Historic Saints kicker Tom Dempsey dies after fight with coronavirus
New Orleans Saints kicker Tom Dempsey died Saturday due to complications from the coronavirus. He was 73.
For decades, Dempsey was known for making one of the most famous kicks in NFL history. With the Saints trailing the Detroit Lions by two points — and just two seconds remaining in the game — Dempsey lined up for a then-record 63-yard field-goal attempt.
Dempsey drilled the kick, setting a record that lasted decades. He was mobbed by his teammates and was eventually carried off the field.
Born without fingers on his right hand and toes on his right foot, Dempsey played 11 seasons in the NFL. While only two came with the Saints, New Orleans was the place Dempsey considered home.
Dempsey’s 63-yard field goal stood until 2013, when it was broken by Denver Broncos kicker Matt Prater and his 64-yard field goal. Five other kickers tied Dempsey’s record.
In 2012, Dempsey revealed he was dealing with dementia. He had been living in a senior center when he contracted the coronavirus. Dempsey was diagnosed with the virus on Mar. 25, according to his daughter Ashley.
While Dempsey’s symptoms were mild initially, his condition worsened. Dempsey was quarantined after contracting the virus, but was able to speak with his family every day over video chat.
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