car at 35
  • May 23 Cortez Kennedy, American NFL defensive tackle (Seattle Seahawks)dies at 48
  • May 26 Jim Bunning, American Baseball Hall of Fame pitcher, politician (perfect game vs Mets 1965, Rep. Senator-Ky), dies of a stroke at 85
  • May 26 John Severson, founder of 'Surfer' magazine and artist (known for his depictions of surf culture), dies of cancer at 83
  • Jun 1 Roberto De Vicenzo, Argentine golfer (British Open 1967; US Masters 1968 runner-up), dies at 94

  • Jun 3 Jimmy Piersall, American baseball outfielder (MLB All Star 1954, 56; his bipolar disorder subject book & film, "Fear Strikes Out"), dies at 87
  • Jun 22 Hervé Filion, Canadian harness racing driver (World Driving C'ship 1970; Harness Tracks of America Driver of the Year 1969-74, 76, 78, 81, 89), dies of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease at 77
  • Jul 2 Vladislav Rastorotsky, Soviet gymnastics coach, dies at 84
  • Jul 2 Tatiana Zatulovskaya, Israeli chess player (Women's Soviet Chess Championship 1960, 62, 63), dies at 81
  • Jul 4 Gene Conley, American MLB player and NBA player, dies at 86
  • Jul 6 Heinz Schneiter, Swiss football player and manager, dies at 82
  • Jul 12 Chuck Blazer [Charles Gordon Blazer], American soccer administrator, dies from colorectal cancer at 72
  • Jul 15 Babe Parilli, American football player, dies at 87
  • Jul 21 Peter Doohan, Australian professional tennis player, dies from motor neurone disease at 56
  • Jul 23 Mervyn Rose, Australian tennis player (Australian C'ships 1954, French C'ships 1958)), dies at 87
  • Jul 29 Lee May "The Big Bopper", American Major League Baseball 1st baseman, dies from pneumonia at 74
  • Aug 5 Doug Insole, English cricketer (England batsman of the 50's, nine Tests), dies at 91
  • Aug 6 Darren Daulton, American baseball catcher (MLB All-Star 1992, 93, 95; World Series 1997; Silver Slugger Award 1992; Philadelphia Phillies), dies of brain cancer at 55
  • Aug 6 Betty Cuthbert, Australian athlete, 100m/200m/400m dash (Olympic gold 1956, 64), dies at 79
  • Aug 22 Rafael "Felo" Ramírez, Cuban-American Spanish language sports announcer (Miami Marlins), dies at 94
  • Aug 28 Bobby Boyd, American NFL cornerback (5 × All-Pro 1964–1968; NFL interceptions leader 1965; Baltimore Colts), dies of bladder cancer at 79
  • Sep 3 Sugar Ramos [Ultiminio Ramos], Cuban-Mexican boxer (World Featherweight champion 1963-64), dies at 75
  • Sep 6 Jim McDaniels, American basketball forward (All American 1971; Western Kentucky Uni; No. 1 overall pick ABA Draft 1971; ABA All-Star 1972; Carolina Cougars), dies from diabetes complications at 69
  • Sep 7 Gene Michael, American baseball shortstop, and general manger (NY Yankees), dies of a heart attack at 79

Person of interestJake LaMotta

Sep 19 Jake LaMotta, American boxer (world middleweight champion 1949-51, immortalised in 'Raging Bull'), dies at 95

World Middleweight Boxing Champion Jake LaMotta
World Middleweight Boxing Champion
Jake LaMotta
  • Sep 29 Ludmila Belousova, Russian pairs skater (Olympic gold 1964, 68), dies at 81
  • Oct 2 Robert Yates, American auto racing team owner and engine builder (Yates Racing, NASCAR), dies from cancer at 74
  • Oct 6 Terry Downes, British middleweight boxing champion (1961-62), dies at 81
  • Oct 8 Y. A. Tittle, American NFL quarterback (Baltimore, San Francisco, NY Giants, MVP 1963), dies at 90
  • Nov 4 Gilbert Rogin, American journalist and author (The New Yorker, Sports Illustrated), dies at 87
  • Nov 13 Bobby Doerr, American Baseball Hall of Fame second baseman (9-time All Star, Boston Red Sox), dies at 99
  • Nov 16 Ferdie Pacheco, American boxer and physician (the "Fight Doctor"), dies at 89
  • Nov 18 Gillian Rolton, Australian equestrian (Summer Olympics 1992, 1996- gold), dies from endometrial cancer at 61

Person of interestJana Novotna

Nov 19 Jana Novotná, Czech tennis player (Wimbledon 1998), dies of cancer at 49

Tennis Player & Wimbledon Champion Jana Novotna
Tennis Player & Wimbledon Champion
Jana Novotna
  • Dec 6 Cy Young, American athlete and only US male to win gold in javelin throwing (1952 Olympics), dies of complications from dementia at 89
  • Dec 7 Peter Walwyn, British thoroughbred trainer (champion trainer 1974-75), dies at 84
  • Dec 13 Tommy Nobis, American football linebacker (Atlanta Falcons), dies at 74
  • Dec 14 Lones Wigger, American competitive rifle shooter (Olympic gold/silver-1964, 72), dies at 80
  • Dec 19 Mamie "Peanut" Johnson, American professional baseball player at 1st female pitcher to play in the Negro Leagues, dies from heart complications at 82
  • Dec 21 Richard "Dick" Enberg, American sportscaster (NBC, CBS, ESPN), dies of a heart attack at 82
  • Dec 29 Alfred Binns, West Indian cricket wicket-keeper (1953-56), dies at 88