Missouri honors fallen Haughton native and KC Chief with Joe Delaney Memorial Highway


SHREVEPORT, La. (KTAL/KMSS) – In May, the Missouri Department of Transportation approved an application for a two-mile stretch of Interstate 435 that circles Kansas City and loops around Arrowhead Stadium on Interstate 70 to be named the Joe Delaney Memorial Highway.

Tuesday marks the 38th anniversary of the death of professional football player and Haughton native Joe Delaney, who gave his life in an effort to save three drowning boys in 1983.

Delaney, an All-American running back out of Northwestern State University, was a 1981 second-round draft pick of the Kansas City Chiefs, and though he only played professional football two years, his sacrifice to save others is still recognized.

An athlete with what some called unlimited potential, Delaney is still on the Top 25 Chiefs in History list – in his first season with the Chiefs, Delaney was selected as AFC Rookie of the year.

After Delaney died, President Ronald Reagan posthumously awarded him the Presidential Citizens Medal, and though the Chiefs didn’t retire his No. 37 jersey, no one has worn that number since.

Last year, on the anniversary of his death, a monument of him erected in Monroe’s Chennault Park by the pond where he died was unveiled and dedicated.

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