Every year at these award ceremonies we seem to celebrate many who are lost. This years Sports Personality of the Year awards were no different. But so many of the names this year are people who were still playing at the top level this year.
Many will have known a lot of those names, but did any of the average viewers know about all of them. I know I didn't know about them all. But I've done a little research to provide a bit more detail about everyone that featured.
The poet and maestro who was the voice of darts for so many for so long. From 1968 with Yorkshire TV where he comentated on Indoor League which included darts. From 1976 with the BBC until darts and Waddell moved in 1994 to Sky. Despite being diagnosed with bowel cancer last year he managed to return to the microphone for some commentary duties during the Premier League.
A winner of two medals at the London Olympics: the ones in 1948. The first was in the individual time trial. The second was in an event that Team GB now expects to dominate the Team Pursuit. But GB didn't qualify well and only were in the race for bronze. But they improved their time by 17 seconds which was faster than the French winning time over the Italians in the final. He was an ambassador for London 2012 and carried the Olympic Torch through Solihull earlier this year. He died in the Marie Curie Home in Solihull having seen the Olympics return to London and the British cyclists dominating.
A footballer who is remembered on both sides of Stanley Park, Liverpool. He started his career at Anfield with Liverpool. From 1986-92 he featured in two FA Cup winning teams, almost three doubles spoiled by Wimbledon and Mickey Thomas of Arsenal. But was part of the 1989-90 squad that won Liverpool's last league title. When Dalglish left Souness sold him to Everton, where in 1995 he became the first, and so far only, player to win the FA Cup with both the great Merseyside teams. He retired from the game in 2002 but started coaching Everton's under 17s, before moving to be reserve team manager at Liverpool in 2006. In 2009 he took over as manager of Stockport County, before a year later agreeing a one year contract to manage Ipswich Town. However, shortly after he collapsed on the training ground and was diagnosed with Non-Hodgkin lymphoma, the cancer of the blood which killed him.
The Cuban Heavyweight boxer is one of only three boxers to win three Olympic gold medals from 1972-1980. He also won three World Amateur Titles in 1974 and 78 at Heavyweight and in 1986 at Super Heavyweight, he'd lost to the eventual silver medalist in the 1982 World Championships. He was on form to win a fourth Olympic medal (potnetially gold) at both the 1984 Games and 1988. But for the first the Soviet Union led boycott meant Cuba refused to attend and Cuba again boycotted in 1988. He died of a heart attack
The left-armed spinner for Yorkshire (1957 - 74) and England had the misfortune to find himself up against Derek Underwood for the lefty spin spot so only made two tours with England and never made a home seried. In 1963-4 he went to India playing in all the matches and then 1970-71 he went to Australia and New Zealand where he played against the Kiwis. In 1970 he did play for England against the Rest of the World on home soil, but this series was later striped of test status. After retiring from playing he took up the role of chief coach of the MCC at Lords a role he held until 1991. He took 1,129 first class wickets at an average of 21.00
The winger played from Burnley, Manchester United, Blackburn Rovers and Bury. He was also part of the 1966 World Cup winning squad. What you say? How can a winger be part of Ramsey's wingless wonders? Well he played in the first game the 0-0 draw against Uruguay. He was subsequently dropped, before Ramsey did away with wingers altogether. He was one of four players who did not make up the 11 who appeared in the final and under the rules at the time earned a medal. A subsequent campaign to honour all the squad with medals resulted in him finally receiving on from the Prime Minister Gordon Brown in 2009.
The Philidelphia trainer of Italian ancestry trained and was cornerman to many world champion boxers. But he is most famously associated with Mohammed Ali, with whom he worked for most of his fights from his first professional bout in 1960 through to Ali's final bout in 1981. One notable exception was the 1971 fight against Jimmy Ellis where Dundee was in the other corner. It was Dundee that George Foreman accused of loosening the ropes before the Rumble in the Jungle in 1974. After Ali, Dundee worked with Sugar Ray Leonard (another Olympic champ) in most of his big fights.
Sarah Burke 3 Sep 1982 - 19 Jan 2012
The self made millionaire, from Newark, Notts. who ran a private equity firm with his business partner Richard Hanson. In 1999 he bought control of Nottingham Forest and was the club's chairman from that time. In October 2011, after just 10 games of the season former England coach Steve McLaren who Doughty had appointed in the summer tendered his resignation. The Chairman announced soon after that the whole enterprise that season has been a mistake and that he would be going at the end of the season as soon as a replacement could be found. He said it was the honourable thing to do. He was found dead in the gym at his house in February.
