Final farewells: Deaths in world of sport in 2022 | More sports News

PARIS: Shane Warne, Bill Russell, Lester Piggot were among the top sports stars who died in the past year.
Date of death: July 31, 2022
Age: 88
Bill Russell won a record 11 NBA crowns as the cornerstone of a Boston Celtics dynasty, overcame racism to become the league’s first black superstar and was a prominent civil rights activist.
He was the first black coach to win the NBA Finals. That triumph came in 1968, all the more poignant because just weeks after the assassination of civil rights leader Martin Luther King.
“A good man and a great American who did everything he could to fulfill America’s promise to all Americans,” said US President Joe Biden.
Date of death: September 1, 2022
Age: 78
“Earnie (Shavers) hit me so hard he shook my loved ones in Africa,” Muhammad Ali remarked after their 1977 world heavyweight title fight which Ali won after 15 thrilling rounds.
One of 10 children, Shavers’ family fled Alabama under threat from the Ku Klux Klan. He didn’t start boxing until his early twenties, but his fearsome punch didn’t just impress Ali.
“I was in fantasy land. I heard saxophones and trombones ringing in my ear… I saw little blue rats coming out to smoke cigars, drink whiskey, man,” said another opponent, James “Quick” Tillis.
Date of death: March 4, 2022
Age: 52
Considered by many sports-mad Aussies second only to Don Bradman, Shane Warne blended legendary cricket acts with colorful titles away from the pitch, earning him the nickname ‘Hollywood’ in a career as spellbinding as his famously wrong.
Warne won 708 wickets in a career spanning 145 Tests. “I should think there have been a lot of great cricketers, great spinners and great spinners, but Warnie will always be, certainly from my point of view, the No. 1,” said Mike Gatting, who was on the wrong side. Warne’s “Prom of the Century” in 1993.
Date of death: March 4, 2022
Age: 74
A flamboyant Australian wicketkeeper – nicknamed ‘Iron Gloves’ – he made his international debut in 1970 against England before retiring in 1984 with what was then a world record 355 Test dismissals, 95 from Dennis bowling Lillee.
He was no average batsman either, becoming the first Australian wicketkeeper to score in a Test century, against Pakistan in 1982.
Date of death: July 21, 2022
Age: 85
Played in all four World Cups Pelé took part in (1958-70) but unlike the Brazilian legend, Seeler never lifted the trophy. The closest to him was leading the side that lost to England in the 1966 final.
Like his father, Seeler played for Hamburg from 1953 to 1972 where he is affectionately called “Uns Uwe” (Our Uwe) making 476 appearances.
“Uwe Seeler represents everything that characterizes a good person: down-to-earth, loyalty, zest for life, and he was always approachable,” Hamburg board member Jonas Boldt said.
Date of death: January 1, 2022
Age: 77
The bespectacled coach shares with legendary Buffalo Bills coach Marv Levy and Minnesota Vikings Bud Grant the most visits to a Super Bowl without ever winning (four).
Ironically, his last trip to the Super Bowl in 1999 allowed the Broncos (whom he had taken to the Super Bowl three times) to beat his Atlanta Falcons. He won a Super Bowl ring – as a running back for the Dallas Cowboys.
Date of death: May 29, 2022
Age: 86
For many, the greatest jockey of all time. Known as “The Long Fellow”, Lester Piggott rode a record nine Epsom Derby winners.
Piggott, who rode his first winner aged just 12, served a year in prison for tax evasion in 1987 and then made a shock return to riding.
He memorably reunited with Irish coach Vincent O’Brien to win the prestigious Breeders’ Cup Mile at the Royal Academy aged 54 in 1990.
“Lester was walking around with an aura around him,” arch rival Willie Carson said.
Date of death: June 12, 2022
Age: 73
Considered the best fly-half to play for Wales, a pivot from the country’s glory years in the 1970s, who became a cult figure due to a pre-match speech full of grievances ahead of face England, the old enemy, in Cardiff in 1977. .
“Look what those bastards have done to Wales. They took our coal, our water, our steel. They buy our houses and live there two weeks a year. What did they give us? Bennett said.
“Absolutely nothing. We’ve been exploited, raped, controlled and punished by the English – and that’s who you’re playing against this afternoon,” Bennett said. Wales won 14-9.
Date of death: February 24, 2022
Age: 52
Affectionately known as ‘Inga the Winger’ by rugby union and rugby league fans, he played for the All Blacks in Union and Samoa in both codes. He was also a member of the Wigan team which dominated rugby league in the 1990s.
Date of death: December 4, 2022
Age: 91
Legendary trainer who helped develop superstars like Andre Agassi and Maria Sharapova.
The demanding routine for children and teenagers living and training at the Korean War Veterans Academy has produced results but also drawn criticism.
“I hated it at Bollettieri’s academy,” Agassi said. “The only way out was to succeed.”
Bollettieri, however, remained unrepentant. “I did what had to be done. Tennis is not a sport for altar boys.”


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