Deaths in sports

This is a list of sports people who have died either during their respective careers or due to career-ending injury or disease at an age when they could still have been active. It includes both on-duty and off-duty deaths, although there are separate lists for the former in sports which have an especially high number. People who had announced their retirement from sport despite still being at an age when they could still have been active are not listed.


Air sport

Does not include those who died in aircraft sport crashes such as aerobatics and air racing. Those names go in a separate article.

American football

Pro Football

Arena Football League

National Football League

This table includes players who left the NFL for active military service. Each player is listed with team he last played for before death, rather than the team he spent most of his playing career with.

Player Age Position Team cause of death Year
Jeff Alm 25 DT Houston Oilers suicide 1993
Ralph Anderson 24 WR Los Angeles Chargers (AFL) diabetic reaction 1960
Eric Andolsek 25 OG Detroit Lions car accident 1992
Troy Archer 24 DE New York Giants car accident 1979
Brad Beckman 24 TE Atlanta Falcons car accident 1989
Jovan Belcher 25 LB Kansas City Chiefs suicide 2012
Ricky Bell 29 RB San Diego Chargers complications of dermatomyositis 1984
Leon Bender 22 DT Oakland Raiders seizure 1998
Al Blozis 26 OT New York Giants killed in World War II 1945
Jerome Brown 27 DT Philadelphia Eagles car accident 1992
Jerry Brown 25 LB Dallas Cowboys car accident 2012
Frank Buncom 29 LB Cincinnati Bengals (AFL) blood clot 1969
Jeff Burkett 26 P Chicago Cardinals (NFL) plane crash 1947
Brandon Burlsworth 22 OL Indianapolis Colts car accident 1999
J.V. Cain 28 TE St. Louis Cardinals heart attack 1979
Marcus Cassel 23 DB Carolina Panthers car accident 2006
Rusty Chambers 22 LB Miami Dolphins car accident 1981
Kirk Collins 25 CB Los Angeles Rams esophageal cancer 1984
Marquis Cooper 26 LB Oakland Raiders lost at sea 2009
David Croudip 30 DB Atlanta Falcons drug overdose 1988
Rodney Culver 26 RB San Diego Chargers plane crash 1996
Shane Curry 24 DL Indianapolis Colts homicide 1992
Ernie Davis 23 RB Cleveland Browns leukemia 1963†
Joe Delaney 24 RB Kansas City Chiefs drowned 1983
Terry Dillon 22 DB Minnesota Vikings drowned 1964
Jim Duncan 26 DB Baltimore Colts suicide 1972
Bo Farrington 28 TE Chicago Bears car accident 1964
Don Fleming 25 DB Cleveland Browns accidental electrocution 1963
Willie Galimore 29 RB Chicago Bears car accident 1964
Blenda Gay 26 DE Philadelphia Eagles homicide 1976
Howard Glenn 26 OG New York Titans (AFL) neck injury (in-game) 1960
Larry Gordon 28 LB Miami Dolphins heart attack 1983
David Griggs 28 LB San Diego Chargers car accident 1995
Roger Hagberg 31 TE Oakland Raiders (AFL) car accident 1970
Chris Henry 26 WR Cincinnati Bengals road accident 2009
Thomas Herrion 23 G San Francisco 49ers Ischaemic heart disease 2005
Mack Lee Hill 25 FB Kansas City Chiefs (AFL) pulmonary embolism 1965
Marquise Hill 24 DE New England Patriots drowned 2007
Chuck Hughes 28 WR Detroit Lions cardiac arrest (in-game) 1971
Stone Johnson 23 RB Kansas City Chiefs (AFL) neck injury (in-game) 1963††
Bob Kalsu 25 OL Buffalo Bills (AFL) killed in Vietnam War 1970
Fred Lane 22 RB Carolina Panthers homicide 2000
Bob Laraba 28 LB San Diego Chargers (AFL) car accident 1962
Eugene "Big Daddy" Lipscomb 31 DT Pittsburgh Steelers drug overdose 1963
Jack Lummus 29 End New York Giants killed in World War II, Received Medal of Honor 1945
Stan Mauldin 27 T Chicago Cardinals heart attack 1948
Kenny McKinley 23 WR Denver Broncos suicide 2010
Bruce McLenna 26 FB Kansas City Chiefs (AFL) died in highway accident 1968
O.J. Murdock 25 WR Tennessee Titans suicide 2012
Damien Nash 24 RB Denver Broncos cardiac failure 2007
Ralph Norwood 23 OT Atlanta Falcons car accident 1989
David Overstreet 25 RB Miami Dolphins car accident 1984
Brian Piccolo 26 FB Chicago Bears cancer 1970
Ron Rector 24 RB Atlanta Falcons motorcycle accident 1968
Lucien Reeberg 21 OT Detroit Lions heart attack 1964
Don Rogers 23 FS Cleveland Browns drug overdose 1986
Corey Smith 29 DE Detroit Lions lost at sea 2009
Dave Sparks 26 DT Washington Redskins heart attack 1954
Andy Spiva 24 LB Atlanta Falcons car accident 1979
Korey Stringer 27 OT Minnesota Vikings heat stroke during practice 2001
Sean Taylor 24 FS Washington Redskins homicide 2007
Derrick Thomas 33 LB Kansas City Chiefs pulmonary embolism following injuries sustained in a car accident 2000
Pat Tillman 27 DB Arizona Cardinals killed by friendly fire in duty in Afghanistan 2004
Stacey Toran 27 DB Los Angeles Raiders car accident 1989
Eric Turner 31 DB Oakland Raiders stomach cancer 2000
Fred Washington 23 DT Chicago Bears car accident 1990
Dave Waymer 34 DB Los Angeles Raiders heart attack 1993
Darrent Williams 24 CB Denver Broncos homicide 2007

† Davis was under contract when he died though did not play in a game due to his illness.
†† Johnson was injured in a pre-season game and did not play in a regular season game.

