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Ex-NFL Player Neal Colzie Dies

August 21, 2001

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MIAMI (AP) _ Neal Colzie, who played defensive back in the NFL with the Raiders, Miami Dolphins and Tampa Bay Buccaneers, has died, apparently of a heart attack.

The 48-year-old Colzie visited his parents at their home in Coconut Grove Sunday night and returned to his home in South Miami, where ``he was watching TV when he had a heart attack,″ family friend Otis Collier said.

Collier said he received the news Monday from Colzie’s brother, James Jr. The brother said the death occurred late Sunday night.

``It was not widely known, but Neal had suffered a heart attack in 1999 and was on medication,″ Collier told The Miami Herald. ``But this was still an unexpected tragedy for the family.″

Colzie was the Raiders’ No. 1 choice in 1975 out of Ohio State and played for the Dolphins and Buccaneers as a safety and cornerback. The Miami native is second on the Raiders’ career punt returns list.

Colzie was with the Raiders for four years, then spent 1979 with Miami before going to Tampa Bay for four more years.

He is survived by his parents, Thelma and James Sr.; three brothers, James Jr., Richard, Anthony; two sisters, Louise and Mary; son Neal Jr. and a daughter who lives in Tampa.

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