Friends, Family, Teammates Remember Dennis Byrd At Memorial Service

Tuesday, October 25th 2016, 6:52 pm
By: John Holcomb

A memorial service for former TU and NFL defensive lineman Dennis Byrd was held Tuesday afternoon in Tulsa.

As a standout player for the Golden Hurricane, then a New York Jet, Byrd inspired a lot of people not just in Green Country, but across America.

He was paralyzed in a game against the Chiefs in November 1992 but eventually was able to walk again.

Byrd died October 15th in a two-vehicle accident near Claremore.

10/15/2016 Related Story: Former Jets Player Dennis Byrd Dies After Highway 88 Crash

Tuesday, hundreds of friends, former teammates and coaches and family members filled Church On The Move for a memorial service.

Byrd's coach in his final season at TU, Dave Rader, remembers a conversation Byrd had with Jets teammate Marty Lyons after his injury on the field.

"He and Marty were very, very, tight going in, and Dennis said 'I'm glad it happened to me because some of the other guys on the team don't have the faith that I have.' And so what do you say about that," Radar said.

Dave Owens said, "I remember he had a sign in his locker. It said 'be humble.' And that was Dennis. Never a negative thought, negative word. It was always positive, he was always moving forward. And you know that brushed off on the guys he was playing with. That's the part I remember about Dennis."

In the past few days, both TU and the Jets have paid tribute to Byrd in games.

10/21/2016 Related Story: TU's Homecoming Celebrations Honor Dennis Byrd

10/24/2016 Related Story: Jets Pay Tribute To Dennis Byrd Before Game

The Jets also select one player each year to receive the Dennis Byrd most inspirational player award.

Byrd was 50 years old.