Sayers, Bears HoF running back dies
CHICAGO, Sept 24, (AP): Gale Sayers, the dazzling and elusive running back who entered the Pro Football Hall of Fame despite the briefest of careers and whose fame extended far beyond the field for decades thanks to a friendship with a dying Chicago Bears team-mate, has died. He was 77.
Nicknamed “The Kansas Comet” and considered among the best open- field runners the game has ever seen, Sayers died Wednesday, according to the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Relatives of Sayers had said he was diagnosed with dementia. In March 2017, his wife, Ardythe, said she partly blamed his football career.
“Football fans know well Gale’s many accomplishments on the field: a rare combination of speed and power as the game’s most electrifying runner, a dangerous kick returner, his comeback from a serious knee injury to lead the league in rushing, and becoming the youngest player inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame,” Bears chairman George McCaskey said in a statement. “People who weren’t even football fans came to know Gale through the TV movie ‘ Brian’s Song,’ about his friendship with teammate Brian Piccolo. Fifty years later, the movie’s message that brotherhood and love needn’t be defined by skin color still resonates.”