Former Oakland Raiders and Chicago Bears Quarterback George Blanda passed away on Monday. According to the Pro Hall Of Fame website he died after a brief illness.
He enjoyed an illustrious career which spanned four decades, during which time he accumulated several records which he held onto for some time after his retirement at 48 years of age in 1976.
Aside from his 9 seasons with the Raiders, he also spent 10 seasons with the Chicago Bears and 7 with the Houston Oilers as well as a brief spell with the Baltimore Colts.
His achievements include the pro scoring record of 2002 points and 335 field goals. He was also the oldest quarterback to play a championship game aged 43, a match which ended in a loss as Oakland fell to Baltimore with a final score of 27-17. His overall play and performances that season earned him The Associated Press Male Athlete of the Years award.
NFL Roger Goodell released a statement honouring George which read, “George Blanda will always be remembered as a legend of our game, including his amazing career longevity of 26 seasons in four different decades. George’s multi-talented flair for the dramatic highlighted the excitement of pro football during an important period of growth for our sport.”
It is unclear what illness George suffered from but on confirmation of his passing on Monday, a Raider’s spokesperson said, “We are deeply saddened by the passing of the great George Blanda. George was a brave Raider and a close personal friend of Raiders owner Al Davis.”