Ex-North Star Goldsworthy dies of AIDS

Ex-North Star Goldsworthy dies of AIDS

By Ron Lesko
Associated Press
MINNEAPOLIS -- (May 29, 1996) Bill Goldsworthy, an original member of the Minnesota North Stars and a five-time NHL All-Star, died Friday morning from complications from AIDS. He was 51.

Goldsworthy, who disclosed last year that he had the disease, was hospitalized ja week ago Thursday and died at 8:44 a.m. Friday. Funeral services will be held next week, although details were not immediately known.

"He was a fun-loving guy, unpredictable," said Lou Nanne, who played with Goldsworthy and later was a coach and general manager of the North Stars. "We always used to say, 'Goldy's just being Goldy.' That's just the way he was. You never knew what he was going to do or say. He was a very warm person, a good friend."

Goldsworthy played 14 seasons in the NHL with the North Stars, Boston Bruins and New York Rangers. He was diagnosed with AIDS in November 1994, and he told the Saint Paul (Minn.) Pioneer Press in February 1995 that his health problems stemmed from drinking and promiscuity.

"There's a stigma that comes with AIDS that makes you think it's something that only happens in the homosexual community and to drug abusers who use dirty needles," Goldsworthy said. "It's more than that."

William Sean Goldsworthy, 24, said the family received tremendous support as word of his father's death spread.

"It's been very nicely handled in the past, and I'm sure it will continue to be handled that way," Goldsworthy's son said.

Goldsworthy also is survived by a daughter, Tammy Lynn, 27.

Nanne said he talked to Goldsworthy in the hospital Wednesday night.

"He was really in bad shape," Nanne said, adding that Goldsworthy handled the disease well.

"He actually was very philosophical about it," Nanne said. "He wasn't in any way bitter or remorseful. He was very courageous."

Goldsworthy was coaching the San Antonio Iguanas of the Central Hockey League when he was hospitalized Nov. 11, 1994. He had been feeling ill for two months, and was fighting pneumonia when blood clots moved from his legs to his lungs.

"When the doctor came into my room on Monday, I expected him to talk to me about blood clots and how we were going to take care of that problem," Goldsworthy told the Pioneer Press last year. "I felt awful, but I found out I could feel worse. Instead of talking about blood clots, he told me I had the HIV virus, that I had AIDS.

"I said, 'Whoa! You've got the wrong guy. You've gotta be kidding. There must be a mistake.' There was no mistake."

Goldsworthy's NHL career began with the Bruins in 1964. He played with the North Stars from their expansion season of 1967 until 1977, and ended his career with the Rangers in 1978.

Goldsworthy scored 267 goals with the North Stars, becoming the first NHL player from an expansion team to top 250 goals. His No. 8 jersey was retired by the North Stars on Feb. 15, 1992, just over a year before the team moved to Dallas.

"He was a very colorful, charismatic guy that had great speed and strength and a great shot," Nanne said. "It was very unpredictable what he was going to do. He was one of the first real charismatic Minnesota athletes that we had."