FOXBORO -- Patriots owner Robert Kraft remembered former New England linebacker Junior Seau as a “true Patriot” and a “special guy” Thursday afternoon at Gillette Stadium.
Fighting back tears as he spoke, Kraft held a note as he spoke with reporters. The following is the full text of his statement:
“I have this little note that I dug up. Junior was one of those special people who came through our locker room. We always knew, his real family, he was really a Charger, and the Spanos family, someone I feel close to. Even when he was here, we knew in the end he would be a Charger, but we were pretty close first cousins because the years he spent here, we felt like he was really a true Patriot.
“You folks got to see him a lot on the field, but I can tell you, his presence in that locker room, in the teams meetings, some of them that I went to, his ability to speak and be a motivational speaker, and his caring for fellow human beings. I went back to my records because having suffered the loss of my sweetheart this year, and he sent me something within a few weeks of Myra passing. He said, ‘I’m so sorry about the passing of Mrs. Kraft. She was an inspiration to me. I have so much respect for all she did to help people lead better lives. I’ll always be there for you and your family. Junior Seau, love you, buddy.’ And I don’t know if you know, he used to do this, ‘Love you, buddy.’ And then he enclosed a very generous check to the Myra Kraft Giving Back Fund.
“So, here’s a guy who represented everything that we liked, how he conducted himself in an unselfish manner in the locker room. I remember him asking to come to New York. I was going to an Elton John AIDS in Africa event, and he wanted to come down to be part of it. Just a lot of wonderful things. No one ever squeezed me harder after every game and hugged me in the locker room. He just really was a special guy. It’s a message to all of us to make sure we hug and squeeze the people we love and cherish them. To the people you love, make sure they know it every day. So, a special guy.”
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