April 6, 2004 by

Lawrence McGrew


Categories: Sports

Lawrence McGrew, the former NFL linebacker who was once the victim of identity theft, died on April 2. Cause of death was not released. He was 46.

The real Lawrence McGrew played football at Contra Costa College and the University of Southern California, and started in two Rose Bowls. During the second round of the 1980 draft, he was selected by the New England Patriots as an outside linebacker.

McGrew spent the next 11 years in the NFL, playing for the Patriots, the Cleveland Browns and the New York Giants. He helped New England reach the Super Bowl in 1986 and earned a championship ring when New York beat Buffalo in the 1991 Super Bowl.

Last summer, a Colorado thief named Frederick William McGrew III illegally adopted Lawrence’s name and career statistics to get a job as an assistant football coach at Gavilan College in California. The impostor was fired five weeks later and arrested. He told police he was Lawrence’s nephew and repeated the claim at his initial court appearance, but it was all a lie.

In December, Frederick McGrew was sentenced to three years of supervised probation and 160 hours of community service for stealing Lawrence’s identity and for fraudulently using an Ohio woman’s Social Security number.

14 Responses to Lawrence McGrew

  1. Agnes Robinson Tate

    Elaine, I wish you and your family much strength during this trying time. I cannot know what it is like to lose a husband or father, but I do know pain of death, and it is never pleasant.
    You have always been an extremely strong person, so I know that you will survive this with grace and dignity.
    Peace and blessings be with you and your family now and always,
    Much love,
    Agnes Robinson Tate

  2. Raythel Polk

    Dear Elaine,
    I just heard the news and looked it up on the Pats website to confirm it. I was and am extremely hurt by the news and feel even more sorrow for you and the kids as well as Lawrence’s family.
    He and I hadn’t seen each other in a few years, but he was and remains a very good and true friend om mine. I wasn’t close to too many people, but, I was closest to him at USC and will always remember and cherish the time we had together here on this earth.
    It’s so strange to me what’s occured the past few weeks. Lawrence passed on my birthday April 2nd and my father just passed on his birthday last monday, April 12. He died of Cancer.
    If you need my assistance at all please don’t hesitate to give me a call. I can be reached in my office (415) 495-2627 or on my wireless ph. (415) 254-7866.
    Peace and Blessings to You and the Kids,
    Raythel Polk

  3. elaine mcgrew

    Thank you very much for thinking of me and my children during this time. We were all quite surprised to find these messages on this website. I am sorry to have taken so long to acknowledge and respond.
    Agnes, thank you for the very kind words and I hope all is well in your life. Ray, I read your message to the kids and showed them pictures of you and their father at USC. They were very happy to know that their father was remembered by you. and that you sent us a heart felt message. I’m so sorry to hear of your loss. I also lost my father in 2002, and the kids lost Larry’s father in 2000. I will be calling you soon. Elaine – elmcgrew560@aol.com

  4. Monte Gordon

    I just wish to say to the family that Larry was a good friend of mine in high school at BHS and I could always count on him to make me laugh (him and Harold Williams) I know he will be missed and even though we didn’t talk much after high school I have never let much time go by without thinking of him and my other classmates.
    Monte Gordon

  5. Ellis Hansell

    Elaine ,I remember both you and Larry very early in your marriage while you lived down the street from USC in that upstairs apartment. I often reflect on the times we shared with love and appreciation. Larry helped me to know what was important while I was at USC. The two of you were great together. Iwish I would have kept in contact but I feel his death and you have my deepest. Much Love, Ellis Hansell

  6. Charyce Searcy

    This is my Stepfather who I loved dearly. It hurts me to see him go but I know that he is in a better place.I deal with this alot easier because Larry visit’s with me every other day.I have a feeling that Larry’s always going to be here with me.To my mother Charyce McGrew keep your head up things will soon get better.God has a plane.

  7. Jim Carroll

    Larry was an outstanding person and a client of mine. I was privledged to know him while he was a NE Patriot. My condolences to his family.

  8. Garry Cobb

    I heard about Larry dieing and I was so hurt. I want to express my sincere regrets because Larry was such a genuine, good, warm and generous person. My prayers are with you and your family. If there’s anything I can do for you please feel free to e-mail me and let me know.
    God bless and you guys are in my prayers.
    Garry Cobb

  9. Tinieya Searcy

    I just want to say the pain of loosing your Husband the father of your children can feel like its the end of the world, but your doing so well well with the absents of him your girls are growing up wonderfully. Just keep in mind he is watching over you and his children Lil Larry, Annalyse, Aaron, Celsey&Caymen.

  10. Nathan Groves

    I knew Lawrence for a short time while working with him in Salt Lake City in the mid 1990’s. He was a nice person. Best wishes to all his family and friends.
    Nathan Groves

  11. Erec Weber

    Hi. I googled Lawrence and just found out about his passing. I lived on Short St. in Berkeley for a while as a kid. Even though I was a couple years older than him I remember playing with little Larry and having Big Larry and Grizz picking me up and passing me back and forth. I’ve told people proudly that my two neighbors were a super bowl champ and the world’s strongest man. I hope you and yours are doing well, and that you can take comfort in the fact that your husband touched a lot of people in his life. And even though I’m sure he won’t remember me tell Lil’ Larry I said hi.
    Erec Weber

  12. Jacob Zepeda

    Hello Elaine,
    I just want you to know that you and your family are in my prayers. You seem like a very sweet person.
    Jacob Zepeda

  13. jenna dotson

    Hello, I was analeise’s good friend in elementary school, and I remember your family very well. I used to love to come to your house and hang out with her for parties. You guys always had the best birthday parties! I’m sad to hear this news about larry. He was a great man and father. I know his children were his life, and even as a friend to his kids, he made us feel like part of the family. I remember him being so generous to me, and I used to love it when he would come down to valley view on fridays and bring analeise lunch, and he always made sure to bring things for her friends too. We used to sit with him when he came, and I remember I used to love asking him questions about when he used to play football. I thought he was the coolest person I had ever met, and I am very sad to know he’s not here any longer. I just found out b/c I was looking on the internet to show my boyfriend that this was my friends dad, n how he was in the nfl, and I found this info instead. I know its been a few years now, but I just wanted to express the love of your family I still have even though its been such a long time now since seeing you guys! My thoughts are with you.
    Jenna Dotson

  14. Emely Froiland

    God i remember Gloria Gaynor very well and what a powerful vocalist. I Will Survive helped me get through a bad break up and years later he came back looking to get back together and I told him Oh well now go… I will survive.

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