NFL Europe



NCAA and NAIA Football

Player Age University Position Cause of death Year
Rodney Abercrombie 23 California University of Pennsylvania defensive back injuries from jumping out of second story window to escape armed assailant 2003
Keith Adams 23 Gettysburg College jeep accident 2002
Bill Allen 18 Central Missouri State College (now University of Central Missouri) death during practice 1965
Don Anderson Gustavus Adolphus College team bus crash 1938
Chris Angeloff 20 University of Akron tight end during game against Marshall University 1975
Sal Aunese 21 University of Colorado quarterback stomach cancer 1989
Avery Atkins 20 University of Florida cornerback MDMA overdose 2007
Eraste Autin 18 University of Florida fullback heat stroke 2001
Marlin Barnes 22 University of Miami linebacker homicide 1996
Paul Becker Cal Tech center skull fracture suffered in Cal Tech-La Verne College game 1939
Todd Becker 20 University of Pittsburgh linebacker fall from third story dormitory window 1982
Nick Bell 20 Mississippi State University defensive end brain cancer 2010
Vernon Belyea Norwich University injuries suffered in game vs. Holy Cross 1913
Heath Benedict 24 Newberry College offensive tackle enlarged heart 2008
Vince Bernardo 17 Shippensburg University of Pennsylvania offensive lineman during drills 2006
Brook Berringer 22 University of Nebraska quarterback plane crash 1996
Kendall Berry 22 Florida International University running back homicide (stabbed) 2010
Preston Birdsong 18 Tennessee Tech defensive back heat illness 2000
Jackie Blanding 26 Albany State University defensive lineman collapsed while running off-campus 2003
Dave Bliss 20 College of San Mateo head injury in game against Santa Monica City College 1967
Thomas E. Bloom 21 Purdue University fullback car accident 1963
Michael Bochette 20 Cumberland University murder 2002
Douglas Boe 21 Princeton tailback head injury suffered in game 16 months earlier 1968
Austin Box[8] 22 University of Oklahoma linebacker drug overdose 2011[9]
Taylor Bradford 21 University of Memphis defensive tackle homicide 2007
Alan Buder 18 University of Pennsylvania defensive tackle blood infection after leg injury in junior varsity game against Harvard 1964
Eugene Byrne Army in-game injuries vs. Harvard 1909
Derringer Cade 20 Northeast Missouri State University (now Truman State University) during game vs. Southwest Baptist University 1990
Chris Campbell 21 University of Miami linebacker car accident 2002
Ed Christian[10] 20 Auburn University offensive lineman homicide 2012[11]
Chris Cooper 21 University of New Mexico lineman cardiac arrest during workout 1990
Teddy Craft 22 Georgia Southern University wide receiver motorcycle accident 2009
Carl Dahlbeck Purdue University locker room explosion 1936
Tony Danckert 20 Boston University linebacker reaction to anesthesia 1976
Mario Danelo 21 USC kicker fall from a cliff 2007
Devaughn Darling 19 Florida State University linebacker cardiac arrhythmia, possible sickle cell complications 2001
Joseph Delaney Villanova University fullback car accident 1932
Ray Dennison 26 Fort Lewis A&M (now Fort Lewis College) in-game death 1955
Berndt Diettrich Simon Fraser University drowning as a result of heart failure
Trent DiGiuro 20 University of Kentucky offensive guard homicide 1994
Doug Dilk 21 University of Evansville guard car accident 1981
Keeley Dorsey 19 University of South Florida running back long QT syndrome 2007
Kwane Doster 21 Vanderbilt University running back homicide 2004
Aaron Douglas[12] 21 University of Alabama offensive tackle found dead in a house in Fernandina Beach, Florida 2011[13]
Todd Doxey 19 University of Oregon defensive back drowning 2008
Butch Duhe 21 Louisiana State University quarterback brain hemorrhage 1970
Tyrone Duplessis 21 Louisiana Tech running back heart attack 2012[14]
Arthur Ehlers University of Iowa brain hemorrhage suffered in freshman vs. varsity game 1933
Chris Emerson 19 University of Kansas fullback pulmonary embolism 1982
Brandon Fails 18 Texas A&M University blood clot in leg 2002
Cody Fanning 20 Doane College fall from truck 2012
Ben Flick 19 University of Cincinnati offensive lineman car accident 2013[15]
Donald Foley 19 United States Naval Academy (Navy) fullback spinal cord injury during practice 1961
William Foster 20 Johnson C. Smith University guard internal injuries suffered when kicked in the stomach during practice 1961
Billy Gaines 19 University of Pittsburgh fall through church ceiling 2003
Tommy Gannon Purdue University locker room explosion 1936
Richard Giardi 22 College of the Holy Cross accidental overdose of anesthesia 1968
George Gipp 25 University of Notre Dame strep throat infection and pneumonia 1920
James Glenn 19 Texas A&M University place kicker heart ailment before practice 1991
Cecil Gooding University of Michigan guard typhoid 1904
Vernon Grant 22 Oklahoma State University car crash 2005
Kenneth Gray Oregon State University tackle traffic accident 1981
Reggie Grob 19 University of Texas at Austin guard heat stroke during practice 1962
Michael Guliford 19 University of Florida motorcycle accident 2007
Patrick Gullahorn 19 Vanderbilt offensive lineman fall from sixth floor dorm window 1997
Jayson Gwinn 20 Ohio State University car accident 1993
Brandon Hall 19 University of Minnesota homicide (shooting) 2002
Harold Hamm Dartmouth College fullback lightning strike while fishing 1928
Eddie Hanna 24 Colorado A&M (now Colorado State University) halfback heart attack following game vs. Colorado College 1949
Edwin Hartman 22 Geneva College quarterback car accident 1983
Ron Hatchett 21 Doane College tackle ammonia gas leak from ruptured tank car 1969
Danroy “DJ’’ Henry Jr. 20 Pace University wide receiver and defensive back police shooting 2010[16]
Dibrell Hicks Carson-Newman College shooting 1927
Brian Hiemer 21 University of Nebraska suicide 1985
Edwin Hill New York University halfback accidental shooting during a prank 1929
Wilson Holloway University of Tulsa defensive lineman Hodgkin's lymphoma 2011[17]
Demetre Homer 19 Yale guard brain injury suffered in JV game 1952
Jasper Howard 20 University of Connecticut homicide (stabbed) 2009
Earl Hundley Georgetown College tackle heart attack during practice 1962
Kordero Hunter 21 Central State University defensive back shooting 2011
James Hyde 18 Howard College following practice 1965
Jawan Jackson 19 Northern Illinois University during conditioning drills 2002
JeKelcy Johnson 20 Alcorn State University linebacker shooting 2001
Diondre Johnson[18] 19 Missouri Southern State University Tight End car crash 2011[19]
Renard Johnson [20] 21 Missouri Southern State University Running Back car crash 2009
Marcus Jones 18 Samford University heart ailment after practice 1989
William Wayne Jones 19 Tennessee State University Defensive Back collapsed during a non-contact practice 2012[21]
Mike Karas 23 Geneva College quarterback car accident 1958
Mike Kelsey SMU center heat prostration during practice 1962
John Karkoska 19 Baylor University offensive lineman during pre-game warmups 1990
John Kaczmarski 18 Utica College snowmobile accident 2008
Kelly Kent 21 Abilene Christian University running back heart attack during intramural basketball game 1979
Kevin Keyes 18 Charleston Southern University running back shooting during a carjacking 1998
Allen Kidder 22 USC blood infection after human bite 1936
Anthony Lalum 19 University of Mary car accident 2003
Andrew Lang University of Pennsylvania neck fracture during game vs. Mercersberg Academy 1922
Robert Lewin 20 Baltimore Medical College tackle heart attack in game vs. Navy 1903
Josh Linthicum 19 Wabash College during surgery 2010
Nick Liotta 22 Villanova guard hanging in dorm 1951
Dale Lloyd 19 Rice University defensive back during workout 2006
Charles "Sonny" Lohr 19 University of Maryland center heat stroke 1959
Polo Manukainiu 19 Texas A&M Defense end car crash 2013
Sean Matti 22 Purdue University Running Back drowning in lake 2011
Bobby McBride Wilkes College defensive back cerebral hemorrhage in game against Kings Point 1972
Alexander "Tennessee" McClelland Bluffton University bone cancer 2011
Michael McCrimmins[22] 19 Missouri Southern State University Defensive Back car crash 2011[23]
Keffer McGee 22 Mississippi State University running back drowning in swimming pool 1997
Jay McGillis 21 Boston College linebacker cancer 1992
Stan McGuire Oregon State lineman toboggan accident, struck by car 1950
Ken Meenan 26 University of Illinois running back blood poisoning following motorcycle accident 1934
Naeshall D. Menard 20 Louisiana State University Center suicide 1998
Jarvis Midgett 18 University of Tampa tackle brain injury during workout drill 1954
Kyndle Mongeon 20 Colgate University offensive tackle stabbing 1993
Harold Moore Union College (New York) halfback skull fracture in game vs. New York University 1905
Stanley Moore Michigan College of Mines (now Michigan Technological University) shooting 1931
Darris Morris 21 Catawba College linebacker shooting 2002
Edward Morrissey St. Ambrose College blood poisoning after in-game leg injury 1913
Martin Morrow 21 Morgan Park Jr. College cerebral hemorrhage 1938
Chucky Mullins 21 University of Mississippi spinal cord injury after 1989 on-field collision 1991
Rudolph Munk West Virginia University halfback concussion after being kicked in the head during a game 1910
Cornelius Murphy Fordham University brain injury suffered in game vs. Bucknell 1931
Ruben Narcisse 19 University of Wyoming linebacker truck accident 2010
Aaron O'Neal 19 University of Missouri defensive back viral meningitis 2005[24]
Greg Page 19 University of Kentucky defensive end neck injury sustained in practice 1967[25][26]
L.L. Paine Cornell University internal injuries suffered in a scrimmage 1910
John Pappas 20 Boston University guard head injuries suffered in Boston University-Syracuse game 1953
Nick Pasquale 20 UCLA wide receiver hit by a car 2013[27]
Bryan Pata 22 University of Miami homicide 2006
Ladarious Phillips[28] 20 Auburn University fullback homicide 2012[11]
Kovensky Pierre 18 Bethune-Cookman offensive lineman car accident 2004
Alfred Pimm Amherst College halfback spinal injuries incurred during practice 1926
Cole Pittman 21 University of Texas defensive tackle car crash 2001
Ereck Plancher 19 University of Central Florida athlete heat stroke 2008
Greg Pratt 20 Auburn University fullback collapsed on practice field 1983
Gregory Pratt 19 Abilene Christian University pulmonary aspiration 1980
Ted Presley University of Kentucky shooting while playing Russian roulette 1993
Bob Priester University of Mississippi defensive lineman while running laps 1965
Charles Prior Lehigh University injuries suffered in game vs. West Virginia Wesleyan 1925
Michael Rakov 20 Williams College guard car accident 1955
Francis "Buzz" Randall 20 Oregon State center leukemia 1958
Demarius Reed 20 Eastern Michigan wide receiver homicide by gunshot 2013[29]
Robert Reid Centenary College of Louisiana murder 1925
Mike Reily 21 Williams College center and middle linebacker Hodgkin's disease 1964[30]
Aaron Richardson 18 Bowling Green State University during practice 2004
Joe Roth 21 University of California Berkeley quarterback melanoma 1977
Brandon Rouse 20 Clemson defensive tackle heart attack 2000
Rich Royster 20 Central Connecticut State University defensive tackle car accident 2011
Ja'Mine Rozzell 18 University of New Mexico fullback drowning in river 1997
John "Button" Salmon 22 University of Arizona quarterback car crash 1926[31]
Wesley Salonen 23 Montana School of Mines (now Montana Tech of the University of Montana) center neck fracture in game vs. Eastern Montana 1951
Daniel Schatz 19 University of Missouri quarterback car accident 2010
Allan Schafer 17 University of Wisconsin–Madison quarterback injuries sustained in a game versus Iowa 1944
Garrett Schlichtemeier 19 Chadron State College car accident 2010
Steve Schoenecker 18 Platteville State University (now University of Wisconsin-Platteville) heart attack at practice 1969
Bryan Scott Knox College tackle neck injury in game vs. Saint Louis University 1915
Stephen Seard 20 Johnson C. Smith University seizure 2009
Jay Seiler 19 University of Wisconsin–Madison defensive back brain injury during practice 1979
Ron Settles 21 California State University, Long Beach (Long Beach State) running back found hanging in jail cell 1981
Jeff Seymour 20 University of Tennessee defensive back cerebral aneurysm 1994
Zach Shaver 18 Tarleton State University in-game injuries 2010
Derek Sheely 22 Frostburg State University fullback brain injury from a helmet-to-helmet hit in practice[32] 2011
Richard Brinsley Sheridan United States Military Academy (Army) end while making tackle in Army-Yale game 1931
Scott Sinclair 19 University of South Carolina defensive end collapsed in locker room during practice 1979
Matt Sklom 18 Ferris State University linebacker heart failure during drills 2002
Ja'Quayvin Smalls 20 Western Carolina University defensive back during workout 2009
Shannon Smith 20 University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa kicker drowning 1997
Claude Smithey 23 University of Arkansas tackle brain injury during game against Texas A&M 1966
Brian Spruill 17 Bethany College defensive back fall through a window 1984
Dylan Steigers 21 Eastern Oregon University safety brain injury during scrimmage 2010
Freddie Steinmark 22 University of Texas at Austin defensive back osteosarcoma 1971
Artie Steinmetz 19 University of Kentucky defensive tackle vehicular homicide 1998[33]
Rodney Stowers 20 Mississippi State University nose guard pulmonary hemorrhage after in-game leg injury 1991[34]
Zach Swircyznski 20 Austin College during pickup game of basketball 2009
Parnell Sylvio 20 Indiana University Bloomington tailback stroke during practice 1987
Dale Taylor Southern University linebacker cardiomyopathy during drills 1998
Jack Tandy 21 San Francisco State University tackle neck injury during San Francisco State-Cal Poly game 1940
Bruce Tarver Stanford University lineman car accident 1933
Damon Terrell 21 University of Arizona tight end air embolism after removal of dialysis catheter 1995
Owen Thomas 21 University of Pennsylvania defensive end suicide 2010[35]
Fred Thompson[36] 19 Oregon State University defensive tackle cardiac arrhythmia 2011[37]
William Tierney 20 Fordham University defensive back cardiac arrest prior to game vs. Lafayette 1996
Gary Tinsley 22 University of Minnesota linebacker enlarged heart 2012[38]
Jack Trice 21 Iowa State University in-game internal injuries suffered against the University of Minnesota 1923
Brian Truhn 21 Ithaca College on bench during game against Brockport State 1968
Garrett Uekman[39] 19 University of Arkansas tight end cardiac arrest 2011[40]
McCollins Umeh 18 University of Arizona enlarged heart 2004
Gaius Vaenuku 18 University of Utah Defense tackle car crash 2013
Daniel Van Etten West Virginia University car accident 1998
Rinaldo Villardi 18 Clemson motorcycle crash 1950
Joseph Villavisencio[41] 22 Texas A&M offensive lineman car crash 2011[42]
Robert Vorhies 18 Virginia Tech running back following punishment drill 1980
Brian Wagner Emporia State University assault 1999
Scott Wehnes 21 Charleston Southern University defensive lineman collapsed while going to practice 1998
Pat Wheeler North Texas State College (now University of North Texas) neck injury during North Texas State-Texas Tech freshman game 1961
Rashidi Wheeler 22 Northwestern University defensive back heat stroke 2001
Ronnie White University of Idaho car accident 1945
Thomas White 19 Southern Methodist University heart attack during practice 1966
John Wightman 21 Marietta College neck fracture in sophomore vs. freshman game 1930
Chad Wiley 20 North Carolina A&T State University heat stroke 2008
Curtis Williams 24 University of Washington spinal cord injury suffered in a 2000 on-field collision 2001
Hugh Martin Williams 18 Loyola kick to abdomen at practice 1932
James Williams 19 Diablo Valley College defensive back seizure during drills 2002
Marcellis Williamson 22 Ohio University defensive lineman heart attack 2011
Earl Wilson 24 United States Naval Academy (Navy) quarterback neck injury sustained in a game against Villanova University in 1909 1910
Hoot Wilson Howard College brain hemorrhage suffered in freshman vs. varsity game 1933
Ralph Wilson Wabash College halfback in-game injuries 1910
Theodore York Yale University guard pneumonia following in-game rib fractures vs. Army 1912
John Zola 20 Lebanon Valley College blood clot on brain suffered during Lebanon Valley College-Drexel Tech game 1961

Association football

Does not include footballers who died on the pitch during a game or training, or because of injuries or other health issues suffered on the pitch. Those names go in a separate article. Please refer to the article List of footballers who died while playing.

