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View Full Version : Former NFL back ``Ironhead'' Heyward dies at age 39


DaKCMan AP
05-27-2006, 10:00 PM
ATLANTA (AP) -- Former NFL fullback Craig "Ironhead" Heyward died Saturday after a 7 1/2 -year fight with a recurring brain tumor, his son's high school football coach said. He was 39.

Heyward spent 11 seasons in the NFL with New Orleans, Chicago, Atlanta, St. Louis and Indianapolis. The former University of Pittsburgh All-American rushed for a career-high 1,083 yards for the Falcons in 1995.

"I got a call at 4:30 or 5 that he had passed away," said Blair Armstrong, who coached Heyward's son, Cameron, at Peachtree Ridge High School. "He was in a hospice when he died, but I don't know which one."

Armstrong said he often talked to Heyward when he came to see his son play.

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

Born in Passaic, N.J., in 1966, the 5-foot-11 fullback ran for 4,301 yards in his NFL career and had 1,559 yards receiving.

Heyward was one of the biggest running backs in NCAA Division I-A history, with a weight estimated at 260 to 285 pounds, but finished third in Pitt career rushing with 3,086 yards. He trailed only Tony Dorsett (6,526 yards) and Curvin Richards' 3,192 yards. Heyward's 1,791 yards in 1987, counting a bowl game, rank second only to Dorsett's 2,150 yards in 1976 for a Pitt single season.

Heyward was a first-team AP All-America pick that season, but chose to pass up his senior season and was a first-round draft pick by New Orleans.

"Craig Heyward truly ranks among the all-time greats in Pitt football history," Pittsburgh coach Dave Wannstedt said in a statement released with the school.

"I will always remember him as a tremendous player who had an irrepressible attitude on and off the field. The thoughts and prayers of the entire Pitt family are with Craig's loved ones during this time of sorrow."

Heyward's son, the 6-7, 280-pound Cameron, visited Pitt on a recruiting trip last month and is considered one of the nation's top defensive line recruits.

http://sports.yahoo.com/nfl/news;_ylt=AiMw6LwPEJEi87SLK4MN_JRDubYF?slug=ap-obit-heyward&prov=ap&type=lgns

DaKCMan AP
05-27-2006, 10:02 PM
Sad. RIP.

Tribal Warfare
05-27-2006, 10:02 PM
That sucks Ironhead was a cool guy

J Diddy
05-27-2006, 10:03 PM
That sucks.

I'll always remember him as that soap guy.

BigVE
05-27-2006, 10:06 PM
"Hey Ironhead, whats up with that thingy?" That was a funny commercial he did. RIP, he was fun to watch on the field too.

Skip Towne
05-27-2006, 10:10 PM
He was fun to watch. "The Bus" reminded me of "Ironhead".

ENDelt260
05-27-2006, 10:53 PM
Why the heck is his son's HS football coach the source of this news?

ChiefaRoo
05-27-2006, 10:56 PM
ATLANTA (AP) -- Former NFL fullback Craig "Ironhead" Heyward died Saturday after a 7 1/2 -year fight with a recurring brain tumor, his son's high school football coach said. He was 39.

Heyward spent 11 seasons in the NFL with New Orleans, Chicago, Atlanta, St. Louis and Indianapolis. The former University of Pittsburgh All-American rushed for a career-high 1,083 yards for the Falcons in 1995.

"I got a call at 4:30 or 5 that he had passed away," said Blair Armstrong, who coached Heyward's son, Cameron, at Peachtree Ridge High School. "He was in a hospice when he died, but I don't know which one."

Armstrong said he often talked to Heyward when he came to see his son play.

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

Born in Passaic, N.J., in 1966, the 5-foot-11 fullback ran for 4,301 yards in his NFL career and had 1,559 yards receiving.

