On This Day

Deaths in Sport in 2021

  • Jan 1 Floyd Little, American Pro/College Football Hall of Fame halfback (Syracuse University; 5 x Pro Bowl; First-team All-Pro 1969; Denver Broncos), dies from cancer at 78
  • Jan 2 Don Salls, American football linebacker (Alabama) and coach (Jacksonville State University 1946-52, 1954-64), dies at 101
  • Jan 2 Paul Westphal, American Basketball Hall of Fame guard (NBA C'ship 1974; NBA All-Star 1977–81; Boston Celtics, Phoenix Suns) and coach (NBA: Phoenix, Seattle, Sacramento), dies from glioblastoma at 70
  • Jan 3 Roger Hassenforder, French racing cyclist (8 stage wins Tour de France 1955-59), dies at 90
  • Jan 4 John Muckler, Canadian ice hockey coach (Stanley Cup Edmonton Oilers 1990; Buffalo Sabres, NY Rangers) and executive (GM Ottawa Senators), dies at 86
  • Jan 5 Colin Bell MBE, English soccer midfielder (48 caps; Manchester City 394 games), dies at 74
  • Jan 5 Bob Brett, Australian tennis coach (Boris Becker, Goran Ivanišević, Marin Čilić), dies from cancer at 67
  • Jan 5 Pat Patrick, American auto racing team owner (Patrick Racing; Indianapolis 500 1973, 82, 89; Emerson Fittipaldi IndyCar title 1989), dies at 91
  • Jan 7 Vladimir Kiselyov, Russian athlete (Olympic gold, Soviet Union, shot put 1980), dies at 64

Person of interestTommy Lasorda

Jan 7 Tommy Lasorda, American Baseball Hall of Fame manager (World Series 1981, 88; NL Manager of the Year 1983, 88; LA Dodgers 1976-96), dies of a heart attack at 93 [1]

Baseball Pitcher and Manager Tommy Lasorda
Baseball Pitcher and Manager
Tommy Lasorda
  • Jan 8 Shirley Wilson, American football coach (Elon University 1967-76; Duke University 1979-82; 88–61–3), dies at 95
  • Jan 9 Vivalyn Latty-Scott, West Indian women's cricket all-rounder (10 Tests, 25 wickets; Jamaica), dies at 82
  • Jan 10 Hubert Auriol, French off-road motorcyclist and auto racer (Dakar Rally 1981, 83, 92), dies from COVID-19 at 68
  • Jan 10 Dee Rowe, American college basketball coach (UConn Huskies men's team 1969-76; 103–78 [.569]), dies at 91
  • Jan 10 Donald Smith, English cricket batsman (3 Tests; Sussex), dies at 97
  • Jan 11 Colin McDonald, Australian cricket batsman (47 Tests, 5 x 100s; Victoria), dies at 92