Player Age Nationality Position Cause of death Year
Juanito 37 Spanish forward car accident 1992
Nikolai Abramov 26 Russian defender heart failure 2011
Martin Aldridge 25 English forward car accident 2000
Alemão 23 Brazilian striker car accident 2007
George Allan 24 Scottish forward tuberculosis 1899
John Allan 30 Scottish Battle of Arras 1917
Søren Andersen 23 Danish striker Øresund plane crash 1960
Shalva Apkhazava 23 Georgian striker heart attack 2004
Georgi Asparuhov 28 Bulgarian striker car accident 1971
Valerio Bacigalupo 25 Italian goalkeeper Superga air disaster 1949
Ediz Bahtiyaroglu 26 Turkish defender myocardial 2012
Aldo Ballarin 27 Italian defender Superga air disaster 1949
Dino Ballarin 23 Italian goalkeeper Superga air disaster 1949
Harry Bamford 38 English defender motorcycle accident 1958
Maurice Banach 24 German striker car accident 1991
Patrick Banda 22 Zambian striker Gabon air disaster 1993
Mike Barrett 24 English winger cancer 1984
Elson Becerra 27 Colombian striker homicide 2006
Mario Beltrán 23 Colombian midfielder car accident 2009
Christian Benítez 27 Ecuadorian striker heart attack 2013
Julio César Benítez 27 Uruguayan defender food poisoning 1968
Geoff Bent 25 English defender Munich air disaster 1958
Filippo Biondi 20 Italian defender car accident 1996
Einar Örn Birgisson 27 Icelandic midfielder homicide 2000
Milo Bongiorni 28 French midfielder Superga air disaster 1949
Surian Borali 28 Turkish defender suicide 1989
Luc Borrelli 33 French goalkeeper car accident 1999
Othman Boughanmi Tunisian defender heart defect
Gary Bownes 26 Northern Irish striker suicide 2005
James Boyd Scottish Battle of the Somme 1916
Robert Bradley English defender died during his sleep 1934
Thomas Bradshaw 26 English winger consumption 1899
Victor Brännström 29 Swedish striker cardiac arrest 2012
Shane Brennan 23 Irish winger collapsing roof accident 2005
Shamil Burziyev 25 Russian midfielder car accident 2010
Richard Butcher 29 English midfielder cardiac arrhythmia 2011
Barry Butler 31 English defender car accident 1966
Roger Byrne 28 English defender Munich air disaster 1958
Eusebio Castigliano 28 Italian midfielder Superga air disaster 1949
Ramiro Castillo 31 Bolivian midfielder suicide 1997
Luciano Re Cecconi 28 Italian midfielder shot during practical joke 1977
David Efford Chabala 33 Zambian goalkeeper Gabon air disaster 1993
Whiteson Changwe 23 Zambian defender Gabon air disaster 1993
Wisdom Mumba Chansa 29 Zambian midfielder Gabon air disaster 1993
Moses Chikwalakwala 19 Zambian midfielder Gabon air disaster 1993
Samuel Chomba 29 Zambian defender Gabon air disaster 1993
Andriy Chopenko 26 Ukrainian midfielder car accident 2003
Dave Clement 34 English defender suicide 1982
Ludo Coeck 30 Belgian midfielder car accident 1985
Eddie Colman 21 English midfielder Munich air disaster 1958
Ernie Cooksey 28 English midfielder skin cancer 2008
Davie Cooper 39 Scottish winger brain haemorrhage 1995
Hernan Córdoba 19 Colombian striker car accident 2009
Federico Crescentini 24 San Marinese defender drowned 2006
Miroslav Opsenica 29 Serbian midfielder car accident 2011
Enrico Cucchi 30 Italian midfielder cancer 1996
Laurie Cunningham 33 English striker car accident 1989
Duncan Currie Scottish Battle of the Somme 1916
Mattia Dal Bello 20 Italian midfielder car accident 2004
Vitaly Daraselia 25 Soviet striker car accident 1982
Alan Davies 30 Welsh winger suicide 1992
Jimmy Davis 21 English winger car accident 2003
Ruud Degenaar 25 Dutch-Suriname defender Surinam air disaster 1989
Sébastien Demeersman 37 Belgian winger suicide 2008
Dener 23 Brazilian striker car accident 1994
Kazimierz Deyna 41 Polish midfielder car accident 1989
Vladimir Dimitrijević 20 Serbian defender heart attack 2001
Danilo di Vincenzo 28 Italian striker car accident 1996
Stan Docking 25 English midfielder heart attack
Lloyd Doesburg 29 Dutch-Suriname goalkeeper Surinam air disaster 1989
Hussein Dokmak 25 Lebanese defender car bomb 2007
Steve van Dorpel 23 Dutch-Suriname striker Surinam air disaster 1989
Marcio Dos Santos 28 Peruvian striker heart attack 2002
Ibrahim Dossey 36 Ghanaian goalkeeper car accident 2008
Angus Douglas 29 Scottish winger Spanish flu 1918
Johnny Doyle 30 Scottish midfielder electrocuted 1981
Vaclav Drobny 32 Czech defender sledging accident 2012
Peter Dubovský 28 Slovakian striker diving accident 2000
Gustavo Eberto 24 Argentine goalkeeper testicular cancer 2007
Dan-Ola Eckerman 31 Finnish goalkeeper leukemia 1994
Edivaldo 30 Brazilian striker car accident 1993
Duncan Edwards 21 English midfielder Munich air disaster 1958
Lutz Eigendorf 26 German midfielder car accident 1983
Youssef Elbai 30 French defender accident 2009
Ernest Ellis English Battle of the Somme 1916
Robert Enke 32 German goalkeeper suicide 2009
Andrés Escobar 27 Colombian defender homicide 1994
Ib Eskildsen 19 Danish striker Øresund plane crash 1960
Roy Evans 25 Welsh defender car accident 1969
Rubens Fadini 21 Italian midfielder Superga air disaster 1949
Miklós Fehér 24 Hungarian striker cardiac arrest 2004
Rommel Fernandez 27 Panamanian striker car accident 1993
Aaron Flahavan 25 English goalkeeper car accident 2001
Milton Flores 28 Honduran goalkeeper homicide 2003
Marc-Vivien Foé 28 Cameroonian midfielder hypertrophic cardiomyopathy 2003
Andrea Fortunato 23 Italian defender leukemia 1995
Wendel Fräser 22 Dutch-Suriname forward Surinam air disaster 1989
Francisco Frione 22 Uruguayan-Italian midfielder pneumonia 1935
Guglielmo Gabetto 33 Italian striker Superga air disaster 1949
Hubert Gad 24 Polish forward swimming accident 1939
Niccolò Galli 17 Italian defender motorbike accident 2001
Ibragim Gasanbekov 29 Azerbaijani-Russian striker car accident 1999
Sirous Ghayeghran 35 Iranian midfielder car accident 1998
Lenar Gilmullin 22 Russian defender motorcycle accident 2007
Frits Goodings 25 Dutch-Suriname Surinam air disaster 1989
Tommy Goodwill 22 English midfielder killed in World War I 1916
Harry Goslin 34 English defender killed in World War II 1943
Jefferson Gottardi 27 Bolivian striker Lou Gehrig's disease 2003
Craig Gowans 17 Scottish training ground accident 2005
Tom Gracie 26 Scottish leukemia 1915
Ruggero Grava 27 French striker Superga air disaster 1949
Giuseppe Grezar 30 Italian midfielder Superga air disaster 1949
Tor Marius Gromstad 22 Norwegian defender suicide 2012
Alan Groves 29 English winger heart attack 1978
Juan Guedes 28 Spanish midfielder cancer 1971
Jerry Haatrecht 28 Dutch-Suriname Surinam air disaster 1989
Jeff Hall 29 English full-back polio 1959
Jimmy Hampson 31 English striker boating accident 1938
Austin Hayes 28 English winger lung cancer 1986
Conrad Hendricks 26 South African goalkeeper car accident 2006
Chinonso Henry 21 Nigerian striker heart attack 2012
Dean Horrix 28 English striker car accident 1990
Peter Houseman 31 English midfielder car accident 1977
Ralph Hunt 31 English striker car accident 1964
Besian Idrizaj 22 Austrian striker heart attack 2010
Zdeněk Jánoš 32 Czech goalkeeper car accident 1999
Daniel Jarque 26 Spanish defender heart attack 2009
Erik Pondal Jensen 29 Danish midfielder Øresund plane crash 1960
Per Funch Jensen 21 Danish goalkeeper Øresund plane crash 1960
Virgall Joemankhan 20 Dutch-Suriname Surinam air disaster 1989
Jack Jones 29 English forward Typhoid fever 1904
Mark Jones 24 English defender Munich air disaster 1958
Ray Jones 18 English striker car accident 2007
Rolston Jones Trinidad and Tobagan shot dead
Godfrey Kangwa 29 Zambian midfielder Gabon air disaster 1993
Ihab Kareem 26 Iraqi midfielder injuries from bombing 2007
Arne Karlsen 20 Danish defender Øresund plane crash 1960
Dick Keith 33 Northern Irish defender accident dismantling a garage door 1967
Oliver King-Onzila 19 English midfielder stab wounds 2008
Alexei Klimenko Soviet execution by German soldiers during World War II (see The Death Match) 1943
Andro Knel 21 Dutch-Suriname midfielder Surinam air disaster 1989
Ruben Kogeldans 22 Dutch-Suriname defender Surinam air disaster 1989
Nikolai Korotkykh Soviet execution by German soldiers during World War II (see The Death Match) 1941
Yiannis Koskiniatis 25 Greek midfielder suicide 2008
Nikola Kotkov 32 Bulgarian striker car accident 1971
Kurt Krahmer 21 Danish winger Øresund plane crash 1960
Marek Krejčí 26 Slovak striker car accident 2007
Mykola Kudrytsky 31 Ukrainian midfielder car accident 1994
Ernst Künz 32 Austrian defender killed during World War II 1944
Ivan Kuzmenko Soviet execution by German soldiers during World War II (see The Death Match) 1943
Børge Bastholm Larsen 29 Danish defender Øresund plane crash 1960
Pedro Lavoura 26 Venezuelan striker car accident 2000
Adam Ledwoń 34 Polish midfielder suicide 2008
Gift Leremi 22 South Africa midfielder car accident 2007
Mahicon Librelato 21 Brazilian striker car accident 2002
Ortwin Linger 21 Dutch-Suriname defender Surinam air disaster 1989
Ezio Loik 30 Italian midfielder Superga air disaster 1949
David Longhurst 25 English striker cardiac arrest 1990
John Lyons 26 English striker suicide 1982
Michael Maidens 20 English midfielder car accident 2007
Derby Makinka 26 Zambian midfielder Gabon air disaster 1993
Stephen Malcolm 30 Jamaican midfielder car accident 2001
Jarl Malmgren 33 Finnish midfielder killed in World War II 1942
Dragan Mance 22 Serbian striker car accident 1985
Lesley Manyathela 21 South Africa striker car accident 2003
Virgilio Maroso 23 Italian midfielder Superga air disaster 1949
Dennis Marshall 26 Costa Rican defender car accident 2011
Danilo Martelli 25 Italian midfielder Superga air disaster 1949
Moses Masuwa 22 Zambian striker Gabon air disaster 1993
Jason Mayélé 26 Congolese striker car accident 2002
Valentino Mazzola 30 Italian striker Superga air disaster 1949
Norrie McCathie 34 Scottish defender accidental carbon monoxide poisoning 1996
Frank McGinnes 22 Scottish forward kidney disease 1892
Bobby McKean 25 Scottish midfielder accidental carbon monoxide poisoning 1978
Tommy McLaren 29 Scottish midfielder suicide 1978
Tommy Meehan 28 English half-back encephalitis lethargica 1924
Romeo Menti 29 Italian striker Superga air disaster 1949
Vittorio Mero 27 Italian defender car accident 2002
Gigi Meroni 27 Italian winger car accident 1967
Claudio Milar 34 Uruguayan striker bus crash 2009
Michael Millett 17 English defender car accident 1995
Gionata Mingozzi 23 Italian midfielder car accident 2008
Damián Lucas Molina 20 Argentine goalkeeper respiratory problems caused by heart defect 2004
Emiliano Molina 17 Argentine goalkeeper car accident 2005
Lester Morgan 26 Costa Rican goalkeeper suicide 2002
Eddie Moussa 26 Swedish-Lebanese striker homicide 2010
Eston Mulenga 26 Zambian midfielder Gabon air disaster 1993
Winter Mumba 23 Zambian defender Gabon air disaster 1993
Kelvin Mutale 24 Zambian striker Gabon air disaster 1993
Richard Mwanza 33 Zambian goalkeeper Gabon air disaster 1993
Numba Mwila 21 Zambian midfielder Gabon air disaster 1993
Timothy Mwitwa 25 Zambian striker Gabon air disaster 1993
Hussein Naeem 20 Lebanese striker car bomb 2007
Alan Nicholls 22 English goalkeeper motorcycle accident 1995
John Nicholson 30 English defender car crash 1966
Antonio de Nigris 31 Mexican striker heart attack 2009
Krzysztof Nowak 29 Polish midfielder Lou Gehrig's disease 2005
Phil O'Donnell 35 Scottish midfielder cardiac arrest 2007
Rogério Oliveira 30 Brazilian striker heart attack 2006
Piero Operto 22 Italian defender Superga air disaster 1949
Franco Ossola 27 Italian striker Superga air disaster 1949
Josheph Ouhm 32 Cameroonese striker pulmonary edema 2009
Maksym Pashayev 20 Ukrainian defender car accident 2008
Fred Patrick 23 Dutch-Suriname midfielder Surinam air disaster 1989
Simon Patterson 24 English striker car accident 2006
Serhiy Perkhun 23 Ukrainian goalkeeper brain hemorrhage as a result of head injury 2001
David Pegg 22 English winger Munich air disaster 1958
Mark Philo 21 English midfielder car accident 2006
Clément Pinault 23 French defender heart attack 2009
Federico Pisani 22 Italian striker car accident 1997
Danijel Popović 20 Croatian midfielder car accident 2002
Abdón Porte 37 Uruguayan defender suicide 1918
Kiyan Prince 15 English midfielder (youth team) homicide 2006
Brian Purcell 30 Welsh defender car accident 1969
Antonio Puerta 22 Spanish midfielder heart attack during La Liga match 2007
Avi Ran 23 Israeli goalkeeper hit by speed boat 1987
Mel Rees 26 Welsh goalkeeper cancer 1993
Régis Gouveia 28 Brazilian defender bus crash [43] 2009
Renato 28 Brazilian midfielder homicide during robbery 2004
Claudinei Resende 26 Brazilian midfielder homicide 2004
Mario Rigamonti 26 Italian midfielder Superga air disaster 1949
Dale Roberts 24 English goalkeeper suicide 2010
David Rocastle 33 English midfielder lymphoma 2001
Miki Roqué 23 Spanish defender pelvic cancer 2012
Nick Ross 31 Scottish defender consumption/tuberculosis 1894
Miro Rys 20 Czech-American forward car accident 1977
Silvester Sabolčki 23 Croatian defender car accident 2003
Holger Salin 32 Finnish striker killed during World War II 1943/1944
Mirko Saric 21 Argentine midfielder suicide 2000
Andy Scharmin 21 Dutch-Suriname defender Surinam air disaster 1989
Julius Schubert 26 Hungarian striker Superga air disaster 1949
Sergio Schulmeister 25 Argentine goalkeeper suicide 2003
Kenan Simambe 19 Zambian defender Gabon air disaster 1993
Matthias Sindelar 35 Austrian striker officially carbon monoxide poisoning (see Matthias Sindelar#Death and myth) 1939
George Smith 28 English defender/striker heart attack 1908
Nicol Smith 31 Scottish defender enteric fever 1905
Peter Southey 21 English defender leukemia 1983
John Soko 23 Zambian defender Gabon air disaster 1993
Erling Spalk 19 Danish defender Øresund plane crash 1960
James Speedie Scottish killed in World War I 1915
Adam Stansfield 31 English striker bowel cancer 2010
François Sterchele 26 Belgian striker car accident 2008
Nick Stienstra 33 Dutch-Suriname Surinam air disaster 1989
Anatoli Sylka 30 Russian defender heart attack 2009
Sándor Szűcs 30 Hungarian defender execution by the communist regime for defection attempt 1951
Giuliano Taccola 24 Italian striker heart attack 1969
Tommy Taylor 26 English striker Munich air disaster 1958
Otilino Tenorio 25 Ecuadorian striker car accident 2005
Donald Thobega 29 Botswanan midfielder car accident 2009
Alfredo Tomassini 23 Peruvian midfielder drowned 1987
David Di Tommaso 26 French midfielder heart attack 2005
Mickey Trotman 26 Trinidad and Tobagan midfielder car accident 2001
Nikolai Trusevich Soviet goalkeeper execution by German soldiers during World War II (see The Death Match) 1943
Raimundo Tupper 26 Chilean defender suicide 1995
Ivan Turina 32 Croatian goalkeeper heart failure 2013
Kirk Urso 22 American midfielder genetic heart defect 2012
Petea Vâlcov 32 Romanian striker killed on the Eastern Front 1943
Ferry van Vliet 20 Dutch midfielder car accident 2001
Edy Vasquez 23 Honduran midfielder car accident 2007
Elfried Veldman 23 Dutch-Suriname midfielder Surinam air disaster 1989
Florian Vijent 27 Dutch-Suriname goalkeeper Surinam air disaster 1989
Ondřej Voříšek 18 Czech goalkeeper car accident 2004
Karl Wahlmüller 30 Austrian midfielder killed during World War II 1944
Wang Donglei 23 Chinese midfielder car accident 2008
Robert Watiyakeni 24 Zambian defender Gabon air disaster 1993
Harry Wattie 23 Scottish Battle of the Somme 1916
Walter Werginz 31 Austrian forward killed in World War II 1944
Liam Whelan 22 Irish striker Munich air disaster 1958
John White 27 Scottish midfielder hit by lightning 1964
Dave Wiggett 20 English defender car accident 1978
Frank Wilson 22 English centre forward "maniacal exhaustion caused by football and excitement"[44] 1898
Whayne Wilson 29 Costa Rican striker car accident 2005
Zhang Yalin 28 Chinese midfielder lymphoma 2010
Mikhail Yeremin 23 Soviet goalkeeper car accident 1991
Gábor Zavadszky 31 Hungarian midfielder embolism 2006
Hicham Zerouali 27 Moroccan striker car accident 2004
Cristian Tudor 30 Romanian striker cirrhosis 2012
Neto Maranhão 28 Brazilian midfielder died during a training 2013
John Thomson 22 Scottish goalkeeper died as result of head injury sustained during match 1931
Alen Pamić 23 Croatian midfielder died during game with friends 2013
Christian Benítez 27 Ecuadorian Striker cardiac arrest resulting from peritonitis 2013
Olubayo Adefemi 25 Nigerian Defender car accident 2011


