Deaths in Sport on February 2

John L. SullivanJohn L. Sullivan (1858-1918)

American boxer (first heavyweight gloved champion, de facto 1882-92; last heavyweight bare-knuckle champion), dies at 59

Jaap EdenJaap Eden (1873-1925)

Dutch athlete (World Cycling C'ship gold 10k 1894, sprint 1895; World Speed Skating C'ship gold allround 1893, 95, 96), dies at 51

  • 1943 Jack Burke Sr., American golfer (US open 1920 runner-up; Senior PGA C'ship 1941), dies at 54
  • 1945 Joe Hunt, American tennis player (US National C'ship 1943), dies in fighter plane crash during training at 25
  • 1948 Bevil Rudd, South African athlete (Olympic gold 400m 1920), dies at 53
  • 1959 Frank DeCaires, West Indian cricket batsman (3 Tests, 2 x 50; British Guiana), dies at 49
  • 1969 Giovanni Martinelli, Italian operatic spinto tenor singer (New York Metropolitan Opera, 1913-45), dies at 83
  • 1976 Harry Elliott, England cricket wicket-keeper (4 Tests, 11 dismissals; Derbyshire CCC), dies at 84
  • 1979 Jim Burke, Australian cricket batsman (24 Tests; record for most innings in a complete career without scoring a duck [44]) and broadcaster (ABC), dies of self inflicted gunshot wounds at 48
  • 1983 Bryan Valentine, British cricket batsman (7 Tests, 2 x 100; Kent CCC, Cambridge University CC), dies at 75
  • 1987 Carlos Castilho, Brazilian soccer goalkeeper (25 caps; Fluminense FC 697 games) and manager (Santos FC, SE Palmeiras), dies by suicide at 59
  • 1989 Ondrej Nepela, Slovak figure skater (Olympic gold men's singles 1972; World C'ships gold 1971, 72, 73), dies from cancer of the lymph nodes at 38
  • 1990 Joe Erskine, Welsh boxer (British heavyweight champion 1956-58), dies at 56

Fred PerryFred Perry (1909-1995)

English tennis player/broadcaster (8 x Grand Slam singles, 6 x Grand Slam doubles titles; Davis Cup 1933, 34, 35, 36), dies of broken ribs at 85

  • 1997 Erich Eliskases, Austrian chess player (grandmaster 1952), dies at 83
  • 2004 Róbert Zimonyi, Hungarian rowing coxswain (Olympic gold USA men's eight 1964; bronze Hungary coxed pair 1948), dies at 85
  • 2005 Max Schmeling, German boxer (world heavyweight champion 1930-32), dies at 99
  • 2007 Masao Takemoto, Japanese gymnast (Olympic gold team 1960; 3 x silver 1952, 56, 60; 3 x bronze 1956), dies from cholangiocarcinoma at 87
  • 2013 Pepper Paire, American National Women's Baseball Hall of Fame catcher (1948 AAGPBL All-Star Team), dies at 88
  • 2013 Walt Sweeney, American football offensive lineman (9 × Pro Bowl; First-team All-Pro 1967, 68; San Diego Chargers), dies from pancreatic cancer at 71
  • 2021 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
  • 2022 Bill Fitch, American Basketball HOF coach (NBA C'ship 1981, Boston Celtics; NBA Coach of the Year 1976, 80; NBA All-Star coach 1982; Cleveland Cavaliers; NJ Nets, Houston Rockets, LA Clippers), dies at 89
  • 2022 Hamid Zouba, Algerian soccer manager (Algerian national team x 6 separate spells), dies at 86
  • 2022 Mosese Taga, Fijian rugby union front rower (48 Tests; Suva RFU, Nabua RUFC), dies at 57
  • 2022 Roy Purdon, New Zealand harness-racing trainer (21 x NZ trainers premierships; 4 x NZ cup winners; 54 x Group One wins), dies at 94