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Nigel Benn's brother, NFL lege...
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Nigel Benn's brother, NFL legend both pass away after COVID-19 diagnoses

Shane Hannon
Shane Hannon

07:42 6 Apr 2020

The brother of legendary boxer Nigel Benn and an NFL legend are among those who have sadly passed away after contracting the coronavirus.

Benn revealed the news on his Instagram profile, saying Mark Benn was the "joker" of the house when they were growing up.

"My brother Mark passed Away 2day (Covid 19).

"As we all were growing up Mark was the Joker of the Benn house hold.

"May he Rest In Peace love u Mark."

https://www.instagram.com/p/B-nI7y3n38y/

Monaghan fighter and former WBA and lineal featherweight world champion Barry McGuigan is among those who have paid tribute online.

"So sorry to hear of the passing of @NigelGBenn brother Mark RIP, deepest sympathies to you and the family Champ."

Nigel Benn had been due to make a comeback to the ring last year only for an injury to end those plans, having had a record of 42 wins, five losses, and one draw.

The 56-year-old held world championships at two weights over the course of his career, before ending with defeat to Dubliner Steve Collins in November 1996.

The UK is currently approaching 5000 deaths from COVID-19, with over 47,800 confirmed cases there so far.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson was admitted to hospital for tests yesterday evening, having been diagnosed as positive for COVID-19 ten days previously.

Meanwhile, legendary New Orleans Saints kicker Tom Dempsey has also lost his battle with the coronavirus in the U.S.

The 73-year-old had been suffering from Alzheimers' disease and Dementia for the past eight years, and was diagnosed with COVID-19 less than two weeks ago.

Dempsey lined out for five NFL outfits over the course of his 11-year career, notably setting the record for the longest NFL field goal after a 63-yard kick in 1970 - a record that stood until 2013.

Saints owner Gayle Benson released a statement via their website upon hearing the sad news.

"Our thoughts and prayers are extended to Carlene and the entire Dempsey family on the passing of their dear Tom. The New Orleans Saints family is deeply saddened and heartbroken at this most difficult time.

"Tom's life spoke directly to the power of the human spirit and exemplified his resolute determination to not allow setbacks to impede following his dreams and aspirations.

"He exemplified the same fight and fortitude in recent years as he battled valiantly against illnesses but never wavered and kept his trademark sense of humor. He holds a special place in the hearts and minds of the Saints family."

Incredibly, Dempsey forged out a successful career in American football, despite being born without toes on his right foot and fingers on his right hand.

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American Football Boxing Coronavirus Covid-19 NFL New Orleans Saints Nigel Benn Off The Ball RIP Steve Collins Tom Dempsey

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