The Last Farewell: Sports Deaths in 2022

Pele, Shane Warne and Bill Russell – are just three sports icons who have passed away in 2022. AFP Sport looks at their legacy as well as nine other famous sports stars who have passed away in the past year:


Bill Russel— Died at 88 on July 31 – He earned a record 11 NBA championships as the cornerstone of the Boston Celtics dynasty, overcoming racism to become a superstar The league’s first black and a prominent civil rights activist.

He was the first Black coach to win the NBA Finals. That victory came in 1968, especially poignant because it was just weeks after the assassination of civil rights leader Martin Luther King.

“A good man and a great American did everything he could to bring back the promise of America to all Americans,” said US President Joe Biden.


Earnie’s Shaver — Died at age 78 on September 1st– “Earnie hit me so hard that it shook my relatives in Africa,” commented Muhammad Ali after his 1977 heavyweight world title match in which Ali fought. won after 15 intense rounds.

One of 10 children, the Shavers family fled Alabama under threat from the Ku Klux Klan. He only started boxing when he was in his early 20s, but his fearsome punches shocked more than just Ali.

“I’m in the land of trust. I hear saxophones and trombones in my ears… I see little blue mice running outside to smoke cigars, drink whiskey,” said one partner. another player, James ‘Quick’ Tillis, said.


Shane warned — Died aged 52 on 4 March- Considered by many in sports-mad Australia as second only to Don Bradman, Warne blended legendary cricket feats with colorful headlines Off the pitch earned him the nickname ‘Hollywood’ during a career as mesmerizing as his famous false ‘un.

Warne has won 708 catches in a career of 145 Tests. “I should think there have been a lot of great cricketers, great spinners and great foot swingers but in my opinion, Warnie will always be number one,” said Mike Gatting, who was at the wrong end of the contest, said. Warne’s “Ball of the Century” in 1993.

que swamp — Died at the age of 74 on 4 March- A flamboyant Australian table tennis player — nicknamed the ‘Iron Glove’ — he made his international debut in 1970 against England before retiring in 1984 with the then world record of 355 dismissals on the Test, 95 eliminations from Dennis Lillee’s bowling game.

He wasn’t a bad player as he became the first Australian hitter to score in the Test of the Century, against Pakistan in 1982.


Pellet – Died December 29 at the age of 82– Brazilian superstar whose name is synonymous with his sport, “O Rei” (King) is the only footballer in history to win three championships World Cup — 1958, 1962 and 1970.

Known for his genius with the ball, he is the epitome of the sublime play known as “samba football” in Brazil, where he has been declared a “national treasure”.

Pele scored an all-time record 1,281 goals in 1,363 games for Santos (1956-74), the Brazilian national team and the New York Cosmos (1975-77).

German legend Franz Beckenbauer said: “Football has lost the greatest player in its history.

George Cohen – Died December 23 at the age of 83– The 37-time capped defender played every minute of England’s all-out 1966 campaign culminating in a 4-2 extra-time victory over West Germany was then England’s team to bring England its first and only world championship.

Cohen spent his entire career with Fulham, playing 459 games for the Cottagers from 1956-1969 before a knee injury cut short his career at the age of 29.

Uwe Seeler– Died July 21 at the age of 85– Played in all four World Cups that Pele participated in (1958-70) but unlike the Brazilian legend never lifted the trophy. The last time he came was captain of the team that lost to England in the final in 1966.

Like his father, Seeler played for Hamburg from 1953 to 1972, where he was affectionately known as ‘Uns Uwe’ (our Uwe) with 476 appearances.


Dan Reeves — Died January 1 at age 77– The glasses coach shares the legendary Buffalo Bills’ coaches Marv Levy and the Minnesota Vikings’ Bud Grant, who had the most Super Bowl appearances without ever winning (four).

Ironically, his last trip to the Super Bowl in 1999 resulted in the Broncos (the team for which he was in the Super Bowl three times) beating his Atlanta Falcons. He won a Super Bowl ring – when running back to the Dallas Cowboys.


Lester Piggott — Died May 29 at the age of 86– To many, the greatest racer of all time. Known as ‘The Longtime Friend’, he has a record nine Epsom Derby winners.

Piggott, who rode his first winner at the age of 12, served a year in prison for tax fraud in 1987 and then shocked back into riding.

He reunited memorably with Irish coach Vincent O’Brien to win the prestigious Breeders’ Cup Mile at the Royal Academy at the age of 54 in 1990.

His big rival, Willie Carson, said: “Lester walks around with an aura around him.

Rugby team

Phil Bennett – Died June 12 at the age of 73– Considered the best player to play for Wales, a mainstay of the country’s glory years in the 1970s, who became a cult figure thanks to his disgruntled pre-match speech before facing England, the old enemy, in Cardiff in 1977.

“Look what these bastards have done to Wales. They take our coal, water, steel. They buy our house and live in it for two weeks a year. What have they given us?” he say.

“Absolutely nothing. We were taken advantage of, raped, controlled and punished by the British – and that’s who you’ll be playing this afternoon,” Bennett said. Wales won 14-9.

Rugby League/League

Va’aiga Tuigimala — Died February 24 at age 52– Affectionately known as ‘winger Inga’ by fans of both the rugby league and rugby league, he played for the All Blacks. in union and Samoa in both codes. He was also a member of the Wigan team that dominated rugby league in the 1990s.


Nick Bollettieri— Died December 4 at age 91– Legendary coach who helped develop superstars like Andre Agassi and Maria Sharapova.

The demanding habit of children and young people living and training at the academy for Korean War veterans has paid off but has also been criticized.

Agassi said: “I hated it at Bollettieri’s academy. “The only way I can get out is to succeed.”

However, Bollettieri remained unrepentant. “I did what had to be done. Tennis is not a sport for choir boys.”

(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and was automatically generated from an aggregated feed.)

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