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WALTER FRANCIS "WALT" SWEENEY

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WALTER FRANCIS "WALT" SWEENEY Obituary
SWEENEY, WALTER FRANCIS "WALT" Walter Francis "Walt" Sweeney, 71, of San Diego, CA, formerly of Cohasset, Massachusetts, on died at his home on February 2, 2013, with his children at his side. Walt achieved fame as a nine time All Pro in the NFL with the San Diego Chargers and Washington Redskins, as well as being a member of the Charger Hall of Fame and the Charger 50th Anniversary Team. He was the number one draft choice of the Chargers coming out of Syracuse University in 1963. In an autobiography titled, Off Guard, which was published last August, Walter retells the story of a turbulent youth in Cohasset as the youngest of six boys growing up in a rowdy household where "brawling and drinking" were the norm. In his book, Walter states that "we might have been rowdy and we might have been poor but we were always the cleanest kids .my mother saw to that!" When Walter was seven years old, the milkman asked him what he was going to be when he grew up, and he said, "A professional football player." After his NFL career was completed, Walter filed a ground-breaking lawsuit against the NFL charging that he had been forced to take performance enhancing drugs during his early days in the League with the Chargers that led to a life of addiction and drug dependency. He originally won a suit against the league but that decision was later overturned on the league's last appeal. Walter was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer on January 14th and passed away 19 days later with friends and family at his side. Walter is survived by his daughter Kristin and his son Patrick both of San Diego. His wife of 30 years, Nanci, died in March 2012. Private memorial services will be held by friends and family in San Diego and Cohasset at a future date. In lieu of flowers, the family is requesting donations be made to the ASPCA.

Published in U-T San Diego on Feb. 10, 2013
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