Gale Sayers, the Chicago Bears Corridor of Fame running again generally known as the “Kansas Comet,” has died at the age of 77 after battling dementia.
“Coach [George] Halas stated it finest, when presenting Gale for induction at the Corridor of Fame: ‘His like won’t ever be seen once more,’” Bears chairman George H. McCaskey stated in an announcement.
“All those that love the sport of soccer mourn the lack of one of many biggest to ever play this Recreation with the passing of Chicago Bears legend Gale Sayers,” Corridor of Fame president and CEO David Baker stated in an announcement. “He was the very essence of a workforce participant — quiet, unassuming and all the time prepared to go with a teammate for a key block. Gale was a unprecedented man who overcame a substantial amount of adversity throughout his NFL profession and life.”
A two-time All American at Kansas, Sayers was chosen No. Four general by the Bears within the 1965 NFL Draft. He received Rookie of the 12 months and earned All-Professional honors 5 instances. He received the Comeback Participant of the 12 months award in 1969 after blowing out his knee the earlier season, beautiful those that thought he’d by no means play once more. Sayers completed his profession with 4,956 yards speeding and 56 whole touchdowns, his dazzling velocity resulting in eight scores on particular groups, and was inducted into the Corridor of Fame in 1977.
“Gale was one of many most interesting males in NFL historical past and one of many sport’s most enjoyable gamers,” NFL commissioner Roger Goodell stated. “Gale was an electrifying and elusive runner who thrilled followers each time he touched the ball. He earned his place as a first-ballot Corridor of Famer.”
Sayers’ friendship with teammate and roommate Brian Piccolo, who died of most cancers at 26 in 1970, impressed the 1971 film “Brian’s Music” starring Billy Dee Williams and James Caan.
“My coronary heart is damaged over the lack of my expensive buddy, Gale Sayers,” Williams wrote on Twitter. “Portraying Gale in Brian’s Music was a real honor and one of many nightlights of my profession. He was a unprecedented human being with the the kindest coronary heart. My sincerest condolences to his household Damaged coronary heart#RIPGaleSayers.”
When Sayers obtained the George S. Halas Most Brave Participant Trophy on Might 25, 1970, Sayers informed the 600 folks in attendance at the Americana Lodge in Manhattan of Piccolo’s most cancers analysis. Piccolo died 22 days later.
“I like Brian Piccolo, and I’d like all of you to like him, too. And tonight, if you hit your knees, please ask God to like him,” Sayers stated that evening.
Sayers’ spouse Ardythe in 2017 blamed his soccer profession on his dementia. Regardless of his situation, he traveled 130 miles from his Indiana residence to attend the Bears’ 100th-season celebration in June 2019.
“It’s superb somebody that was so lovely and gifted and proficient as a participant and later in life to have that occur to you is admittedly, I do know, robust on everyone,” Corridor of Fame linebacker Mike Singletary stated that weekend.
“It’s robust on his teammates, former teammates. It’s robust on the league. And as a participant,” Singletary added, “it simply makes you are taking a step again and thank God every single day on your personal well being and blessings.”
— With AP