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Deaths: Sports stars who died in 2010

other Updated: Dec 27, 2010 12:24 IST

A list of top sports stars and personalities who died during 2010:

American football

Don Meredith: Dallas Cowboys icon died after suffering a brain hemorrhage at the age of 72 on December 5. Known as the 'Dandy' he was a three-time Pro Bowler and the NFL Player of the Year in 1966. He led the Cowboys to their first winning season and their first NFL Championship Game in 1966. The Cowboys lost that game to eventual Super Bowl I winners Green Bay.

Athletics

Harold Connolly: American hammer throwing Olympic champion died aged 79 on August 18. Probably the only person to win the hammer Olympic title wearing ballet shoes, to improve his footing, in the 1956 edition in Melbourne. Competed in three other Olympics and set 12 world records.

James Fuchs: American shot put legend known as the 'Magnificent Wreck' died aged 82 on October 8. Won two Olympic bronze medallists, despite having a 104 degree fever in the London Games and a badly injured hand in Helsinki four years later, and was unbeaten in 88 events an astonishing achievement as he had pioneered his own technique because of a leg injury.

Antonio Pettigrew: Disgraced former 400 meters world champion was found dead in his car having taken an overdose of pills on August 10 aged 42. Was top of the world in 1991 in Tokyo and won several relay gold medals climaxing with the 2000 Olympic title. However, after he admitted to taking performance-enhancing drugs from 1997 onwards he along with his team-mates were stripped of the Olympic title and he also lost his 1997 and 1999 World Championships relay gold medals.

Baseball

Sparky Anderson: Hall of Fame manager who guided three World Series champions died from complications relating to dementia on November 4 aged 76. Anderson - who gained his name from his style of play - was the first man to manage teams from both the American and national leagues to World Series crowns.

George Steinbrenner: Legendary owner of the New York Yankees died on July 13 aged 80. Nicknamed 'The Boss' his immense drive and deep pockets revived baseball's most storied team and built a sports empire. He had owned the team since 1973, enjoying seven World Series championships, including 2009. While a tough no-nonsense character he also contributed enormous amounts of money to charity, usually anonymously.

Bobby Thomson: Scottish-born player, whose playoff home run to win the 1951 National League title for the New York Giants was dubbed "The Shot Heard 'Round The World", died aged 86 on August 16. Born in Glasgow but came with his family aged two to the United States, he garnered three runs for the Giants with his hit off Brooklyn Dodgers' ace pitcher Ralph Branca in the bottom of the ninth inning and it brought the Giants a crown, though, they were to lose to city rivals the Yankees in the World Series.

Cricket

Sir Alec Bedser: Legendary fast bowler, regarded as one of the greatest English cricketers of the 20th century, died at the age of 91 after a brief illness on April 4. Born just 10 minutes after his twin Eric (died 2006), they were inseparable serving together with distinction in the RAF during World War II after being evacuated from Dunkirk and went onto play together at Surrey. Unlike his twin, Alec, who turned down a promotion in the war so he could remain with his brother, enjoyed a splendid international career taking 236 wickets in 51 test matches for England in a career that lasted from 1949 to 1960.

Cycling

Laurent Fignon: French two-time Tour de France winner died of cancer aged 50 on August 31 which he denied in his autobiography, 'We Were Young and Carefree', was linked to when he took doping products. Stood out with his long blond hair and spectacles as he won the Tour in both 1983 and 1984 but is perhaps best remembered for his agonizing eight second defeat in the 1989 edition to Greg Lemond, the smallest losing margin in the history of the great race.

Football

Keith Alexander: First black manager in English football when appointed boss of Lincoln City in 1993 died suddenly on March 3 aged 53 when he was managing Macclesfield Town. A St Lucian international striker in his playing days he guided Lincoln in a second spell (2002-2006) to the League Two play-offs on four successive occasions.

Malcolm Allison: Flamboyant and larger than life English football manager died aged 83 on October 14. However underneath the fedora hats, sheepskin coats and large cigars was a highly-talented and astute football coach who is deservedly a Manchester City legend as assistant manager to Joe Mercer the team won the league title in 1968 followed by the FA Cup in 1969, plus the League Cup and European Cup Winners' Cup in 1970.

Sammy Baird: Former Rangers and Scotland midfielder died on April 21 aged 79. Baird played in the Glasgow giants' first match in European football, against Nice in the 1956/57 European Cup and was a member of the team that reached the semi-final of the competition in 1960 before losing to Eintracht Frankfurt. He also won seven Scotland caps and scored against France in the 1958 World Cup finals in Sweden.

Enzo Bearzot: Charismatic, chain-smoking manager who delivered Italy their first World Cup since 1938 in 1982 died on December 21 aged 83. He built up the team himself after taking over in 1977 and against a lot of opposition gambled on recalling striker Paolo Rossi after a two-year ban for his part in a betting scandal. It paid off as Rossi scored six times in the latter stages of the tournament including the 3-1 victory over West Germany in the final.

Ralph Coates: Former England and Tottenham midfielder died aged 64 following a stroke on December 17. Coates was capped four times and also netted the winner for Spurs in their 1973 League Cup final win against Norwich. Enjoyed a successful 10 year stay at Burnley and was in the provisional squad for the 1970 World Cup.

Jim Cruickshank: Outstanding goalkeeper who all told made 610 appearances for Scottish outfit Hearts died aged 69 on November 18. Famous for wearing an all black garb which drew comparisons with Soviet Union legend Lev Yashin was to many people's minds woefully underused by the national side, making just six appearances in 11 years at the top.

Gil Merrick: Only manager ever to bring some silverware to Birmingham City, the 1963 League Cup, died on February 3 aged 88. Was an outstanding goalkeeper for the club, making a record 551 appearances for them after joining in 1939 and was also capped 23 times by England playing in all three matches at the 1954 World Cup finals.

Orlando Pecanha: Regarded as one of Brazil's greatest ever defenders died aged 74 on February 11 of a heart attack. Capped 34 times and a member of the side that won Brazil's first World Cup in 1958 and also appeared at the 1966 finals. Won two league titles with Vasco da Gama and hung up his boots in 1970.

Bobby Smith: A member of Spurs's revered 1961 double-winning side died after a short illness aged 77 on September 18. Smith, who also played 15 times for England, scored 208 goals in 317 appearances for Spurs and also had spells at Chelsea - who sold him to Spurs for the then princely sum of 16,000 pounds in 1955 - and Brighton after starting his working life as a coalminer.

Formula one

Tom Walkinshaw: Man credited with bringing the young Michael Schumacher to the Benetton Formula One team died aged 64 of cancer on December 12. He also ran the Ligier and Arrows Formula One teams and his TWR Jaguar cars triumphed at Le Mans in 1988 and 1.