The New England Patriots have announced that Gino Cappelletti, a longtime player and broadcaster for the organization, passed away this week at the age of 89 at his Wellesley home.
Cappelletti earned his way into the Patriots Hall of Fame as a wide receiver and placekicker for what were known as the Boston Patriots during his playing days, which were mainly in the American Football League (AFL) that merged with the NFL in 1970. Cappelletti scored the first points in AFL history, and finished his career as that league’s all-time points leader.
Following his playing career, Cappelletti did some coaching for the Pats, and spent many years as a popular broadcaster for the team.
“My heart aches after learning of Gino Cappelletti’s passing this morning,” said Robert Kraft, Patriots chairman and CEO, in a statement released by the team. “For the first 51 years of this franchise’s history, Gino contributed as an all-star player, assistant coach and broadcaster. You couldn’t be a Patriots fan during that era and not be a fan of Gino’s. The Patriots have had many iconic, fan-favorite players over the years. Gino was the first….”
Cappelletti’s honors in Wellesley included recognition at a Rotary Club meeting in 2012.