As the NFL season gets ready to kickoff next week the New England Patriots family will be recognizing the loss of a franchise legend. According to multiple reports, former New England Patriots wide receiver David Patten, has died at the age of 47. 

David Patten was the top receiver during the playoff run that began the dynasty under Tom Brady and Bill Belichick. Patten caught the first ever Super Bowl touchdown pass thrown by Brady during the Patriots upset win over the St. Louis Rams. Patten's agent confirmed the passing of his former client on Friday morning.  

During the run to the first Super Bowl, Patten went for 107 yards in the snow bowl game against the Raiders, and then caught the only offensive touchdowns in the AFC Championship and the Super Bowl. He finished his career in 2010 as a three-time Super Bowl champion, all with New England. Patten went on to pursue a degree in social work and pursued work as a minister in South Carolina once his playing career was finished.  

Many former teammates, coaches, and management were expressing their shock on social media after the news of Patten's death was confirmed. Richard Seymour was the first to alert the public that the New England Patriots Super Bowl hero had passed away. Seymour said he was "heartbroken” learn of Patten's death. There has been no official cause of death released at this time. Relive the historic Super Bowl that started the dynasty, and the catch from Patten that launched Patriots fans into a new level of success!

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LOOK: 50 images of winning moments from sports history

Sometimes images are the best way to honor the figures we've lost. When tragedy swiftly reminds us that sports are far from the most consequential thing in life, we can still look back on an athlete's winning moment that felt larger than life, remaining grateful for their sacrifice on the court and bringing joy to millions.

Read on to explore the full collection of 50 images Stacker compiled showcasing various iconic winning moments in sports history. Covering achievements from a multitude of sports, these images represent stunning personal achievements, team championships, and athletic perseverance.