200 pay respects to Webster

Posted: September 28, 2002

Mike Webster, the Hall of Fame center with the Pittsburgh Steelers, was remembered at his funeral yesterday as loving family so much that he treated friends, teammates and even strangers like blood relatives.

Ex-quarterback Terry Bradshaw, one of nine other Steelers Hall of Famers to play on all four Super Bowl championship teams in the 1970s, broke down as he remembered the friend he hadn't seen in more than a year.

"We should never allow the passing of a loved one to be the drawing card to keep our family together," Bradshaw said.

Bradshaw and several other former Steelers, including Lynn Swann, Franco Harris, and ex-coach Chuck Noll were among more than 200 people at the 80-minute service in Pittsburgh, nearly half of whom stood in the modest funeral home where Webster was to be cremated later on a damp, blustery day.

Kansas City Chiefs owner Lamar Hunt and club president Carl Peterson also paid their respects. Webster spent his last two NFL seasons in Kansas City.

Webster suffered some brain damage from numerous concussions during his playing career, prompting reports of erratic behavior and homelessness in later years. He died Tuesday morning in the coronary care unit of Allegheny General Hospital. The Steelers initially said he had a heart attack, but declined to comment after the hospital refused to reveal the cause of death.


* Giants rookie Jeremy Shockey apologized for disparaging comments about gays made 2 weeks ago during an appearance on Howard Stern's radio show.

* Tampa Bay guard Kerry Jenkins practiced despite a cracked bone in his left leg and was upgraded from doubtful to probable for tomorrow's game at Cincinnati.

* The Carolina Panthers released kicker Jon Hilbert and signed Shayne Graham to a 1-year contract to replace him. *

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