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clevestinks
05-27-2006, 08:46 PM
Just saw on ESPN that Craig Heyward died at the age of 39. This is all I know! I know must of us are most familiar with his college football, but he played for the Saints also.

My deepest sympathy goes out to his family!

R.I.P.

clevestinks
05-27-2006, 08:49 PM
TLANTA -- Former NFL fullback Craig "Ironhead" Heyward, who played 11 seasons in the league with five different franchises, died here Saturday after a seven-year battle with a recurring brain tumor.

Heyward, who retired from the league following the 1998 season, was 39.

Given the severity and aggressiveness of Heyward's tumor, known as a chordoma, and the inability of surgeons to completely remove it during two operations, his death was not unexpected. Heyward also suffered a stroke a few years ago that left him partially paralyzed.

But friends who had visited recently with Heyward, including one-time NFL quarterback Bobby Hebert, a former teammate in both New Orleans and Atlanta, certainly did not expect his death to come so quickly.

Hebert told ESPN.com two weeks ago that he was apprised that the tumor had wrapped itself around Heyward's brain, that further surgical attempts were not planned, and that the once-mighty fullback would likely survive another three to five years.

"The one thing he's still got and that hasn't changed a bit," Hebert said at the time, "is that devilish sense of humor of his. Hopefully, that will keep him going for a while."

In a statement released by the University of Pittsburgh, coach Dave Wannstedt, who helped direct Heyward to the school and also coached him with the Chicago Bears, said: "I will always remember him as a tremendous player who had an irrepressible attitude on and off the field. We spoke just a few weeks ago and I was struck by the typical upbeat 'Ironhead' attitude he displayed despite his health. The thoughts and prayers of the entire Pitt family are with Craig's loved ones during this time of sorrow."

Heyward departed Pitt as an underclassman to enter the NFL draft and was the first-round selection of the New Orleans Saints in 1988. He played from 1988-92 for the Saints and then had stints with Chicago (1993), Atlanta (1994-96), St. Louis (1997) and Indianapolis (1998).

In 149 games, Heyward registered 1,031 carries for 4,301 yards and 30 touchdowns. He also posted 177 receptions for 1,559 yards and four touchdowns. His finest season came with the Falcons in 1995, when he rushed for 1,083 yards and six touchdowns and earned his lone Pro Bowl berth.

tony hipchest
05-27-2006, 08:58 PM
holy shtt! he was always my favorite saint! i remember when he had his complications a few years ago but had forgotten about him here recently (he hasnt been in the news or nothing). this sucks.

r.i.p. ironhead! you provided plenty of years......

Black@Gold Forever32
05-27-2006, 09:44 PM
Just saw on ESPN that Craig Heyward died at the age of 39. This is all I know! I know must of us are most familiar with his college football, but he played for the Saints also.

My deepest sympathy goes out to his family!

R.I.P.

That sucks I liked Ironhead. May he R.I.P. and I hope the best for his family in their time of sorrow. Craig also was a basketball player. I remember hearing a story about his college coach complaining that during practice about always replacing the backboard since Ironhead used to tear them down by dunking the ball all the time.

BlacknGold Bleeder
05-28-2006, 12:09 AM
R.I.P. so young ,damn shame liked his style.

ATLANTA (Ticker) - Former NFL fullback Craig Heyward died Saturday after a lengthy battle with a recurring brain tumor. He was 39.

A former Pro Bowler, Heyward suffered from what is known as a chordoma, a very aggressive tumor which doctors were unable to completely remove during two seperate operations. Heyward also was left partially paralyzed by a stroke several years ago.

Nicknamed "Ironhead," Heyward ran for 4,301 yards and 30 touchdowns in 11 NFL seasons with New Orleans, Chicago, Atlanta, St. Louis and Indianapolis.


University of Pittsburgh coach Dave Wannstedt, who coached Heyward with the Bears, issued a statement on the Panthers' website.

"I will always remember him as a tremendous player who had an irrepressible attitude on and off the field," Wannestedt said. "We spoke just a few weeks ago and I was struck by the typical, upbeat 'Ironhead' attitude he displayed, despite his health.

"The thoughts and prayers of the entire Pitt family are with Craig's loved ones during this time of sorrow."

Ohio Steeler
05-28-2006, 02:05 AM
R.I.P

BB2W
05-28-2006, 09:15 AM
Heyward was one of my favorite players as a child... :frown:

silver & black
05-28-2006, 09:59 AM
Sorry to hear that. I always enjoyed watching him play. He was a beast on the field.

Ambridge
05-28-2006, 04:43 PM
So long "Ironhead" :tombstone

Kind of ironic having the nickname of "Ironhead" and passing away from a brain tumor.

Suitanim
05-28-2006, 06:50 PM
RIP...I was sad to see this news.

DIESELMAN
05-31-2006, 08:22 PM
He once hit Seattle linebacker and alleged tough guy Brian Bosworth so hard he made him cry. According to former NFL quarterback Bobby Hebert, then-Saints coach Jim Mora called the same off-tackle play six straight times, with Heyward as the lead blocker. "After about the third time," Hebert said, "Bosworth was crying. Honest. Tears were rolling down his face, because he didn't want Ironhead to hit him anymore. He cried 'Uncle!' for real. Ironhead, he just laughed at him."

'RIP' and God Bless his family.....:helmet: