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Tom Dempsey: Former New Orleans kicker dies from coronavirus

New Orleans: Record Kick. Saints field goal expert Tom Dempsey watches one of his kicks split the uprights during first half action here Nov. 8th, as safety Joe Scarpati holds and Lions' safety Mike Weger watches. Dempsey kicked four field goals---the final and most exciting with two seconds left, a record 63 yards to give the Saints a come-from-behind-victory of 19-17. Dempsey was born without a right foot. He was fitted with an artificial foot in childhood
Image: Saints' Tom Dempsey made a then-record 63-yard field goal against Detroit in November 1970

Former New Orleans kicker Tom Dempsey has died at the age of 73 after struggling with coronavirus complications.

Dempsey, who played in the NFL despite being born without toes on his kicking foot, tested positive for the disease just over a week ago.

He is best known for making a record 63-yard field goal against Detroit in November 1970 which stood as an NFL record for 43 years until the Broncos' Matt Prater broke it with a 64-yarder in Denver in 2013.

In total, Dempsey spent 11 seasons in the NFL - his first two seasons with New Orleans (1969-70), the next four with Philadelphia, then two with the LA Rams, one with the Houston Oilers and the final two with Buffalo.

Dempsey then retired following the 1979 season, returning to New Orleans before being diagnosed with dementia in 2013.

A statement from Saints owner Gayle Benson read: "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 humour."

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