Athlete Age Nationality Sport Cause of death Year
Abebe Bikila 41 Ethiopian long distance runner and two-time Olympic gold medalist complications from spinal cord injury suffered in a car accident 1973
Ross Baillie 21 Scottish hurdler anaphylaxis 1999
Lillian Board 22 British 400m sprinter, middle distance runner and Olympic silver medallist cancer 1970
Richard Chelimo 29 Kenyan long distance runner and Olympic silver medalist brain tumour 2001
Maria Cioncan 29 Romanian middle distance runner car accident 2007
Ivo Van Damme 22 Belgian middle distance runner and two-time Olympic silver medalist car accident 1976
Foy Draper 31 American sprinter killed in World War II (Battle of Kasserine Pass) 1943
James Duffy 24 Irish marathon runner killed in World War I (Second Battle of Ypres) 1915
Pål Arne Fagernes 29 Norwegian javelin thrower car accident 2003
Piotr Gładki 33 Polish long distance runner car accident 2005
Nils Uhlin Hansen 25 Norwegian long jumper killed as a resistance fighter during World War II 1945
Rudolf Harbig 30 German middle distance runner killed in World War II 1944
René Herms 26 German middle distance runner myocarditis caused by a viral infection 2009
Kinue Hitomi 24 Japanese sprinter and jumper and Olympic silver medallist tuberculosis 1931
Owe Jonsson 21 Swedish sprinter and European gold medalist car accident 1962
Yutaka Kanai 30 Japanese long distance runner car accident 1990
Władysław Komar 58 Polish shot putter car accident 1998
Janusz Kusociński 33 Polish long distance runner and Olympic gold medalist executed by the Gestapo in 1940 during Nazi Germany's occupation of Poland. 1940
Francisco Lázaro 21 Portuguese marathon runner dehydration due to high temperature 1912
Wilhelm Leichum 30 German jumper and sprinter killed in World War II 1941
Luz Long 30 German jumper and Olympic silver medalist who is most famous for befriending Jesse Owens during the 1936 Summer Olympic Games in Berlin killed in World War II 1943
Bronisław Malinowski 30 Olympic champion 3000m steeplechaser car accident 1981
Sally Meyerhoff[45] 27 American long distance runner bicycle accident 2011[46]
Wesly Ngetich 30 Kenyan long distance runner murdered in the Kenyan political crisis' riots 2008
Sueo Ōe 27 Japanese pole vaulter killed in World War II[47] 1941
Steve Prefontaine 24 American long distance runner car accident 1975
Bob Roggy 30 American javelin thrower car accident 1986
Ryan Shay 28 American long distance runner collapsed during the 2007 US Olympic Marathon Trials 2007
Kamila Skolimowska 26 Polish hammer thrower pulmonary embolism 2009
Tadeusz Ślusarski 48 Polish pole vaulter car accident 1998
Ian Syster 28 African long distance runner drowned in car accident, died a few months after the 2004 Olympics[48] 2004
Tomoyuki Taniguchi 29 Japanese long distance runner car accident 1990
Kokichi Tsuburaya 27 Japanese long distance runner suicide 1968
Samuel Wanjiru 24 Kenyan long distance runner accident, possible suicide 2011
Geoff Watt Australian long distance runner - first to run up and down Mount Kilimanjaro. died of exposure in snow. 1969
Hans Woellke 32 German shot putter killed in World War II[49] 1943

Australian rules football

Player Age Team Position Cause of death Year
Barry, DaveDave Barry 24 North Fremantle half-forward run over by a train 1913
Baynes, RhettRhett Baynes 25 Perth ruckman suicide (overdose) 1990
Broadbridge, TroyTroy Broadbridge 24 Melbourne defender drowning (2004 Asian Tsunami) 2004
Collins, NormNorm Collins 29 Hawthorn utility suicide (hanging) 1933
Crimmins, PeterPeter Crimmins 28 Hawthorn rover cancer (testicular) 1976
Doig, RonRon Doig 23 South Fremantle captain-coach on-field injury 1932
Downs, LyleLyle Downs 24 Carlton rover heart attack 1921
Ford, EddieEddie Ford 28 Katandra on-field injury 1946
Fox, ArthurArthur Fox 29 South Melbourne wingman motorcycle accident 1953
Gibb, RayRay Gibb 24 Richmond utility motorcycle accident 1953
Gilmore, BrianBrian Gilmore 26 Footscray follower car accident 1959
Gordon, WayneWayne Gordon 29 Melbourne wingman cancer (Hodgkin's lymphoma) 1983
James, RonRon James 19 Footscray rover waterskiing accident 1990
Magor, DougDoug Magor 21 Footscray car accident 1969
McCarthy, JohnJohn McCarthy 22 Port Adelaide midfielder accidental fall 2012
Millane, DarrenDarren Millane 26 Collingwood wingman car accident 1991
Nixon, RichardRichard Nixon 26 Richmond utility car accident 1992
Ogden, TerryTerry Ogden 23 Carlton wingman pleurisy 1935
Orr, MaxMax Orr 24 Melbourne half-forward car accident 1955
Phillips, FredFred Phillips 27 Hawthorn captain-coach blood poisoning 1933
Reid, BruceBruce Reid 19 South Melbourne half-back car accident 1970
Sankey, MaurieMaurie Sankey 25 Carlton ruckman car accident 1965
Skehan, PhilPhil Skehan 26 South Melbourne follower pneumonia resulting from an on-field injury 1921
Stewart, JimJim Stewart 24 North Melbourne appendicitis 1942
Strauch, DenisDenis Strauch 28 Port Melbourne forward tetanus 1965
Tassell, DougDoug Tassell 24 Essendon defender car accident 1970
White, PeterPeter White 26 Carlton drowning 1996
Williams, AnthonyAnthony Williams 26 Port Adelaide building accident 1988
Witto, LesLes Witto 23 Carlton defender tetanus 1926


Major League Baseball

Players/umpires with an asterisk (*) are members of the Baseball Hall of Fame. Minor-league players are listed with their major-league affiliations.