  • Jan 11 Wálter Taibo, Uruguayan soccer goalkeeper (30 caps; Huracán, C.A. Peñarol), dies at 89
  • Jan 11 Kathleen Heddle OBC, Canadian rower (Olympic gold coxless pair, 8's 1992; double sculls 1996), dies from breast and lymph node cancer at 55
  • Jan 12 Frank Arok AM, Yugoslavian-Australian soccer coach (Australia 1983-89), dies at 88
  • Jan 12 Álvaro Mejía, Colombian athlete (Boston Marathon 1971 2:18:45), dies at 80
  • Jan 12 John Ward, New Zealand cricket wicketkeeper (8 Tests; 17 dismissals), dies at 83
  • Jan 12 Khalid bin Abdullah Al Saud, Saudi thoroughbred racing owner and breeder (Juddmonte Farms; Dancing Brave, Enable, Frankel, Arrogate), dies at 84
  • Jan 13 Bernd Kannenber, German race walker (Olympic gold FRG 50k 1972), dies at 78
  • Jan 13 Joël Robert, Belgian motocross racer (Motocross World C'ships 250cc 1964, 68–72), dies from COVID-19 at 77
  • Jan 13 Hannes Viljoen, South African rugby union winger (3 caps; Natal), dies at 77
  • Jan 15 Vicente Cantatore, Argentine soccer manager (Chile, Real Valladolid, Colo Colo, Real Betis, Sevilla, Sporting de Gijón), dies at 85
  • Jan 15 Bruce Headley, American thoroughbred horse trainer and owner (Breeders' Cup Sprint 2000 Kona Gold), dies from a stroke at 86
  • Jan 16 Jon Arnett, American College Football Hall of Fame halfback (USC; 5 × Pro Bowl; LA Rams, Chicago Bears), dies from heart failure at 85
  • Jan 18 Don Sutton, American Baseball Hall of Fame pitcher (MLB All-Star 1972, 73, 75, 77; MLB ERA leader 1980; LA Dodgers), dies from cancer at 75 [1]
  • Jan 20 Peter Swan, English soccer defender (19 caps; Sheffield Wednesday, Bury), dies at 84
  • Jan 20 Ted Thompson, American NFL linebacker (Houston Oilers) and executive (GM Green Bay Packers 2005-17), dies from autonomic disorder at 68
  • Jan 21 David Bolton, English rugby league five eighth (23 caps Great Britain; Wigan, Balmain) and coach (Parramatta), dies at 83

Person of interestHank Aaron

Jan 22 Hank Aaron, American Baseball Hall of Fame right fielder (MLB record 755 HRs; NL MVP 1957; 25 × MLB All-Star; Milwaukee/Atlanta Braves, Milwaukee Brewers), dies at 86 [1]

Baseball Player Hank Aaron
Baseball Player
Hank Aaron
  • Jan 22 Nick Drake-Lee, English rugby union prop (8 caps; Leicester Tigers), dies at 78
  • Jan 22 Tony Jones, American NFL tackle (Super Bowl 1997, 98; Second-team All-Pro 1994; Pro Bowl 1998; Cleveland Browns, Denver Broncos), dies at 54
  • Jan 22 Luton Shelton, Jamaican soccer striker (75 caps; Vålerenga, Karabükspor, Sheffield United), dies from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis at 35

