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Jason Kelce hails his wife Kylie and says he loved her from the moment he met her on a drunken night out… as he bursts into tears during retirement press conference – and thanks her for her ‘love, devotion… and swift kicks in the a**’

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Jason Kelce has paid an emotional tribute to his wife Kylie, during a 45-minute retirement speech that began with him bursting into tears upon reaching the stage.

The Philadelphia Eagles legend, 36, hailed coaches, friends, teammates and family, but saved his most heartfelt words for last as he spoke about his wife.

Opening up on the moment he met her, on a drunken night out in Philadelphia, he began: ‘I still remember the moment she walked through the door. The first instance is burned in my retina, it was like she glided through the opening, an aura around her. And then she started talking and I thought, “man, is this what love feels like?”

‘She was beautiful, smart, serious, yet playful. I knew it right away. I think it’s no coincidence I have enjoyed the best years of my career with Kylie by my side. Every accolade I have ever received in my life has come with her in my life.

 

‘She has brought the best out of me through love, devotion, support, honesty, intelligence, and of course a swift kick in the a** from time to time. She has also given me three beautiful girls in a life that increasingly brings me more fulfilment off the field than it does on. We’ve had a great run, Ky.’

Kylie herself was in an exclusive front row of the press conference, sitting alongside Jason’s mom and dad Donna and Ed, as well as brother Travis.

In the 45-minute media conference, the 36-year-old told the story of his football career, from playing at Cleveland Heights high school to the University of Cincinnati and then being drafted by the Eagles.

An emotional Kelce struggled to get his words out – regularly pausing for long periods and his voice breaking as he tried to hold back the tears.

Talking about his relationship with his younger brother, Kelce said: ‘This is where it’s gonna go off the rails.

‘I won’t forget falling short to the Chiefs and the conflicting feeling of the heartbreak I had selfishly for myself and my teammates and, at the same time, the amount of pride I had in my brother. He climbed the mountain top once again.

We have a small family. No cousins. One aunt and one uncle. It was really my brother and I our whole lives. We did almost everything together. Competing, fought, laughed, cried and learned from each other.

‘We invented games, imagined ourselves as the star players of that time. We envisioned making the game winning plays, day after day. We won countless Super Bowls in our minds before ever leaving the house. And when we weren’t playing, we were at the other one’s games.

‘Butt seated in a long chair or bench, a Capri Sun in our hands that mom had packed, cheering during the game and waiting outside and afterward to celebrate a victory together or offer encouragement after a defeat.

‘There is no chance I’d be here without the bond that Travis and I share. It had made me stronger, tougher, smarter and taught me the values of cooperation, loyalty and understanding.’

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