On this day in 1952, Danish international striker Allan Simonsen was born. Kicking off his professional career with hometown Vejle BK, he helped his side lift the domestic league title during his first season before repeating the triumph a year later with a victorious cup campaign.
His talent became evident and defending Bundesliga champions Borussia Mönchengladbach knocked on his door eventually coming to an accord with the footballer. Although the start of his German career was undoubtedly rocky, he acclimatised, scoring 76 goals in 178 appearances between 1972 and 1979, winning three Bundesliga titles, two UEFA Cups and a German Cup.
In 1977, he fell short of European Cup dominance after Mönchengladbach lost to Liverpool in the final despite his consolation goal. His performances that season earned himself the accolade of European Footballer of the Year.
He later backed his bags for Barcelona where he spent three seasons, adding the Copa del Rey to his trophy cabinet as well as scoring the decider as the Catalans defeated Standard Liege in the 1982 Cup Winners’ Cup.
After a short spell with Charlton Athletic, Simonsen hung up his boots back in his hometown but not before lifting another league title in 1984 before his eventual retirement in 1989. Since then, he moved to the managerial side of football with Vejle and is currently FC Fredericia general manager in his native Denmark.
Other sport star birthdays on this day:
1951: Joe Jordan, former Scottish striker, also known as Jaws, played for Leeds, Manchester United and AC Milan. (65).
1970: Frankie Dettori, Italian jockey hailed champion on three occasions, famously riding all seven winners on British Champions’ Day at Ascot (46).
1983: Delon Armitage, English full-back currently plying his trade for Lyon, but rose to fame for on-field antics at Toulon (33).
1984: Martin Skrtel, Slovakian defender for Turkishe side Fenerbahce, formerly of Liverpool (32).
In 1979, Joe Montana’s illustrious career began at San Francisco spanning 14 seasons since first winning a college national championship at Notre Dame. His time in the West Coast is subject of envy as he won four Super Bowls, becoming the first-ever player to win the Super Bowl MVP thrice.
He holds Super Bowl career records for most passes without a single interception with 122 in four games and boasts the all-time highest quarterback rating of 127.8.
It was his ability to remain composed and calm under immense pressure which helped his teams to 31 fourth quarter comeback wins, famously throwing game-winning touchdown passes in the dying embers of the 1981 NFC Championship Game and Super Bowl XXIII.
The 49ers eventually retired his iconic number 16 in 1997. However, the Comeback Kid also featured for the Kansas City Chiefs, leading the franchise to an unprecedented AFC Championship Game in January 1994.
ESPN named the multiple award-winning quarterback as the 25th greatest athlete of the 20th century while Sports Illustrated rated hm as the number one clutch quarterback of all-time.
More memorable moments on this day:
2005: Celtic completed the signing of Roy Keane, who had been released from his Manchester United contract.
2008: Sachin Tendulkar hits emotional 41st Test hundred as India recorded fourth-highest chase in Test history to defeat England in Chennai.
2014: Ally McCoist resigns as Rangers manager and enters 12-month notice period on the same day the club and Mike Ashley are accused of breaching Scottish Football Association rules.
2015: Rory McIlroy’s domination of the European Tour Golfer of the Year Award continued with third triumph in four seasons.
Paul Rabil, the face of Lacrosse in America, brings a rundown of the Top 20 Lacrosse trick shots for our friends at Whistle Sports.
From two-ball challenges, to stick skills and unbelievable goals – the Red Bull athlete has quite a highlights reel.