Argentina football legend Diego Maradona has died of a heart attack at age 60, his lawyer has confirmed.
The former midfielder and national coach had recently battled health problems and underwent successful surgery earlier this month for a blood clot on his brain.
He suffered a heart attack at his home on the outskirts of Buenos Aires on Wednesday, Argentinian media and acquaintances of the former player said.
He famously captained Argentina to victory at the 1986 World Cup in Mexico, winning the Golden Ball as best player of the tournament.
The tournament also featured his infamous ‘Hand of God’ goal against England in the quarter-finals.
Although his reputation was tarnished by drug problems, off-field indiscretions and an ill-fated spell in charge of the national team, he remained idolised in soccer-mad Argentina as the ‘Pibe de Oro’ or ‘Golden Boy’.
Hospitalised and reportedly near death in 2000 and again in 2004 for heart problems blamed on cocaine, Maradona later said he overcame the drug problem.
Cocaine, he once said famously, had proven to be his “toughest rival”.
Argentine President Alberto Fernandez declared three days of national mourning after the news of Maradona’s death.
Former French rugby international Christophe Dominici, whose dazzling runs made him one of the country’s best wingers, has died aged 48.
Christophe Dominici played 67 games for France between 1998 and 2007
France’s sports minister called Dominici “an immense player, an artist”
Opponents like Jonny Wilkinson, Dan Carter and Bryan Habana all paid tribute
His former club Stade Français confirmed his death, saying it did so with “immense sadness”.
“A rugby genius and companion without equal, he will leave a great void in our big family. Our thoughts go to his family, his wife Loretta, and his daughters Chiara and Mia.”
Dominici won 67 caps for France between 1998 and 2007, scoring a memorable try in France’s stunning 43-31 victory against New Zealand in the 1999 World Cup.
He started his club career at RC La Valette in 1991 before joining Toulon in 1993 and Stade Français in 1997, ending his career there 11 years later.
He won five French national titles with Stade Français and four Six Nations titles with Les Bleus, including two grand slams in 1998 and 2004.
“So much sadness. Christophe Dominici was an immense player, an artist, a funambulist [tightrope walker]. His sudden death is a shock,” France’s sports minister Roxana Mărăcineanu said.
An emotional-sounding Education Minister Jean-Michel Blanquer announced his death at the National Assembly in Paris, prompting politicians to immediately stand and applaud the beloved former player.
Teammates and opponents alike shared their memories of Dominici and sadness at the news, with England’s World Cup-winning flyhalf Jonny Wilkinson, Ireland great Brian O’Driscoll and South Africa star winger Bryan Habana among those who paid tribute to the try-scoring winger.
“I’m devastated. With his crappy physique, he beat all the best defences in the world. It really sucks to lose him at 48,” his former France and Stade Français teammate Sylvain Marconnet said.
Former teammate Frédéric Michalak, who played in two World Cups with Dominici, spoke about the huge influence he had on young internationals breaking through.
“He was a bit like our big brother. He had a strong character while being sensitive at the same time,” Michalak told L’Equipe.
“He was always there for us, reassuring us. I shared many good times with him.”
Michalak, who burst onto the scene as a mercurial scrumhalf at the 2003 World Cup, remembered how Dominici brought the squad together at the 2007 World Cup after Les Bleus had lost the opening game 17-12 at home to Argentina.
“He organised a night out to get us back on the right track. He was our engine in 2007, he was a leader of men,” Michalak said.
“He had exceptional qualities as a player, you could see in his eyes how determined he was.”
Police are investigating after the death of a man who was found injured in an industrial area in Melbourne’s west on Thursday morning.
A crime scene has been set up outside MaxiTRANS, a semi-trailer supplier on Boundary Road in Derrimut, where the injured man was found. He was given medical assistance but he died at the scene, a Victoria Police spokeswoman said.
The man was found several kilometres from another crime scene established late on Wednesday night where police were called to reports that a man was seen lying in the middle of East Derrimut Crescent just after 11.15pm.
By the time police arrived at the scene the man was no longer on the road, but a number of personal items were found, and officers from the dog squad found traces of blood in the surrounding streets.
The Australian basketball community is mourning the passing of Illawarra Hawks great ‘Stormin’ Norman Taylor, who died at age 55 after suffering a heart attack.
Norman Taylor played for the Hawks for three seasons and still holds the club record for most points in a game
The 2-metre-tall centre played 67 games for the Hawks between 1989 and 1991
Friend and former teammate Chuck Harmison said: “He was a great player, but more than that he was a great human being”
Originally from Bridgeport Connecticut in the United States, he was a dominant force for the Purple Knights between 1984 and 1988, before being signed to the Illawarra Hawks for the National Basketball League.
He played 67 games for the Hawks between 1989 and 1991.
Chuck Harmison played for the Illawarra Hawks for nine years and general manager for seven, and he remembers the day Taylor walked into the Snake Pit.
“He was one of imports coach Dave Lindstrom recruited in 1989,” he said.
“I don’t think Lindstrom had ever seen him in person. He watched videos and took advice. Dave was surprised as anyone when he showed up and he was only 6 foot 7 (inches, or just over 2 metres).”
Harmison played with Taylor for three years.
Harmison said he was virtually unstoppable.
“He was a back-to-basket player, which you don’t see much anymore.
“He would run down the court and just put himself in the post position, and he would post up strong, and you just couldn’t get around him because he was so wide.
“Once he got the ball, he would have a super, super quick first step and he would either get around people or he would have a turn around jump shot and because he was so wide you couldn’t get close enough to him to block it.”
Hawks record for most points
Harmison said his best friend, Dean Uthoff, was guarding him the night he scored 54 points for the Hawks, May 18, 1990.
Taylor dropped 54 points, 13 rebounds and helped defeat Eastside Melbourne Spectres 122 to 117.
Harmison said he stormed through the NBL and the nickname stuck.
“Probably a little bit after ‘Stormin’ Norman Schwarzkopf, the US general, I guess, and he loved the name.”
“I used to call him ‘Big Daddy’, because that is what he used to remind me of, just a big teddy bear. We would have him over the house — he was so gentle, just a lovely, lovely man.”
Illawarra Taylor’s adopted home
Taylor fell in love with the Illawarra and decided stay in the area, starting a business.
“He always had a smile on his face, a laugh, and a great story to tell.
“Especially hear in Woonona in the northern suburbs of the Illawarra, he was really an institution. Everyone knew ‘Stormin’ Norman’s chicken shop.
Harmison said he was shocked by the sudden passing of his friend from a heart attack, and offered his sympathies to Taylor’s family and friends.
On Facebook, the Hawks have paid tribute the Taylor:
The Hawks are saddened by the passing of Club legend Stormin’ Norman Taylor, and our thoughts as with those who were close to him at this time.
Taylor holds the Club record for points in a single game with 54 in May of 1990 against Eastside as well as being named Club MVP in each of his three seasons in the Illawarra.