A legendary Kansan is being remembered. Running back Gale Sayers, nicknamed the “Kansas Comet” has died.
The Pro Football Hall of Fame says Sayers died today at the age of 77.
Sayers is a Chicago Bears legend who scored 22 touchdowns in his rookie season in 1965. Injuries cut his career short, but that didn’t stop him from becoming a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1977.
Hall of Fame President and CEO David Baker said in a statement Sayers “was the very essence of a team player.” Baker added that Sayers “was an extraordinary man who overcame a great deal of adversity during his NFL career and life.”
A friendship with Bears teammate Brian Piccolo, who died of cancer in 1970, inspired Sayers to write his autobiography, I Am Third, which in turn was the basis for the 1971 made-for-TV movie Brian’s Song.
Sayers, who was born in Wichita, played football in college at the University of Kansas. Nicknamed the “Kansas Comet”, he compiled 4,020 all-purpose yards over three seasons and was twice recognized as a consensus All-American.
_ _ _
University of Kansas photo