Sports star who died at a very young age

Sports star who died at a very young age

Sports stars who died too young: Ernie Davis, Bill Barilko, Ernie Davis, Bill Barilko, Victims of the Munich air disaster, Renato Curi, Sean Taylor, Edvin Hodžić, Christian Benitez, Pat Tillman, Bernardo Ribeiro, Antonio Puerta, Salvador Sanchez,,,,

Unfortunately, many athletes who have shown immense dedication to their sport have had their careers fatally cut short. Click through to discover other sports stars who died too young.


He was the first African-American to win the Heisman Trophy, but Davis’s career was cut short after he was diagnosed with leukemia. He died of the disease at age 23.

Bill Barilko

Also known as “Bashin’ Belly,” the Toronto hockey player was 24 years old when he disappeared in August 1951. He apparently died in a plane crash and remains were found 11 years later.

Victims of the Munich air disaster

One of the most shocking accidents in football history, a plane carrying the Manchester United team crashed in Munich in 1958. In total, 23 people were killed, including eight United players in their prime.

Renato Curi

During the 1960s and 1970s, Curi played in midfield for Italian clubs such as Como, Perugia and Giulianova. However, he died suddenly, aged 24, during a match against Juventus in 1977.

Sean Taylor

Sean Taylor was a rising star with the Washington Redskins. However, he was fatally shot in the leg during an attempted robbery at his home. He died at the age of 24 in the hospital.

Edvin Hodzic

This Austrian midfielder played for many clubs in his country and was signed to play for the German club SV Schalding-Heining. However, he passed away at the age of 23.

Christian Benitez

Also known as “Chucho,” this Ecuadorian striker played around the world before dying of complications from cardiac arrest at the age of 27.

Pat Tillman

Tillman started out with the Arizona Cardinals in the NFL. However, he joined the military after 9/11 and was killed in a friendly fire accident at age 27.

Bernardo Ribeiro

The Brazilian attacking midfielder died at the age of 26, after suffering cardiac arrest after a game with an amateur club.

Antonio Puerta

Puerta was a star player for Sevilla, winning five titles with his only club. He collapsed during a La Liga match in 2007 and was later pronounced dead at hospital.

Salvador Sanchez

Despite his short career, Salvador Sanchez is still seen as one of the best featherweight fighters in boxing. He died at the age of 23 in a car accident.

Nick Adenhart

Nick Adenhart is off to a great start with the Los Angeles Angels. However, he died at age 22 in a car accident not far from Angels Stadium.

Francis Lazarus

Lázaro’s day job was carpentry in Lisbon, and he also represented Portugal as an Olympic marathon runner. He died of dehydration at the age of 21, during an Olympic marathon to which he allegedly said “either I win or I die”.

Jose Fernandez

Fernandez was an exciting star with the Miami Marlins, but he died in a boating accident when he was 24, five days after announcing that his girlfriend was pregnant with his child.

Andres Escobar

During the 1994 World Cup, the Colombian central defender accidentally scored an own goal in a 2-1 loss against the United States. The country turned against the player, who was murdered at the age of 27. Many have made connections between his mistake and his murder.

Steve Prefontaine

This Oregon-born Olympic runner died in a car accident when he was 24 years old.

Darrent Williams

This NFL star started 14 games for the Denver Broncos in 2006. However, Williams was shot and killed during a New Year’s Eve celebration in 2007. He was 24 years old.

Ed Sanders

Sanders was an American Olympic boxing champion. His last fight was against Willie James, who beat the boxer beyond repair. He was carried out of the ring on a stretcher and pronounced dead at a hospital at age 24.

Camille Muffat

The French swimmer won bronze, silver and gold at the Olympics. He joined the TV show ‘Dropped’ but died at the age of 25 along with nine other people in a helicopter crash.

Drazen Petrović

The Croatian basketball player played for Portland, Real Madrid and the New Jersey Nets. He died in a car accident in Germany, aged 28.

Sarah Burke

Sarah Burke was an impressive Canadian skier. However, she fell on her head during training and died from the injuries she sustained. She was 29 years old.

