via Pam Cook/WHBC
Pro Football Hall of Famer GALE SAYERS passed away today at the age of 77. Enshrined into the Hall of Fame in 1977, Sayers burst upon the pro football scene in 1965 with the kind of impact that the sport had not felt in many years. A versatile player, Gale scored 22 touchdowns and 132 points, both then-rookie records, during his first year.
In his relatively short career, he compiled a record that can never be forgotten. His totals show 9,435 combined net yards, 4,956 yards rushing, and 336 points scored. At the time of his retirement he was the NFL’s all-time leader in kickoff return yards. He won All-NFL honors five straight years and was named Offensive Player of the Game in three of the four Pro Bowls in which he played.
The following is a statement from Hall of Fame President & CEO David Baker:
“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. 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 “Kansas Comet” burst onto the scene in the National Football League and captured the attention of all of America. Despite playing only 68 NFL games because of an injury-shortened career, Gale was a clear-cut — and first-ballot — Hall of Famer for his accomplishments on the field and for the man of character he was in 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.”