On This Day

Deaths in Sport on December 31

  • 1896 Leland Hone, Irish cricketer (scored 7 & 6 in only England Test 1879), dies
  • 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
  • 1964 Bobby Byrne, baseball player (b. 1884)
  • 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

Person of interestRoberto 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

Baseball Player Roberto Clemente
Baseball Player
Roberto Clemente
  • 1980 Arthur Wellard, cricketer (2 Tests for England, legendary 6-hitter), dies
  • 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 NFL football coach (LA Rams, Wash Redskins), dies at 72

Person of interestWoody Strode

1994 Woody Strode, African American football player and actor (Posse, Cotton Club, Vigilante, Scream), dies of lung cancer at 80

Actor and Sportsman Woody Strode
Actor and Sportsman
Woody Strode
  • 2006 George Sisler, Jr., baseball executive (b. 1917)
  • 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