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HUNTINGTON — Dan Polcyn, a football player on Marshall University’s Young Thundering Herd, died Thursday after a short illness.

Polcyn, 68, died at Ohio State University’s Wexner Medical Center in Columbus. He had been living in Oak Hill, Ohio.

A native of Gallipolis, Ohio, and former football star at Kyger Creek High School, Polcyn was a defensive tackle at Marshall from 1971 through 1974. Those teams were referred to as the Young Thundering Herd, as most of the remaining players were freshmen or sophomores after a plane crash near Tri-State Airport on Nov. 14, 1970, killed all 75 on board, including most of the Marshall football team.

“It’s sad as we lose another Young Thundering Herd member,” said Dave Walsh, a teammate of Polcyn at Marshall. “We were good friends. We went to his house in Kyger Creek a few times in college.”

Walsh said Polcyn considered himself blessed to be alive, having narrowly avoided the Sept. 15, 1967, collapse of the Silver Bridge spanning the Ohio River between Gallipolis and Point Pleasant, West Virginia.

“Dan told me he was in line to cross the Silver Bridge when it fell and he saw it,” Walsh said. “That had to be chilling.”

Jack James, who coached at several schools in Gallia County, was a friend of Polcyn.

“I had and still have the utmost respect for Big Dan,” James said. “I will miss him.”

Arrangements weren’t available as of press time Saturday.