3) Jimmy Thorpe — 1936
Thorpe was a keeper for Sunderland F.C. and notched up an impressive 139 matches. Whilst playing against Chelsea one of his guys passed the ball back to him, the Sunderland players charged down and in their zeal to get the ball kicked him in the head and chest.
Thorpe continued to play but ended up dying in hospital four days later from diabetes mellitus exacerbated by the rough play of the opposition.
Although Thorpe is not a particularly famous keeper, his demise caused a change in footy rules which has protected goalkeepers ever since. His suffering brought in rule changes meaning that players could no longer boot the ball from a keeper’s secure grip.