Lee Roy Selmon dies two days after suffering stroke
Lee Roy Selmon, the Hall of Fame defensive end for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, died Sunday, two days after suffering a stroke.
Mr. Selmon was 56.
Selmon was admitted to St. Joseph's Hospital Friday afternoon after suffering a stroke at his Tampa home. His brother, Dewey, said Saturday he had been responsive to some family members and showed some signs of improvement. But Selmon's former teammates were being notified of his death Sunday.
"God’s will be done and according only to His will,'' said David Lewis, Selmon's former Bucs teammate. "When you have a brother go down, and he wasn’t a teammate, he was a brother to all of us, it's very difficult.
"We created the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Lee Roy was part of the creation. When we came, there was no team to follow. We had to learn from scratch, fight and scratch, put up with all the jokes and funny cartoons and all the terrible things that were said. We had to change our image. We were the creation that new Bucs have today.
"All as we can do is give God praise and thank Him for the time Lee Roy was able to be on Earth and the time we had to be able to enjoy him. Not a lot of words have to be said. He’s said it all and done it all.’’
Former Bucs quarterback Doug Williams, the Grambling State University head football coach, said he had spoken Lewis and was notified a few minutes later by another teammate, tight end Jimmie Giles, of Selmon's death.
"I was sitting in my office when David told me he was on his way to the hospital,'' Williams said. "About a half hour or so later, Jimmie (Giles) called me and said that David (Lewis) told him Lee Roy had passed.
“I don’t know, one of those things where you don’t have a whole lot to say. Being around the same age, you got to look at yourself a little bit. But I'm thinking about his family and praying for them, that’s the biggest thing.''
"You know, we’re sitting here talking about Lee Roy. It goes to show you, we don’t control it. We do know the date or hour. Knowing somebody for awhile and knowing the kind of person they are, these are things you don’t expect.''
The Glazer family, which owns the Buccaneers, issued a statement Sunday confirming Selmon's death.
"Tampa Bay has lost another giant,'' the Bucs statement said. "This is an incredibly somber day for Buccaneer fans, Sooner fans and all football fans. Lee Roy's standing as the first Buc in the Hall of Fame surely distinguished him, but his stature off the field as the consummate gentleman put him in another stratosphere. Put simply, he was first class. He was the real deal. We are so blessed to known this fine man and to have called him one of our own, yet so sad to have lost him so soon. Our hearts go out to the Selmon family at this time of their loss.''