The door to a whole new year swings open on Sunday, but, sadly, some of sport's greatest names won't be striding through with us.
Seve, Smokin' Joe, Duke, Harmon and Socrates, among many, many others, left us in 2011.
You can't rate one life over another, but for perhaps having a greater impact on his sport, golfing great Severiano "Seve" Ballesteros deserves first swing in the tee box.
The charismatic Spaniard died in May aged 54 after a long battle with brain cancer. He was at the forefront of the European challenge to American golf supremacy in the 1970s. Seve won five majors, but it is the manner in which he played he will most be remembered for. He was no classic actor on a course, but he was a great improv artist. He ended up in the trees more often than a bear, but always seemed to escape with a magical swing of the club.
Also in his prime around that time was a former farm worker from South Carolina who decided to take up the sweet science, Smokin' Joe Frazier. His name will be forever tied to Muhammad Ali after their historic trilogy of fights in the early '70s. But, the name Frazier deserves to stand alone. The former world heavyweight champion never backed down from a challenge despite being the smallest of the big men at that time, and he probably had the greatest left hook the world has seen. The bell tolled for Joe in November at the age of 67 when he succumbed to liver cancer.
Baseball Hall of Famers Duke Snider, Harmon Killebrew and Dick Williams also bid adieu. Supreme hitters, Duke and "Killer" were iconic players with the Dodgers and Twins respectively, while the feisty Williams made his name as a tell-it-like it-is manager who won two World Series with the Oakland A's. That trio will be joined on the big diamond in the sky by Bobby "Shot Heard 'Round the World" Thomson.
Al Davis, the owner, face and driving force behind the Oakland Raiders, who played a massive role in creating today's NFL, passed away. So did one of his former stars in the Silver and Black, Chester McGlockton.
Sadly, some chose to not make the journey to 2012 on their own accord. Former Yankees pitcher and Japanese star Hideki Irabu and long-time midfielder and Wales soccer team manager Gary Speed both hanged themselves, and both were only 42. Renowned international cricket correspondent Peter Roebuck is believed to have jumped from his hotel room balcony in South Africa while being interviewed by police over an alleged sexual assault.
Socrates, the masterful Brazilian midfielder, virtually admitted he had killed himself before losing his battle with the bottle and an intestinal infection at the age of 57. The qualified doctor captained the 1982 Brazilian side, which is regarded as the best team to have never won the Cup.