Former Chicago Bears All Pro quarterback Bill Wade died last night at the age of 85.
After a stellar career at Vanderbilt University, Wade was drafted by the Los Angeles Rams #1 overall in 1952. He played with the Rams for 7 seasons being named All Pro in 1958. Wade was traded to the Bears in 1961 where he played until 1966.
Wade led the Bears to the NFL Championship in 1963, being named to his 2nd All Pro team in the process.
Chicago Bears Chairman George H. McCaskey released a statement regarding the passing of Bill Wade.
"Bill Wade was a gentleman in every sense of the word. He carried himself with dignity in all aspects of his life. Even in more recent years when he experienced health challenges, Bill maintained a positive disposition and expressed gratitude for everything he had. Those qualities were what made him a great leader and a favorite of Papa Bear."
Wade's daughter, Sharon Wade Kinser, had this to say about her father.
"Our family is celebrating that his sight is restored, that he is able to walk and run on the field again," Kinser said. "He is free, and he is home. So much has been robbed of him in the last decade. To be able to know that he can see the beauty of heaven gives our family comfort."
During the '63 Championship game Wade passed for 138 yards and he rushed for 34 yards with 2 rushing touchdowns.
Wade is 6th all time in Bears history in both passing yards (9958) and passing touchdowns (68).