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Dublin: 6 °C Saturday 23 August, 2014

NFL great Junior Seau found dead at California home

Police said the 43-year-old suffered a gunshot wound to his chest and was found unconscious in his bedroom with a handgun next to his body.

Junior Seau lining out forthe New England Patriots in 2010.
Junior Seau lining out forthe New England Patriots in 2010.
Image: Charles Krupa/AP/Press Association Images

FORMER NFL LINEBACKER Junior Seau was found dead in his Southern California home last night in what police say was an act of suicide.

Police said the 43-year-old suffered a gunshot wound to his chest and was found unconscious in his bedroom with a handgun next to his body.

Seau was a standout linebacker with the University of Southern California before going to the San Diego Chargers — his hometown team — who he led to the Super Bowl following the 1994 season. Californian police are treating the death as a suicide and do not expect to finish the investigation until next week.

He was voted to a team-record 12 straight Pro Bowls and was an All-Pro six times in a career that lasted two decades.

“Everyone at the Chargers is in complete shock and disbelief right now. We ask everyone to stop what they’re doing and send their prayers to Junior and his family,” the Chargers team said in a statement.

The death was at least the third apparent suicide by a former NFL player since February 2011, when former Chicago Bears defensive back Dave Duerson killed himself in a case that led to increased scrutiny of the affects of head injuries in the sport.

However, Seau did not have a documented history of concussions. He suffered a broken arm in 2006 that caused him to miss games, and before that sat out some contests with injuries to his chest muscle and Achilles tendon.

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