BRYAN, Texas (AP) — Former NFL referee Red Cashion, known for his vociferous calls of "FIRST DOWN," has died. He was 87.

Cashion died Sunday, according to Calloway-Jones Life & Legacy funeral home.

Cashion retired from the NFL in 1997 after officiating for 25 years, 21 one of them as a referee. He worked two Super Bowls.

NFL Referees Association executive director Scott Green called Cashion "the kind of man everyone wanted to emulate both on and off the field, and he gave so much of his time to all of us."

Born Mason L. "Red" Cashion was born Nov. 10, 1931 in College Station, Texas. He ran track and played football, basketball and baseball at A&M Consolidated High School, then attended Texas A&M on a baseball scholarship, graduating in 1953. He was then commissioned as a second lieutenant in the U.S. Army.

He began his officiating career while finishing his undergraduate studies at Texas A&M.

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