Pele, Shane Warne and Invoice Russell — simply three sports activities icons who handed away in 2022.
AFP Sport appears at their legacies in addition to 9 different high-profile sports activities stars to have died during the last 12 months:
— He received a file 11 NBA crowns as a cornerstone of a Boston Celtics dynasty, overcame racism to change into the league’s first Black celebrity and was a distinguished civil rights activist.
He was the primary Black coach to win the NBA Finals. That triumph got here in 1968, particularly poignant because it was simply weeks after civil rights chief Martin Luther King’s assassination.
“A great man and nice American who did every little thing he might to ship the promise of America for all People,” mentioned US President Joe Biden.
Earnie Shavers — Died aged 78 on September 1
— “Earnie hit me so laborious it shook my kinfolk in Africa,” remarked Muhammad Ali after their 1977 heavyweight world title bout which Ali received after 15 pulsating rounds.
Certainly one of 10 kids, Shavers’ household fled Alabama below threats from the Ku Klux Klan. He solely took up boxing in his early 20s however his fearsome punch left not simply Ali in awe.
“I used to be within the land of make-believe. I heard saxophones and trombones sounding in my ear… I noticed little blue rats scamper out to smoke cigars, drink whisky, man,” mentioned one other opponent, James ‘Fast’ Tillis.
Shane Warne — Died aged 52 on March 4
— Regarded by many in sports-mad Australia as second solely to Don Bradman, Warne blended legendary cricket deeds with colourful headlines away from the pitch incomes him the nickname ‘Hollywood’ in a profession as bewitching as his famed improper ‘un.
Warne took 708 wickets in a 145-Take a look at profession. “I ought to assume there have been numerous nice cricketers, nice spinners and nice leg-spinners however Warnie will all the time be, actually from my standpoint, the No. 1,” mentioned Mike Gatting, who was on the improper finish of Warne’s ‘ball of the century’ in 1993.
Rod Marsh — Died aged 74 on March 4
— A flamboyant Australian wicketkeeper — nicknamed ‘Iron Gloves’ — he made his worldwide debut in 1970 towards England earlier than retiring in 1984 with what was then a world-record 355 Take a look at dismissals, 95 off the bowling of Dennis Lillee.
He was no imply batsman both changing into the primary Aussie wicketkeeper to attain a Take a look at century, towards Pakistan in 1982.
— The Brazilian celebrity whose title grew to become synonymous together with his sport, “O Rei” (The King) is the one footballer in historical past to win three World Cups — 1958, 1962 and 1970.
Recognized for his genius with the ball, he epitomized the chic type of play referred to as “samba soccer” in Brazil, the place he was declared a “nationwide treasure.”
Pele scored an all-time file 1,281 targets in 1,363 matches for Santos (1956-74), the Brazilian nationwide crew, and the New York Cosmos (1975-77).
“Soccer has misplaced the best participant in its historical past,” mentioned German legend Franz Beckenbauer.
George Cohen – Died on December 23 aged 83
— The 37-times capped defender performed each minute of England’s victorious 1966 marketing campaign that culminated in a 4-2 extra-time win over the then West Germany to provide England their first and solely World Cup.
Cohen spent his complete profession with Fulham, taking part in 459 video games for the Cottagers from 1956-1969 earlier than a knee harm reduce brief his profession at 29.
Uwe Seeler – Died on July 21 aged 85
— Performed in all 4 World Cups by which Pele appeared (1958-70) however not like the Brazilian legend by no means lifted the trophy. The closest he got here was captaining the aspect that misplaced to England within the 1966 remaining.
Like his father, Seeler performed for Hamburg from 1953 to 1972 the place he’s referred to fondly as ‘Uns Uwe’ (Our Uwe) making 476 appearances.
Dan Reeves — Died on January 1 aged 77
— The bespectacled coach shares with Buffalo Payments legendary coach Marv Levy and Minnesota Vikings’ Bud Grant, probably the most visits to a Tremendous Bowl with out ever successful (4).
Paradoxically his final journey to the Tremendous Bowl in 1999 resulted within the Broncos (who he had taken thrice to the Tremendous Bowl) beating his Atlanta Falcons. He did win one Tremendous Bowl ring – as a working again for the Dallas Cowboys.
Lester Piggott — Died on Could 29 aged 86
— For a lot of the best jockey of all time. Often called the ‘Lengthy Fellow’, he rode a file 9 Epsom Derby winners.
Piggott, who rode his first winner aged simply 12, served a 12 months in jail for tax fraud in 1987 after which made a shock return to driving.
He memorably reunited with Irish coach Vincent O’Brien to win the distinguished Breeders’ Cup Mile on Royal Academy on the age of 54 in 1990.
“Lester walked about with an aura about him,” mentioned his nice rival Willie Carson.
Phil Bennett – Died on June 12 aged 73
— Thought-about to be the best fly-half to play for Wales, pivotal to the nation’s glory years in the course of the Seventies who grew to become a cult determine as a result of a grievance-laced pre-match speech earlier than dealing with England, the outdated enemy, in Cardiff in 1977.
“Look what these bastards have achieved to Wales. They’ve taken our coal, our water, our metal. They purchase our properties and reside in them for a fortnight yearly. What have they given us?” he mentioned.
“Completely nothing. We’ve been exploited, raped, managed and punished by the English – and that’s who you’re taking part in this afternoon,” mentioned Bennett. Wales received 14-9.
Va’aiga Tuigimala — Died on February 24 aged 52
— Affectionately referred to as ‘Inga the winger’ to followers of each rugby union and rugby league, he performed for the All Blacks in union and Samoa in each codes. He was additionally a member of the Wigan aspect that dominated rugby league within the Nineteen Nineties.
Nick Bollettieri — Died on December 4 aged 91
— Legendary coach who helped develop superstars reminiscent of Andre Agassi and Maria Sharapova.
The demanding routine for youngsters and adolescents residing and coaching on the Korean Battle veteran’s academy produced outcomes but in addition drew criticism.
“I hated it at Bollettieri’s academy,” mentioned Agassi. “The one approach I might get out was to succeed.”
Bollettieri, although, remained unrepentant. “I did what needed to be achieved. Tennis just isn’t a sport for choirboys.”
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