Archive for Sunday, January 7, 2007

Broncos pay respects to Williams

Teammates remember slain cornerback at funeral

January 7, 2007

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A portrait of slain Denver Broncos cornerback Darrent Williams and his jersey are displayed at his funeral service. The funeral was held Saturday in Fort Worth, Texas.

A portrait of slain Denver Broncos cornerback Darrent Williams and his jersey are displayed at his funeral service. The funeral was held Saturday in Fort Worth, Texas.

— Darrent Williams came home Saturday to the tough streets he embraced and escaped, where he first flashed his awesome athletic skills and infectious smile.

Thousands of friends, family members, teammates and fans attended the funeral for the charismatic Denver Broncos cornerback who was killed in a drive-by shooting on New Year's Day.

"I've never seen a little man with so much heart and so much fire," Broncos linebacker Al Wilson said at the three-hour service at Great Commission Baptist Church. "He touched my heart and always will."

When Williams' longtime girlfriend, Tierria Leonard, walked past his open casket, Williams' 7-year-old son, Darius, dressed in a navy pinstripe suit, cried uncontrollably just as he had at the memorial service Friday night, where he wore a T-shirt that read, "I love you Daddy."

Williams is also survived by a 4-year-old daughter, Jaelyn.

Broncos running back Tatum Bell, who played with Williams at Oklahoma State, broke down as he spoke at the service.

"I'm just glad D was in my life," he said through sobs as Wilson comforted him by his side.

The Broncos flew in for the funeral on a chartered flight that did not include wide receiver Javon Walker, who was with Williams when he lost his life.

"Javon is struggling," coach Mike Shanahan said after the service. "He's going through some very heavy grief right now and I talked to Champ (Bailey) about him. He's been with him for the last couple of days. He's going through a tough time. But I'm sure with everybody's support, he'll make it through it all right."

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