Player Age Position Team Cause of death Year
Nick Adenhart 22 P Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim car accident 2009
Harry Agganis 26 1B Boston Red Sox pulmonary embolism 1955
Steve Bechler 23 P Baltimore Orioles complications from misuse of Ephedra 2003
Wally Bell 48 Umpire Major League Baseball heart attack 2013
Marty Bergen 28 C Boston Beaneaters suicide after murdering his family 1900
Bill Blair 26 P Chicago Cubs influenza 1890
Tony Boeckel 31 3B Boston Braves car crash 1924
Walt Bond 29 OF Minnesota Twins leukemia 1967
Tiny Bonham 36 P Pittsburgh Pirates appendicitis 1949
Lyman Bostock 27 OF California Angels homicide 1978
Nick Bremigan 43 Umpire American League heart attack 1989
Hal Carlson 38 P Chicago Cubs stomach hemorrhage 1930
Ray Chapman 29 SS Cleveland Indians hit by pitch in game 1920
Larry Chappell 27 OF Boston Braves 1918 flu pandemic 1918
Néstor Chávez 21 P San Francisco Giants plane crash 1969
Roberto Clemente* 38 RF Pittsburgh Pirates plane crash 1972
Brian Cole 22 OF NY Mets car accident 2001[50]
Leonard "King" Cole 29 P New York Yankees tuberculosis 1916
Mike Coolbaugh 35 Coach Colorado Rockies hit by line drive while coaching first base during a game 2007
Tim Crews 31 RP Cleveland Indians boat accident that killed teammate Steve Olin and injured teammate Bobby Ojeda 1993
Jay Dahl 19 P Houston Colt .45s car accident 1965
Mike Darr 25 OF San Diego Padres car accident 2002
Jake Daubert 40 1B Cincinnati Reds appendicitis 1924
Ed Delahanty* 35 OF Washington Senators swept over Niagara Falls 1903
Joe DeSa 27 1B Chicago White Sox car accident 1986
Lou DiMuro 51 Umpire American League struck by automobile after working game in Arlington, Texas 1982
John Dodge 27 3B Cincinnati Reds hit by pitch during game 1916
Cozy Dolan 34 OF Boston Braves typhoid fever 1907
Alfredo Edmead 18 RF Pittsburgh Pirates on-field collision with teammate 1974[51][52]
Paul Edmondson 27 P Chicago White Sox car accident 1970
Mario Encarnacion 30 OF Macoto Cobras unknown causes 2005
Charlie Ferguson 25 P Philadelphia Phillies typhoid fever 1888
Jim Fogarty 27 OF Philadelphia Phillies tuberculosis 1891
Danny Frisella 30 P Milwaukee Brewers dune buggy accident 1977
Miguel Fuentes 23 P Seattle Pilots murdered in a bar in Loíza Aldea, Puerto Rico 1970
Tom Gastall 24 C Baltimore Orioles plane crash 1956
Elmer Gedeon 27 OF Washington Senators killed in World War II 1944
Geremi Gonzalez 33 P Milwaukee Brewers lightning strike 2008
Eddie Grant 35 2B New York Giants killed in World War I 1918
Marc Hall 27 P Detroit Tigers diabetes 1915
Greg Halman 24 OF Seattle Mariners homicide, killed by his brother[53] 2011
Josh Hancock 29 P St. Louis Cardinals car accident 2007
Willard Hershberger 30 C Cincinnati Reds suicide 1940
Ken Hubbs 22 2B Chicago Cubs plane crash 1964
Addie Joss* 31 P Cleveland Indians meningitis 1911
Joe Kennedy 28 P Toronto Blue Jays hypertensive heart disease 2007
Darryl Kile 33 P St. Louis Cardinals heart defect 2002
Len Koenecke 31 OF Brooklyn Dodgers killed in fight 1935
Jim Korwan 25 P Chicago Colts tuberculosis 1899
Walter Lerian 26 C Philadelphia Phillies car accident 1929
Cory Lidle 34 P New York Yankees plane crash 2006
Pat Luby 30 P Louisville Colonels tuberculosis 1899
Steve Macko 27 IF Chicago Cubs cancer 1981
Dan McGann 39 1B New York Giants suicide 1910
Austin McHenry 27 OF St. Louis Cardinals brain tumor 1922
Doc McJames 27 P Brooklyn Superbas tuberculosis, complicated by injuries sustained when he was struck by a runaway carriage 1901
John McSherry 51 Umpire National League heart attack during Cincinnati Reds Opening Day game vs. Montreal Expos 1996
Mike Miley 23 SS California Angels car accident 1977
Doug Million 21 P Colorado Rockies asthma attack 1997
Bob Moose 29 P Pittsburgh Pirates car accident 1976
Donnie Moore 35 P California Angels suicide 1989
Thurman Munson 32 C New York Yankees plane crash 1979
Tom O'Brien 27 OF Pittsburgh Pirates pneumonia 1901
Steve Olin 27 P Cleveland Indians boat accident that killed teammate Tim Crews and injured teammate Bobby Ojeda 1993
Harry O'Neill 27 C Philadelphia Athletics killed in World War II 1945
Jiggs Parrott 26 3B Chicago Colts tuberculosis 1898
Charlie Peete 27 OF St. Louis Cardinals plane crash 1956
Gus Polidor 33 Infielder Montreal Expos murdered during robbery 1995
Doc Powers 38 C Philadelphia Athletics gangrene 1909
Jim Ritz 22 3B Pittsburgh Pirates typhoid fever 1896
Jim Rogers 27 1B Louisville Colonels 1900
Jimmy Sebring 27 RF Washington Senators Bright's disease 1909
Ralph Sharman 23 OF Philadelphia Athletics drowning 1918
Mike Sharperson 34 IF San Diego Padres car accident 1996
Urban Shocker 38 P New York Yankees pneumonia 1928
Chick Stahl 34 OF Boston Red Sox suicide 1907
Dernell Stenson 25 OF Cincinnati Reds murdered during robbery 2003
Alan Storke 25 infielder Cincinnati Reds general streptococcus due to empyema 1910[54]
Jack Taylor 26 P Cincinnati Reds nephritis 1900
Al Thake 22 OF Brooklyn Atlantics drowned while fishing 1872
Danny Thompson 29 IF Texas Rangers leukemia 1976
Jim Umbricht 33 P Houston Colt .45's malignant melanoma 1964
Dick Wantz 25 P California Angels inoperable brain tumor 1965
Lee Weyer 51 Umpire National League heart attack 1988
Don Wilson 29 P Houston Astros carbon monoxide poisoning 1975[55]
Cliff Young 29 P Cleveland Indians car accident 1993
Ross Youngs* 30 OF New York Giants Bright's Disease 1927

Negro League Baseball

Player Age Position Team Cause of death Year
Josh Gibson* 35 C Homestead Grays brain tumor and stroke 1947
Pythias Russ 26 C Chicago American Giants tuberculosis 1930
Chino Smith 28 OF Lincoln Giants yellow fever 1932

Dutch League Baseball

Player Age Position Team Cause of death Year
Hartog Hamburger 37 infielder OVVO hit by line drive ball on head 1924


International (men)

Player Age Team Cause of death Year
Miska Alanko Pussihukat car accident 1997
Ángel Almeida 25 Clube Portugal Telecom heart attack 1997[56]
Davide Ancilotto 23 Virtus Roma brain hemorrhage 1997[57]
Paolo Barlera 27 Virtus Bologna leukemia 2009[58]
Alexander Belov 26 Spartak Leningrad cardiac sarcoma 1978
Waldemar Blatskauskas 25 XV de Novembro de Piracicaba car accident 1964[59]
Jonathan Bourhis 19 JDA Dijon car accident 2009[60]
Haris Brkić 26 KK Partizan homicide (shooting) 2000
Mickey Coll 21 Gallitos de Isabela motorcycle accident 1972[59]
René Dérency 29 ABC Nantes car accident 1954[59]
Srebrenko Despot 25 KK Cibona car accident 1983
Lavelle Felton 29 Paderborn Baskets homicide (shooting) 2009[61]
Scott Fenton 24 Perth Wildcats car accident 1989
Joan Filbá 26 OAR Ferrol car accident 1981[62]
Alphonso Ford 32 Scavolini Spar Pesaro leukemia 2004
Valery Goborov 24 CSKA Moscow car accident 1989
Chauncey Hardy 23 CSS Giurgiu heart attack, following beating 2011
Nikola Ilić 27 CSU Asesoft Ploiești cancer 2012
Zoltán Horváth 30 Falco KC Szombathely car accident 2009[63]
Kenyon Jones 27 Maroussi BC heart attack 2005[64]
Yadgar Karimov 20 UNICS Kazan heart attack 2001[65]
Radivoj Korać 30 Boario Padova car accident 1969
Kari "Kanni" Kulonen FoKoPo, UU car accident 1990
Tapani Manninen Pussihukat car accident 1996
Fernando Martín 27 Real Madrid car accident 1989
Aidin Nikkhah Bahrami 25 Saba Battery Tehran BC car accident 2007
Viktor Pankrashkin 36 tuberculosis 1993[66]
Alexander Petrenko 30 Khimki BC car accident 2006
Paulo Pinto 27 Aveiro Basket cardiac arrest 2002[67]
Trajko Rajković 32 OKK Beograd 1970
Enrico Ravaglia 23 Pallacanestro Cantù car accident 1999[68]
Gabriel Riofrío 23 Estudiantes de Bahía Blanca heart attack 2001[69]
Chris Sandy 28 Kouvot car accident 2006
Marvin Stone 26 Al-Ittihad (Jeddah) heart attack 2008
Tauras Stumbrys 34 KK Atletas Kaunas heart attack 2004[70]
Robert Traylor 34 Vaqueros de Bayamón heart attack 2011
Gregory Vallenilla 27 Marinos de Oriente car accident 2007[71]
Heino Veskila 22 killed in World War II 1941[72]
Kevin Widemond 23 Ovarense heart attack 2009

International (women)



Player Age Team Cause of death Year
Ricky Berry 24 Sacramento Kings suicide 1989
Len Bias 22 Boston Celtics (drafted but never played in the NBA) cocaine overdose 1986
Jason Collier 28 Atlanta Hawks cardiac arrest 2005
Terry Furlow 25 Utah Jazz car accident 1980
Eddie Griffin 25 Minnesota Timberwolves car accident 2007
Wendell Ladner 26 New York Nets (prior to ABA-NBA merger) plane crash 1975
Reggie Lewis 27 Boston Celtics heart failure 1993
Conrad McRae 29 Orlando Magic (summer league) unknown but most likely heart failure 2000
Dražen Petrović 28 New Jersey Nets car accident 1993
Bobby Phills 30 Charlotte Hornets car accident 2000
Malik Sealy 30 Minnesota Timberwolves car accident 2000
Nick Vanos 24 Phoenix Suns plane crash 1987

NCAA (men)

