Sayers, Bears HoF run­ning back dies

Arab Times - - SPORTS -

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.”


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