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Frank Tripucka dies at age 85

Updated: September 12, 2013, 4:25 PM ET
Associated Press

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. -- Frank Tripucka, who quarterbacked the Denver Broncos in their inaugural season and later wanted his No. 18 unretired so Peyton Manning could wear it, died Thursday. He was 85.

The Broncos said Tripucka died in Woodland Park, N.J. He had Alzheimer's disease.

"He is proudly remembered as one of professional football's first great drop-back quarterbacks,'' the Broncos said in a statement. "Frank will always hold a very special place in Broncos history for ...

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