Like Sid Waddell was more often heard and not seen. He was the commentator initially on The ITV Seven and later on Channel 4 Racing indeed it was here that when John McCrirrick handed over to him he was referred to as 'My Noble Lord' the titles he inherited in 1971, 4th Baron Trevethin and 2nd Baron Oaksey. Although I said he was more often heard he did have a distinguished amateur national hunt career as John Lawrence, he won the Hennessey Gold Cup at Cheltenham in 1958 and on Carrickbeg in the 1963 Grand National missed out by three quarters of a length from winning, finishing second to Ayala.
Was an Olympic gold medal winning boxer in Melbourne 1956 in the flyweight division. He would later turn professional winning 41 or 49 professional bouts but never rising above the level of Brtish Champion. In 1972 he was a coach to the South Korean Olympic team, and he saw the Black September terrorists heading to the Israeli quarters and raised the alarm. Mere days before he died he was interviewed for Colin Murray's Gold Run on Radio 5. He was to be the only living British Olympic gold medalist to have died from the start of the planning of the series until broadcast. But as Murray had met him, the premise for the show, his interview remained in.
Mitchell Cole 6 Oct 1985 - 1 Dec 2012
The midfielder started out with West Ham, he was released in 2004 for a career largely in lower reaches of football. He found himself at Grays Athletic and the season after his release from the Hammers helped them to the Southern Conference Title and the FA Trophy. He then made his league debut in a season and half at Southend United, including helping them win League 1. Before a transfer to Stevenage Borough. He appeared in the first competitive final at the new Wembley in 2007 when Borough secured the FA Trophy, he would win it with them for his third experience of that in 2009. The 2009-10 season saw Stevenage Borough gain promotion to the Football League for the first time in their history. Shortly after this Cole was transferred to League 2 side Oxford United. However, in February 2011 Oxford announced that Cole was forced to retired with a serious heart condition, hypertrophic cardiomyopathy an irregular thickness of the heart. He carried playing some semi-professional football even this year.
Mere days before the ceremony came the news of the death of the Sale-born former Sale Shark number 8. He was the son of a Scottish judge Campbell Tait and made his international debut in the 2009 Dubai Sevens. He only made 40 appearances for the North West team before injury forced him to retire from the game in 2010. He was making a new career for himself as a corporate financier in Hong Kong when he fell from a harbour view apartment block.
Brian Woolnough 1948 - 18 Sep 2012
A sports journalist and pundit first with The Sun where he worked for 27 years. Their rivals The Mirror put in an unsuccessful attempt to poach him away. Since 2001 he worked for the Daily Star. He moved into television in 1994 with Hold the Back Page. In 2007 he replaced Jimmy Hill as the presenter of Sky Sports Sunday Supplement. In Rotterdam in 1993 he stormed post-match into the referees room to confront the official about a decision that at the time looked like it may have cost England qualification to the world cup. He also in 2004 said after a match that Norwich City were 'gutless' and would 'stink the place out', he became a hate figure in Norwich, but it was smoothed out over lunch with the club's Chairman Delia Smith. But he was proved right when the Canaries were relegated. He died of bowel cancer.
Was another journalist at the Daily Star. He had started at the Hull Daily Mail before moving to the Birmingham Evening Mail, a brief first stint at the Star as Midlands football reporter before some time at The Sunday Mirror, rejoining the Star in 2000 as Chief Football writer.He faced his own 18 month battle with cancer before passing away at the age of 40. Woolnough above was the person to write his obituary for their paper.
A speedway rider who had represented Britain at under 21 and senior level. From 2000-06 he was taking part in the Grand Prix circuit before returning to the Elite British league. He was participating in an race in Wroclaw, Poland when he crashed head first into a safety barrier and later died as a result of the internal bleeding that was caused by the crash.
Mervyn Davies 9 Dec 1946 - 15 Mar 2012
Merv the Swerve as he was affectionately known only made 38 appearances for Wales from 1969-1976. But he did win 2 Grand Slams and three Triple Crowns in that successful period of Welsh Rugby Union. He also made 8 appearances for the Lions during their 1971 and 74 Tours. His career ended when he suffered a subarachnoid haemorrhage while captaining Swansea against Pontypool in 1976. He was a smoker and in 2011 was diagnosed with the lung cancer that led to his death.
More to come tomorrow.