GLOUCESTER — The fan who caught the missed field goal that put the Patriots in Sunday's Super Bowl is using the football to raise money for the baby son of a local police officer who died earlier this year of a viral heart infection.
Terry Oder, a former Gloucester resident who now practices medicine in Connecticut, urged fans to donate to a scholarship fund he and friends established in the name of Thomas Patrican, the 1-year-old son of the late officer, Aran Patrican.
Oder, a close friend of Patrican, said he would donate the famous football to the Patriots for display if people will open their walets and hearts for baby Thomas.
The 45-year-old officer was suppose to attend the Jan. 22 AFC Championship game at Gillette Stadium with Oder and three other pals from Gloucester before he died unexpectedly 2 1/2 weeks earlier.
Oder caught Baltimore Raven Bill Cundiff's game-tying field goal miss in the waning seconds and became an instant celebrity because of that historic Patriots football moment.
Oder said he and his buddies who attended the game agreed to set up the scholarship fund. He said they hope to raise $50,000 and, with prudent investment over time, have enough for baby Thomas to attend college when he is old enough to do so.
"Aran was the rock of that family," said Oder. "I want to help take care of his family, his son, the way he would. He loved that baby."
Information about the scholarlship fund can be found at www.thomaspatricantrust.com.