FOXBOROUGH, Mass. - The New England Patriots are deeply saddened to learn of the loss of Billy Neighbors, who played offensive guard for the Patriots for four seasons from 1962 through 1965. Neighbors passed away on Monday at the age of 72 in Huntsville, Ala.
Born Feb. 4, 1940 in Taylorsville, Ala., Neighbors was an All-American two-way player at the University of Alabama and was originally drafted by the Boston Patriots in the sixth round of the 1962 AFL Draft. The 5-foot-11, 244-pound prospect was also drafted by the Washington Redskins of the NFL, but eventually signed with the Boston Patriots. Neighbors spent the first four seasons of his eight-year career with the Boston Patriots and was selected to the team's first all-decade team by a fan ballot in 1971. He is also a member of the College Football Hall of Fame.
Neighbors was a leader along the offensive line for a Boston Patriots team that qualified for the playoffs for the first time in franchise history in 1963 and played in the 1963 AFL Championship game. For his efforts that season, Neighbors was selected to the 1963 AFL All-Star team. His professional career culminated with four seasons as a member of the Miami Dolphins.
Neighbors will be buried in Huntsville, Ala. on Friday, May 4, 2012. Memorials may be made to First United Methodist Church, 106 Greene Street, Huntsville, AL 35801 or The Alabama "A" Club, Educational and Charitable Foundation, P.O. Drawer 1961, Tuscaloosa, AL 35403-1961.
For more information on Billy Neighbors' passing please see this USA Today article.