The NFL lost a true icon with the passing of the legendary Gale Sayers. Bettmann/Contributor, Getty Images

Hall of Fame running back Gale Sayers dies at 77

Legendary Chicago Bears running back and Hall of Famer Gale Sayers has died at the age of 77, the Hall of Fame confirmed, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter.

Sayers was among the most talented offensive weapons during the 1960s. He scored 56 touchdowns in 64 games over his first five seasons -- 39 rushing, nine receiving, six on kickoff returns and two on punt returns. 

The legendary running back scored 18 touchdowns of 50 yards or more in his first 45 games, including a 103-yard kickoff return and 85-yard punt return. 

In his first four seasons in the NFL, Sayers set eight records -- career rushing average (5.3 yards), total offense in a season (2,440 yards in 1966), touchdowns in a season (22 in 1965) and touchdowns in a game (six in 1965).

Sayers wife, Ardythe, announced in 2017 that her husband had been diagnosed with dementia. The disease can lead to death, though his cause of death has not yet been announced. 

Erin Walsh is a Boston sports fan through and through. Although many think Boston sports fans are insufferable, Erin tries to see things from a neutral perspective. Her passion is hockey, and she believes defense wins championships. In addition to covering sports for Yardbarker, she covers Boston sports for NBC Sports Boston. Follow her on Twitter @ewalsh90

More must-reads:

Customize Your Newsletter

+

Get the latest news and rumors, customized to your favorite sports and teams. Emailed daily. Always free!

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.