Antonio Smith of the Denver Broncos in 2015
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

Denver Broncos defensive lineman Antonio Smith will play Super Bowl 50 with a heavy heart after learning early Wednesday morning that his 58-year-old father died after complications from heart surgery.

"It's rough. I just found out this morning," he told the Denver Post. "It was my mom who called and told me."

Smith's father, Marty Christopher Williams, was convicted of first-degree murder in 1991 and was serving a sentence of life in prison without parole in Lexington, Okla., at the time of his death. 

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Smith, a 34-year-old NFL veteran who joined the Broncos this year, told the Post that he plans to stay with the team and intends to play Sunday against the Carolina Panthers.

"I would definitely say he was one of my biggest fans," Smith said about his dad, ESPN reports. "He would have loved for me to play as best as I could for the glory of the Lord in the same way he lived his life."

Read more at the Denver Post and ESPN