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Dying man gets wish: tour of new stadium

Harold Campbell, 74, a former football referee, looks across the NFL field.

Harold Campbell, 74, a former football referee, looks across the NFL field.

Harold Campbell sat at the north end of Cardinals Stadium with a child’s smile on his face, taking in the view.

At that moment, he didn’t need the oxygen tank that was strapped to his wheelchair or the cup of liquid he held loosely in his hand to stay hydrated.

More than one year of chemotherapy couldn’t rid his determined body of the cancer. Now the 74-year-old Glendale resident is a hospice patient, fighting against a scripted ending.

His family was determined to not let him die before arranging for Campbell to get one last wish: a tour of the new stadium.

That’s what the former high school football referee said he wanted.

Campbell, who is originally from Michigan, has cheered on the Cardinals since moving to the area about 20 years ago.

Though he’s never been to a game, family members said he has rooted the team on from his home and was happy when Glendale was picked to host the new stadium. Glendale officials and Phoenix’s Channel 12 arranged the tour.

After a short stop on the main concourse, Campbell was taken down to the floor and through the Cardinals locker room.There was a short pause at the center of the room, where Campbell was asked what he thought of the stadium.

“It’s hard for me to find the words,” he said. “This is wonderful.”

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