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Chiefs great Culp dies after battle with cancer

Curley Culp

Curley Culp. Image courtesy: Yahoo News UK

Curley Culp, the Hall of fame lineman at the center of the Kansas City defense that helped the Chiefs win their first Super Bowl, died Saturday from complications from cancer, his family said.

Culp, 75, had revealed earlier this month that he had been diagnosed with stage four pancreatic cancer and his wife, Collette Bloom Culp, announced his death on his social media pages.

“On behalf of our family and with a broken heart, I announce the passing of my husband, Curley Culp, early this morning,” Collette Culp wrote. “We respectfully ask for privacy.”

Culp was a rugged performer at nose tackle on the interior of the Chiefs’ defensive line.

In the Super Bowl 4 clash with the Minnesota Vikings that capped the 1969 NFL season, Culp played a key role in slowing the Minnesota rushing attack, getting the better of Vikings center Mick Tingelhoff.

“I was surrounded by good people; what can you say?” Culp once told The Star newspaper of his seasons in Kansas City. “When you’re on a team with great athletes all around, you kind of fit in. I tried to work hard at my craft and tried to improve as much as I could. I was young in my career, and it was exciting to be involved with that group.”

Culp was selected to six Pro Bowls and was added to the Chiefs’ ring of honor in 2008.

In 1975, after he had moved to the Houston Oilers, he was named the NFL defensive player of the year. In all he played 14 seasons with the Chiefs, Oilers and Detroit Lions, amassing 68 1/2 career quarterback sacks.

He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2013.

“It gives me joy and inspiration that will last the rest of my life,” Culp had said after his induction. “I am just overwhelmed by the struggles, joys and tears of those who made it here. I’m happy to join them in the Hall of Fame.”


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