7-year-old Kansas football fan who inspired team dies

LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) A 7-year-old University of Kansas football fan who was cheered on by the team as he battled cancer has died.

Dengel & Son Mortuary says Cole Hayden died Saturday. The Lawrence Journal-World (http://bit.ly/2gDAUqp ) reports that Hayden had a rare form of cancer called undifferentiated sarcoma.

His mother, Shanda Hayden, is an academic and career counselor in the athletic department. He had grown up around football players, who had formed a bond with him even before his diagnosis.

To support him, several members of the team shaved their heads. And almost all of the Kansas football players and coaches wore wristbands emblazoned with (hash)TeamCole during the team's August training camp.

Coach David Beaty said in a tweet that the ''talented, smart, funny, kindhearted'' child had ''gotten his angel wings.''

SI Apps
We've Got Apps Too
Get expert analysis, unrivaled access, and the award-winning storytelling only SI can provide — from Peter King, Tom Verducci, Lee Jenkins, Grant Wahl, Andy Staples and more — delivered straight to you, along with up-to-the-minute news and live scores.