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Wednesday: Jack Johnson, the first black world heavyweight boxing champion, was born in 1872. American racism forced him to go to Australia to win the title from Tommy Burns in 1908 and he defended his crown mostly outside his homeland.

Thursday: David Gower, England's most ice-cool cricket captain, made his entrance in 1957.

Friday: Three-time world motor racing champion Jack Brabham zoomed into the world in 1926.

Saturday: Snooker funnyman John Virgo, later to enjoy a Big Break with Jim Davidson, arrived on cue in 1946.