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Former Eagles Linebacker Passes Away

Written by Tony Ghaul

Former Eagles linebacker and starter on 1980 Super Bowl team Frank LeMaster has passed away at the age of 71.

From 1974 through 1982, LeMaster played 129 of a possible 129 games and 136 in a row including the playoffs. From 1975 through 1982, he started 115 of a possible 115 games.

After spending his rookie year as a backup, LeMaster moved into the starting lineup in 1975 and didn’t leave until he retired after the 1982 season.

LeMaster was a key starter on the 1980 defense, which ranked No. 1 in the NFL in points allowed. He finally made his first Pro Bowl in 1981 after his eighth season, when he had two more INTs and his third career touchdown.

In Eagles history, LeMaster has the fourth-most starts among linebackers, behind William Thomas (119), Chuck Bednarik (123) and long-time teammate John Bunting (116).

LeMaster dislocated his left shoulder on Aug. 14, 1983, during a preseason game against the Chargers at Jack Murphy Stadium in San Diego and missed the entire season.

The Eagles traded him to the 49ers in March of 1984, and the 49ers released him on Aug. 26, 1984. He returned to the Philadelphia area and never left. After he retired from football, LeMaster worked for over a decade for FieldTurf, which manufactures and installs athletic fields.

LeMaster grew up near Lexington and played college football at Kentucky before the Eagles drafted him in the 4th round in 1974.

Following his playing days, he was inducted into the Kentucky Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2007.

Eagles linebacker Frank LeMaster. Photo courtsey of The Philadelphia Eagles

About the author

Tony Ghaul