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Former Patriots punter Mike Patrick passes away

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. - The New England Patriots are saddened to learn that former punter Charles Michael "Mike" Patrick passed away suddenly Sunday morning in his hometown of Biloxi, Mississippi at the age of 55.

Patrick spent his entire professional football career with the Patriots in four seasons from 1975-78.

Patrick left the Patriots as the team's third leading punter. He presently ranks fifth on the Patriots' all-time punting leaders list after accumulating 8,481 yards on 225 attempts in 43 career games with the organization from 1975-78.

After being signed as a rookie free agent in 1975, Patrick burst onto the scene with the Patriots and had his finest professional season as a rookie. In his very first NFL game, he boomed a 62-yard punt against Houston, a punt that was the Patriots' longest since 1968.

"I think what people would remember most about him is that he was probably the most gregarious, happy-go-lucky guy you would ever meet," said longtime friend and former Patriots teammate John Smith. "He was the most generous man I've ever met and would give you the shirt off his back. He had that great Southern drawl and people were just drawn to him."

In his collegiate career at Mississippi State University from 1972-74, Patrick claimed several season punting records with the Bulldogs. Patrick still ranks fifth on Mississippi State's career punting list in punts (171 attempts), yardage (6,999) and average (40.9 yards per attempt).

Memorials may be given to: Hope Haven, P.O. Box 3777, Bay St. Louis, MS 39521.

The funeral service will be held on Wednesday, April 30, 2008 at 1 p.m. where friends may call from 11 a.m. until service time at the Riemann Family Funeral Home, 274 Beauvoir Rd, Biloxi, MS.

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