Oscar Taveras

The 22-year-old Dominican-Canadian was poised to be a star with the St. Louis Cardinals. However, “The Phenomenon” and his girlfriend died in a car accident.

Eric Blasberg

Blasberg was a professional golfer who reportedly took her own life when she was 25 years old. Some have suggested foul play by Dr. Thomas Hess, who says he had a “flirtatious” relationship with Blasberg. He but he was ultimately acquitted in a wrongful death and medical malpractice lawsuit stemming from Blasberg’s death.

Aaron Hernandez

Aaron Hernandez had a revered NFL career, which ended after he was convicted of murder. He was acquitted of a related double homicide, but took his own life in his cell at the age of 27.

Emiliano Sala

The world of football was shocked by the death of Emiliano Sala, who died in January in a plane crash. He was 28 years old.

Miklos Feher

Fehér was a heroic Hungarian forward, who played for the Portuguese clubs Porto and Benfica. During a match with Benfica, he suffered cardiac arrest and died in hospital at the age of 24.

Ayrton senna

The exciting Brazilian racer was a former Formula One world champion, but died at the age of 34 in an explosive accident at the 1994 San Marino Grand Prix.

Hank Gathers

This college basketball star collapsed and died during a game in 1990. The 23-year-old played against legends like Shaquille O’Neal but never made it to the NBA.

Kelly Catlin

Kelly Catlin was an American cyclist sensation who won a silver medal at the 2016 Olympics. The athlete took her own life in her Stanford dorm room on March 7.

Gabriele Grunewald

Gabriele Grunewald was an elite American sprinter and the 12th fastest American woman to run the 1,500 m in history. While she had an impressive resume, she battled cancer all the way, she’s endured radiation therapy and surgery several times since she was diagnosed in 2009, but she kept running. She died on June 11, 2019, at just 32 years old.

Maxim Dadashev

On July 24, 2019, days after his fight with Puerto Rico’s Subriel Matias, Russian boxer Maxim Dadashev passed away in a US hospital due to injuries sustained. He was just 28 years old.

Patrick Day

Boxer Patrick Day passed away on October 16, 2019, at the age of 27, days after a fight with fellow American Charles Conwell in Chicago. He died as a result of his head injuries, this after falling into a coma.

Colby Cave

NHL star Colby Cave, who played for the Boston Bruins and the Edmonton Oilers, passed away on April 11, 2020 at just 25 years old. Having been placed in a medically induced coma four days earlier, following surgery to remove a colloid cyst causing pressure on his brain, Cave’s cause of death was a brain hemorrhage. His family and his wife of less than a year were unable to be with him in his final moments due to COVID-19 hospital regulations.

Kobe Bryant

NBA legend and sports icon Kobe Bryant reached retirement, but his life was cut short at age 41, following a helicopter crash in California on January 26, 2020. The tragic accident also claimed his life of eight others, including Gianna Bryant. Kobe’s 13-year-old daughter, who was also a promising basketball player.

Vincent Jackson

Former NFL Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Vincent Jackson was found dead on February 15, 2021 at a Florida hotel. The athlete, who was once one of the best wide receivers in the league, was only 38 years old. His cause of death was unclear, but Jackson reportedly checked into the hotel on February 11, a day after his family reported him missing. The police closed the case after checking his welfare. He leaves behind his wife and his three children.

Timur Faizutdinov

Russian junior hockey player Timur Faizutdinov, 19, died after being hit in the head by a puck during a game. The hit reportedly occurred on March 12 when Faizutdinov, a defenseman for the Dynamo St. Petersburg team, was in a playoff match against Loko Yaroslavl. He collapsed and was taken to the hospital, where he passed away on March 16.

Katherine Diaz

El Salvador’s top surfer, 22-year-old Olympic hopeful Katherine Diaz, was in the water on March 19, 2021, training for an upcoming qualifying competition, when she was struck by lightning, CNN reports. She died instantly.

Geno Hayes

Former NFL linebacker Geno Hayes, who had a seven-season career in the league, died April 26 while in hospice at his parents’ home in Georgia. He was only 33 years old. The former Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Chicago Bears and Jacksonville Jaguars player had been diagnosed with chronic liver disease in 2019, but his condition worsened in 2021 and he spent his last days in hospice care being visited by family and close friends. friends, reports TMZ.

