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SALT LAKE CITY -- Utah Blaze receiver/linebacker Justin Skaggs died Friday, one day after emergency brain surgery, a team spokesman said.
Skaggs, who was recently diagnosed with a cancerous brain tumor, had surgery Thursday to relieve swelling after he complained about a severe headache, Blaze spokesman Tom Goodhines said.
Skaggs, 28, remained unconscious and on a respirator after the surgery. His family traveled from Missouri and was with him when he was pronounced dead at 1:45 p.m. MDT at University Hospital, the team said.
Skaggs was in his third season in the Arena Football League and second with the Blaze. He also played in NFL Europe and appeared in one game for the Washington Redskins in 2002.
"Our thoughts and prayers are with the Skaggs family at this difficult time," said Blaze owner JOHN GARFF. "Justin will forever be a member of this team and a member of the Blaze family, and he will be deeply missed by all. The Salt Lake City and Blaze communities have lost a great man, a dedicated teammate, and a loving husband and father."
Skaggs leaves behind a wife, Tara, and two children, Jake (5) and Abbie (3).
A memorial service will be held at EnergySolutions Arena on Monday, June 18th at 10 a.m. in the International Room. All who wish to attend are invited. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Justin Skaggs Memorial Account by visiting any Zions Bank location. Checks can also be mailed to:
1 South Main Street, Ste. 100
SLC, UT 84111