Deaths in Sport on December 31

  • 1896 Leland Hone, Irish cricket wicketkeeper (1 Test; first Irishman to represent England; MCC), dies at 43
  • 1948 Malcolm Campbell, British motor racer (world land and water speed record holder), dies of a stroke at 63
  • 1951 H. Guy Bedwell, American thoroughbred trainer (North American champion in wins x 7; earnings 1918-19; first Triple Crown winner, Sir Barton), dies at 76
  • 1967 Arthur Mailey, Australian cricket spin bowler (21 Tests, 99 wickets; 10/66 v Gloucestershire 1921), dies at 81
  • 1968 Carl Oscar Ahues, German International Chess Master (1950), dies at 85

Roberto Clemente

1972 Roberto Clemente, Puerto Rican Baseball Hall of Fame outfielder (15 x MLB All Star; World Series 1960, 71 [MVP]; Pittsburgh Pirates), dies in a plane crash at 38

  • 1980 Arthur Wellard, English cricket all-rounder (2 Tests, 7 wickets, BB 4/81; Somerset CCC), dies at 78
  • 1980 Bob Shawkey, American baseball pitcher (World Series 1923, 27; AL ERA leader 1920, New York Yankees), dies at 90
  • 1983 Bill Hunt, cricketer (Test for Aust, out 0, took 0-25 & 0-14), dies
  • 1985 Mal Matheson, New Zealand cricket fast bowler (2 Tests) and rugby union Test referee (Australia v NZ 1946), dies at 79
  • 1990 George Allen, American Pro Football HOF coach (NFL Coach of the Year 1967, 71; LA Rams, Washington Redskins), dies at 72

Woody Strode

1994 Woody Strode, American football end (LA Rams, Calgary Stampeders) and actor (Posse, Cotton Club, Vigilante, Scream), dies of lung cancer at 80

  • 2006 Liese Prokop, Austrian pentathlete (Olympic silver 1968), dies at 65
  • 2007 Tommy Dickson, British footballer (b. 1929)
  • 2007 Tony Elliott, American football player (b. 1959)
  • 2019 Basil Watts, English rugby league second rower (5 Tests Great Britain, 1 England; World Cup 1954; York RLFC), dies at 93
  • 2020 Tommy Docherty, Scottish soccer midfielder (25 caps; Preston North End) and manager (Chelsea, QPR, Scotland, Manchester United), dies at 92
  • 2021 Billy Turner Jr., American thoroughbred trainer (Triple Crown 1977 Seattle Slew), dies from prostate cancer at 81