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Saints’ Hall of Fame kicker Tom Dempsey passes away at 73

(Photo by Focus on Sport/Getty Images)
(Photo by Focus on Sport/Getty Images) /
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New Orleans Saints’ kicker Tom Dempsey, who was inducted into the team’s Hall of Fame in 1989, has died from complications with coronavirus.

The New Orleans Saints’ kicker Tom Dempsey, while living in the Lambeth House, was being treated for dementia and Alzheimer’s before contracting COVID-19, the virus spreading across the United States like wildfire.

As first reported by Ramon Antonio Vargas of The Times-Picayune/New Orleans Advocate, Dempsey died after complications with the novel coronavirus.

With the bulk of states on lockdown, the US is being hit hard by the pandemic. Now, the New Orleans Saints’ family is grieving as well.

Dempsey, who set and held the NFL field-goal record for over four decades, was an inspiration to all that strive to compete at the highest level. He was born without toes on his right foot and without fingers on his right hand.

For a kicker, those make the job extremely difficult and virtually impossible, but Dempsey didn’t make excuses and work to be one of the best at the position, beating those unlikely odds at greatness.

On November 8, 1970, he went down in the record books. Kicking the 63-yard field goal, the then-longest of its time, at Tulane stadium, Dempsey wrote his name down as one of the most iconic kickers of all time.

Born in 1947, Dempsey passed away at 73, having joined the New Orleans Saints as a 22-year-old in 1969. Kicking a league-high 41 attempts in 1969, Dempsey earned his only appearance in the game during his rookie season with the Saints.

Having missed just three extra points in his two seasons, Dempsey went on to play for the Eagles, Rams, Texans, and Bills and had a career that spanned 11 years. In 2013, Matt Prater of the Denver Broncos down his record with a 64-yard bomb.

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Dempsey fell victim to complications with the disease just a handful of days after Saints’ head coach Sean Payton announced he had been infected with the disease as well. Payton has since defeated the virus.

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