'Saddened and heartbroken': Coronavirus tragedy rocks sporting world

NFL legend Tom Dempsey, famous for holding kicking records despite having no toes on his right foot, has died aged 73. (Photo by Focus on Sport/Getty Images)

New Orleans Saints great Tom Dempsey has died aged 73 after contracting the coronavirus.

Signed by the NFL franchise in 1969 as an undrafted kicker out of Palomar College, his 63-yard attempt the following year set the NFL record for the longest field goal - a kick that was not surpassed until 2013.

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Dempsey, who was born without toes on his right foot and fingers on his right hand, had been in the grips of Alzheimer's and dementia since 2012.

He was diagnosed with Covid-19 on March 25 and died on April 4 aged 73.

Saints owner Gayle Benson said: "Our thoughts and prayers are extended to Carlene and the entire Dempsey family on the passing of their dear Tom.

"The New Orleans Saints family is deeply saddened and heartbroken at this most difficult time.

"Tom's life spoke directly to the power of the human spirit and exemplified his resolute determination to not allow setbacks to impede following his dreams and aspirations.

"He exemplified the same fight and fortitude in recent years as he battled valiantly against illnesses but never wavered and kept his trademark sense of humour.

"He holds a special place in the hearts and minds of the Saints family."

Aaron Rodgers’ dicey escape from Peru amid coronavirus

Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers has made more than a few successful hail Mary passes on the field - but he needed a real life hail Mary to escape from Peru.

As borders around the world began to suddenly close due to the global outbreak of the coronavirus (COVID-19) Rodgers found himself caught in Peru, inside a packed and panicked airport with authorities ready to halt travel.

Speaking on Pat McAfee’s podcast, Rodgers said the mood at the airport was tense when he and two friends managed to secure a flight out on his private plane just 15 minutes before Peru closed their borders.

“When we rolled up to the airport at like seven in the morning, it was wall-to-wall people and you couldn’t move,” Rodgers said.

“I was thinking, ‘This isn’t very safe.’ Not many masks on, and there was definitely a panic in the air.

“But somehow we made it down and then they shut the airport down because it was really bad weather.

“They had a drop-dead time where they were going to shut the entire airport down. We made it by about 15 minutes.”

Rodgers went on to compare his escape from Peru to the movie Argo, but admitted that ‘thankfully, nobody was chasing us’.

The superstar quarterback has returned to his home in California.