Dan Marino's locker enclosed in glass

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The Independent Online

A month after ending one of the National Football League's most storied careers, Dan Marino pulled down a curtain to reveal his glass-enclosed locker stall, the first of many tributes still to come for the record-breaking Miami Dolphins quarterback.

Wearing blue jeans and accompanied by his wife, Claire, and their five children at the Dolphins training facility in Davie, Florida on a rainy Friday afternoon, Marino seemed touched by the honour.

"I'm honoured to have my locker encased at a place where I worked every day," said Marino, 38. "When I saw Tony Dorsett and Hugh Green's lockers encased at (the University of) Pittsburgh, I know they took pride in it, and I'll take pride in it."

Marino has already been given a similar tribute at the University of Pittsburgh, his alma mater. Dolphins equipment manager Tony Egues, who brought up the locker idea and then oversaw it, said they'll do the same at Pro Player Stadium, although it will not be as exorbitant as this mahogany encased, glass enclosed structure.

Marino, who announced his retirement on March 13 after a 17-year career in which he set 30 NFL passing records, said he's been too busy to miss the game - yet.

"I'm sure it will hit me come September," he said. "I'll want to open it up and put my stuff on. Maybe that's why they enclosed it."

On the glass, "Dan Marino 13 QB" is engraved. Inside were several pairs of cleats, jerseys, pants, helmet, a knee brace, a self-portrait drawn by his young daughters Niki and Alexandra, Rosary beads and some change.

There was also an angel pin on a cap that left Marino choked up. It was given to him six years ago by Bucky Hellman, now a 22-year-old man from Pittsburgh, who is gravely ill.

At Marino's retirement press conference, Dolphins owner H Wayne Huizenga said that among other upcoming honours planned for him were: having his No 13 jersey retired; a statue outside of Pro Player; a street named for him on the outskirts of the stadium and a halftime ceremony in which his name will go into the Dolphins Honour Roll.

After that, only Canton, Ohio - home of the football Hall of Fame - awaits him.

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