Former Pleasanton resident and longtime executive director of the NFL Players Association Gene Upshaw has died. He was 63 years old.
Mr. Upshaw died Wednesday night at his Lake Tahoe home with his wife Terri and three sons, Eugene, Justin and Daniel by his side. The former Raider was diagnosed Sunday with pancreatic cancer, according to the players association.
"We are deeply saddened and shocked by the sudden and unexpected death of our leader, Gene Upshaw," a statement posted on the union's website read. "Our thoughts and prayers go out to his wife, Terri, and their three sons--Eugene, Justin and Daniel. Gene learned he was sick just this past Sunday and he died with his family at his side."
Mr. Upshaw was the head of the union for 25 years. He was born Aug. 15, 1945 in Robstown, Texas.
He was drafted to the National Football League in 1967 and his career lasted until 1981, playing a total of 217 games. During that time, he was a guard for the Raiders, wearing jersey No. 63, playing in both the NFL and American Football League.
He was a seven-time Pro Bowler, selected All-Pro 11 times and a two-time Super Bowl champion. In 1987, Mr. Upshaw was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame for his achievements as a player and later, a union leader.