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Britain mourns the death of two legends

Last updated on: April 13, 2020 00:05 IST
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British great Stirling Moss dies at 90 after long illness

Stirling Moss

IMAGE: Former English Formula One driver Stirling Moss waves to spectators as he sits in his 1955 Ferrari 750 Monza during the Ennstal Classic rally. Photograph: Leonhard Foeger/Reuters

Stirling Moss, the British racing driver who ranked as one of the all-time Formula One greats despite never winning the world championship, died on Sunday at the age of 90 after a long illness.

"He died as he lived, looking wonderful," his wife Susie told the Daily Mail newspaper.

 

"He simply tired in the end and he just closed his beautiful eyes and that was that."

A team mate at Mercedes to Argentine five-times world champion Juan Manuel Fangio, the Briton survived one of the deadliest eras of motorsport with 16 Grand Prix wins in the 1950s and early 1960s.

Four times a championship runner-up, and also third overall on three occasions, no other driver has won as many races without taking the title.

Moss was also the first Briton to win his home Grand Prix, beating Fangio at Liverpool's Aintree circuit for Mercedes in 1955, with his name becoming a byword for speed for a generation of fans.

News of his passing was mourned across the world of motorsport, with Formula One hailing a 'legend' and 'one of the true greats'.

"A prodigious competitor, supremely talented racer, and consummate gentleman, he leaves an indelible mark of greatness on the history of international motorsport," said McLaren offering their condolences.

Former racer and television commentator Martin Brundle hailed "a mighty racer and gentleman".

But for his sense of sportsmanship, Moss could have been Britain's first ever world champion in 1958 instead of Mike Hawthorn.

He lost the title by a single point that year after asking stewards to reinstate his disqualified compatriot at the Portuguese Grand Prix.

"I felt that it was quite wrong and I went and gave evidence on Mike's behalf and said no way should he be disqualified," Moss, who won four races that year to Hawthorn's one, told Reuters in an interview at his home in 2009.

Moss ended his professional career after an accident at Goodwood in 1962 left him unconscious for a month and paralysed for six months.

Knighted Sir Stirling Craufurd Moss in 2000 for services to motor racing, the London-born dentist's son retired from all forms of motor racing only in 2011 when he was 81.

He regarded the 1961 Monaco Grand Prix as his greatest Formula One race but the 1955 Mille Miglia, a sportscar race on Italian public roads, was as memorable.

He covered the last stage, some 83 miles from Cremona to Brescia, at an average speed of 165.1 miles per hour from a standing start.

Moss was taken ill in Singapore in late 2016 and spent 134 days in hospital battling a chest infection.

He also survived a three-storey plunge down a lift shaft at his London home in March 2010, breaking both ankles and four bones in his feet.

Former Chelsea goalkeeper Bonetti dies aged 78

Former Chelsea and England goalkeeper Peter Bonetti has died at the age of 78 after a long battle with illness, the Premier League club announced on Sunday.

Nicknamed "The Cat" for his quick reflexes in goal, Bonetti made 729 appearances for the London club in two stints between 1960 and 1979 -- second on the club's all-time appearances list behind former defender Ron Harris.

"Chelsea Football Club is hugely saddened to announce the passing today of one of our indisputably all-time great players, Peter Bonetti," the club said in a statement.

"Our former goalkeeper had been suffering from long-term illness. All at Chelsea wish to send our heartfelt and deepest condolences to Peter's family and friends."

Bonetti kept over 200 clean sheets for the club over two decades and he also made seven England appearances.

He was a back-up goalkeeper to Gordon Banks in the squad that won the 1966 World Cup but he never played a match in the tournament.

However, he was blamed for the 3-2 quarter-final loss to West Germany at the 1970 World Cup despite England leading 2-0 in the second half. He had come into the side after Banks pulled out due to food poisoning.

Following his retirement, he was a goalkeeping coach with England, Chelsea, Newcastle United, Fulham and Manchester City.

"Our thoughts go out to the friends and family of former City goalkeeping coach Peter Bonetti along with everyone at @ChelseaFC following sad news of his passing," Manchester City said in a tweet.

Petr Cech, who would go on to break some of Bonetti's records at Chelsea, mourned his death on Twitter.

"Really sad news for everyone from @ChelseaFC family," he said. "R.I.P. "The Cat"... Legend."

Former England captain and television presenter Gary Lineker described Bonetti as a "terrific goalkeeper" for the club.

"So sorry to hear that Peter Bonetti has passed away," he said. "Got to know him when he was England's goalkeeping coach and he was a delightful bloke."

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