Tom Dempsey dead at age 73 after battle with COVID-19

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Tom Dempsey, whose 63-yard-field goal in 1970 set the NFL record and gave New Orleans Saints fans a rare raucous moment in the franchise’s lean early years, died late Saturday of complications from the novel coronavirus, his family told The Times-Picayune. He was 73.

Dempsey — who overcame astronomical odds to establish what was then considered a virtually unbeatable record — contracted the virus last month during an outbreak at the Lambeth House retirement home in Uptown New Orleans.

“Our thoughts and prayers are extended to Carlene and the entire Dempsey family on the passing of their dear Tom,” Saints owner Gayle Benson said in a statement Sunday. “The New Orleans Saints family is deeply saddened and heartbroken at this most difficult time.

“Tom’s life spoke directly to the power of the human spirit and exemplified his resolute determination to not allow setbacks to impede following his dreams and aspirations. He exemplified the same fight and fortitude in recent years as he battled valiantly against illnesses but never wavered and kept his trademark sense of humor. He holds a special place in the hearts and minds of the Saints family.”

Earlier this week, CCS’ Ken Trahan eloquently expressed his thoughts on Dempsey as he battled the coronavirus.

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