Heyward was one of the biggest running backs in NCAA Division I-A history, with a weight estimated at 260 to 285 pounds, but finished third in Pitt career rushing with 3,086 yards. He trailed only Tony Dorsett (6,526 yards) and Curvin Richards' 3,192 yards. Heyward's 1,791 yards in 1987, counting a bowl game, rank second only to Dorsett's 2,150 yards in 1976 for a Pitt single season.

Heyward was a first-team AP All-America pick that season, but chose to pass up his senior season and was a first-round draft pick by New Orleans.

"Craig Heyward truly ranks among the all-time greats in Pitt football history," Pittsburgh coach Dave Wannstedt said in a statement released with the school.

"I will always remember him as a tremendous player who had an irrepressible attitude on and off the field. The thoughts and prayers of the entire Pitt family are with Craig's loved ones during this time of sorrow."

Heyward's son, the 6-7, 280-pound Cameron, visited Pitt on a recruiting trip last month and is considered one of the nation's top defensive line recruits.

http://sports.yahoo.com/nfl/news;_ylt=AiMw6LwPEJEi87SLK4MN_JRDubYF?slug=ap-obit-heyward&prov=ap&type=lgns


R.I.P. Ironhead :(

ENDelt260
05-27-2006, 10:58 PM
Remember posters, it's important that your RIP message consume as much screen real estate as possible. That's how we know you really mean it. So be sure to quote the entire article.

Rain Man
05-27-2006, 11:55 PM
You hate to see people go so young.

big nasty kcnut
05-28-2006, 12:42 AM
Just sad really i hope his son will carry his dad good nature.

Ceej
05-28-2006, 01:05 AM
Damn, that sucks. He rocked on Tecmo Bowl.. :( RIP.

Ebolapox
05-28-2006, 01:10 AM
RIP loofah man

Dunit35
05-28-2006, 01:26 AM
RIP...I always liked that guy.

kcfanintitanhell
05-28-2006, 02:25 AM
Remember posters, it's important that your RIP message consume as much screen real estate as possible. That's how we know you really mean it. So be sure to quote the entire article.
ROFL ROFL ROFL
ROFL ROFL ROFL ROFL
ROFL

Rausch
05-28-2006, 06:04 AM
This sucks.

I knew his nephew, who was a pretty good guy (back when Iron Head was in ATL.)

He was about 4 years older than me and I'd bug the guy for info all the time. All he knew was that his uncle was a good guy and played in the NFL.

That's young.

Come to think of it, that's only ten years younger than me.

I'll be looking for his "nephew" on my day off tommorow...

Bwana
05-28-2006, 07:21 AM
RIP

Dr. Van Halen
05-28-2006, 09:32 AM
The Saints would practice sometimes at the Rec Center at my college when the Superdome was unavailable. I would go and watch whenever I could.

I remember how much the team loved the guy. He was huge. Whenever he would break through in running drills, the linebackers would go crazy and start chanting, "Go Head! Go Head! Go Head!"

I remember one time Pat Swilling said something after an Ironhead run that made Sam Mills literally fall down laughing. Heyward came over and was just all grins.

That was a fun team to watch.

Bob Dole
05-28-2006, 09:36 AM
Because of Ironhead, the tricky issue of bathroom-product sexual-role-identification was finally discussed openly and honestly. Thanks to his commitment to bringing this issue out into the fore, we can all bathe a little easier today. Ironhead taught us that, male or female, what's important is not how we wash or with what we wash, but whether or not we wash at all.

RIP.

FAX
05-28-2006, 12:08 PM
I really liked Ironhead.

Farewell, Ironhead.

FAX

Simply Red
05-28-2006, 02:32 PM
He was my old neighbor before we moved around a year and a half ago. When we lived off Sugarloaf. He got sick again just as we moved and apparently never got better. Its a shame he was always pretty friendly.

chagrin
05-28-2006, 04:29 PM
RIP dude, I enjoyed watching him play in N.O., he may have not been the best but he damn sure could tear holes (by running dudes flat) in the line for the RB to run through