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

The NFL community is mourning the loss of legendary running back Gale Sayers.

Pro Football Hall of Fame president and CEO David Baker issued a statement on Wednesday announcing that Sayers has died at age 77.

Sayers, nicknamed the “Kansas Comet,” played for the Chicago Bears from 1965-1971. He was named a First-Team All Pro five times during his seven NFL seasons and made four Pro Bowls. Sayers rushed for 4,956 yards and 39 touchdowns in his career. He averaged 5.0 yards per carry and also had eight return touchdowns. His career was cut short by multiple knee injuries.

Sayers was also well known for his strong friendship with former Bears teammate Brian Piccolo, who died of cancer in 1970. Sayers wrote an autobiography about the friendship called “I Am Third,” which eventually led to the popular movie “Brian’s Song.”

Sayers was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1977 at age 34. He is the youngest person to ever be enshrined in Canton.

This article first appeared on Larry Brown Sports and was syndicated with permission.

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