  • Jan 24 George Armstrong, Canadian Hockey Hall of Fame centre (Stanley Cup 1961–62, 1962–63, 1963–64, 1966–67 Toronto Maple Leafs; 7 x NHL All Star), dies from heart complications at 90
  • Jan 24 Jóhannes Eðvaldsson, Icelandic soccer defender (34 caps; Celtic, Tulsa Roughnecks, Hannover 96, Motherwell), dies from COVID-19 at 70
  • Jan 25 Maryan Synakowski, French soccer defender (16 caps; UA Sedan Torcy 241 games), dies at 84
  • Jan 26 Alan Ashcroft, English rugby union number 8 (16 caps England, 2 caps British & Irish Lions; Waterloo FC), dies at 90
  • Jan 26 Margitta Gummel-Helmbold, German track & field athlete (Olympic gold GDR women's shot put 1968), dies at 79
  • Jan 26 John Mortimore, English soccer defender (Chelsea 249 games) and manager (Portsmouth, Benfica, Real Betis), dies at 86
  • Jan 26 Sekou Smith, American sportswriter (The Clarion-Ledger, The Indianapolis Star, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution; NBA TV), dies from COVID-19 at 48
  • Jan 26 Peter Thorburn MNZM, New Zealand rugby union coach (North Harbour, NZ sevens, Bristol RFC, United States), dies at 81
  • Jan 26 Jozef Vengloš, Slovak soccer manager (Australia, Czechoslovakia, Malaysia, Fenerbahçe, Aston Villa, Celtic, Slovakia), dies at 84
  • Jan 27 Mehrdad Minavand, Iranian soccer midfielder (67 caps; Persepolis, Sturm Graz), dies from COVID-19 at 45
  • Jan 28 Eddie Connachan, Scottish soccer goalkeeper (2 caps; Dunfermline Athletic, Middlesbrough, Falkirk), dies at 85
  • Jan 29 John Chaney, American Basketball Hall of Fame college coach (Cheyney University, Temple University), dies at 89
  • Jan 29 Yvon Douis, French soccer striker (20 caps; Lille, Le Havre, Monaco, Cannes), dies from COVID-19 at 85
  • Feb 2 Grant Jackson, American baseball pitcher (MLB All Star 1969; World Series 1979; Philadelphia Phillies; Baltimore Orioles; Pittsburgh Pirates), dies from complications of COVID-19 at 78
  • Feb 3 Tony Trabert, American tennis player (Wimbledon 1955; US Open 1953, 55; French Open 1954, 55), dies at 90
  • Feb 3 Jean-Pierre Bastiat, French rugby union lock (32 Tests; US Dax), dies from a stroke at 71
  • Feb 5 Joseph Benz, Swiss bobsledder (Olympic gold 2-man 1980; World C'ship gold 4-man 1975; 2-man 1978, 79), dies from COVID-19 at 76
  • Feb 5 Julio Canani, Peruvian thoroughbred horse racing trainer (Breeders' Cup Mile 1999, 2001; Juvenile Fillies 2004), dies at 82
  • Feb 5 Sam Gannon OAM, Australian cricket fast bowler (3 Tests, 11 wickets; Western Australia; Chairman WACA), dies at 73
  • Feb 5 Charlie Krueger, American College Football Hall of Fame defensive tackle (Texas A&M; Pro Bowl 1960, 64; San Francisco 49ers), dies from heart and kidney failure at 84
  • Feb 5 John Pullin, English rugby union hooker (42 caps; British Lions 7 caps; Bristol RFC), dies at 79
  • Feb 5 Leon Spinks, American boxer (WBC, WBA heavyweight champion 1978; Olympic gold light heavyweight 1976), dies from prostate cancer at 67
  • Feb 6 Ezra Moseley, Barbadian cricket fast bowler (2 Tests; 9 ODIs, West Indies; Barbados; Glamorgan), dies in a road accident at 63
  • Feb 6 Bruce Taylor, New Zealand cricket all-rounder (30 Tests, 111 wickets; 2 x 100s), dies at 77
  • Feb 6 Ken McCaffery, Australian rugby league centre (12 Tests; North Sydney; Queensland), broadcaster (9 Network) and administrator (North Sydney DRLFC), dies at 91
  • Feb 7 Ralph Backstrom, Canadian ice hockey center (6 x Stanley Cup with Montreal Canadiens; 6 x NHL All-Star), dies at 83
  • Feb 7 Leslie Laing, Jamaican athlete (Olympic gold men's 4x400m relay 1952 WR 3:03.9), dies at 91
  • Feb 7 Mario Osbén, Chilean soccer goalkeeper (36 caps; Unión Española, Colo Colo, Cobreloa), dies from a heart attack at 70
  • Feb 8 David Egerton, English rugby union #8 (7 caps; Bath Rugby) and broadcaster (BBC), dies from COVID-19 at 59
