Few sportsmen can say they managed to define an era. James Hunt, who was born on this day 69 years ago, could definitely stake a claim to this.
Long-haired and with a free spirit which defined the continuing cultural revolution of the 1970s, he easily fulfilled the image of the galavanting racing driver living day-to-day in an adrenaline-fuelled sport which still proved fatal to many.
Hunt’s finest hour came at McLaren when he lifted the 1976 World Drivers’ Championship, during a season in which great rival Niki Lauda nearly died.
Hunt would retire three years later, becoming a commentator for BBC Sport prior to his premature death cause by a heart attack aged just 45 in 1993.
The life of “Hunt the Shunt” proved just as dramatic off the circuit, with his exploits being documented in 2013’s “Rush”.
More sports personalities born on this day:
1945: Wyomia Tyus, American, who in 1968 became the first sprinter to retain the women’s 100m Olympic title. (71)
1977: Devean George, retired shooting guard who won three NBA Championships at the Los Angeles Lakers. (39)
1982: Vincent Enyeama, Nigeria’s most-capped international player and goalkeeper for Lille. (34)
1992: Noah Syndergaard, baseball pitcher for New York Mets and 2016 All-Star. (24)
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