Junior Seau Celebration of Life at Qualcomm Stadium

Fans, friends, family and members of the San Diego community gathered at Qualcomm Stadium Friday for a memorial service honoring the life and legacy of Junior Seau. For all our special coverage of Junior Seau, click here.

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SAN DIEGO, CA - MAY 11: Fans hold up placards with San Diego Chargers player Junior Seau's #55 outside of Qualcomm Stadium before a public memorial for the NFL player May 11, 2012 in San Diego, California. The former football star was found shot to death at his home in what police said appeared to be a suicide. (Photo by Denis Poroy/Getty Images)
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SAN DIEGO, CA - MAY 11: Fans hold up placards with San Diego Chargers player Junior Seau's #55 outside of Qualcomm Stadium as they look up at a helicopter flying overhead before a public memorial for the NFL player May 11, 2012 in San Diego, California. The former football star was found shot to death at his home in what police said appeared to be a suicide. (Photo by Denis Poroy/Getty Images)
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SAN DIEGO, CA - MAY 11: Friends, family members and supporters pay tribute to former NFL star Junior Seau during a public memorial at Qualcomm Stadium May 11, 2012 in San Diego, California. Seau, who played for various NFL teams including the San Diego Chargers, Miami Dolphins and New England Patriots, was found dead in his home on May 2, an apparent suicide. (Photo by Sandy Huffaker/Getty Images)
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SAN DIEGO, CA - MAY 11: Friends, family members and supporters pay tribute to former NFL star Junior Seau during a public memorial at Qualcomm Stadium May 11, 2012 in San Diego, California. Seau, who played for various NFL teams including the San Diego Chargers, Miami Dolphins and New England Patriots, was found dead in his home on May 2, an apparent suicide. (Photo by Sandy Huffaker/Getty Images)
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SAN DIEGO, CA - MAY 11: Junior Siatunuu plays a Ukulele as he pays tribute to former NFL star Junior Seau during a public memorial at Qualcomm Stadium May 11, 2012 in San Diego, California. Seau, who played for various NFL teams including the San Diego Chargers, Miami Dolphins and New England Patriots, was found dead in his home on May 2, an apparent suicide. (Photo by Sandy Huffaker/Getty Images)
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Junior Seau's parents arrived to the celebration of life.
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Seau's number, 55, was displayed on the stage at Qualcomm Stadium before the Celebration of Life began.
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Seau Fan Eli Gomez arrived hours before gates opened to Qualcomm Stadium for the celebration.
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SAN DIEGO, CA MAY 11: Annette Bush wears a pair of #55 glasses in honor of former NFL star Junior Seau as she waits to get into a public memorial at Qualcomm Stadium May 11, 2012 in San Diego, California. Seau, who played for various NFL teams including the San Diego Chargers, Miami Dolphins and New England Patriots, was found dead in his home on May 2, an apparent suicide. (Photo by Sandy Huffaker/Getty Images)
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The stage displayed Seau's jersey.
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SAN DIEGO, CA - MAY 11: A fan looks out over Qualcomm Stadium during a public memorial for former NFL star Junior Seau May 11, 2012 in San Diego, California. Seau, who played for various NFL teams including the San Diego Chargers, Miami Dolphins and New England Patriots, was found dead in his home on May 2, an apparent suicide. (Photo by Sandy Huffaker/Getty Images)
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See all our coverage of the life and legacy of Junior Seau here.
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Fans lined up at the stadium's entrance.
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See all our coverage of the life and legacy of Junior Seau here.
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The entrance to Qualcomm stadium on Friday.
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Fans got into the spirit for the celebration Friday.
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Chargers
Before the celebration, the Chargers tweeted a picture of this line of surfboards, which fans will be able to sign. This photo courtesy of the San Diego Chargers. See pictures of a "Paddle Out" fans held for Seau here.
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The surfboard tribute quickly filled up with signatures from adoring fans.
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The jumbotron at Qualcomm Stadium
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Seau's number was painted onto the field.
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SAN DIEGO, CA - MAY 11: A woman with an umbrella with former San Diego Chargers player Junior Seau's #55 on it waits outside of Qualcomm Stadium before a public memorial for the NFL player May 11, 2012 in San Diego, California. The former football star was found shot to death at his home in what police said appeared to be a suicide. (Photo by Denis Poroy/Getty Images)
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Junior Seau's family laughed as Billy Ray Smith told stories of their time together.
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At the beginning of the ceremony, the Jumbotron played the song "Oh Sweet Darling" by Fiji George Veikoso. It was one of Junior's favorite songs.
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Before the celebration, clips of Seau's appearances on television played, such as this moment with Jay Leno.
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Miles McPherson, senior pastor at The Rock church began the evening's speeches.
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"Of all San Diego's most accomplished athletes, Junior was the most charismatic," said San Diego Mayor Jerry Sanders at the celebration.
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An old photo showed Seau as he met Dan Fouts, Hall of Fame Quarterback for the San Diego Chargers
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Dan Fouts spoke of his experiences with Junior Seau. See all our coverage of the life and legacy of Junior Seau here.
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Dan Fouts received a standing ovation. “He was the ultimate leader," Fouts said. "The ultimate teammate.”
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Billy Ray Smith, Former Linebacker San Diego Chargers
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SAN DIEGO, CA - MAY 11: Family members pay tribute to former NFL star Junior Seau during a public memorial at Qualcomm Stadium May 11, 2012 in San Diego, California. Seau, who played for various NFL teams including the San Diego Chargers, Miami Dolphins and New England Patriots, was found dead in his home on May 2, an apparent suicide. (Photo by Sandy Huffaker/Getty Images)
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SAN DIEGO, CA - MAY 11: Head coach Norv Turner of the San Diego Chargers pays tribute to former NFL star Junior Seau during a public memorial at Qualcomm Stadium May 11, 2012 in San Diego, California. Seau, who played for various NFL teams including the San Diego Chargers, Miami Dolphins and New England Patriots, was found dead in his home on May 2, an apparent suicide. (Photo by Sandy Huffaker/Getty Images)
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ESPN's CHris Berman gave a video speech during the memorial.
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SAN DIEGO, CA - MAY 11: LaDanian Tomlinson pays tribute to former NFL star Junior Seau during a public memorial at Qualcomm Stadium May 11, 2012 in San Diego, California. Seau, who played for various NFL teams including the San Diego Chargers, Miami Dolphins and New England Patriots, was found dead in his home on May 2, an apparent suicide. (Photo by Sandy Huffaker/Getty Images)
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“I challenge everyone to honor him in the way you live your life every single day of your life," John Lynch, Former Safety with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers & Denver Broncos. "Never forget #55“
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When LaDainian Tomlinson took the podium, the crowd roared. Fans said his words were easily the most touching, memorable part of the celebration.
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Tomlinson was Running Back for the San Diego Chargers and now the New York Jets.
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LT shared a memory of when Seau gave him advice for how to propose to his wife. "And she's still with me," he laughed.
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McPherson, Lynch and Smith laugh with LT.
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McPherson left the crowd with three words: Faith, Family and Friends. "The minute you isolate yourself you're doomed, McPherson said. "We cannot live this life alone."
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The Spanos family, Tomlinson, and Seau's four children stood on stage as Dean Spanos retired Seau's number, 55.
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Tyler Seau, Junior's son, said his father was truly a legend.
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Dean Spanos stood next to his wife and Tomlinson as he announced the retirement of Seau's number. "No one will replace him," Spanos said.
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