Chuck Bednarik, a Pro Football Hall of Famer and one of the last great two-way NFL players, died Saturday. He was 89.
PHILADELPHIA – Chuck Bednarik, a Pro Football Hall of Famer and one of the last great two-way NFL players, died early Saturday. He was 89.
Known as “Concrete Charlie,” Bednarik epitomized the tough-guy linebacker and also was an outstanding center for the Philadelphia Eagles from 1949 to 1962.
He made a game-saving tackle at the 9-yard line on the final play of the 1960 league-title game, and it was typical Bednarik. He threw Green Bay running back Jim Taylor to the ground and refused to let him up while the final seconds ticked off as the Eagles held on for a 17-13 victory.
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“Everybody reminds me of it and I’m happy they remind me of it,” Bednarik once said. “I’m proud and delighted to have played in that game.”
He died at an assisted-living facility in Richland, Pa.
Two of his daughters said Bednarik had dementia, an affliction common in former pro players.
Bednarik, who frequently criticized modern athletes, said he played on all but two kickoffs against the Packers and could have kept playing if he needed to, unlike today’s players who “suck air after five plays.”
He missed three games in his 14-season career.
Bednarik flew 30 combat missions over Germany as a gunner during World War II.