  • Feb 8 Marty Schottenheimer, American football coach (Cleveland Browns, KC Chiefs; NFL Coach of Year 2004, San Diego Chargers), dies from Alzheimer's disease at 77
  • Feb 10 Pachín, Spanish soccer defender (8 caps; Real Madrid) and manager (Osasuna, Levante, Granada), dies at 82
  • Feb 11 Phil Horrocks-Taylor, English rugby union fly half (9 caps England, 1 British & Irish Lions; Leicester Tigers), dies at 86
  • Feb 14 Doug Mountjoy, Welsh snooker player (Masters 1977; Pot Black 1978, 85; UK C'ship 1988, World C'ship 1981 runner-up), dies at 78
  • Feb 15 Vincent Jackson, American NFL wide receiver (Pro Bowl 2009, 11, 12; SD Chargers, TB Buccaneers), dies at 38
  • Feb 15 Leopoldo Luque, Argentine soccer striker (43 caps; River Plate), dies from COVID-19 at 71
  • Feb 16 Wayne Giardino, Canadian football linebacker (Grey Cup 1968, 69, 73;Ottawa Rough Riders), dies at 77
  • Feb 17 Özcan Arkoç, Turkish soccer goalkeeper (9 caps; Hamburger SV) and manager (Hamburger SV, Hannover 96), dies at 81
  • Feb 17 Gianluigi Saccaro, Italian fencer (Olympic gold épée team 1960; silver épée team 1964; bronze épée 1968), dies at 82
  • Feb 17 Martí Vergés, Spanish soccer midfielder (12 caps; FC Barcelona), dies at 86
  • Feb 20 Mauro Bellugi, Italian soccer defender (32 caps; Inter Milan, Bologna, Napoli), dies from COVID-19 at 71
  • Feb 20 Stan Williams, American baseball pitcher (MLB All-Star 1960²; World Series 1959, 1990 [coach: Cincinnati Reds]; NY Yankees, LA Dodgers), dies from cardio-pulmonary illness at 84
  • Feb 21 Doug Wilkerson, American football guard (Pro Bowl 1980–82; First-team All-Pro 1982; SD Chargers), dies at 73
  • Feb 21 Zlatko Saračević, Croatian handball player (145 caps Yugoslavia, 75 Croatia; Olympic gold 1996 Croatia), dies at 59
  • Feb 23 Fausto Gresini, Italian Grand Prix motorcycle racer (125cc World C'ship 1985, 87) and team manager (Aprilia Racing, Gresini MotoGP), dies from COVID-19 at 60
  • Feb 23 Tormod Knutsen, Norwegian cross country skier (Olympic gold individual 1964, silver 1960), dies at 89
  • Feb 23 Juan Carlos Masnik, Uruguayan soccer defender (26 caps; NY Skyliners, Gimnasia y Esgrima La Plata, Nacional, NY Cosmos), dies at 77
  • Feb 23 Art Michalik, American football linebacker / guard (All-Pro 1953; Pro Bowl 1953; San Francisco 49ers, Pittsburgh Steelers), dies at 91
  • Feb 24 Gary Halpin, Irish rugby union prop (11 caps; Wanderers F.C, Leinster, London Irish, Harlequins), dies at 55
  • Feb 24 Atsushi Miyagi, Japanese tennis player (US Open doubles 1955 [with Kosei Kamo] first Japanese players to win a Grand Slam event), dies at 89
  • Feb 25 John Geddert, American gymnastics coach (US head coach London Olympic Team 2012), dies from self-inflicted gunshot wounds at 63
  • Feb 25 Jim Johnson, Australian jockey (Melbourne Cup: Gatum Gatum 1963, Rain Lover 1968, 69), dies at 92
  • Feb 26 Aleksandr Klepikov, Russian rower (Olympic gold Soviet Union coxed four 1976), dies at 70
  • Feb 26 Hannu Mikkola, Finnish rally driver (World Rally champion 1983), dies from cancer at 78
  • Feb 28 Irv Cross, American football cornerback (Pro Bowl 1964, 65; Philadelphia Eagles) and broadcaster (CBS), dies from ischemic cardiomyopathy at 81
  • Feb 28 Glenn Roeder, English soccer defender (QPR, Newcastle United), and manager (Watford, West Ham, Newcastle, Norwich), dies from a brain tumour at 65
  • Mar 1 Zlatko Kranjčar, Croatian soccer striker (2 caps; Dinamo Zagreb, Rapid Wien) and manager (Croatia, Montenegro, Dinamo Zagreb), dies at 64
  • Mar 1 Ian St John, Scottish soccer forward (21 caps; Motherwell; Liverpool 425 games), manager (Motherwell, Portsmouth) and broadcaster (ITV: Saint and Greavsie), dies from cancer at 82
  • Mar 2 Peter Grosser, German soccer midfielder (2 caps; Bayern Munich, 1860 Munich, Austria Salzburg), dies at 82