CLEVELAND -- Gordon McCarter, an NFL referee whom Pittsburgh Steelers coach Bill Cowher once chased across the field to stuff a snapshot of a play in his pocket, died at 71.
He died Friday at University Hospitals of Cleveland.
McCarter, a referee from 1974 until his 1996 retirement, was in charge of several disputed games during his last years.
In 1995, he was fined a game's pay for an incorrect call of 12 men on the field during a game in Pittsburgh against Minnesota. Cowher also was fined for stuffing into McCarter's pocket a Polaroid photo showing 11 Steelers on the field. League rules then did not allow using photographic evidence to overturn calls.
After officiating at school football games and amateur track meets, McCarter joined the NFL as a line judge and back judge in 1967.
He is survived by his wife of 51 years, Gerry, three daughters, seven grandchildren and a great-grandchild.
The Associated Press News Service
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