Dead Pool 17th April 2016
Another week and yet more unforeseen deaths! Alas, no points for anyone, and a surprisingly high count of Welsh people amongst the deceased. I’ll not prattle on, lets get to it as there’s lots to read this week.
Look Who You Could Have Had:
- Howard Marks, 70, Welsh cannabis smuggler, writer and legalisation campaigner, colorectal cancer.
- David Gest, 62, American TV producer (Michael Jackson: 30th Anniversary Special) and reality show contestant (I’m a Celebrity…Get Me Out of Here!).
- Anne Jackson, 90, American actress (The Shining, Folks!, Dirty Dingus Magee).
- Balls Mahoney, 44, American professional wrestler (ECW, WWE, SMW).
- Sir Arnold Wesker, 83, British playwright.
- Gareth Thomas, 71, Welsh actor (Blake’s 7, Children of the Stones, Star Maidens), heart failure.
- Gwyn Thomas, 79, Welsh poet and academic, National Poet (2006–2008).
- Martin Fitzmaurice, 75, English darts personality. “Are you ready? Ladies and Gentlemen… Let’s… Play…. Darts”.
- Phil Sayer, 62, British voice artist, the voice of British Railway stations and the voice of the London Underground saying to passengers “Please mind the gap”, esophageal cancer.
- Melinda Rose, Lady Woodward (Linda), 75, wife of Tom Jones, cancer. Not listed on Wiki as a notable death.
In Other News
Sir Bruce Forsyth will miss the funeral of his friend Ronnie Corbett because he is too unwell to attend, his manager has confirmed. Corbett, who died aged 85 earlier this month, will be laid to rest on Monday. The veteran entertainer was expected to attend the service but has opted to remain at his Surrey home while he recovers from keyhole surgery. Forsyth, 88, suffered a fall last October, causing a swelling of the main blood vessel from his heart, which required him to have surgery on the abdominal aortic aneurysm. Following the operation last year, which was a “complete success”, his manager, Ian Wilson, told the media that Forsyth was “two or three weeks away” from being “out and about”. LIES!!!! Corbett’s funeral, which is by invitation only, will take place at St John the Evangelist Church, Shirley, followed by a short service at Croydon crematorium.
Singer Prince has been released from a US hospital after he was admitted with the flu following an emergency plane landing. A representative for the singer told the media that Prince had performed in Atlanta on Thursday despite not feeling well from the flu, and felt worse after boarding a plane following his concert. The plane made an emergency landing in Moline, Illinois, where the singer was treated and released at a local hospital. He then got back on the plane and returned home. Seems a bit extreme for a bit of a sniffle, typically overblown from a drama queen of his stature! The 57-year-old singer then cancelled two show due to having the sniffles.
James Taylor, the Nottinghamshire and England batsman, described his world as having been turned “upside down” following his retirement from cricket because of a serious heart condition. The 26-year-old, capped 34 times and part of the Test side who won in South Africa over the winter, will undergo an operation in Nottingham this week to have a defibrillator fitted, having been diagnosed with arrhythmogenic right ventricular cardiomyopathy. The condition, which medical experts have said is similar to that of the former Bolton footballer Fabrice Muamba, who collapsed during a match at White Hart Lane in 2012, means the batsman is coming to terms with the fact he can no longer play professional sport. Taylor wrote on Twitter: “Safe to say this has been the toughest week of my life! My world is upside down. But I’m here to stay and I’m battling on!” He hopes…
It’s all kicking off in the West Midlands! A vigil has appeared in the middle of a Leamington Spa street in honour of some crushed chocolate digestive biscuits. Daffodils, a candle and a RIP note have been placed next to the fallen treats, left by digestive sympathisers, just days after the end to the great biscuit shortage of 2016 was announced. Warwick university students Hugh Osborn and James Taylor posted the shocking images online, with hundreds of Twitter users sharing the photos. Sadly, the vigil has since disappeared.
On This Day
- 1397 – Geoffrey Chaucer tells The Canterbury Tales for the first time at the court of Richard II. Chaucer scholars have also identified this date (in 1387) as the start of the book’s pilgrimage to Canterbury.
- 1897 – The Aurora, Texas, UFO incident
- 1907 – The Ellis Island immigration center processes 11,747 people, more than on any other day. And they’re worried about a couple of muslims nowadays…
- 1937 – Daffy Duck‘s first appearance, in Porky’s Duck Hunt.
- 1951 – The Peak District becomes the United Kingdom’s first National Park.
- 1964 – Jerrie Mock becomes the first woman to circumnavigate the world by air.
- 1970 – Apollo program: The ill-fated Apollo 13 spacecraft returns to Earth safely.
