Kevin Turner’s NFL legacy will reach far beyond any cards or statistics

Kevin-TurnerFormer NFL fullback Kevin Turner played just eight seasons as a pro, retiring from the game at age 30 in 1999, but his story and his efforts to help players suffering from health issues after retirement will resonate for years.

He died on Thursday at age 46 from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or Lou Gehrig’s disease.

The former New England Patriot and Philadelphia Eagle was one of the lead plaintiffs in the concussion lawsuit against the NFL that led to the billion-dollar 2013 settlement that was finally approved last year. He was diagnosed with ALS in 2010 and since then had worked with his foundation to help research and raise awareness.

Kevin-Turner-AlabamaThe former Alabama Crimson Tide star appeared on fewer than 150 football cards made during his career, which included 236 catches for 2,015 yards and 10 touchdowns along with 160 carries for 635 yards and a touchdown.

His Rookie Cards can be found in six 1992 products — Fleer, Pacific, Score, Ultra, Upper Deck and Wild Card. He appeared on just a single game-used memorabilia card, 2000 Pacific Omega, and signed just five certified autographs beginning with the 1992 StarPics set and then a pair of cards in both the 1998 and 1999 SkyBox Premium Autographics sets.

In 2012 a documentary, American Man: Kevin Turner’s Price for Gridiron Glory, told his story up to that time and well before his health declined. More recently, he talked about his life in a Washington Post interview last year.

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