Former St. Louis NFL player Demetrious Johnson dies at age 61

ST. LOUIS, Mo. — Former NFL player and community booster Demetrious Johnson passed away today at the age of 61. Family friend and NFL agent Reggie Blackwell confirmed the news to FOX 2.

The former professional soccer player had been in the hospital for the past week. We do not know the cause of death at this time.

Johnson played defensive end with Mizzou in the early ’80s and then played five seasons with the Detroit Lions of the NFL before settling back in St. Louis.

For more than three decades its Demetrious Johnson Foundation has served the community. They gave out turkeys to those in need just before Thanksgiving.

James Clark worked with Johnson on collaborations with Johnson’s Foundation and the Urban League. Clark says Johnson’s legacy and service life will live on.

“Demetrious came from the neighborhood, he came from the housing projects. And once he did, he knew he had to go back to make a way, not too many people do that,” said James Clark.

He also had a big toy drive every year as well as back to school giveaways. He was a victim’s advocate and helped tutor children and get them on their feet.

“He understood that God had blessed him with a platform. He used this platform to speak up for those who needed it most,” said James Clark.

Johnson has remained involved in Mizzou football over the years and had recently helped star recruit Luther Burden raise money for his name, image and likeness campaign. Former St. Louis NFL player Demetrious Johnson dies at age 61

Sarah Y. Kim

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