NFL Legend Dick Butkus Dead at 80

( – NFL hard-hitting linebacker and Pro Football Hall of Fame Dick Butkus died at the age of 80 on October 5. The Chicago Bears announced his death on social media through a statement provided by the Butkus family. They said he died peacefully while sleeping at his “home in Malibu.”

The former linebacker became one of the most famous football players thanks to his charismatic and outgoing personality, which earned him popularity not only in moves but also in numerous TV shows. The statement pointed out that the family is gathering with Butkus’ wife Helen during these painful moments. It also said that the family appreciates the NFL fans’ support and prayers.

Chicago Bears Chairman George McCaskey said that the former player was “the ultimate Bear.” He pointed out that he was one of the “greatest players” in the history of this sport and a linebacker that football fans will always remember. McCaskey noted that Butkus was a “Chicago’s son” and a person whose contributions to football will always be there. The chairman told the Chicago Bears’ official site that the franchise is grateful he was at the team’s home opener to be celebrated by so many fans for “one last time.”

The news about his death spread one hour before the Bears’ game against the Washington Commanders at the FedEx Field stadium. The fans and the two teams observed a moment of silence for the NFL legend, with some in the public showing tears in their eyes.

According to different reports, Butkus was considered an aggressive tackler and one of the main team’s pillars during his nine seasons as the Bears’ linebacker in the 1960s and 1970s. One article published by the Bears’ website after his death pointed out he was one of the main players who brought maximum intensity to the game.

Butkus retired when he was 31 years old in 1973, a couple of years after suffering a severe knee injury that affected the last seasons of his successful career.

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