Tom Pate

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Tom Pate
Born: July 21, 1952
Omaha, Nebraska
Died: October 21, 1975
Calgary, Alberta
Career information
Position(s) LB
College University of Nebraska
Career history
As player
1975 Hamilton Tiger Cats
Career highlights and awards
Honours 1971 - National Champions Nebraska Cornhuskers

Tom Pate was a Canadian Football League linebacker who died from a critical injury sustained while playing a league game in 1975.

A graduate of the University of Nebraska (where he majored in business administration,) Pate was a 3 time letterman[1] with the Cornhuskers and a member their 1971 National Championship team.[2] He joined the Hamilton Tiger-Cats in 1975 and as a rookie played 12 regular season games and recovered 1 fumble.[3]

On October 18, 1975, playing against the Stampeders in Calgary, he suffered an aneurysm late in the fourth quarter during a running play deep in Hamilton territory on which Willie Burden scored to win the game for Calgary. Pate was critically injured on the play after striking his head on the McMahon Stadium turf while being blocked by Stampeders fullback Rick Galbos. Only 23 at the time, he never regained consciousness and died three days later.

In 1976 the Canadian Football League Players' Association named its sportsmanship and community service award after him: the Tom Pate Memorial Award.