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  1. #1
    RamWraith's Avatar
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    Tumor claims ex-Ram Heyward

    The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
    Published on: 05/28/06
    Craig "Ironhead" Heyward had hoped to survive a 7 1/2-year fight with a recurring brain tumor long enough to share "Senior Night" with his son, Cameron, who plays football and basketball at Peachtree Ridge High in Suwanee.

    Peachtree Ridge football coach Blair Armstrong said Saturday that he had been "contemplating moving Senior Night to the first game" an occasion that comes closer to the end of the season for most.

    It spoke to Heyward's increasingly fragile health, which ultimately failed when he died Saturday. Heyward, an NFL fullback for 11 seasons and a Falcon from 1994-96, was 39.

    "It's going to be tough [for Cameron]," Armstrong said. "I lost my dad when I was 14."

    Heyward earned Pro Bowl status in 1995 with a career-high 1,083 yards and six touchdowns for Atlanta. Beset by weight and alcohol problems, Heyward had come to the Falcons for only $350,000 in 1994 after making nearly $2 million in 1993 with the Chicago Bears. At 5 feet 11 and 265 pounds down from 300-plus in Chicago he gave Atlanta a strong blocking and short-yardage presence.

    He first gained fame as a bruising back at the University of Pittsburgh, then left early to become a first-round pick of the New Orleans Saints in 1988. He also played for the St. Louis Rams and Indianapolis Colts.

    "Craig Heyward truly ranks among the all-time greats in Pitt football history," Pitt coach Dave Wannstedt said in a statement released by the university. Wannstedt coached Heyward with the Bears in 1993.

    Cameron Heyward transferred last year from Whitefield Academy to be nearer his father. The recurring tumor, first diagnosed in November 1998, had cost the elder Heyward sight in his right eye by then. The Georgia High School Association last August granted Cameron a medical hardship so that the 6-foot-6, 270-pounder then a junior could avoid sitting out a year. That helped the elder Heyward, partially paralyzed by a stroke, see his son play.

    "He wasn't real mobile, but he'd been rehabbing," Armstrong said. "He thought he might walk again. But once he lost his hearing and his sight, his organs started shutting down."

  2. #2
    dgr828's Avatar
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    Re: Tumor claims ex-Ram Heyward

    R.I.P. - Craig "Ironhead" Heyward / Thank You For Being A Ram!
    Condolences To The Heyward Family.

  3. #3
    txramsfan's Avatar
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    Re: Tumor claims ex-Ram Heyward

    Very sad. Only 39 years old. RIP Craig.


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