Adrian Dingle, who used to be a defensive end in the NFL, died suddenly at the age of 45. The news of Dingle’s death was posted on the website of Clemson University, where he played 46 games during college.
His death has not been explained to the public. Amy Bell, who was engaged to Dingle, posted a picture of him cuddling with their son Adrian, who was born in 2018, on Instagram on Wednesday to show how sad she was about his death.
She used a broken-heart emoji to describe the moment. Bell also tweeted a video of their 2-year-old daughter Ava and little Adrian hitting the former NFL star’s naked abdomen and laughing together on Friday. Bell didn’t add a caption to the touching video clip.
“While Adrian was known for his football accomplishments, he was so much more than football. In the few short days since his passing, I’ve been overwhelmed by the outpouring of stories and memories,” Bell tells PEOPLE.
“The common theme is his infectious smile and his selfless love. I’ve never met any other person who could meet someone once and go on to be a groomsman in a wedding. His smile will live on through his gorgeous babies who loved their daddy beyond measure.”
— DiedSuddenly (@DiedSuddenly_) November 12, 2022
Marcellus Wiley, who used to play with Dingle on the San Diego Chargers, which are now the Los Angeles Chargers, sent him a picture of the two of them with other “2000’s Chargers Legends” to honour him.
“RIP to my teammate @AdrianDingle We were just hanging, laughing, swapping war stories, and talking family. Rest easy big dog! 🙏🏿❤️,” he wrote on Twitter.
Clemson says that Dingle went to Roberts High School in Holly Hill, South Carolina, and got his diploma there. At the North-South High School All-Star game in 1994, he was named the defensive MVP.
During his last three years at Clemson, he started 34 games as a defensive end. “He helped the Tigers to three bowl games over his career,” the university said.
Dingle became a pro football player when the San Diego Chargers picked him in the fifth round of the 1999 NFL draught. Until 2004, he was on the team.
Anyone have details on Adrian Dingle’s passing? Sad news man. He was a solid dude
— Kassim Osgood (@kassimosgood81) November 9, 2022
“He had his best year in 2003 when he had six sacks and 16 total tackles for loss among his 37 tackles,” Clemson wrote. The San Diego Union-Tribune says that Dingle played his first Chargers game as a starter in September 2003.
He recalled being told the news during a Sunday morning meeting. The team’s last preseason game was played the day before against the San Francisco 49ers. “I’m going to go out there and do the same thing I’ve been doing, try to play the best I can to help the team win,” Dingle vowed.
“There’s no extra excitement. You’ve got the same job to do.” In Dingle’s obituary, it was said that funeral plans have not been settled.
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