Olivia Podmore

Cyclist Olivia Podmore, who had become a top-level competitor at a young age and represented New Zealand at the 2016 Rio Olympics, passed away suddenly on August 9, 2021, at the age of 24. “The New Zealand Olympic Committee is deeply saddened by the loss of Olympian #1333, Olivia Podmore,” the organization said in a statement shared by E! News. “We offer our deepest condolences to the family, friends and others in the New Zealand community who are grieving this loss. We are providing wellness support to their team members and the team as a whole as we return home from Tokyo. “.

Jimmy Hayes

The late NHLer Jimmy Hayes, who played for the Chicago Blackhawks, Florida Panthers, Boston Bruins and New Jersey Devils, was pronounced dead by first responders at his home on August 23. The night before, Hayes and his wife of three years Kristen celebrated his son Beau’s second birthday with their new son Mac, who was born on May 5. After weeks of doubt, a toxicology report revealed that he died of acute intoxication due to the combined effects of fentanyl and cocaine, according to his widow and his father. Hayes had previously confessed that he became addicted to pain medication after sustaining an injury.

Demaryius Thomas

NFL player Demaryius Thomas was found dead at his home in Roswell, Georgia. The 33-year-old Denver Broncos wide receiver reportedly passed away as a result of a medical issue, according to CNN. Thomas was considered one of the best wide receivers in Bronco history and his death is mourned by his team and the football community at large. “We are devastated and completely heartbroken,” the Broncos said in a statement. “Demaryius’s humility, warmth, kindness and infectious smile will always be remembered by those who knew and loved him.”

Deon Lendore

Three-time Olympian Deon Lendore has died in the US at the age of 29, Reuters reports. The Trinidadian sprinter, who specialized in the 400 meters and competed in the London, Rio de Janeiro and Tokyo Olympics, was involved in a car accident in Texas on January 10. He reportedly worked as a volunteer coach at Texas A&M University. “Deon has flown the flag of Trinidad and Tobago with pride, honor, patriotism and indomitable will throughout his career as he helped and inspired many,” the Trinidad and Tobago Olympic Committee said in a statement.

Katie Mayer

On March 2, Stanford University reported that the captain and goalkeeper of its women’s soccer team, Katie Meyer, had passed away at the age of 22. Meyer, who was majoring in international relations at the university, allegedly died in a residence hall on campus. The next day, news was shared that Meyer died of self-inflicted injuries. Her friends and teammates remember her as a “larger than life team player in all of her activities”, that she was “extraordinarily engaged with everything and everyone in her world”. Her passing is mourned by Stanford University and the American soccer community at large.

Eya Guezguez

Eya Guezguez, a Tunisian sailor and one of the youngest athletes to compete at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, has tragically died at the age of 17. Even more heartbreaking, Eya was sailing with her twin sister, Sarra, who competed alongside Eya in the Olympics when they were just 16 years old. Their boat reportedly capsized due to high winds, and although their coach was alongside them in a speedboat at the time, the coach was only able to help Sarra out of the tangled rigging before reaching Eya, whom he then attempted CPR, the BBC reports. Eya was taken to a hospital where she was pronounced dead.

Jeff Gladney

Arizona Cardinals cornerback Jeff Gladney has passed away at the premature age of 25. He was reportedly involved in a two-car collision in Dallas in the early hours of May 30. Both Gladney and a female passenger died in the crash. The young athlete had just started his third season with the NFL and had signed a two-year contract with the Arizona Cardinals. They released a statement that read: “We are devastated to learn of the passing of Jeff Gladney. Our hearts go out to his family, his friends, and all who are mourning this tremendous loss.”

