NeilSmithChiefsThe North-West Nodaway football game at 7 pm, Friday, September 23 is going to have a special visitor.

Neil Smith, retired Kansas City Chiefs player, will attend the WN Homecoming game and participate in a fundraiser to revamp the field’s crows nest. His itinerary includes talking to the players before the game and showing them his two Super Bowl rings. He will sign autographs for fans for $10. A limited number of rookie cards will be available and fans may bring other objects for him to sign.

Smith played football for the University of Nebraska Cornhuskers where he earned All-American honors. In the 1988 NFL draft, he was selected second overall by the Kansas City Chiefs for whom he played nine seasons. He joined the Denver Broncos in 1997 as an unrestricted free agent and appeared in two Super Bowls.

Smith is the author of “Yes I Can: Struggles from Childhood to the NFL,” which details his struggles with dyslexia. He has been involved in various youth outreach projects and serves as the national spokesperson for the “Yes I Can” Foundation, helping youth with disabilities attain their greatest potential.

John Carden, professional boxing manager and promoter and father of a NWN player, coordinated Smith’s visit.

Carden said he met Smith, who he describes as a “pretty good, laid back guy,” at a boxing event.

“This is for the kids,” Carden said. “We can update the facility and the kids will get the experience.”

Carden is a 1994 Maryville High School graduate. Locally, Carden has promoted Battle at the Ballpark for the past four years at Phil Welch Stadium, St. Joseph. He’s promoting a professional boxing and kickboxing event at the No Place Event Center, St. Joseph, on Saturday, November 5.