Player Age Team Cause of death Year
De'Andre Adams 20 Winthrop University car crash 2007
Warren Alston 18 University of Evansville plane crash 1977
Jonathan Bailey 22 Rice University stabbed 2007
Jerode Banks 20 Baylor University car crash 1994
Tikoyo Barnett 22 Georgia State University car accident 2005
Cedric Barovero 19 Anderson University heart ailment during pickup game 2002
Kenneth Bigham 18 Abraham Baldwin College died during practice 1986
Asron Boddie Union University during scrimmage 1976
Bruce Bradshaw 23 Oregon College of Education head injury in game against Eastern Oregon College 1968
Kevin Brophy 21 University of Georgia car crash 2006
Arturo Brown 21 Boston University Terriers heart attack during pickup game 1982
Michael Brown 24 Virginia Commonwealth University heart condition during practice 1989
Owen Brown 21 University of Maryland heart attack during pickup game 1976
Patrick Burke 22 Fairfield University head injury in fall near team hotel 1966
Haris Charalambous 21 University of Toledo died during practice 2006
Nick Cherry 20 Troy State University (now Troy University) car accident 1998
Javonte Clanton 21 University of South Carolina Aiken car accident 2009
Ray Comandella 18 University of Evansville plane crash 1977
Pablo Coto 21 Marymount University died during game vs. Goucher College 1993
Seth Coy 19 East Tennessee State University car accident 2009
Chris Daniels 22 University of Dayton cardiac arrest 1996
Charles D'Antignac-Tyus 20 University of South Carolina-Spartanburg (now University of South Carolina Upstate) bee sting during a pickup game 1995
Jonathan Davis 20 Ohio University-Chillicothe died during practice 2008
R.J. Demps 21 Benedictine College car accident 2011
Patrick Dennehy 21 Baylor Bears homicide (see also Baylor University basketball scandal) 2003
Mike Duff 18 Evansville Purple Aces plane crash 1977
Raymond Dunn 19 Vance-Granville Community College died during game 2010
Roosevelt Dunn Hayward State College heart attack at halftime of game against San Francisco State 1966
Percy Eberhart 20 Anderson College heart condition during pickup game 1993
Wayne Estes 21 Utah State University accidental electrocution 1965
Nate Fleming 20 Oklahoma State University plane crash 2001
Davey Fortson 20 Santa Monica College shot 1995
Ryan Francis 19 University of Southern California homicide 2006
Hank Gathers 23 Loyola Marymount University cardiac arrest during a game 1990
Joe Glynn 19 Bentley University collapsed at summer league game 2013[74]
John Gunn 21 Memphis State University (now University of Memphis) died during surgery 1976
Obian Hawkins 22 Southwestern Illinois College shot 2005
Mike Heck 20 Creighton University cardiac arrest while sleeping 1974
Kraig Heckerdorn 19 University of Evansville plane crash 1977
Jamal Jackson 22 Cleveland State University stabbed 1995
Richard Jones 21 Canisius College died at practice 2004
Mike Joyner 19 University of Evansville plane crash 1977
Bryan Kennedy 21 Fontbonne College died during scrimmage 1997
Antwoine Key Eastern Connecticut State University died during a game 2005
Earnest Killum 20 Oregon State University blood-clotting disorder 1992
Kevin Kingston 21 University of Evansville plane crash 1977
Paul Kinney Calvert College died during scrimmage 1980
Jackson Kulik 21 Texas Lutheran College car accident 1993
Dan Lawson 21 Oklahoma State University plane crash 2001
Bruce Lee 21 University of Oklahoma died after having tonsillectomy 1983
Barney Lewis 18 University of Evansville plane crash 1977
Jeron Lewis 21 University of Southern Indiana enlarged heart 2010[75]
Steve Miller 20 University of Evansville plane crash 1977
Keith Moon 20 University of Evansville plane crash 1977
Jeff Muriel 19 Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi car crash 2005[76]
Michael Murphy 21 Roanoke College collapsed during intramural game 1992
Ralph Myers 19 Compton College heart attack during practice 1979
Mike Ndiribe 18 Grayson County College collapsed in locker room during game 2007
Troy Norton 18 Clark Atlanta University collapsed at practice 1986
Tobi Oyedeji 18 Texas A&M University car accident 2010
Chris Patton 21 University of Maryland heart attack during pickup game 1976
Tony Penny 21 Central Connecticut Blue Devils heart attack 1989
Tamir Phillips 18 Community College of Beaver County died during practice 2008
Brian Reed 19 Ferrum College brain aneurysm during workout 1999
Leon Richardson 21 University of California, Davis died during game against Notre Dame College 1981
Deshean Porchea 19 Alabama State University died during pickup game 2008
Eddie Powell 23 Southeastern Oklahoma State University car accident 1997
Danny Rumph 21 Western Kentucky University heart attack 2005
Mark Siegel 19 University of Evansville plane crash 1977
Matthew Skalsky 19 University of Maryland, Baltimore County head injury at a party 1996
Derek Smith 19 Grand Valley State University died after pickup game 2002
Greg Smith 18 University of Evansville plane crash 1977
Paul Stewart 19 Cleveland State University died during pickup game
Chris Street 20 University of Iowa car accident 1993
Jeff Taggart 20 Canisius College cardiac arrest during game vs. Niagara 1988
Bryan Taylor 20 University of Evansville plane crash 1977
Kevin Thompson 19 Indiana State University cancer 1982
Andre Tooks 21 Georgia State University car accident 2001
Walter Turner 18 Florida Atlantic University collapsed during warmups 1997
Duke Wallenborn 23 Western Washington University heart attack 1992
Shawn Walton 19 Thiel College died in dorm room 2003
John Ed Washington 21 University of Evansville plane crash 1977
Anson Watahomigie 19 Yavapai College staph infection 2001
Henry White 21 Grambling State University died during workout 2009
Marshall Williams 21 Adelphi University died during game against Southampton College 1977
Tony Winburn 22 University of Evansville plane crash 1977
Shontel Wright 18 Barber-Scotia College shot 1993
Michael Young 18 Wharton County Junior College died during workout 1989

NAIA (men)


NCAA (women)




Deaths in the ring

Name Nationality Death Year Championship Class Opponent
Pedro Alcázar Panamanian 2002 WBO super flyweight Fernando Montiel
Simon Byrne Irish 1833 heavyweight James Burke
Frankie Campbell American 1930 Heavyweight Max Baer
Lavern Roach American 1950 Middleweight Georgie Small
Yo-Sam Choi South Korean 2008 Light-flyweight Heri Amol
Benjamín Flores Mexican 2009 NABF super bantamweight Al Seeger[89]
Leavander Johnson American 2005 IBF lightweight Jesús Chávez
Duk Koo Kim South Korean 1982 lightweight Ray Mancini
Alexander McKay Scottish 1830 heavyweight Simon Byrne
Davey Moore American 1963 featherweight Sugar Ramos
James Murray British 1995 BBBofC bantamweight Drew Docherty
Johnny Owen British 1980 WBC bantamweight Lupe Pintor
Kevin Payne American 2006 welterweight Ryan Maraldo
Benny Paret Cuban 1962 welterweight Emile Griffith
Henri Piet French 1915 lightweight unknown
Tosh Powell British 1928 BBBofC bantamweight Billy Housego
Harry Price South African 1913 welterweight Johnny Basham
Francisco Rodriguez Mexican 2009 USBA super bantamweight Teon Kennedy
Martín Sánchez Mexican 2005 super featherweight Rustam Nugaev
Ed Sanders American 1954 heavyweight Willie James
Angelito Sisnorio Filipino 2007 lightweight Chatchai Sasakul
Robert Wangila Kenyan 1994 welterweight David Gonzales
Roman Simakov Russian 2011 heavyweight Sergey Kovalev
Marco Antonio Nazareth Mexican 2009 Light welterweight Omar Chavez
Bradley Stone British 1994 BBBofC super bantamweight Richie Wenton

Deaths outside the ring

  • Oscar "Ringo" Bonavena, 33, Argentine heavyweight, homicide (1976)
  • Roberto Balado, 25, Cuban world super heavyweight champion in amateur boxing, died in a crash at a train crossing (1994)
  • Marcel Cerdan, 33, French middleweight champion, killed in plane crash (1949)
  • Billy Collins, 22, car accident (1984)
  • Diego Corrales, 29, American super featherweight and lightweight champion, motorcycle accident (2007)
  • Carlos Cruz, 32, Dominican lightweight champion, killed in plane crash (1970)
  • Tiger Flowers, 32, American world middleweight champion, complications from surgery (1927)
  • Vernon Forrest, 38, welterweight and light welterweight, homicide (2009)
  • Arturo Gatti, 37, Canadian world super featherweight champion, cause of death disputed (2009)
  • Harry Greb, 32, American world middleweight champion, complications from surgery (1926)
  • Stanley Ketchel, 24, American world middleweight champion, homicide (1910)
  • Julian Letterlough, 35, American light heavyweight, homicide (2005)
  • Sonny Liston, 38, American world heavyweight champion, cause of death disputed (1970)
  • Rogerio Lobo, 35, Brazilian cruiserweight, homicide (2006)
  • Michael Murach, 30, German welterweight Olympic champion, military actions during World War II (1941)[90]
  • Giselle Salandy, 21, Trinidadian boxer, car accident (2009)
  • Agapito Sánchez, 35, Dominican World super bantamweight champion, homicide (2005)
  • Salvador Sánchez, 23, Mexican world featherweight champion, car accident (1982)
  • Mzukisi Sikali, 34, South African flyweight, homicide (2005)
  • Edwin Valero, 28, Venezuelan lightweight champion, suicide by hanging (2010)
  • Pancho Villa, 23, Filipino world flyweight champion, Ludwig's angina (1925)
  • Steve Watt, 28, Scottish welterweight champion, blood clot (1986)[91]

Canadian Football League

† These five players were lost in the same plane crash.





Does not include those who died in wheeled sports such as cycling accident, as there is a separate list for such, please refer to List of professional cyclists who died during a race. All are road cyclists unless stated.



  • Jure Robic, 45, Slovenian MTB and road cyclist, car crash (2010)
  • Burry Stander, 25, South African, Traffic Collision, 2013

Road Cycling

Track Cycling

  • Yulia Arustamova, 24, Russian, suicide (2007)
  • Amy Gillett, 29, Australian, hit by a car while training (2005)[98]
  • Albert Richter, 27, German track cyclist, execution by the Gestapo (1940)
  • Lucien Mazan, 35, French-Argentine track and road cyclist, road accident whilst in military action during World War I (1917)





  • Vladimir Smirnov, 28, Olympic champion fencer, accident during a match (1982)

Figure skating




Horse racing

Does not include those who died in riding accident such as equestrian or horse racing, as there is a separate list for such, please refer to List of horse accidents. Also, does not include horses.

  • Chris Antley, 34, American jockey, drug overdose (2000)
  • Michael Baze, 24, American jockey, accidental drug overdose (2011)
  • Fred Archer, 29, English jockey, suicide (1886)
  • Silvio Coucci, 27, American jockey, suicide (1942)
  • Ron Hansen, 33, American jockey, car accident (1994)
  • Frank Hayes, 34–35, American jockey, died from a heart attack while riding his horse Sweet Kiss to victory at Belmont Park (1923)
  • Don MacBeth, 37, Canadian jockey, cancer (1987)
  • Jamie Kyne, 18, Irish jockey, arson (2009)
  • Jan Wilson, 19, Scottish jockey, arson (2009)
  • Kim Hyung-chil, 47, Korean jockey, died in Dec 2006 while attending the equestrian race in 2006 Asian Games (2006)
  • Stathi Katsidis, 31, Australian jockey, cause of death unknown (2010)
  • Arron Kennedy, 34, Australian jockey, cause of death, suicide (St Patrick's Day 2007)

Ice hockey



Martial arts

  • Gilbert Aldana, 29, USA, MMA fighter, drowning (2007)
  • André Brilleman, 25, Netherlands, kickboxer, gang related murder (2010)
  • Douglas Dedge, 31, USA, MMA fighter, brain injury (in-fight) (1998)
  • Justin Eilers, 30, USA, MMA fighter, homicide (2008)
  • Ryan Gracie, 33, Brazil, MMA fighter, drug overdose (2007)
  • Andy Hug, 35, Switzerland, karateka and kickboxer, myeloid leukemia (2000)
  • Justin Levens, 28, USA, MMA fighter, suicide (2008)
  • Evan Tanner, 37, USA, MMA fighter, hyperthermia (2008)
  • Sam Vasquez, 34–35, USA, MMA fighter, brain injury (in-fight) (2007)
  • Shelby Walker, 31, USA, MMA fighter, prescription pill overdose (2006)
  • Jeremy Williams, 27, USA, MMA fighter, suicide (2007)
  • Sergio Salcido, 25, USA, MMA fighter, homicide (2011)
  • Michael Kirkham, 30, USA, MMA fighter, brain injury (in-fight) 2010


Auto racing

Does not include race car drivers who died in race or practice crashes. Those names go in a separate article. Please refer to List of racing drivers who died in racing crashes.

Motorboat racing

  • Donald Aronow, 59, boat builder, murdered (1987)
  • Mike Thomas, hydroplane driver, construction accident (1967)[126]
  • Dwight Bale, drag boat driver, drowned while riding in a rubber raft through a rapid (1973)[127]
  • Bernard Marszałek, 31, Polish driver powerboat, asthma attack (2007)

Motorcycle sport

Does not include motorcycle riders who died in race or practice crashes. Those names go in a separate article. Please refer to List of deaths by motorcycle accident.

