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Rickey Jackson's Trail Of Pain Leads To Hall

Rickey Jackson lived a celebrity life during his career, but things took a turn for the worse when he retired.

For starters, he got divorced in 1996 and was unable to revive his career the following season:

Norma Williams Jackson, who was married to Jackson for 13 years and bore three of his nine children, was a hometown sweetheart in Pahokee, Fla., and opened her heart to Jackson and home to all of his children when the couple lived in Destrehan during his time with the Saints.

After the couple divorced in 1996, she watched as Jackson left his final association with the Saints as a sometimes assistant coach under Mike Ditka, after a failed attempt to come out of retirement and resume his playing career under Ditka in 1997. That was one year after Jackson had been feted in the Superdome in a ceremony in which his Saints’ number 57 was affixed to the stadium wall.

Also in 2006, his mother died following a stroke.

But that wasn’t all. Jackson had to deal with major child support issues as well:

During the time Jackson was dealing with his mother’s illness, he was also dealing with a legal issue regarding unpaid child support of reportedly more than $150,000 for the youngest of his nine kids, Tyler.

Jackson has since gotten back on track, resolving the child support issues, establishing his own foundation, and running a successful business. Add Hall of Famer to that list of accomplishments.

Photographs by dizfunk used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.