Former NFL kicker and Minnesota native Errol Mann dies at 71
MISSOULA, Mont. (AP) — Errol Mann, the kicker for the Oakland Raiders team that won the 1977 Super Bowl, has died. He was 71.
Mann died on April 11 at his home in Missoula, said Sunset Memorial Funeral Home. Memorial services are scheduled Friday afternoon.
Mann was remembered by family and friends as a straight-forward, fun-loving, competitive man, the Missoulian reported.
“My mother was widowed and handicapped and raised us three,” said Mann’s sister, Bonnie Gran of Fergus Falls, Minn. “She always said, ‘No quitters in this house.’ I thought Errol really followed that through with his NFL career — overcoming injuries and the like.
“Everything Errol did, he did with determination,” Gran said.
Mann was born in Breckenridge, Minn., graduated from high school in Campbell, Minn., and played college football at the University of North Dakota. He spent a dozen years in the NFL and ended his time with the Detroit Lions as the team’s all-time scoring leader. He is still fourth with 636 points during his eight years there.
Mann then played for the Oakland Raiders, joining the 1976 team coached by John Madden that beat Minnesota 32-14 in the Super Bowl. He hit two field goals in the title game. The next year, he led the NFL in scoring with 99 points.
Mann lived in Missoula for the past 25 years and had worked as a financial broker.
He is survived by his wife, Lois, who he met in 1983 while he was helping a friend build an airplane. She was a skydiver and had arrived to borrow some gear from the same friend.
“She is a gift I cherish without equal,” Mann wrote in a letter to his high school classmates marking their 50-year reunion.
Mann was an accomplished athlete, sportsman, pilot, builder and chef.
“He was so unique in that he knew something about everything, because he had such an inquisitive mind,” Lois Mann said. “He was never embarrassed to ask someone how something worked.
“I’d never known anyone like him,” she said. “He demanded you be accountable, honorable and it was frustrating for a lot of people. He demanded 110 percent of everything.”
Hall of Fame linebacker Ted Hendricks, who also played on the Raiders championship team, told the Missoulian that Madden sought his advice about bringing Mann to the Raiders from the Lions in 1976.
“I blocked one of his kicks, when I was with the Packers,” Hendricks said. “And then he got the winning field goal, he was so mad at me for blocking that first one.”
The men became friends.
The day Mann was cut by the Raiders during the 1979 training camp, Hendricks said he skipped curfew.
“And Madden said that was allowed, because I was out with Errol.”