Pole vault

College NCAA Track and Field Pole Vaulters

Name Age Born Died College or University Cause of death
Robert Zhongjie 忠杰 Yin 20 1989 2010 Grinnell College At the 2010 NCAA Midwest Conference Division III (NCAA) Track & Field Championships at Illinois College, after landing on the pole vault pit, Yin's shoulders slid off the mat and his head hit the adjacent non-yielding non-padded asphalt. Robert died shortly afterwards from a fractured skull and brain injuries.
Léon Talichet Roach III 18 1990 2009 University of California, San Diego Roach was knocked unconscious during a strength training drill on ropes. While most of Roach's body landed on the mat, his head hit the non-padded cement. Léon stopped breathing, and he was declared brain dead two days later.
Keegan Burnett 28 1984 2012 Idaho State University Burnett committed suicide in 2012. In 2007, while pole vaulting for Idaho State University during a meet in Utah, Burnett slipped off the mat, hitting his head on the adjacent non-padded asphalt causing a fractured skull. After an operation to relieve swelling in the brain, Keegan recovered. In January 2012, he had a ski accident. “Because of the previous injury, Keegan reacts differently than other people and the severity of a concussion is much more severe,” his mother said.
Kevin Dare 19 1982 2002 Penn State University At the 2002 Big Ten Indoor T&F Division I (NCAA) Championships meet at University of Minnesota, Dare's pole vault landing came straight down, headfirst, on the eight-inch-deep steel casing where he had planted the pole on takeoff. Kevin crushed his skull, and died of brain injury the same day.


Rugby Union

  • Nicky Allen, 26, New Zealand rugby union player, head injuries sustained during a match (1984)
  • Sam Doble, 33, English rugby union player, cancer (1977)
  • Yves du Manoir, 23, French rugby union player, plane crash (1928)
  • Nick Duncombe, 21, English rugby union player, meningitis (2003)
  • Ivan Francescato, 31, Italian rugby union player, heart attack (1999)
  • Barry Holmes, 21, English/Argentinian rugby union player, typhoid (1949)[137]
  • Aaron Hopa, 27, New Zealand rugby union player, death as a result of a heart defect, while diving (1998)
  • Gareth Jones, 28, Welsh rugby union player, neck injury sustained during a match (2008)[138]
  • Roy Muir Kinnear, 38, Scottish rugby union/league player, heart attack (1942)
  • Shawn Mackay, 26, Australian rugby union player, spinal cord and other injuries suffered when struck by a motor vehicle (2009)
  • Alexander Obolensky, 24, Russia-born English rugby union player, plane crash during military training (1940)
  • Dick Stafford, 19, English rugby union player, spinal cancer (1912)[137]
  • Sid Judd, 30, Welsh rugby union player, leukemia (1959) .
  • Nevin Spence, 22, Irish rugby union player, death due to slurry gas poisoning on farm (2012)

Rugby League

  • Steve Anderson, 22, Wests and Cronulla centre - car accident (1984)[139]
  • Jason Annear, 21, Australian rugby league player, fall from a cliff (2012)[140]
  • Diego Codyre, 23, Australian rugby league player, car crash (2012)[141]
  • Garry Dowling - Parramatta, Wests and Canterbury fullback - car accident
  • Sonny Fai, 20, New Zealand National Rugby League (NRL) player, disappeared off Te Henga (Bethells Beach) in Auckland while attempting to save a family member. His body has never been found. (2009)
  • Sam Faust, 25, Australian National Rugby League (NRL) player, acute myeloid leukemia (2011)
  • Hudson Irving, English rugby league player, heart attack (1947)
  • Frederick Kelsall, 24–25, English rugby league player, motorcycle accident (1931)
  • Roy Muir Kinnear, 38, Scottish rugby union/league player, heart attack (1942)
  • Jon Mannah, 23 Australian National rugby league player (NRL) player, Hodgkin's lymphoma (2012)
  • Harry Myers, 31, English rugby league player, injuries sustained in a collision while playing for Keighley (1906)
  • Terry Newton, 31, English rugby league player, suicide (2010)
  • Christopher Sanderson, English rugby league player, collapsed following a tackle, he died later that day at a nearby hospital (1977)
  • Geoff Selby - Illawarra and St George backrow - car accident (1989)[142]
  • Apisai Toga, Fijian rugby league player for St. George Dragons, virus or tetanus infection (1973)[143]
  • Leon Walker, 20, English rugby league player, rare undiagnosed heart defect. (2009)
  • Adam Watene, 31, Cook Islands rugby league player, heart attack (2008)



  • Tim Brauch, 25, American professional skateboarder, cardiac arrest (1999)
  • Shane Cross, 20, Australian skateboarder, motorcycle accident (2007)
  • Kit Erickson, 25, American professional skateboarder, non-skateboarding related head injury (1997)[145]
  • Harold Hunter, 31, American professional skateboarder and actor, accidental cocaine overdose (2006)
  • Joe Lopes, 37, American professional skateboarder, automobile accident (2002)[146]
  • Lewis Marnell, 30, Australian professional skateboarder, complications related to type 1 diabetes (2013)[147]
  • Pepe Martinez American skateboarder, complications from head injury (2003)
  • Keenan Milton, 26, American professional skateboarder, drowned (2001)
  • Jeff Phillips, 33, American professional skateboarder, suicide (1993)
  • Justin Pierce, 25, American professional skateboarder and actor, suicide (2000)
  • Phil Shao, 24, American professional skateboarder, car crash (1998)
  • Ray Underhill, 46, American professional skateboarder, former Bones Brigade member, chordoma brain tumor (2008)[148]
  • Dave Vanderspek, 24, American skateboarder, suicide (disputed as some believed it to be autoerotic asphyxiation) (1988)[149]
  • Van Wastell, 24, American professional skateboarder, fell from a hotel balcony (2008)[150]


Does not include skiers and snowboarders who died in competition or practice crashes. Please refer to List of skiing deaths.

Cross-country skiing

Ski jumping

Nordic combined

Alpine skiing

  • Richard Kröll, Austrian alpine skier, car accident
  • Rudolf Nierlich, 25, Austrian alpine skier, car accident (1991)
  • Spider Sabich, 30, American alpine skier, homicide (1976)

Freestyle skiing


Craig Kelly, 37, American snowboarder, trapped in avalanche near Revelstoke, British Columbia, Canada (2003)

Speed skiing


  • Eddie Aikau, 31, drowning (1978)
  • Mark Foo, 36, surfing accident (1994)
  • George Freeth, 35, the "Father of Modern Surfing", influenza (1919)
  • Nick Gabaldon, 24, surfing pioneer, surfing accident (1951)
  • Andy Irons, 32, three-time American World Champion, undisclosed illness after an event in Puerto Rico (2010)[152]
  • Malik Joyeux, 25, surfing accident (2005)
  • Rick Rasmussen, 27, homicide (1982)
  • Zeca Scheffer, Brazilian surfer, car accident (2006)
  • Robert Wilson Simmons, 35, drowning (1954)
  • Yancy Spencer III, 60, the "Father of Surfing on the Gulf Coast," heart attack (2011)
  • Jay Moriarity, 22, drowned during training June 15, 2001, big wave surfer particularly as pioneer at Mavericks



Freestyle wrestling

Professional wrestling

The list includes wrestlers who were still active, or at least were of an age when they could reasonably be assumed to still be active if they had been fully healthy. Wrestlers who were semi-retired at the time of their deaths, or who had fully retired while healthy, are not included.[Note 1]

The best-known ring name of each wrestler, which may be his or her birth name, is indicated in bold type.

