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Sam ‘Bam’ Cunningham, Patriots all-time leading rusher and member of 50th anniversary team, passes away at 71

The New England Patriots introduced Sam Cunningham, the franchise’s all-time main rusher, handed away at 71 years previous Tuesday. Cunningham spent all 9 of his NFL seasons with the Patriots, because the fullback rushed for five,453 yards and 43 touchdowns from 1973 by way of 1982. He additionally recorded 210 catches for 1,905 yards and 6 touchdowns. 

Identified within the Seventies as Sam “Bam” Cunningham, he was inducted into the group’s Corridor of Fame in 2010 and was a member of the Patriots Fiftieth Anniversary Staff — which was revealed that very same yr. 

“We’re deeply saddened to study of yet one more loss to the Patriots household this week and our hearts ache for Sam Cunningham’s household and all who’re mourning his passing in the present day,” Patriots Chairman and CEO Robert Kraft stated in a press release launched by the group. “Sam ‘Bam’ Cunningham was one in all my favourite gamers all through the ’70s and my sons all beloved him. 

“After I purchased the group in 1994, it was my honor to welcome him again to the group on a number of events, recognizing him as a Fiftieth anniversary group member and once more for his induction into the Patriots Corridor of Fame. As a lot as I admired him as a player, my affection for him solely grew after spending time with him and studying extra about him as an individual. He made an incredible influence, each on and off the sector, and was beloved by his teammates. As a Patriots Corridor of Famer, Sam’s legacy and contributions might be preserved and celebrated perpetually, however in the present day his loss is felt with heavy hearts.”

Cunningham was instrumental in integrating college football as a member of the “All-Black” backfield at USC with quarterback Jimmy Jones and operating again Clarence Davis in 1970. He was named an All-American in 1972 and received a nationwide championship with the Trojans. He was inducted to the Faculty Soccer Corridor of Fame in 2010. 

The eleventh total choose by the Patriots in 1973 after a standout school profession at USC, Cunningham was instrumental in one of many best turnarounds in Patriots historical past in 1976, dashing for 824 yards (4.8 yards per carry) as New England went from a 3-11 report in 1975 to 11-3 in 1976 and a second place end within the AFC East. Cunningham rushed for 1,015 yards in 1977 and made his lone Professional Bowl in 1978. The Patriots set a then-NFL dashing report for yards in a season (3,165) in 1978 earlier than the Baltimore Ravens broke the mark in 2019. 

Cunningham is the older brother of Randall Cunningham, who was a four-time Professional Bowl quarterback with the Philadelphia Eagles and Minnesota Vikings. He’s additionally the uncle of Vashti Cunningham, a bronze medalist on the planet championships within the excessive soar and two-time Olympian. 



https://www.cbssports.com/nfl/news/sam-bam-cunningham-patriots-all-time-leading-rusher-and-member-of-Fiftieth-anniversary-team-passes-away-at-71/ | Sam ‘Bam’ Cunningham, Patriots all-time main rusher and member of Fiftieth anniversary group, passes away at 71

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