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The sports personalities we lost in 2014

Some great sportspeople passed away in the last year.
Dec 31st 2014, 8:00 AM 10,151 8


Soccer - World Cup England 1966 - Semi Final - Portugal v England - Wembley Stadium Source: PA Archive/Press Association Images

Nicknamed the ‘Black Panther’ or ‘the Black Pearl’, the frontman is widely considered to be have been one of the greatest players of all-time.

He excelled at the 1966 World Cup in England where he finished as the tournament’s top scorer with nine goals, four of which he scored in one incredible 5-3 win over North Korea at Goodison Park.

Eusebio played for 15 of his 22 years as a professional footballer at Benfica, scoring an incredible 317 goals in just over 300 games and winning 11 league titles and one European Cup.

Joe O’Mahony

The Limerick United team File photo of Limerick United. Source: Billy Stickland/INPHO

O’Mahony enjoyed a 20-year career with Limerick United and captained them to the 1979-80 league title. He also skippered them to FAI Cup wins in 1971 and 1982.

Barry Nash


18 year old Nash, from Clare, was a gifted handball player and club hurler and footballer.

Shane Hourigan

Shane Hourigan Source: Cathal Noonan/INPHO

Hourigan, aged 40, was a well known GAA figure from Rathkeale and was an inter-county hurling referee. In 2013 he was in charge of a number of high-profile games including the All-Ireland minor hurling semi-final between Kilkenny and Waterford and the Munster U21 hurling final between Clare and Tipperary.

Luis Aragones

Soccer - UEFA Champions League - Group G - Fenerbahce v Arsenal - Sukru Saracoglu Source: Mike Egerton

Aragones kick-started Spain’s golden generation when he managed their national team to victory at Euro 2008. He also managed Atletico Madrid (three times!), Barcelona and a host of other teams over a 35-year managerial career.

Tom Finney

Soccer - Football League Division One - Tottenham Hotspur v Preston North End Source: S&G and Barratts/EMPICS Sport

Finney was one of England’s most gifted ever footballers and played his entire 14-year career with Preston North End, where he scored 210 goals in 473 appearances. He also played for England 76 times, scoring 30 goals.

Bill Shankly once said of Finney, ‘he would have been great in any team, in any match and in any age… even if he had been wearing an overcoat.’

Tito Vilanova

Sport - 2014 Christmas Sport Package Source: PA Wire/Press Association Images

Vilanova was Pep Guardiola’s long-time number two at Barcelona and also coached the Catalan club to the La Liga title.

Elena Baltacha

Sport - 2014 Christmas Sport Package Source: PA Wire/Press Association Images

Baltacha was British number one for three years, she reached the third round of the Australian Open in 2005 and 2010, and achieved a career-high world ranking of 49. She won 11 singles titles, made the third round of Wimbledon in 2002, was a member of Great Britain’s Fed Cup team for 11 years and reached the second round of the women’s singles at the London Olympics.

Alfredo Di Stefano

Sport - 2014 Christmas Sport Package Source: PA Wire/Press Association Images

Di Stefano was unquestionably one of the most talented players ever to step on a football pitch.

In his first season at Real Madrid, he helped them end a 21-year wait for the league title before collecting a further seven league crowns during his time at the club.

However, it was on the European stage that Di Stéfano truly cemented his status as one of the game’s greats, helping Real win the first five editions of the European Cup between 1956 and 1960, a record that stands to this day.

Dermot Hogan

The teams stand for a minutes silence Tipperary and Dublin's U21 sides observe a minute's silence after the death of Offaly U21 manager Dermot Hogan. Source: James Crombie/INPHO

Hogan managed the Offaly U21 team having previously served as a selector with the county minors.

Oliver Brady

brady Source: Tom Honan/INPHO

Brady was a horse trainer and among his best horses were Maralan, who won two Grade Two chases within the space of a week in February 2008, and Ebadiyan, successful in the Grade Three Punchestown Juvenile Hurdle in January 2009.

Canon Michael O’Brien


O’Brien was most famous for managing Cork to their All-Ireland hurling title in 1990 while co-managing them along with Justin McCarthy to their 1984 triumph. He also led UCC to eight consecutive Fitzgibbon Cup titles in the 1980s.

Dessie Hughes


Hughes was a legendary jockey and horse trainer.  His most famous success as a jockey was in the 1977 Cheltenham Festival when he rode Davy Lad to victory in the Gold Cup.

As a trainer his many successes included victory in the Champion Hurdle with Hardy Eustace.

Phil Hughes

Sport - 2014 Christmas Sport Package Source: PA Wire/Press Association Images

Hughes played 26 test matches for Australia after making his debut in 2009, when he made a sparkling start to his international career at the age of 19.

After making an assured 75 in his first test innings against South Africa at Johannesburg, he posted centuries in each innings of his second test, becoming the youngest player ever to do that in test cricket.

Jack Kyle

Brian O'Driscoll celebrates with Jack Kyle 2009 Source: Morgan Treacy/INPHO

Kyle was one of the greatest tens to ever play rugby and won 46 caps for Ireland as well as three Five Nations titles, one of which was famously a Grand Slam in 1948.

Andy Kettle

Andy Kettle Source: Donall Farmer/INPHO

Kettle was the Dublin county board chairman from 2010 until he passed away in December. During his time as chairman the Dublin footballers won two All-Ireland titles while the hurlers captured their first Leinster crown in 62 years.

Rubin ‘Hurricane’ Carter

Rubin Carter Source: RUTH BONNEVILLE

Carter, whose story was chronicled in the film The Hurricane, was imprisoned for murder for 20 years before the conviction was overturned. Before going to jail he had been a middleweight boxer, and compiled a record of 27 wins, 12 losses and one draw.

The Ultimate Warrior

WWE Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony Source: Jonathan Bachman

The Ultimate Warrior famously defeated Hulk Hogan at Wrestlemania 6 in a heavyweight title/intercontinental title unification match. He was also inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame just days before he died.

Additional reporting by AFP

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Will Slattery


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