Doug Flutie announced that both of his parents, Dick and Joan Flutie, died from heart attacks within hours of each other on Wednesday in Florida. They were married for 56 years.
The former NFL quarterback took to Facebook to share the heartbreaking news with his friends, family and fans in a statement.
"It is with a heavy heart that I am making this statement. This morning my family experienced the tragic loss of my father, Dick, and mother, Joan," he wrote. "My Dad had been ill and died of a heart attack in the hospital and my mom, less than an hour later, had a sudden heart attack and passed away. They say you can die of a broken heart and I believe it."
Doug, who played football professionally in the NFL for 12 seasons with the New England Patriots, Buffalo Bills, Chicago Bears and San Diego Chargers, went on to say that he couldn't have been honored with better parents.
"I would like to honor my parents for all that they did throughout my and my brothers' and sister's lives," the 53-year-old Heisman Trophy winner continued. "My parents were always there for their children, from the days my Dad coached us as kids and my Mom would work the concession stands, through to this morning."
"The most important part of their 56 years of marriage," he added, "was providing opportunities to their children. They were incredible parents and grandparents and my family and I will miss them both. On behalf of me and the entire Flutie family, I would like to thank you all for your well wishes and prayers during this difficult time."
Following the post, Doug took to Twitter, simply writing, "Rest in peace Mom and Dad."
Friends, football pros and sports fans also took to the social media site to share their prayers for Doug and his family during this difficult time.
Our hearts go out to the Flutie family, all of whom are in our prayers. https://t.co/bOKFfWTVt1— Boston College (@BostonCollege) November 18, 2015
Doug Flutie's parents are like the ending of Notebook 😿 https://t.co/eh7dhHckGS— NORBERT (@SoftFirstTouch) November 18, 2015
Thoughts to the @DougFlutie family. To lose both parents in the span of an hour isn't something I can comprehend. Sorry for your loss.— Benjamin Allbright (@AllbrightNFL) November 18, 2015
Our hearts and prayers are with Doug Flutie and the Flutie family. Both of Doug's parents passed away this morning. #WBZ— STEVE BURTON (@STEVEBURTONWBZ) November 18, 2015
I can't even imagine losing one parent. Losing two in the same day would be unbearable. Thoughts and prayers to the @DougFlutie family— Matt Miller (@nfldraftscout) November 18, 2015
The thoughts and prayers of the Bills family are with our former QB Doug Flutie. https://t.co/rkzbUFUSLo— Buffalo Bills (@buffalobills) November 18, 2015
my sympathies to the Flutie family for the loss of Dick and Joan. My parents have the same name, can't imagine losing both @DougFlutie— Kelly Wolslayer (@Footballqueen) November 18, 2015
@DougFlutie Doug that's an amazing amount of love your parents must have shared with each other for this to have happened. God is with them— Steve Krahn (@SteveKrahn) November 18, 2015
Sending our condolences to former Chargers QB Doug Flutie and his family. https://t.co/TCJgMPVFvN— San Diego Chargers (@Chargers) November 18, 2015
Doug is best known for his "Hail Mary" touchdown pass to teammate Gerard Phelan that went down during a game against Miami on Nov. 23, 1984, when he was playing football for Boston College. The play is considered to be one of the greatest moments in American sports history.