Pro NFL Football Player Dick Butkus Passes Away at Age 80

( – Richard “Dick” Butkus lived an extraordinary life. The former NFL star is regarded as one of the best linebackers in history. Sadly, his life has come to an end.

On October 5, the Chicago Bears posted a message on their social media accounts announcing Butkus’ death. He played for his hometown team for nine seasons. The team said the 80-year-old’s family confirmed that he died overnight at his Malibu home. The announcement said his wife, Helen, and the rest of the family appreciated everyone’s “prayers and support.”

The next day, the team shared a video memorializing Butkus. The voice-over said the linebacker was “Moby Dick in a goldfish bowl.” It ran through his football career, starting at Chicago Vocational High School and then at the University of Illinois. After college, in 1965, he was drafted by both the Denver Broncos and Bears, but he chose his home team.

Butkus is known as one of the most devastating linebackers in the sport’s history. He went to eight consecutive Pro Bowls and accumulated more than 1,000 tackles throughout his career.

In 1973, Butkus retired at 31 years old. He was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1979. He was named to the NFL’s All-Decade Teams for the 1960s and 1970s. He was also voted to both the NFL’s 75th and 100th Anniversary All-Time Teams. In 1983, the linebacker was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame, as well. The Bears retired his number, 51, in 1994.

Roger Goodell, the NFL commissioner, issued a statement when he learned of Butkus’ death, calling him “a fierce and passionate competitor” who was a “long-time advocate for former players, and players at all levels of the game.” He also mentioned that Butkus spoke out about the use of steroids among high school athletes.

Goodell offered his condolences to the family, his fans, and the Bears organization.

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