Houston Antwine, former Patriots DT, dies

Houston Antwine, a former star defensive tackle for the New England Patriots, died Monday night. He was 72 years old.

A story on the Patriots' website said that Antwine died in Memphis, Tennessee and that his wife, Evelyn, died Tuesday morning.

Antwine was a six-time American Football League All-Star (1963-68) and member of the Patriots' 50th Anniversary Team. He was also elected to the Patriots' All-Decade team for the 1960s and was named to the All-AFL Team.

"For those of us who grew up watching the Boston Patriots, this is a really sad day," said Patriots chairman and CEO Robert Kraft in a statement. "In the 1960s, the defensive tackle tandem of 'Twine' and Jim Lee Hunt were as good as any in the league and helped propel the Patriots to the franchise's first division championship in 1963.

"Myra (Kraft's late wife) and I had the good fortune of hosting Houston and his wife, Evelyn, at my home just two years ago when we honored the Patriots 50th Anniversary Team. I loved hearing Houston's stories about those early days in Boston. It was such a thrill for me, personally, to spend time with the players from that era.

"I am saddened to learn of the deaths of both Houston and Evelyn and want to express my deepest sympathies to the Antwine's daughter, Regina, and all who mourn her losses. Let us all cherish life and remind loved ones how we feel about them daily."

Antwine was selected by the Oilers in the eighth round of the 1961 AFL draft, but was then traded to the Boston Patriots and spent 11 of his 12 professional seasons with the organization. He had 39 sacks in 142 regular season games for the Patriots, and played his final season, in 1972, with Philadelphia.