NEWARK, N.J. (AP) - The ball that Brett Favre threw on his last play in the NFL is owned by an Army officer who lost both legs in a roadside bomb in Iraq.
Lt. Col. Greg Gadson, who has been an inspirational figure for the New York Giants during their Super Bowl run, was given the ball by Corey Webster after the cornerback intercepted Favre's pass in overtime in the NFC title game on Jan. 20.
The pick set up a game-winning 47-yard field goal by Lawrence Tynes in a 23-20 win that sent the Giants to Phoenix, where beat the New England Patriots 17-14.
``That Saturday practice before the Super Bowl, I told Corey he could have the ball back,'' Gadson said in quotes provided by the Giants after Favre announced his retirement on Tuesday after 17 seasons.
``I said, 'Just let me know and you can have it back,' but he told me that he wanted me to keep it, and that really symbolized to me what this Giants team was about,'' Gadson said. ``That was such an unselfish act.''
As a fan, Gadson said he is going to miss watching Favre play.
``He should be proud of the run he had last season. Getting his team to the championship game just shows what type of competitor he is,'' Gadson said.
A 1989 graduate of West Point, Gadson played football for the Cadets along with Mike Sullivan, the Giants' receivers coach.
After Gadson was wounded in an attack on his convoy on May 7 and eventually lost both his legs, Sullivan told coach Tom Coughlin about his friend.
After losing their first two games of the season, Coughlin had Gadson address the team in Washington before a game with the Redskins. His message was to concentrate on the mission, never give up and believe in each other.
The Giants won the game and turned their season around. Gadson was on the sidelines for most of the playoffs and he addressed the team the night before the Super Bowl, speaking of ``pride, poise, team and belief in each other,'' according to Pat Hanlon, a team spokesman.

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