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East Tennessee's football community is bidding farewell to one of its biggest fans.

Dean 'Deano' Thornhill passed away Friday evening. He had attended every Falcons practice and game since 1999.

"I'm battling cancer, and they know I'm battling cancer, and our motto is never give up man, never ever give up," he said in front of a 10News camera back in October.

Deano and his brother Ed were nicknamed the 'Razzle Dazzle boys' because they asked the coaches to add exciting plays.

The team rallied around Deano when he was diagnosed with cancer during training camp this past year. They rode that momentum all the way to their first undefeated season since 1967.

"His spirit and enthusiasm was obviously noticeable to everybody. People from other schools knew who he was, so he wasn't hidden at all," said Fulton coach Rob Black.

Coach Black says without Deano's presence going forward, there will be a hole the team won't be able to fill.

Web extra: Fulton coach speaks about Deano

Fulton coach Rob Black speaks about Dean 'Deano' Thornhill

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