Chicago Bears Hall of Fame running back Gale Sayers died Wednesday at the age of 77.
The ‘Kansas Comet’ played only 68 games and 7 seasons in the NFL because of an injury-shortened career, but was extremely successful and became a clear-cut, first-ballot Hall of Famer. Sayers was a first-team All-Pro each of his first 5 seasons, a 4-time Pro Bowler, NFL Rookie of the Year in 1965, and won the NFL Comeback Player of the Year in 1969 after a knee injury in the previous season. He is a member of the 1960s All-Decade Team, and the 50th, 75th, and NFL 100th anniversary All-Time Team.
Pro Football Hall of Fame President David Baker announced Sayer’s death but gave no cause.
“All those who love the game of football mourn the loss of one of the greatest to ever play this game with the passing of Chicago Bears legend Gale Sayers,” Baker said in a statement. “He was the very essence of a team player — quiet, unassuming and always ready to compliment a teammate for a key block. Gale was an extraordinary man who overcame a great deal of adversity during his NFL career and life.”
“The entire Pro Football Hall of Fame family mourns the passing of Gale. Our thoughts and prayers are with his wife, Ardie, and their entire family. We will forever keep his legacy alive to serve as inspiration for future generations. The Hall of Fame flag will fly at half-staff until he is laid to rest.”