July 14, 1948 – February 24, 2022
Kenneth Othell Burrough, the last NFL player to wear his legendary number “00”, died at his home in Jacksonville, Florida at the age of 73. Burrough bravely battled several medical issues prior to his passing. Double “0” made his last contribution to society with a profound final play in his decision to donate his body for science care research. A true hero indeed!
As the youngest of three children born to Othell and Alice Burrough, he was loved by many and was known as “Kenneth”, “Ken”, “Kenny”, “K.B.”, and “Double O”. Regardless of how he was greeted, he always responded with his famous grin.
Kenneth idolized his big brother, Gene and his big sister, Roslyn, they were his role models. Kenneth watched and imitated his big brother, Gene, who made an enviable name for himself as a lettered athlete and a pathfinder in the sports arena. Ken also awed his sister, Roslyn, whose soprano voice propelled her from being a second-grade teacher in the Duval County School System to becoming a performing artist on Broadway and in concert halls around the world.
Growing up in Black Jacksonville, Florida, Ken attended local segregated neighborhood schools. All along the way, the schools he was destined to attend had been newly constructed by the time he entered first grade at Moncrief Elementary (now renamed St. Clair Evans Elementary), then later to Northwestern Jr. Sr. High School and William M. Raines High School. By the time he graduated from Raines, Ken had received eighty-five letters of invitation from colleges and universities all over the United States.
During his college career at Texas Southern University, he competed in football and track, he caught 138 passes for 1,912 yards. In 1969, Ken was named to Sporting News and Time Magazine All-American Team.
The New Orleans Saints drafted him in the first round of the 1970 NFL Draft. Kenneth played in 12 NFL seasons, one with the New Orleans Saints and eleven seasons with the Houston Oilers where his career flourished! In 1975, “00” led all NFL wide receivers in yards gained with 1,063 yards.
He was voted to two Pro Bowls and was an All-Pro selection in 1975 and 1977. He established himself as one of the most dangerous offensive weapons in pro football history. During his NFL career Double “0” completed 421 receptions, totaling 7,102 yards with 50 TDs.
Kenneth proudly stated, “no matter what God has allowed me to accomplish, I dare not forget that everything started for me in Jacksonville, Florida.”
In the words of Ken Johnson when Kenneth was honored as a “2016 Black Heritage Football Hall of Fame” inductee: “We honor a local hero and a man of great distinction. We all know of his athletic prowess spanning local schools, college, and the National Football League, yet let us not forget Ken Burrough the man…a man of great distinction, unflinching character and one who truly believed in giving back to the community and his hometown.”
Through all his achievements, the most important one was his relationship with God. He was a member of Bethlehem Missionary Baptist Church, Jacksonville, Rev. Marion Wise pastor. He also delighted in planning and sharing in Bible Study with his Houston family every Thursday evening. In addition, to his many memberships, Ken was also a member of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity.
Ken is remembered as a great father by his three daughters, Ashley, Nicole, and Teya; a treasured grandfather to Jamaal, Cooper and Clarke, Ashlee, Aja, Janae; and great grandfather to Braylen.
Survivors also include a devoted sister, Roslyn “Auntie Roz,” Burrough; aunt, Dora McKinnon Johnson; niece, Keenya Burrough Coffey (Welton Coffey, II); Nephew, Luke Burrough (Deanna); two special grandnieces, Kelsey Coffey and Tatiana Burrough as well as a host of other nieces, nephews, cousins and a treasure trove of other relatives, friends, and caretakers. Preceding Ken in death were his parents, Othell and Alice Burrough, brother, Gene and nephew, Dwayne Burrough.
Please join with family, friends, and the community as we celebrate his memory:
Community Tribute – Friday, March 11, 5:00p–7:00p
William Raines High School Auditorium
3663 Raines Avenue
Jacksonville, FL 32209
Memorial Service – Saturday, March 12, 12:00noon
St. Thomas Family Life Center
Rev. Ernie Murray, Pastor
2119 Rowe Avenue (corner of Rowe Ave. and Moncrief Rd.)
Jacksonville, FL 32208
Family contacts: Roslyn Burrough 904.707.5201 (Florida)
Ashley Burrough Johnson 512. 299.1113 (Texas)
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