FLORHAM PARK, N.J. (AP) Bill Hampton, the former longtime equipment manager of the New York Jets, has died. He was 86.
The Jets announced Tuesday that Hampton, who worked with the team from 1964 until he retired after the 2000 season, died in Florida.
Hampton is credited for several innovations in football equipment rooms, including stitching the first pockets onto a football jersey - as he and his wife Dottie did for quarterback Joe Namath along with the Jets' running backs, wide receivers and tight ends before the AFL Championship in 1968. Hampton also had players wear pantyhose for warmth under their uniforms.
Hampton's son Clay succeeded him as the Jets' equipment manager in 2001 and is currently the team's senior director of team operations.
AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org and http://twitter.com/AP-NFL