Late Chiefs hero who saved boy from drowning honored with statue

Joe Delaney made the Pro Bowl during his rookie season with the Chiefs. (Photo by Focus on Sport/Getty Images)

Kanas City Chiefs running back Joe Delaney gave his life to try to help others in 1983, when he died while attempting to save three boys from drowning in a pond. On Saturday, Delaney’s efforts were immortalized with a monument, according to KNOE 8.

Delaney’s family members came together Saturday to unveil a new monument dedicated to Delaney at Chennault Park in Louisiana. The monument features Delaney’s name and picture, and tells the story of his bravery.

Upon noticing the children in the water, Delaney jumped into a pond to try and save them. Delaney did not know how to swim, but still tried to help. One of the children survived. Delaney and the other two children died.

Delaney was posthumously awarded the Presidential Citizens Medal by President Ronald Reagan.

Delaney’s wife, Carolyn, told KNOE 8 her late husband was a “kindhearted person” who never wanted to be in the limelight.

“He didn’t like being honored, but we would always honor him. He wasn’t the type of person to be in the limelight,” Joe’s late wife, Carolyn Delaney says.

Carolyn says seeing the love and support from past friends, coaches and others make her even prouder of the man her husband was. “Joe was a person that would give his shirt off his back to you. He was a kindhearted person. He was also helping out people, and he didn’t worry about Joe himself. He just worried about making the people around him happy,” she says.

Delaney played two seasons in the NFL, both with the Chiefs. He made the Pro Bowl his rookie year after rushing for 1,121 yards and three touchdowns.

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