- 1984 – Police Constable Yvonne Fletcher is killed by gunfire from the Libyan People’s Bureau (Embassy) in London during a small demonstration outside the embassy. Ten others are wounded. The events lead to an 11-day siege of the building.
- 2014 – NASA‘s Kepler confirms the discovery of the first Earth-size planet in the habitable zone of another star.
- 1790 – Benjamin Franklin, American inventor, publisher, and politician, 6th President of Pennsylvania (b. 1706)
- 1960 – Eddie Cochran, American singer-songwriter and guitarist (b. 1938)
- 1998 – Linda McCartney, American singer, photographer, and activist (b. 1941)
Last Week’s Birthdays
Haley Joel Osment (28), Steven Seagal (64), Joss Stone (29), Andy Garcia (60), Claire Danes (37), Ed O’Neill (70), Saoirse Ronan (22), Al Green (70), Paul Sorvino (76), Loretta Lynn (84), Adrien Brody (43), Anthony Michael Hall (48), Robert Carlyle (55), Sarah Michelle Gellar (39), Julie Christie (76), Emma Thompson (57), Emma Watson (26), Seth Rogan (34), Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (69), ex-Pope Benedict (89), Ellen Barkin (62), Martin Lawrence (51), and Lukas Haas (40).
Is there a London 2012 Olympics ‘curse’? By Laura Gray
It’s been reported that 18 athletes who competed in the 2012 London Olympics have died since the Games. French-language media have begun talking about a “curse”, but is there any justification for this? It seems the first mention of “the terrible curse of the London Olympic Games” was made in November last year, when the French TV channel BFMTV reported the death of the Belarusian sprinter Yuliya Balykina. Balykina, who competed in the 2012 Games in both the 100m and 4x100m relay, was found dead and covered in plastic in a forest outside the Belarusian capital, Minsk. A 28-year-old man was charged with her murder.
“La malediction olympique” cropped up again last month, after Australian rower Sarah Tait – a silver-medallist at the London Olympics – died from cervical cancer. “Sarah Tait is just the latest in a very long list of top athletes who have died after taking part in the London Olympic Games,” wrote Gilles Festor in Le Figaro on 5th March.
“This Olympic ‘curse’ has now claimed 18 victims.” But why was it in France that this idea took hold? Maybe because of the shocking deaths of two French Olympians on 9th March 2015, says Paula Kennedy, who monitors European media for the BBC.
Swimmer Camille Muffat and boxer Alexis Vastine were among 10 people killed when two helicopters collided in Argentina, during the filming of a TV survival show, Dropped, where celebrities are dropped in rough terrain and left to find food and shelter. The story had considerable impact in France. “The sudden death of our fellow French nationals is a cause of immense sadness,” said French President Francois Hollande in a statement.
It sounds like a lot – 18 young athletes dying in four years – but is it really, when you consider that 10,568 people took part in the Games? Based on crude mortality rates “you would expect 7.89 people in 1,000 to die,” says Rob Mastrodomenico, a sports statistician at Global Sports Statistics. So in a group of 10,568 people one could expect about 333 to die over a four-year period, he says. However, Olympic athletes are young – they have an average age of 26. Taking this into account, we should expect approximately seven deaths a year, says Mastrodomenico, or 28 deaths in four years. So the figure of 18 deaths over four years does not seem quite so out of the ordinary – and definitely not the sign of a “curse”.
London Olympians who have died
- Keitani Graham, Micronesian wrestler (heart attack)
- Burry Stander, South African mountain biker (hit by vehicle while training)
- Andrew Simpson, British sailor (sailing accident)
- Elena Ivashchenko, Russian judoka (suicide)
- Billy Ward, Australian boxer (suicide)
- Abdelrahman el-Trabily, Egyptian wrestler (shot dead)
- Jakkrit Panichpatikum, Thai shooter (shot dead)
- Christian Lopez, Guatemalan weightlifter (pneumonia)
- Besik Kudukhov, Russian wrestler (car accident)
- Elena Baltacha, British tennis player (liver cancer)
- Camille Muffat, French swimmer (helicopter crash)
- Alexis Vastine, French boxer (helicopter crash)
- Daundre Barnaby, Canadian 400m runner (missing at sea)
- Trevor Moore, American sailor (missing at sea)
- Yuliya Balykina, Belarusian sprinter (murdered)
- Laurent Vidal, French triathlete (heart attack)
- Arnold Peralta, Honduran soccer player (shot dead)
- Sarah Tait, Australian rower (cervical cancer)
The Last Word
That was the best ice-cream soda I ever tasted. – Lou Costello, comedian, d. March 3, 1959
Next week peeps!