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Kevin Turner (1969 - 2016)

Getty Images / Allsport / Todd Warshaw

Kevin Turner (1969 - 2016)

Kevin Turner, a former NFL and University of Alabama fullback, died Thursday after a six-year battle with Lou Gehrig's disease, according to ESPN. He was 46.

His father, Raymond Turner, posted a message on Facebook.

"Myra and I lost a great son today. He will be missed so much," he said. "Thanks to everyone so very much for your support and prayers during this journey. He was ready to go to Heaven, excited he said, Love y'all and God Bless."

His former Eagles teammate Donovan McNabb said this on Twitter, "Prayers and blessing go out to a former teammate of mine Kevin Turner, unfortunately he passed away. Great mentor and friend. KT we miss you."

Eagles CEO Jeffrey Lurie said: "We lost a special person today in Kevin Turner. He was extremely courageous and inspiring throughout his life. I will never forget how excited we were when we signed him in 1995 and how valuable of a player he was leading the way for Ricky Watters, Charlie Garner and Duce Staley. But as good of a football player as he was, he was even a better man. His high character, kindness and respectful nature stood out to me the most."

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Turner was a star in college for the Alabama Crimson Tide. He played for eight seasons in the NFL. The first three were with New England, and the next five seasons were with the Philadelphia Eagles. He had 52 catches in 1994 for the Patriots.

After his diagnosis, Turner became involved "in research that links chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), or repeated brain trauma in athletes, to a higher than normal onset" of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or ALS, according to the Kevin Turner Foundation. Turner created the foundation to raise funds for research into ALS, which attacks motor neurons, cells that control the muscles.

Turner was the subject of an HBO documentary called "American Man" and a music video for the song "Journey On" by Ty Herndon. In 2011, Turner and Herndon presented a $4.3 million check to the ALS Therapy Alliance.

Turner is survived by his former wife and three children.

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