2011-12-28

Former football star, wife die Tuesday

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. (AP) — Houston Antwine, one of the Patriots’ top defensive players in their early years, and his wife, Evelyn, have died, the team said Tuesday.

Antwine, 72, died Monday in Memphis, Tenn., of heart failure, and his wife died Tuesday of lung cancer, the team said.

A member of the Patriots’ 50th Anniversary Team, Antwine played from 1961-71 with the franchise before spending the 1972 season with the Philadelphia Eagles. In 142 regular-season games for the Patriots, he had 39 sacks, leading the team in that category during the 1967, 1968, and 1969 seasons, although sacks were not an official statistic then.

“For those of us who grew up watching the Boston Patriots, this is a really sad day,” Patriots owner Robert Kraft said.

In addition to making the Patriots 1960s All- Decade team, he was chosen to the all-time All-AFL team.

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