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Tom Dempsey dies after COVID-19 battle

Tom Dempsey Kicking Record-Setting Field Goal

(Original Caption) 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, and it is with that wooden foot, encased in a football shoe, that he kicks his field goals and extra points.

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Only four days ago came word that Tom Dempsey had recovered from COVID-19. The good news was short lived.

The former NFL kicker died late Saturday of complications from the coronavirus, the Times-Picayne reports. Dempsey was 73.

Dempsey had battled Alzheimer’s disease and dementia since 2012. He was one of several residents of a senior living facility in New Orleans to contract COVID-19, testing positive March 25.

At least 15 residents at the Lambeth House retirement home in Uptown New Orleans have died from the coronavirus, according to the Times-Picayune.

Dempsey becomes at least the second former NFL player to die after contracting COVID-19. Orlando McDaniel, who played three games for the Broncos in 1982, died last week. McDaniel was 59.

Dempsey, who was born without toes on his right foot and fingers on his right hand, signed with the Saints as an undrafted free agent in 1969. He is best remembered for his record-setting 63-yard field goal in 1969.

The small flat shoe he kicked with is on display at the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Although Dempsey played for the Eagles, Rams, Oilers and Bills after leaving the Saints, he retired to New Orleans.