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Ex-Nhl Star Goldsworthy Dies Of Aids Former North Star, 51, Had Cited Promiscuity

Associated Press

They remember “The Goldy Shuffle,” his left leg raised and his right arm pumping. They remember the way he could light up the Met Center with his charismatic style.

And they remember how Bill Goldsworthy faced up to AIDS, the disease he brought on himself through a promiscuous lifestyle, the disease that killed him Friday at age 51.

Goldsworthy, an original member of the Minnesota North Stars and a five-time NHL All-Star, died Friday morning of complications from AIDS.

“I grew up in Hastings (Minn.), so I used to go to all the North Stars games growing up,” said Dean Talafous, a former North Stars teammate of Goldsworthy and now coach at Wisconsin-River Falls. “He was one of my favorite players because he would just electrify the crowd with his rushes and his shot and his ‘Goldy Shuffle.’ He was flamboyant. He had charisma. He had a personality on the ice that everyone enjoyed watching.”

A right wing, 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 told the Saint Paul 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.”

Goldsworthy, a native of Kitchener, Ontario, is survived by a daughter, 27-year-old Tammy Lynn, and 24-year-old son William Sean Goldsworthy.

Lou Nanne, a former coach and general manager of the North Stars, played with Goldsworthy for 10 seasons. He visited his good friend in the hospital Wednesday night, and said Goldsworthy had 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.

“There was a period of three to five years after my divorce (1980) when I was really into the bottle and I wasn’t careful about my sexual relationships,” Goldsworthy said.

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. His No. 8 jersey was retired by the North Stars in 1992, just more than a year before the team moved to Dallas.

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