fbpx

Former Chargers cornerback Leslie ‘Speedy’ Duncan dies at 79

Sportsnaut
Nov 7, 2021; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; Los Angeles Chargers helmets on the bench against the Philadelphia Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports
Nov 7, 2021; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; Los Angeles Chargers helmets on the bench against the Philadelphia Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

Former NFL cornerback Leslie “Speedy” Duncan, a three-time AFL All-Star, has died at age 79.

The Los Angeles Chargers announced his passing on Thursday.

Duncan played for the then-San Diego Chargers from 1964-70 and the now-Washington Football Team from 1971-74.

He scored nine career touchdowns: four on punt returns, three on interception returns and one each on a fumble recovery and a blocked field goal. His longest was a 100-yard pick-six against Hall of Famer Len Dawson of the Kansas City Chiefs in 1967

“Speedy Duncan was a walking highlight reel before there were highlights. I had the honor of meeting him several times over the years at our alumni events, and you’d be hard pressed to find a nicer person,” Chargers owner Dean Spanos said in a statement. “He was the life of the party, always with a joke at the ready, and his smile was as welcoming as his talent was immense.”

Duncan’s 21 interceptions with the Chargers are tied for seventh-most in franchise history. He is a member of the Chargers Hall of Fame and made the franchise’s 40th and 50th-anniversary teams.

Duncan made the AFL All-Star teams in 1965, 1966 and 1967 and earned an NFL Pro Bowl selection in 1971 after the AFL-NFL merger.

“Speedy was, as his nickname fittingly would indicate, a player who was ahead of his time,” Spanos said. “Our hearts are with the entire Duncan family, his teammates and everyone who was touched by Speedy and his larger-than-life personality. He will be sorely missed.”

Duncan twice led the AFL in punt return average (1965, 1966) and led the NFL in 1971. His career average was 10.9 between the two leagues. He also averaged 25.2 yards on kickoff returns.

–Field Level Media