In Memory

Golden Richards

Golden Richards


Golden Richards Obituary

FEBRUARY 24, 2024

golden richards obituarygolden richards in flight!

(excerpted from

Golden Richards, the former Dallas Cowboys receiver known for his flowing blond hair and memorable plays, passed away peacefully with his two sons at his side on February 22nd at the age of 73 due to congestive heart failure. His nephew, Lance Richards, confirmed the news on Facebook, expressing his gratitude that his uncle is no longer suffering.

Golden made his mark in the NFL, spending seven seasons with the Dallas Cowboys, Chicago Bears, and Denver Broncos. However, it was his time with the Cowboys that elevated him to legendary status. Known for his deep-play threat, Richards twice averaged more than 21 yards per catch and finished his career with an impressive 18.3 average. His contributions to the team were especially evident during the 1978 Super Bowl against the Denver Broncos. With the Cowboys in the lead, Richards caught a 29-yard touchdown pass, securing their second championship.

Born and raised in Salt Lake City, Golden Richards excelled at Granite High School before continuing his football career at Brigham Young University (BYU). At BYU, he showcased his skills as a receiver and punt returner, earning a national reputation as a junior by scoring four returns for touchdowns. His exceptional abilities caught the attention of the Dallas Cowboys, who drafted him in the second round in 1973.

Despite his achievements on the field, Richards faced health problems and battled with addictions after retiring from football. However, he found strength in his final years and remained sober for a decade. In 2011, he was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, which he bravely lived with alongside his adult sons, Goldie Jr. and Jordan. Richards endured multiple hip surgeries after breaking his hip on Christmas in 2022 but continued to fight until the end.

Golden will be remembered as not only an exceptional athlete but also as a kind and sweet soul. His passion for hunting and Dallas Cowboys football will forever be cherished by his nephew and loved ones. Though he is no longer with us, his legacy will live on through the memories shared by those who knew him.

Those of us at Granite remember his charisma and natural friendliness with classmates.  He can be credited with almost single-handedly carrying Granite to the state track championship in our senior year.  Some may not be aware, but his grandfather participated in the 1912 Olympics and won the Gold Medal in the high jump.  Athleticism runs in those Richards genes!  Thanks for representing our school and for the great stories we can retell over the years! R.I.P. Golden!

Jenkins-Soffe Obituary:

John Golden Richards (Golden) passed away peacefully at his home on February 23, 2024, surrounded by his loving family. Golden was born on December 31, 1950 in Salt Lake City, Utah, the son of John (Jack) and Gloria Richards. He grew up with his five brothers and sister in the big “pink house” on 45th south and 13th east in Salt Lake. He attended Granite High School graduating in 1969. A decorated athlete, he excelled in and was “all state” in football, basketball and track! He attended Brigham Young University where he played football earning “All Conference” honors as a wide receiver known for his blazing speed and leading the nation in punt returns.

He went on to be drafted by the Dallas Cowboys of the NFL in the 2nd round in 1973. He played five years for the Cowboys (including two Super Bowls) as a punt return specialist and starting wide receiver and two years for the Chicago Bears before retiring in 1980. Golden was a sweet loving soul whose heart was pure as “gold”… like his name! He was gracious and kind to all he knew or came in contact with. He was a “people person” who loved to talk to anyone and offer help or advice. An avid hunter and fisherman, Golden spent hours with his sons, brothers and Dad in the outdoors. Fishing at Beaver Creek near Kamas or deer hunting in Antimony were precious moments for him and his family. As a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Golden loved his family above all. He was blessed to have two sons (Jay Golden “Goldie”) and Jordan who he loved and adored along with a grandson named Jett! He is survived by his beloved sons Goldie, Jordan (Shelby) and brothers Randy, Doug, Sterling, Royal, Russell and his sister Dollie, and many loving nephews and nieces. As a final act of kindness and goodness, Golden has donated his brain to the Boston University Medical Center for research in studying the impact on concussions (CTE) on the brain. With the hope to benefit medical science and future generations of athletes. Friends and family may visit and share memories and extend condolences to Golden and his family on Friday March 1st from 6:00pm until 8:00pm at the LDS church located at 619 West 5750 South, Murray, Utah. Thereafter, private burial services will be conducted by his family. The family wishes to thank the good people at Elevation Hospice for their wonderful and loving care of Golden. We also wish to thank Jenkins-Soffe Mortuary and the Elysian Burial Gardens for their care and service.

Golden Richards Obituary FEBRUARY 24, 2024 golden richards in flight! (excerpted from Golden Richards, the former Dallas Cowboys receiver

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02/28/24 08:35 AM #1    

Keith Bradshaw

It was amazing to watch Golden compete at every level from high school through college and into the NFL.  Thanks for the memories and may you forever Rest In Peace.

02/28/24 10:48 AM #2    

Jane Brown (Schulze)

He used to tease me mercilessly in math class. I had no idea at the time that he would go so far with his football career. What happened to him is too sad. My son suffers from a similar ailment and knows what it's like. I never saw him after high-school but was always proud of him. RIP old friend.

03/02/24 08:53 AM #3    

Wade Jardine

Enjoyed the mini reunion at the viewing last night. Fine tribute to the best overall athlete that The Grand ol G has ever seen. The price he paid for being such a great athlete. God bless his family . 

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