Hall of Famer who won three ti­tles with Lions, dies at 86

Cape Breton Post - - In Memoriam - BY NOAH TRIS­TER 5)& "440$*"5&% 13&44

Yale Lary, a Hall of Fame safety who helped the Detroit Lions win three NFL ti­tles dur­ing the 1950s, has died. He was 86.

The Pro Foot­ball Hall of Fame con­firmed his death, cit­ing in­for­ma­tion from the nine-time Pro Bowler’s fam­ily. The Lions said Lary died Fri­day at his home in Fort Worth, Texas.

“Yale Lary was a true Amer­i­can hero,” Hall of Fame Pres­i­dent David Baker said in a state­ment. “He was de­fined by his heart and char­ac­ter that made him one of the game’s great­est play­ers. Yale led by ex­am­ple and raised the level of all his team­mates that re­sulted in mul­ti­ple league ti­tles for the Detroit Lions. Those same traits were on dis­play dur­ing his ser­vice to our coun­try as a mem­ber of the United States Army.”

Lary had 50 in­ter­cep­tions dur­ing an 11-sea­son ca­reer that was in­ter­rupted dur­ing the mid-1950s by ser­vice in the Army. He was also a punter and kick re­turner for the Lions, av­er­ag­ing 44.3 yards a punt.

He was en­shrined into the Hall of Fame in 1979.

Lary went to Texas A&M and was drafted by the Lions in 1952. He played two sea­sons be­fore serv­ing a tour of duty with the Army.

Detroit won NFL ti­tles in 1952, 1953 and 1957 - three of Lary’s first four sea­sons.

The Lions re­leased a state­ment Fri­day from owner Martha Fire­stone Ford. Her hus­band, Wil­liam Clay Ford, owned the team be­fore his death in 2014. His first full sea­son lead­ing the Lions was in 1964, the fi­nal sea­son of Lary’s ca­reer.

“As his Hall of Fame ca­reer in­di­cates, Yale truly was one of our all-time great play­ers and one of the great­est of his gen­er­a­tion,” Martha Ford said. “As good as he was on the field, he also was a gen­uinely won­der­ful per­son, one whose com­pany and friend­ship Mr. Ford and I greatly cher­ished.”

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