Family of late American footballer burgled during tribute match played in his honour

Sam Foltz was killed in a car accident earlier in the summer and his family's home was targeted over the weekend

Sam Foltz

Nebraska punter Sam Foltz punts in the first half of an NCAA college football game against Miami in 2014 [AP Photo/Nati Harnik]

While the family of an American football player Sam Foltz, who died earlier in the summer in a car crash, was attending a match played in his honour, burglars broke into their home, police officers in Nebraska have said.

The thieves made off with stolen items valued at $1,400 (€1,250), including tools and a television set, taken from Foltz’s brother Jordan’s home and car in Greely, Nebraska. His parents had made their way to the game in order to present a new scholarship in his name, while two of his nephews lead out the team before the home team went head to head with Fresno State on Saturday.

Sam Foltz, who was entering his final year as a college student, was killed in a car crash in Wisconsin in July. Another passenger, former Michigan State punter Mike Sadler, also lost his life in the accident.

Saturday’s football game, which resulted in a 43 – 10 win for the Nebraska Huskers, made headlines around the world for the touching tribute played to the late football player. The 22-year-old player’s teammates draped his No. 27 jersey at the end of their sideline bench, before lining up with 10 players and no punter when they went three-and-out on their first possession.

In the stadium, the crowd stood and applauded the play while the clock counted down, with the players on the Fresno team also joining in the tribute. When the referee was duty bound to offer a penalty for delaying the game as the clock wound down and expired, the Fresno State team refused it.

“It was an incredible feeling, knowing how much he meant to the team and the community and all the fans out there,” said quarterback Tommy Armstrong. “It touched my heart a bit, just looking out there.”

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