Where are they now?: Joe Namath

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The Independent Online
NO STAR of the Super Bowl has lived in the same galaxy as Joe Namath, the brash, hard-living quarterback who inspired the upstart New York Jets to turn over the massively favoured Baltimore Colts in Miami in 1969. Sparring with a heckler at a pre-game dinner, he caused consternation by 'guaranteeing' a Jets' triumph.

With a brilliant college record, the boy from Beaver Falls, Pennsylvania, arrived in New York on an unprecedented dollars 425,000 contract. When his picture appeared on a magazine cover, standing on the city's most famous street, a team-mate dubbed him 'Broadway Joe' and he lived up to the image, entertaining actresses and models at a plush penthouse apartment. A restaurant he owned closed after it was alleged that his customers included members of the Mafia.

'I'm comfortable with the image,' he says now, stressing that it no longer applies. 'I'm a Gemini, so there are a couple of Joe Namaths. Being young in New York brought out the mischievous one. It was fun, but half the stories were made up or exaggerated. My greatest pleasure now is spending time with my family.'

Today, aged 50, he lives in a 12-room house 80 miles north of Miami, with his wife Tatiana and daughters Jessica (7) and Olivia (3). He fishes in the Loxahatchee River, which runs by his garden.

Since retiring 16 years ago, he has made a career from commercials and cameo-acting roles and become a TV football analyst. In 1992 he had both knees replaced.

(Photograph omitted)

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