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Longtime Vikings kicker Fred Cox dead at 80

SUPER BOWL VIII - Miami Dolphins v Minnesota Vikings

HOUSTON, TX - JANUARY 13, 1974: Kicker Fred Cox #14 attempts a field goal during Super Bowl VIII on January 13, 1974 against the Miami Dolphins at Rice Stadium in Houston, Texas. The Dolphins beat the Vikings, 24-7 to win the professional football World Championship. 19740113-FR- 1974 Kidwiler Collection/Diamond Images

Diamond Images

The Vikings announced on Thursday that the franchise’s all-time leading scorer Fred Cox has died at the age of 80.

Cox kicked for the Vikings from 1963 to 1977 and scored 1,365 points over the course of his time with the team. That ranks 34th in NFL history in addition to topping the Vikings’ record book. He added 71 more points in 18 postseason appearances, including four trips to the Super Bowl.

Former Vikings head coach Bud Grant noted that Cox did more to help the Vikings than just kick the ball.

“Fred was the ultimate team player for us,” Grant said. “He took part in all of our scout teams, playing running back or whatever we asked of him. He was a great asset to our team, a true credit to the team and his community. If you saw those games, he always stood right next to me on the sideline because he was such a big part of what we were doing with field position and knew the game so well.”

While Cox was still playing, he found a side business that wound up working out for him. He worked with a partner to invent a foam football that Parker Brothers bought and renamed a NERF football. The ball is a staple of American households and which provided a steady income for Cox during and after his playing days.

Our condolences go out to his family and loved ones.