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Prominent sports deaths in 2011

Published: Wednesday, Jan. 4 2012 6:52 p.m. MST

This May 18, 2011 file photo shows former Brazil's soccer player Socrates posing for pictures in Sao Paulo, Brazil. Socrates, the clever playmaker who captained Brazil at the 1982 World Cup, died after suffering with an intestinal infection the Albert Einstein Hospital in Sao Paulo confirmed Sunday Dec. 4, 2011. He was 57.

Andre Penner, ASSOCIATED PRESS

Twenty prominent sports deaths in 2011:

—Seve Ballesteros, 54, dazzling five-time major golf champion from Spain.

—Lorenzo Charles, 47, dunk at buzzer gave North Carolina State 1983 NCAA title.

—Gil Clancy, 88, boxing trainer who guided Emile Griffith to world titles.

—Henry Cooper, 76, knighted English boxer who knocked down Muhammad Ali.

—Al Davis, 82, renegade owner of Oakland Raiders with a half-century in pro football.

—Joe Frazier, 67, bruising heavyweight champion who beat Muhammad Ali.

—Dave Gavitt, 73, basketball coach who helped found Big East Conference.

—John Henry Johnson, 81, running back in San Francisco 49ers' "Million Dollar Backfield."

—Harmon Killebrew, 74, slugger who hit 573 homers as face of Minnesota Twins.

—Lokomotiv Yaroslavl, top Russian hockey club wiped out in plane crash in central Russia.

—John Mackey, 69, pioneered role of tight end before becoming players' union president.

—Ollie Matson, 80, NFL running back and Olympic champion who was traded for nine players.

—Joe Perry, 84, speedy fullback with 49ers fullback nicknamed "The Jet."

—Bubba Smith, 66, a 6-foot-7 defensive end and fierce pass rusher who became an actor.

—Duke Snider, 84, "Boys of Summer" center fielder who led Brooklyn to 1955 title.

—Socrates, 57, elegant playmaker and captain of Brazil's 1982 World Cup team.

—Chuck Tanner, 82, managed "We Are Family" Pirates to 1979 World Series crown.

—Grete Waitz, 57, Norwegian running queen who captured NYC Marathon nine times.

—Dan Wheldon, 33, two-time Indianapolis 500 winner killed in crash in Las Vegas.

—Dick Williams, 82, managed Charlie Finley's Oakland A's to World Series titles in 1972, '73.

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