SPORT: BIRTHDAYS

Today: Rod Laver, the greatest Australian tennis player of all time, four times champion of Wimbledon (born 1938).

Tomorrow: Andy Gregory, the formidable face of rugby league, set a record of nine Challenge Cup final appearances with both Widnes and Wigan (1941).

Thursday: Pete Sampras, arguably the sportsman of the decade with a record- equalling 12 grand slam events (1971).

Friday: Ben Hogan, the man who came closest to achieving the "impossible task" of the golfing grand slam in 1953, not long after cheating death in a car crash (born 1912). Alan Shearer is 29.

Saturday: Fred Davis, thrice world snooker champion and Professional Match-Play champion from 1952-56 (born 1913).

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