Bruno Metsu, the Frenchman who coached Senegal in a remarkable run to soccer’s 2002 World Cup quarterfinals, died Oct. 15 in Lille, in northern France. He was 59.
His death was announced by the French soccer club Lille, for which Mr. Metsu played from 1979-81 and coached in 1992 and 1993. No cause was given, but media reports said he died of cancer.
Mr. Metsu’s most memorable achievement as a coach came at the 2002 World Cup, where his Senegal team, in its tournament debut, beat defending champion France 1-0. It was one of the biggest upsets in World Cup history.
The West African team, in what remains its only appearance in the tournament, went on to beat Sweden to reach the quarterfinals before losing to Turkey. Senegal was only the second African team to reach the last eight at the World Cup.
Earlier that year, Senegal also reached the African Cup of Nations final, where it lost on penalty kicks to Cameroon.
Mr. Metsu later coached the United Arab Emirates and Qatar national teams, as well as club sides Al-Gharafa in Qatar and Al Wasl in the UAE, where he replaced the Argentine Diego Maradona.
Earlier in his career, Mr. Metsu coached Valenciennes, Sedan and Valence before taking charge of Guinea. He coached Senegal from 2000 to 2002.
Major League Baseball umpire Wally Bell died Oct. 14 at the Cleveland Clinic after an apparent heart attack, a week after working the National League playoff series between the Pittsburgh Pirates and St. Louis Cardinals. He was 48.
The commissioner’s office announced the death. Mr. Bell had quintuple bypass surgery in 1999 that left him with an eight-inch scar down the middle of his chest.
Mr. Bell worked the 2006 World Series and three All-Star games, including this year’s event at Citi Field in New York, where he was stationed at first base. He had also worked four league championship series and seven division series since joining the major league umpiring staff in 1993.
According to Mr. Bell’s biography on MLB.com, his proudest moment as a big league umpire was returning to the field after having open heart surgery. Two of his arteries had been 100 percent blocked, two more had been 80 percent blocked and another 70 percent.
Mr. Bell came back 11 weeks after his heart problem was detected for a game in San Diego. That night, plate umpire Mark Hirschbeck took the first ball out of play and kept it as a souvenir for Mr. Bell.
Mark ‘Chopper’ Read
Mark “Chopper” Read, one of Australia’s most notorious and colorful crime figures, died Oct. 9 in Melbourne. The cause was liver cancer, his manager said. He was 58.
Mr. Read, who spent 23 years in prison for a variety of crimes, including assault and armed robbery, wrote more than a dozen books detailing his long career of violence, including one titled “How to Shoot Friends and Influence People.” He gained wider fame in 2000 when Australian-born actor Eric Bana played him in the film “Chopper.”
“A fortnight ago, Mark made his last public appearance in front of a sold-out audience at Melbourne’s Athenaeum Theatre,” his manager, Andrew Parisi, said in a statement. “Despite his failing health, he delighted the audience with his skills as a raconteur and storyteller. This is how he would wish to be remembered, as someone who spun a great yarn and made many people laugh.”
Mr. Read earned the nickname “Chopper” after asking a fellow inmate to slice off his ears during one of his prison stints. Mr. Read once said he made the request in a bid to get transferred out of the rough cell block where he was housed; another time, he said it was an attempt to win a bet.
He was never convicted of killing anyone, although he claimed in his books to have murdered 19 underworld figures. Critics said he greatly exaggerated the extent of his crimes to gain more publicity.
He was known for bilking fellow criminals out of their fortunes and torturing victims with blowtorches, though he said he never hurt an innocent person. He once tried to kidnap a judge at gunpoint in an unsuccessful attempt to get a friend freed from prison. He claimed to have survived being stabbed, shot, run over by a car and beaten in the head with a hammer.
After he was released from prison for the final time in 1998, he transformed himself into a crime writer and painter and spoke out against drunken driving and violence against women.
“I know most of you out there may hate my guts. I’m not a very popular person,” he once said in a drunken driving awareness commercial. “But you drink and you drive . . . you’re a murdering maggot just the same as I am.”
So was Mr. Read really the ruthless killer he claimed to be, or was he simply a masterful teller of tall tales? Former police detective Roger “The Dodger” Rogerson, who spent three years in jail in the 1990s on a charge of perverting the course of justice, said it is almost certainly the latter.
“He made it all up,” Rogerson said with a chuckle. “In the end, he was an entertainer. He reinvented himself. And he was clever.”
— From news services