The Green Bay Packers family has lost one of its greatest.
Former quarterback Bart Starr passed away at the age of 85 Sunday, according to a release by the team.
His family issued the following statement:
“We are saddened to note the passing of our husband, father, grandfather, and friend, Bart Starr. He battled with courage and determination to transcend the serious stroke he suffered in September 2014, but his most recent illness was too much to overcome.
“While he may always be best known for his success as the Packers quarterback for 16 years, his true legacy will always be the respectful manner in which he treated every person he met, his humble demeanor, and his generous spirit.
“Our family wishes to thank the thousands of friends and fans who have enriched his life – and therefore our lives – for so many decades and especially during the past five years. Each letter, text, phone call, and personal visit inspired him and filled him with joy.
“His love for all of humanity is well known, and his affection toward the residents of Alabama and of Wisconsin filled him with gratitude. He had hoped to make one last trip to Green Bay to watch the Packers this fall, but he shall forever be there in spirit.”
A 17th-round pick in 1956 out of Alabama, Starr would go on to lead the Packers to five NFL titles. That included the first two Super Bowls in which he was named MVP. Perhaps his most famous moment came in the 1967 title game against Dallas when he called his own number on a quarterback sneak to beat the Cowboys in what is known as the Ice Bowl.
Starr was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1977 and is one of just six Packers to have his number — 15 — retired by the franchise.
The Alabama native would go on to coach the Packers for nine years ending in 1983 after compiling a record of 52-76-3.
Starr remained a legendary figure in Green Bay, returning on a regular basis with the rest of the Vince Lombardi-era Packers. A stroke in 2014 limited his travel in recent years, but he still made it back in 2015 to witness the retirement of Brett Favre’s No. 4 jersey and again for another game during the 2017 season.