Gale Eugene Sayers is a retired professional American football player in the National Football League (NFL). He held a Halfback position for the Chicago Bears from 1965 to 1971. Sayers is a four-time Pro Bowler, 1969 NFL Comeback Player of the Year, and 1965 NFL Rookie of the Year.
Born on May 30, 1943 in Kansas, he ran track and played football for Omaha Central. He went on to play college football for the University of Kansas. In the 1965 NFL Draft, he was selected by the Chicago Bears as 4th overall pick.
During his rookie season, his statistics—22 touchdowns—was a league record. The following season, he was the league leader in rushing with 1,231 yards. In 1968, he had a season-ending knee injury which derailed his career for a year.
Upon his return, he was named the Comeback Player of the Year. However, he suffered a second knee injury which led to his permanent retirement after the 1972 season. His career player statistics are 4,956 rushing yards, 5 yards per carry, 39 rushing touchdowns, 3,172 return yards, and 8 return touchdowns. He was also an administrator for Southern Illinois from 1976 to 1981.
Gale Sayers is a College Football Hall of Famer and a Pro Football Hall of Famer.
• 4-time Pro Bowl (1965–1967, 1969)• 5-time First-team All-Pro (1965–1969)• NFL Comeback Player of the Year (1969)• NFL Rookie of the Year (1965)• 2-time NFL rushing yards leader (1966, 1969)• NFL 1960s All-Decade Team• NFL 75th Anniversary All-Time Team• Chicago Bears No. 40 retired• 2-time Consensus All-American (1963, 1964)• 3-time All-Big Eight (1962–1964)• Kansas Jayhawks No. 48 retired