Barber marion iii

Marion Barber III, who played with the Dallas Cowboys for six years, has died at the age of 38. Reports indicate that Barber was found dead in his apartment after police were called to respond to a “welfare issue” at his address on June 1. The former football star retired from the NFL 10 years ago, but not before earning the nickname ‘Marion the Barbarian’. The Cowboys released a condolence statement on the day of his death: “Marion was a tough, old-school football player who ran with the will to win every down. He had a passion for the game and love for his coaches and teammates. team. Our hearts go out to Marion’s family and friends during this difficult time.” It was later revealed that her cause of death was heat stroke.

Caleb Swanigan

Former NBA star Caleb Swanigan died at the age of 25 on June 20, Purdue University confirmed. According to the Allen County Coroner’s Office in Indiana, the former Portland Trail Blazers player died of natural causes. “Devastated,” he tweeted at his college team, the Purdue Boilermakers, on June 21. “Our thoughts and prayers to the family and friends of Caleb Swanigan. The world lost a gentle soul last night. I love you Biggie.” Swanigan was drafted by the Trail Blazers in 2017 and after two seasons he was traded to the Sacramento Kings in 2019, before returning to the Portland team in 2020. But in March 2020 he played his last professional game and left the NBA for “reasons.” personal”, which were supposedly his ongoing health problems.

Bobby East

Decorated race car driver Bobby East was stabbed to death on July 13, at the age of 37. Police were called to a gas station in Westminster, California, where they found East with a serious chest wound. He was rushed to hospital but did not survive. A 27-year-old local homeless man was named a murder suspect, but was shot and killed by police when he reportedly confronted him during the arrest. The circumstances surrounding East’s stabbing have yet to be determined.

East was the son of USAC Hall of Fame car builder Bob East and had a successful career as a USAC and NASCAR driver, winning several national titles.

Leandro Lo

Leandro Lo was an 8-time Brazilian jiu-jitsu world champion before his life was brutally cut short at the age of 33. He was shot in the head at a concert in São Paulo, Brazil, in the early hours of August 7. According to Bleacher Report, Guilherme Cruz of MMA Fighting cited media outlet G1 and a police report mentioned by Combate, noting that police officer Henrique Otávio Oliveira Velozo is a suspect. Witnesses reportedly said that the police officer had grabbed a bottle from Lo’s table, and Lo responded.

Luke Knox

On August 18, Florida International University announced the loss of one of their young students and star athletes. Luke Knox, linebacker for the Miami-based university’s football team, suddenly passed away at the age of 22. While his cause of death was not made public, the local police department confirmed that no foul play was suspected. Tributes to Knox poured from his teammates and coaches. FIU head football coach Mike MacIntyre wrote, “While I admired his passion for football, his genuine love for his family and teammates is what I will always remember. He had a special way of making everyone around him feel comfortable and confident. Luke’s family is special to me, and they will continually be in my heart and in my prayers during this difficult time. On behalf of the entire FIU football family, I extend sincere condolences to Luke’s family and all who love him.”

Elias Theodorou

Former UFC fighter Elias Theodorou died on September 11 following a battle with cancer. The Canadian mixed martial artist was only 34 years old, and had been battling stage 4 liver cancer in private. In public, Theodorou competed for the UFC in the Middleweight division where he was ranked 13th, and won ‘The Ultimate Fighter Nations: Canada vs. Australia.’ He was also a known advocate for the use of medical marijuana in combat sports, believing it to be safer and more beneficial than prescription drugs.

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Sports stars who died too young

The life of an athlete can be fast and furious. They usually start young and quickly prove themselves nationally and even internationally. While this sometimes leads to fame and an impressive career, unfortunately not all athletes make it this far.

Former Australian surf star Chris Davidson has died after being punched in the face outside a pub in a small town north of Sydney on September 24. The 45-year-old athlete reportedly hit his head on the pavement and although he received treatment at the scene, he passed away at a hospital shortly after. The 42-year-old man who threw the punch was arrested and charged with assault resulting in death, the BBC reports.

Davidson rose to early fame at just 19 years old, when he received a wildcard entry into the 1996 Rip Curl Pro. It was there that he beat reigning world champion Kelly Slater in two consecutive heats. After hearing the news of Davidson’s death, Slater wrote on Instagram: “Had a lot of good battles with this guy. One of the most naturally talented surfers I’ve ever met.”

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