Dick Butkus‘ loved ones are speaking out following his tragic death … thanking his supporters for reaching out and sharing their fondest memories of the Chicago Bears legend over the past week.
“Dick lived an extraordinary life representing the heart and soul of Chicago, both on and off the field,” Butkus’ son, Matt, and his family members said in a statement.
“We want to thank you all for the outpouring of support. All the messages, notes and memories you shared during this difficult time. Each has meant the world to us.”
One of the greatest to ever step foot on the gridiron, Dick was honored with a moment of silence prior to the Bears’ Thursday Night Football matchup against the Washington Commanders last week … and received tributes from notable figures throughout the country — including President Barack Obama.
“In Chicago, Dick Butkus was football,” Obama said following the Hall of Famer’s death. “Thinking of his family today, and all the Bears fans who loved watching one of the best to ever play the game.”
New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick also shared kind words … saying Butkus was “the prototype middle linebacker.”
“From his playing style, to the look, to his ads. He was a Chicago Bear if there ever was one.”
TMZ Sports broke the story … 80-year-old Butkus died peacefully in his sleep at his California home on Oct. 5.
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