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Dublin: 5°C Tuesday 13 April 2021

RIP: Remembering sports people we lost in 2012

From GAA great Páidí Ó Sé to boxing legend Angelo Dundee we take a look back at some of the many sporting greats that Ireland, and the world, lost this year.

IT HAS BEEN a vintage year for Irish and international sport, but it has also been one marked with tragedy.

The deaths of Nevin Spence and Brian Óg Maguire so close together in September marked a particularly difficult month for Irish sport.

Here’s some of those we’ve lost in 2012.

RIP: Remembering sports people we lost in 2012
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  • Gary Ablett

    The former Everton, Liverpool and Sheffield United player was just 46 when he died from non-Hodgkin's lymphoma on New Year's Day 2012. Image: EMPICS Liverpool. UK
  • Colm Tucker

    The former Ireland flanker was also capped twice by the British and Irish Lions during their 1980 tour of South Africa. Image: PA/PA Archive/Press Association Images
  • Angelo Dundee

    Dundee worked with no less than 16 world boxing champions, including Sugar Ray Leonard, José Nápoles, George Foreman and Muhammad Ali. Image: Jim Kerlin/AP/Press Association Images
  • Phil Shanahan

    Phil Shanahan played for both Dublin and Tipperary in an inter-county career that saw him win three All-Ireland titles. His first win, pictured above, came in 1949. Image: YouTube screengrab
  • Eamon 'Chick' Deacy

    Chick Deacy spent three years in the League of Ireland before moving to Aston Villa in 1978 and winning the English league title in 1981. Image: Dave Hodges/S&G and Barratts/EMPICS Sport
  • Bertie Messitt

    Messitt was one of three Irish competitors in the men's marathon at the 1960 Olympics. He passed away aged 81 in February this year. Image: AP/Press Association Images
  • Jocky Wilson

    Wilson, with his unique throwing style, was crowned darts World Champion twice. He died, aged 62, in March this year. Image: Don Morley/EMPICS Sport
  • Jim Stynes

    Aussie Rules legend Jim Stynes lost his lengthy battle with Cancer in March 2012. Image: INPHO/Getty Images
  • Dave Sexton

    Dave Sexton managed Chelsea, Manchester United and England U21s in a career that saw him lift the FA Cup in 1970. Image: S&G/S&G and Barratts/EMPICS Sport
  • Dermot Hannafin

    Dermot Hannafin won his only All-Ireland title with Kerry in 1953 when they defeated Armagh to claim the Sam Maguire. Image: YouTube screengrab of Kerry captain Jas Murphy from that year.
  • John Egan

    John Egan won six All-Ireland titles and five All-Stars with Kerry in a ten year inter-county career with the Kingdom. Image: INPHO/Billy Stickland
  • Dorothy Dermody

    Dorothy Dermody, who died in April aged 102, competed in fencing for Ireland at the 1948 London Olympic Games. Image: Empics/EMPICS Sport
  • Junior Seau

    San Diego Chargers player Junior Seau took his own life at the age of 43 in May 2012. Image: AP Photo/Lenny Ignelzi, File
  • Paddy Madigan

    While Paddy Madigan never won a full Ireland cap he did go on to become president of the IRFU. Image: INPHO/Dan Sheridan
  • Alan McDonald

    The 48-year-old former Northern Ireland player and manager died suddenly while playing golf in June this year. Image: INPHO/Billy Stickland
  • Con Houlihan

    Con Houlihan was one of Ireland's best loved journalists and wrote passionately about a range of sports right up until his death in August. Image: INPHO/Billy Stickland Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/Billy Stickland
  • Phil Kelly

    Phil Kelly won five Ireland caps and played more than 100 games for Norwich in an eight-year professional career. Image: YouTube screengrab
  • Art Modell

    Baltimore Ravens owner Art Modell with the Super Bowl he helped the team win. He was 87 when he died in September this year. Image: AP Photo/Dave Martin
  • Corrie Sanders

    Sanders (left) defeated Wladimir Klitschko to win the WBO World Heavyweight Championship in 2003. He was fatally wounded during an armed robbery this year. Image: AP Photo/Joe Cavaretta
  • Brian Óg Maguire

    Brian Óg Maguire led Lisnaskea Emmets to All-Ireland Intermediate Football Championship glory in 2011 before losing his life in a workplace accident in September aged just 24. Image: INPHO/Ryan Byrne
  • Nevin Spence

    Nevin Spence was 22 when he died alongside his father Noel and brother Graham in a farming accident on September 15. Image: INPHO/John Dickson
  • Paul O'Connor

    Paul O'Connor (right) won five consecutive Fitzgibbon Cups with University College Cork and two county championships with Na Piarsigh. Image: INPHO/Cathal Noonan
  • Gerry Culliton

    Gerry Culliton was capped 19 times for Ireland and also featured on the 1961 Barbarians side that provided South Africa with their only loss of a 30-match tour. Image: INPHO/IRFU Collection
  • Emanuel Steward

    Steward trained no less than 41 world champion fighters throughout his career but will be best remembered for his work with Lennox Lewis and Wladimir Klitschko. Image: AP Photo/Frank Franklin II
  • Páidí Ó Sé

    The world of Irish sport was rocked in December when news broke that legendary Kerry football Páidí Ó Sé had died aged 57. Image: INPHO/Billy Stickland

About the author:

Steve O'Rourke

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