Sayers gets another ovation as Bears kick off celebration

AP
Published 11:27 p.m. ET June 7, 2019

ROSEMONT, Ill. (AP) — Gale Sayers drew one more thunderous ovation from the Chicago crowd.

Six Hall of Famers and 230 past and present players and coaches were on hand as the Bears kicked off their 100th anniversary celebration weekend on Friday. When Sayers was wheeled onto the stage, the roar from the crowd could have drowned out the jets at nearby O’Hare International Airport.

Weakened by dementia diagnosed five years ago, Sayers still made the 130-mile trip from his home in Wakarusa, Indiana.

He showed up wearing his gold Hall of Fame jacket and a blue and white cap with the number 40. He wiped his left eye as his old teammate Dick Butkus, Dan Hampton and Richard Dent stood clapping onstage.

Moments later, Mike Singletary came out. And with Mike Ditka also there, the Bears had six Hall of Famers onstage at once.

When it was time for the group to leave a few minutes later, Sayers hunched over as Singletary wheeled him away. It was hard to tell if he was weeping. But there might have been a few tears shed in the room.

“That’s a tough thing,” Butkus said. “I call and check on him quite frequently, and it’s a sad…

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