Most recently on January 2, 2023, Dummer Hamlin collapsed to the ground and his teammates were overcome with emotion as he struggled for life in an ambulance as a team of paramedics provided him with life-saving CPR .
The Buffalo Bills and their rival team, the Cincinnati Bengals, canceled games and the National Football League also announced it would not resume games this week. as Hamlin remained in critical condition on 3third January. His condition reminded the world of the death of Chuck Hughes, who collapsed similarly in the middle of the game and died of a heart attack within an hour.
To date, Chuck Hughes is the only NFL player to have died after collapsing on the field. As we know, his team did not stop the game when he collapsed 50 years ago, but continued to play while Hughes was fighting for his life and doctors were trying to save him.
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What really happened 50 years ago?
On October 24, 1971, in Detroit where the match took place, Chuck Hughes, a 28-year-old national football player for the Detroit Lions, collapsed midway through a game against the Chicago Bears at the end of the fourth quarter of the game. Even after falling, his teammates continued to play the match. Medics arrived after 62 seconds of the game and took Hughes to the hospital. Although the medical team tried to save Hughes, he died an hour after the fall. The cause of his death was arteriosclerosis which is a heart disease commonly known as heart attack in which blood flow to the heart is cut off leading to death.
Detroit Lions teammates retired Chuck Hughes’ jersey, which was jersey number 85, in tribute to him. To honor him, all 40 of his teammates attended Hughes’ funeral in San Antonio Texas, along with Joe Schmidt, who was his head coach.
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About Chuck Hughes
He was born on March 2, 1943, in Robline, Louisiana. After completing his schooling in 1961, he went on to graduate from Northwestern State University in Louisiana on an academic scholarship. He played both football and basketball. In 1965, he completed a bachelor’s degree in Industrial Arts.
He was drafted by the Los Angeles Rams in 1967 as a wide receiver and played for their team until 1968, then he joined the Detroit Lions and continued to play for Detroit until his death in 1971.
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The death of Chuck Hughes not only marked a sad moment in the history of American football, but drew public attention to the safety of players, athletes, and athletes. The incident emphasized the health and well-being of players and called for more stringent safety protocols for players on the field so that something like this never happens again. He was a great player and will always be remembered for his legacy.