Patriots Legend Gino Cappelletti Dies At Age 89

Erin WalshMay 12, 2022

DENVER - OCTOBER 11: The New England Patriots legend Gino Cappelletti stands on the sidelines for the ceremonial coin toss before their game against the Denver Broncos at Invesco Field on Sunday,  Oct. 11, 2009. (Photo by Matthew J. Lee/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)
Matthew J. Lee/The Boston Globe via Getty Images

Legendary New England Patriots wide receiver and placekicker Gino Cappelletti died Thursday morning, the team announced. He was 89.

Patriots chairman and CEO Robert Kraft released the following statement:

"My heart aches after learning of Gino Cappelletti's passing this morning. 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. I remember watching him play in 1960 and throughout his career. He was one of the AFL's biggest stars, becoming the first Patriots player to earn league MVP honors and retiring as the league's all-time leading scorer. He became the second player in franchise history to earn Patriots Hall of Fame induction and I will always believe he deserves to be in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. As great of a player as he was, he was an even better person and storyteller. On behalf of my family and the entire Patriots organization, we extend our heartfelt condolences to Gino's wife, Sandy, their three daughters, Gina, Cara and Christina, and their 10 grandchildren, as well as the many others who will be mourning his loss."

Cappelletti, one of the most versatile to ever play the game, was an original member of the 1960 Boston Patriots of the American Football League. He spent his entire career with the Patriots from 1960-70. 

The Patriots Hall of Famer made 176 of his 333 field goal attempts (52.9 percent) and 342 of his 353 extra point attempts (96.9 percent). As a receiver, Cappelletti caught 292 passes for 4,589 yards and 42 touchdowns. 

He also kicked in two playoff games during the 1963 season, making five of his six field-goal attempts and all three of his extra point attempts, and also caught six passes for 181 yards in those two contests. 

Cappelletti earned five Pro Bowl selections over his career and was the 1964 AFL Player of the Year. By the end of his career, he ranked as the AFL's all-time leader in points and field goals and holds the Patriots' record for most points in a game with 28, which he set in 1965. 

Following his retirement, Cappelletti worked for seven seasons as a Pats broadcaster from 1972-78. He served as New England's special teams coach from 1979-81, before stepping back into broadcasting, where he worked from 1988-2011. 

Cappelletti was inducted into the Patriots Hall of Fame in 1992. He was the second player to be inducted into the team's HoF, joining John Hannah.