STRINGER Funeral Attended by Thousands

Monday, August 6th 2001, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

WARREN, Ohio (AP) _ About 4,000 people attended a public viewing to honor Korey Stringer, the Minnesota Vikings tackle who died of heatstroke.

Another two-hour viewing was scheduled for Monday before an overflow crowd was expected for the funeral service later in the day.

Those who cannot enter the packed church for the service will be able to watch on closed-circuit TV.

Some mourners walked by Stringer's open casket Sunday and cried as they saw him wearing his giant, purple No. 77 Vikings jersey.

``It's so hard to see a young man with so much talent leave us so early,'' said Reggie Wells of Niles, who followed Stringer's career from Warren G. Harding High School to Ohio State to the Vikings.

Stringer, one of the Vikings' most popular and funniest players, was honored in his hometown with a five-hour public viewing at his high school.

The 27-year-old offensive lineman was hospitalized after practice last Tuesday and died in the hospital overnight. His body temperature had risen to 108 degrees.

Jason Flanigan played with Stringer in high school on the offensive line. He wiped away tears as he talked about his friend, who ``never had a down word to say to anybody.''