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Patriots equipment manager dies after 41 seasons with the team

Don Brocher, the New England Patriots equipment manager who was the longest-tenured employee in franchise history, died on Monday night after battling leukemia for several months. He was 60 and had just completed his 41st season with the team.

“The Kraft family and the entire Patriots organization awoke with very heavy hearts this morning,” Patriots owner Robert Kraft said in a statement. “That is when most of us learned of Don’s passing. He had fought this deadly disease so valiantly all season long. We were all optimistic that he would defeat it and fully recover. He was back on our sidelines just two weeks ago for our game against the 49ers and I can’t remember ever seeing him happier. I am glad I had that opportunity to thank him once again for his loyalty and countless contributions to the team. My thoughts and prayers are with his wife, Laurie, and all who knew Don and are mourning his loss today.”

Brocher was hired as a 19-year-old ball boy in 1972 and was brought on as a full-time member of the equipment staff later that year. He was promoted to equipment manager in 1994.

After Brocher was diagnosed with leukemia in August, he stayed behind when the team made a trip to Tampa for a preseason game — the first game Brocher had missed in 40 years, snapping a streak of 834 consecutive Patriots preseason, regular season and postseason games that he had worked.

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22 Responses to “Patriots equipment manager dies after 41 seasons with the team”
  1. dryheaveone says: Jan 1, 2013 2:56 PM

    RIP… a tribute to the “workin man”

  2. egomaniac247 says: Jan 1, 2013 3:03 PM

    That’s a pretty cool life, to work for a NFL team from the time you’re 19.

  3. censoredagain says: Jan 1, 2013 3:08 PM

    Thats a shame.


  4. jboyxl73 says: Jan 1, 2013 3:18 PM

    RIP what a nice story ,great behind the scenes guy who got to see the humble early years right up through all the best years and Championships

  5. legeisyaj says: Jan 1, 2013 3:24 PM


  6. godblessfootball says: Jan 1, 2013 3:29 PM

    A true salt of the earth working man. Although his passing is a heartbreaking time, this is also a great time to celebrate his life, loyalty and dedication.

    My condolences to his family.

  7. CKL says: Jan 1, 2013 3:33 PM

    Wow, 41 years with one “company”, amazing. That kind of thing doesn’t happen often anymore. I had thought Scar was the longest tenured non front office employee. 60 is too young to go but he must have loved what he was doing to stay so long. Not a lot of us can claim that with respect to our jobs/careers. RIP Don Brocher.

  8. snarcasms says: Jan 1, 2013 4:00 PM

    Rest in Peace Mr. Brocher

  9. jjbadd385 says: Jan 1, 2013 4:00 PM

    Very sad…God Speed to his family. Such loyalty.

  10. davidschap says: Jan 1, 2013 4:01 PM

    That’s what I miss about living in Mass. True working class blue collar folks. Rest in peace sir.

  11. seahawksbmx says: Jan 1, 2013 4:20 PM

    834 straight games, wow. Yeah, sounds like a pretty good life and cool that he was able to enjoy a lot of success in his later years with the Pats. RIP.

  12. cowboys8819 says: Jan 1, 2013 4:31 PM

    That is terrible, my go out to his wife and family and the entire Patriots organization.

  13. thebigtim2012 says: Jan 1, 2013 4:50 PM

    May god bless him and his family

  14. tedmurph says: Jan 1, 2013 5:08 PM

    Sad story, 60 is too young. It will probably never become public what Robert Kraft will do for his family. Believe me, people know about 1/10th of what Kraft, his late wife and his family do in a charitable way for others.

  15. thereisalwaysnextyear says: Jan 1, 2013 5:09 PM

    God Bless and best wishes to his family. Obviously a hardworking honorable man. We need more of those these days. It appears he earned everything he got and I hope his family can have the comfort of knowing they had a good man.

  16. 8man says: Jan 1, 2013 7:24 PM

    I hope his life was as fulfilling and fun as it sounds like it would be.

    God Bless.

  17. marima07 says: Jan 1, 2013 7:37 PM

    Too bad. Sixty is still young. It was a blessing for him to be able to work at a job he loved for so long. God’s blessings to his family.

  18. snccoach says: Jan 1, 2013 8:09 PM

    RIP and God bless.

  19. patsfiend says: Jan 1, 2013 11:25 PM

    RIP. I saw him on the sidelines but didn’t know who he was. He’s sure seen a lot over all those years, including some of the best (and worst) teams ever.

  20. alskdh says: Jan 2, 2013 2:05 AM

    I remember hearing about how Don was a the stadium every day at 530 am before anyone else. Some of the old defensive players used to try and beat him to the stadium without telling him by showing up at 6, and he had already beat all of them to it.

  21. packerfanslivevicariouslythroughtheirfootballteam says: Jan 6, 2013 11:28 AM


    Win another ring in memory of this guy, Patriots!

  22. pats1stfan1 says: Jan 6, 2013 8:41 PM

    Really?! Commenters actually put thumbs down!?

    I knew Don Brocher, and he was a great guy and a great family man…

    It’s all about loyalty and family.

    RIP Don,


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