17 Athletes Who Died In The Line Of Duty

Let’s talk occupational hazards. We all know that every job has its associated risks but very few jobs have fatal occupational hazards. Today we look at a couple of sportsmen who signed on, with injuries in mind as possible occupational hazards, but got a tad more than they bargained for; death in the line of duty.


Marc-Vivien Foé (Football) 1975 – 2003

marc vivan

Cause Of Death: Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy during an international competitive match, shocked the football community worldwide. He was posthumously decorated with the Commander of the National Order of Valour.


Jeanine Christelle Djomnang (Footballer) 1990 – 2016


Cause Of Death: Initial reports suggest she died of a heart attack but a formal medical report is pending.


Bartholomew Opoku (Football) 1991 – 2010


Cause Of Death: Kessben communication director Fred Acheampong told kickOffGhana.com that doctors at the Korle-bu hospital have yet to inform them of the exact cause of death.


Reggie Lewis (Basketball) 1965 – 1993


Cause Of Death: Lewis suffered sudden cardiac death on the basketball court at an off-season practice on July 27, 1993, at Brandeis University in Waltham, Massachusetts.


Dale Earnhardt (Nascar Racing) 1951 – 2001


Cause Of Death:  Earnhardt died instantly of a basilar skull fracture when he crashed his car in the final lap of the Daytona 500 – an unexpected event that was widely lamented in the racing industry.


Emanuel Ortega (Football) 1994 – 2015


Cause Of Death: Collision with a concrete wall that surrounded the pitch.


Samuel Okwaraji (Football) 1964 – 1989


Cause Of Death: Congestive heart failure.


Bernardo Ribeiro (Football) 1989 – 2016


Cause Of Death: There has been no official confirmation of his cause of death.


Stefan Petrovski (Football) 1998 – 2016


Cause Of Death: Struck by lightning during training session.


Miklós Fehér (Football) 1979 – 2004


Cause Of Death: Fehér died of a cardiac arrest during a match between Vitória de Guimarães and his team Benfica in Guimarães.


Ayrton Senna (Formula 1) 1960 – 1994


Cause Of Death: Senna died aged 34 after succumbing to fatal injuries sustained during his final race at the San Marino Grand Prix, on 1 May 1994.


Korey Stringer (American Football) 1974 – 2001


Cause Of Death: Elevated body temperature.



Brad Rone (Boxing) 1967 – 1990

brad rone

Cause Of Death: Rone died after a fight with Billy Zumbrun, a boxer who had beaten Rone before, and who, ironically, had become friends with Rone after their first fight.


Hank Gathers (Basketball) 1967 – 1990


Cause Of Death: Cardiovascular disease.


Pedro Alcázar (Boxing) 1975 – 2002


Cause Of Death: Injuries sustained in boxing.


Ed Sanders (Boxing) 1930 – 1954


Cause Of Death: Injuries sustained in boxing.


Daniel Aguillon (Boxing) 1984 – 2008


Cause Of Death: He died in a Mexico City hospital after a five-day coma induced by a knockout punch by fellow Mexican boxer Alejandro Sanabria during an official fight.


When our favourite sports men and women are in their zone they can make us forget about their mortality but they are men and women just like us.



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