Gene Upshaw, executive director of the NFL Players Association, died this morning of pancreatic cancer. His sudden death comes as a shock, as he was only diagnosed this past Sunday. He was 63.
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After a successful 15-year career as an offensive lineman, with two Super Bowl wins and seven Pro Bowl nods, Upshaw was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1987.
After retiring following the 1982 season, Upshaw stayed deeply involved in the NFL. He became the executive director of the player’s union in 1983, a position he held until his death.
Broncos President Pat Bowlen just released the following statement:
“I am stunned and saddened by the news of Gene Upshaw’s death. I enjoyed working with Gene over the years and found him to be a complete professional, a great credit to the game and a man of outstanding character. He will be missed. My deepest sympathy goes out to his family.”
Click here for the full NFL.com story on Upshaw.