Ring name(s)
Abrams, LouLou Abrams Ace Gordon 1959 [158]
Adkisson, ChrisChris Adkisson Chris Von Erich 1969 1991 Suicide (gunshot)
Adkisson, DavidDavid Adkisson David Von Erich 1958 1984 Heart attack triggered by acute enteritis Rumors persist that his death was drug-related, despite considerable evidence supporting the official cause.
Adkisson, KerryKerry Adkisson Kerry Von Erich 1960 1993 Suicide (gunshot)
Adkisson, MichaelMichael Adkisson Mike Von Erich 1964 1987 Suicide (drug overdose plus alcohol)
Albright, GaryGary Albright 1963 2000 Heart attack Died during World Xtreme Wrestling show
Alfonso, MikeMike Alfonso Mike Awesome 1965 2007 Suicide (hanging)
Anoai, RodneyRodney Anoa'i Yokozuna 1966 2000 Pulmonary edema Died during independent wrestling tour in Liverpool, England
Bailey Jr., Joseph CarlJoseph Carl Bailey Jr. J.C. Bailey 1983 2010 Brain aneurysm from multiple concussions
Baker, EddieEddie Baker 1901 1937 Heart attack Died following a wrestling match against Roy Welch. [158][159][160][161]
Baldwin, William J.William J. Baldwin Farmer Baldwin 1887 1911 Broken neck Popularly billed as "Iowa’s wrestling champion". Fatal injury was suffered during a match with "Dad" House. [158][159][161][162]
Barr, ArtArt Barr Beetlejuice,
"The Love Machine"
1966 1994 Unknown The circumstances of Barr's death are contested to this day. Initial reports stated that Barr died of an aneurysm, but later reports stated that he died under unknown circumstances. A mixture of drugs and alcohol were found in his bloodstream at the time of his death, although whether or not they contributed to his death remains uncertain.
Bauman, ChristopherChristopher Bauman Chri$ Ca$h 1982 2005 Motorcycle accident
Benoit, ChrisChris Benoit Pegasus Kid, Wild Pegasus (both during 1989–94 NJPW run) 1967 2007 Suicide (hanging) See Chris Benoit double murder and suicide for further details on his death.
Bigelow, ScottScott Bigelow Bam Bam Bigelow 1961 2007 Drug overdose Wrestled for the World Wrestling Federation in 1987–1988 and in the 1990s.
Bresciano, AdolfoAdolfo Bresciano Dino Bravo 1948 1993 Homicide (shot) Billed as "The World's Strongest Man" during late-1980s WWF run.
Cameron, LarryLarry Cameron "Lethal" Larry Cameron 1952 1993 Heart attack Died during a match with Tony St. Clair [158][160]
Candito, ChristopherChristopher Candito Chris Candido, Bodydonna Skip (late 1990s WWF run) 1972 2005 Blood clot The blood clot that caused his death was a complication of a major leg fracture suffered during the TNA Lockdown pay-per-view.
Cawley, KevinKevin Cawley Black Baron, Pit Bull 1946 1992 [158]
Coggeshall, John L.John L. Coggeshall Dr. Destruction 1970 2004 Unknown Collapsed during a match with Matthew Gilbert [158][163]
Curcuru, CharlesCharles Curcuru Chick Garibaldi 1915 1961 Heart attack Died following a match with Bruno Sammartino [158][160][161]
Davros, ChrisChris Davros Babe Zaharias 1915 1957 Heart attack Died following a match with Bob "Bibber" McCoy [158][160]
Demchuk, JohnnyJohnny Demchuk 1913 1962 Heart failure [158][160]
Dibiase, MichaelMichael DiBiase "Iron" Mike DiBiase 1923 1969 Heart attack Became ill during wrestling match
Duncum, Bobby Jr.Bobby Duncum, Jr. 1965 2000 Accidental prescription drug overdose Member of the West Texas Rednecks stable during WCW run.
Durham, MikeMike Durham Johnny Grunge 1966 2006 Complications of sleep apnea
Eakins, James D.James D. Eakins "Big" Ike Eakins 1916 1968 Heart attack [158][160]
Estrada, José Vincent RamosJosé Vincent Ramos Estrada Sangre India 1956 1979 Head and neck injury Fatal injury was suffered during a tag team match with Leo Lopez against César Curiel and El Vengador [158][159][164]
Everhart, JackJack Everhart Gordon McKinley 1922 1958 Unknown Collapsed during a match with Len Montana [158][161][165][166]
Fatu, EdwardEdward Fatu Jamal (2002–03 WWE run), Jamaal (AJPW), Ekmo, Umaga (2006–09 WWE run) 1973 2009 Heart attack triggered by drug overdose
Franke, KeithKeith Franke "Adorable" Adrian Adonis 1954 1988 Car accident Two other professional wrestlers who were traveling with Franke – Victor "Pat Kelly" Arko, and Dave "Wildman" McKigney – died in the accident. The driver of the vehicle they were traveling in was injured but survived.
Fukuda, MasakazuMasakazu Fukuda 1973 2000 Internal bleeding Fatal injury was suffered during a match with Katsuyori Shibata [158][167]
Garcia, LeeLee Garcia The Medic, Medic #2, Luis Hernandez 1972 Heart attack Died during a wrestling tour in Japan [158][160]
Gracia, Victor Manuel RodriguezVictor Manuel Rodriguez Gracia Victor the Bodyguard 1966 2004 Heart attack Died during an IWA Puerto Rico show [158][168]
Goodall, Luther J.Luther J. Goodall Luther Lindsay 1924 1972 Heart attack Died during a match with Bobby Paul [158][160]
González, AndrésAndrés González Abismo Negro 1971 2009 Drowning
González, JorgeJorge González Giant González 1966 2010 Diabetes
Goodish, FrankFrank Goodish Bruiser Brody 1946 1988 Stabbing Details of his death are contested.
Guerrero, EduardoEduardo Guerrero Eddie Guerrero, Black Tiger II (1990s NJPW run) 1967 2005 Acute heart failure
Grobes, RussellRussell Grobes Ron Dupree 1936 1975 Heart failure Died while announcing a wrestling match in Tacoma, Washington [158][160][169][170]
Grondin, MurrayMurray Grondin Bull Martin 1945 1979 Heart attack [158][159][160]
Gunkel, RayRay Gunkel 1924 1972 Blood clot due to heart trauma Fatal injury was suffered during a match with Ox Baker.
Hady, JimJim Hady "Gentleman" Jim Hady 1931 1969 Heart attack [158][160][161][171]
Hansen, Ib SolvangIb Solvang Hansen Eric the Red, Eric the Animal 1934 1978 Head injury Struck by a car while stranded on a Miami highway, Hanson died of his injuries a week later. [158][159][160][172]
Hart, OwenOwen Hart The Blue Blazer 1965 1999 Internal bleeding from severed aorta Fatal injury resulted from a stunt accident during a live pay-per-view event at Kemper Arena in Kansas City, Missouri.
Hashimoto, ShinyaShinya Hashimoto 1965 2005 Brain aneurysm
Hegstrand, MichaelMichael Hegstrand Hawk 1957 2003 Heart attack One-half of the Road Warriors (WCW) or Legion of Doom (WWF), along with Animal.
Hennig, CurtCurt Hennig Mr. Perfect (1988–1996 and 2002 WWF runs) 1958 2003 Acute cocaine intoxication (allergic reaction)
Howser, BrianBrian Howser Shane Shamrock 1975 1998 Shot in an altercation with police
Hulette, Elizabeth AnnElizabeth Ann Hulette Miss Elizabeth 1960 2003 Accidental overdose of alcohol and tranquilizers
Jimenez, IgnacioIgnacio Jiménez Ibarra El Hijo de Cien Caras 1978 2010 Homicide (shot)
Kado, EmikoEmiko Kado 1976 1999 Internal bleeding Fatal injury was suffered during a tag team match with Michiko Omukai against Mariko Yoshida and Mikiko Futugami. It is the second in-ring death involving a female wrestler in Japan. [158][159]
Kim Sin-rak, Kim Sin-rak Rikidōzan 1924 1963 Homicide (stabbed, resulting in peritonitis) Adopted the Japanese name Mitsuhiro Momota before beginning his wrestling career.
Kirk, MalcolmMalcolm Kirk King Kong Kirk 1936 1987 Heart failure Died during a match with Big Daddy
Klucsaritis, ChristopherChristopher Klucsaritis Chris Kanyon, Kanyon, Mortis 1970 2010 Suicide (apparent overdose)
Lewis, JackJack Lewis "California Red Devil" Jack Lewis 1934 Heart attack Died after match with Harry Kent [158][160][173]
Lizdennis, VincentVincent Lizdennis Dennis Clary 1925 1955 Brain tumor Died during a match with Ali Bey [158][159][160][161][174]
Lockwood, MikeMike Lockwood Crash Holly (WWE), Johnny Pearson, Erin O'Grady, The Green Ghost, Mad Mikey (TNA) 1971 2003 Suicide by apparent drug overdose
Martinshult, MaxMax Martinshult Terry McGinnis 1911 1952 [158][160][175]
Macnaught, LanceLance McNaught Lance Cade, Garrison Cade (2003–04 WWE run), Cowboy Cade (2008–10, indies and Japan) 1981 2010 Heart failure
Leon, Jr., Medardo Jim "Jimmy"Medardo Jim "Jimmy" Leon, Jr. "Bad Boy" Ricky Lawless, Jim Leon, Jim Nunna 1959 1988 Homicide (gunshot) Murdered over an alleged extramarital affair
Miller, Arland C.Arland C. Miller Buddy O'Brien 1909 1941 Multiple injuries Died of injuries sustained during a confrontation with a police officer. [158][176]
Misawa, MitsuharuMitsuharu Misawa Tiger Mask II (1984–90 AJPW run) 1962 2009 Cervical spine injury Died after taking a back body drop from Akitoshi Saito during a match. The cause of death is surmised; Misawa's family invoked a Japanese law allowing the next of kin of a deceased person to prevent disclosure of the official cause of death.
Naniwa, GranGran Naniwa 1977 2010 Heart attack
Olson, OleOle Olson 1923 Unknown Collapsed during a match with L. D. King [158][177]
Ong, BrianBrian Ong 1977 2001 Concussion Fatal injury was suffered during an APW Boot Camp training session with Dalip Singh [158]
Papineau, LouisLouis Papineau 1928 1964 Heart attack Died after a match with Gino Brito [158][159][160][161][178]
Pasha, AliAli Pasha 1961 Heart attack Died following a match against Billy Darnell. [158][179]
Petty, TedTed Petty Rocco Rock, The Cheetah Kid, Colonel DeKlerk 1953 2002 Heart attack
Pillman, BrianBrian Pillman Flyin' Brian (1989–92 in NWA/WCW), Yellow Dog (briefly in WCW) 1962 1997 Atherosclerotic heart disease
Quirk, Daniel M.Daniel M. Quirk Spider, Stuart 1982 2005 Head injury Fatal injury was suffered during a match with Hi-Lite Kid. One of the first major in-ring deaths to occur on the United States independent circuit. [158]
Ray, JackJack Ray Cowboy Russell 1896 1936 Spinal injury Fatal injury was suffered during a match with Dick Powell. [158][180]
Ritter, SylvesterSylvester Ritter Junkyard Dog 1952 1998 Auto accident
Rood, RichardRichard Rood "Ravishing" Rick Rude 1958 1999 Accidental drug overdose
Riley, TexTex Riley 1916 1964 Heart attack Died following a tag team match with Joe Scarpa against Kurt and Karl Von Brauner. [158][160][181]
Romano, MikeMike Romano 1896 1936 Broken neck Fatal injury was suffered during a match with Jack Donovan [158][159][160][182]
Roussimoff, AndreAndré Roussimoff André the Giant 1946 1993 Congestive heart failure He suffered from acromegaly, a pituitary condition that led to his enormous size but ultimately incapacitated him and almost certainly contributed to his premature death.
Rush, WilliamWilliam Rush Jack Rush, Canadian Angel 1912 1955 Heart attack Died during a tag team match with Pedro Godoy against Milo and Dick Steinborn; his partner Godoy continued the match after Rush collapsed during the second fall. [158][183]
Savage, RandyRandy Savage "Macho Man" Randy Savage 1952 2011 Heart attack Savage was involved in a car accident at the time he suffered his heart attack. Initial reports of his death indicated that he had been killed in the collision, when in fact he and his wife had been wearing seatbelts and suffered only minor physical injuries in the crash. After later test, it was concluded that Savage had an enlarged heart and advanced coronary disease.
Scarpa, FrankFrank Scarpa 1916 1969 Heart attack [158][160][184]
Shaw, MikeMike Shaw Bastion Booger, Norman The Lunatic 1957 2010 Heart attack
Shimkus, JoeJoe Shimkus 1896 1934 Brain concussion Fatal injury was suffered during a match with Babe Caddock. [158][160][185]
Smith, DavidDavid Smith Davey Boy Smith, The British Bulldog 1962 2002 Heart attack Was training for a return to wrestling at the time of his death.
Smith, MarkMark Smith Bison Smith 1973 2011 Heart complications
Solis, JesusJesús Solís Oro 1971 1993 Brain aneurysm Died as a result of an in-ring injury. Cause of death surmised from circumstances because no autopsy was performed at his family's request.
Stasiak, Ignacy J.Ignacy J. Stasiak Stanley Stasiak 1895 1931 Blood poisoning The blood poisoning that caused his death was a complication of a broken arm suffered during his match against former world champion Ed Don George at the Arena Gardens. [158][160][186]
Taylor, GuyGuy Taylor Dr. X, Guy Taylor 1968 Died following a match with Doctor X [158]
Tenta, JohnJohn Tenta Earthquake, Avalanche, The Shark, Golga 1963 2006 Bladder cancer Was forced to retire because of his ultimately fatal illness.
Torres, AlbertoAlberto Torres 1934 1971 Ruptured pancreas Fatal injury was suffered during a match with Ox Baker. [158][159][160]
Traylor, RaymondRaymond Traylor Big Boss Man, Big Bubba Rogers, Guardian Angel 1963 2004 Heart attack
Tuite, JerryJerry Tuite The Wall (WCW), Malice (TNA) 1967 2003 Heart attack
Umeda, MarikoMariko Umeda Plum Mariko 1967 1997 Brain hemorrhage Died as a result of head injury received during a match. The cause of death is surmised from the circumstances of her injury and events leading to it; her father requested that no autopsy be performed.
Verdi, MichaelMichael Verdi Trent Acid 1980 2010 Accidental drug overdose
Vigneault, MichelMichel Vigneault Michel "Mad Dog" Martel 1944 1978 Unknown Fatal injury was suffered during a 6-man tag match with Pierre Martin and Jack Lafarb against Carlos Colon and "The Invaders" (Invader I and Invader II) [158][160]
Weaver, RalphRalph Weaver Buck Weaver 1906 1956 [158]
Whybrow, AlexanderAlexander Whybrow Larry Sweeney 1981 2011 Suicide by hanging
Williams, StevenSteven Williams "Dr. Death" Steve Williams 1960 2009 Complications from throat cancer Williams had battled cancer for the last years of his life, wrestling while his disease was in remission. He retired at almost the same time as his cancer returned for the last time.
Wright, JimJim Wright "Big" Jim Wright 1963 Died during a tag team match [158][187][188]
Wright, TexTex Wright 1907 1935 Heart failure Died following a match with Ali Yumed [158][159][160][189]
Wolfe, CharlesCharles Wolfe Gino Hernandez 1957 1986 Apparent cocaine overdose
Wolfe, JeanetteJeanette Wolfe 1933 1951 Cerebral hemorrhage Adopted daughter of world champion Mildred Burke and Billy Wolfe. Fatal injury was suffered during a tag team match with Eva Lee against Mae Young and Ella Waldek. Reportedly the first in-ring death involving a female wrestler in the United States. [158][190][191]

Sumo wrestling

Table Tennis



Water polo

  • Iss Lajos, Romanian water polo player, massive stroke


Other sports


  1. Andrew Martin, best known as Test, died at age 33 in 2009, but had announced his retirement from professional wrestling the previous year while healthy, and had not performed since. Similarly, Luna Vachon died at age 48 in 2010, but had retired in 2007 while in reasonable health.
  2. John Minton, better known as Big John Studd, died at age 47 of liver cancer in 1995, but had retired in 1990, long before his illness had been diagnosed. (Contrast with John Tenta, who is included because he was forced to retire from wrestling due to the bladder cancer that ultimately caused his death, and "Dr. Death" Steve Williams, who retired at almost the same time that the throat cancer he had been battling during his last years returned for the final time.)