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Golden Richards, Cowboys WR who made famous TD catch in Super Bowl XII, dead at 73

John “Golden” Richards, who played seven seasons in the NFL and made a memorable touchdown catch off a gadget play for the Dallas Cowboys during Super Bowl XII, died Friday. He was 73.

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Richards died at his home in Murray, Utah, of congestive heart failure, the Deseret News reported. He had battled multiple health and prescription drug abuse issues during his later years, according to the newspaper. He also had undergone four surgeries after breaking his hip on Christmas Day in 2022, his brother, Doug Richards, told the Deseret News.

“He has left us and gone to a better place,” Doug Richards told the newspaper. “He fought pretty good there to the end, until it was his time.”

The wide receiver’s nephew, Lance Richards, also confirmed the death in a Facebook post.

“My uncle Golden passed away peacefully this morning,” Lance Richards wrote. “I will forever remember going hunting and talking Dallas Cowboy football. He was a kind and sweet soul and I’m so happy he’s not suffering anymore.”

Golden Richards, for his flowing blond hair, was drafted out of BYU by the Cowboys in the second round of the 1973 NFL draft, according to Pro-Football-Reference.com.

He made 122 catches for 2,136 yards and 17 touchdowns.

His most famous catch came during Super Bowl XII on Jan. 15, 1978, Sports Illustrated reported. He caught a halfback pass for 29 yards from Robert Newhouse for a touchdown during the fourth quarter, putting an exclamation point on the Cowboys’ 27-10 victory.

Richards also caught a 4-yard touchdown pass in the 1975 NFC Championship Game and had a 32-yard catch two years later for the first score of the 1977 NFL title game, according to the magazine.

Golden Richards spent five-plus seasons in Dallas before playing two seasons for the Chicago Bears, the Deseret News reported. He wound up his career with the Broncos in 1980.

He was a prep star at Granite High School in Salt Lake City and was an all-state performer in football, basketball and track before attending BYU, according to the newspaper.

Golden Richards transferred to Hawaii for his senior season, catching five touchdown passes before suffering a knee injury that would plague him for the rest of his career.

Richards was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease in 2011, the Deseret News reported. He lived with his adult sons during his final years, according to The Associated Press.