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.
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"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."
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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.
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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.