Remembering Sweetness

Eleven years ago today, we lost perhaps the greatest Chicago Bear of all time. On November 1st, 1999 Walter Payton lost his battle with primary sclerosing cholangitis, a rare liver disease.

Payton retired as the NFL’s all-time leading rusher. He ran for 16,726 yards, all with the Bears.

Maybe the most complete running back in the history of the league, Payton also held the NFL records for career rushing touchdowns (110), rushing yards in a single game (275), career rushing attempts (3,838), yards from scrimmage (21,803) and all purpose yards (21,803). Payton famously threw for eight touchdowns in his career and also had 492 receptions for 4,538 yards and 15 touchdowns.

LISTEN: Walter Payton Speaks About Battling His Illness

Payton’s legacy lives on not only in the hearts and minds of every Bears fan, but also through the Walter and Connie Payton Foundation, which raises awareness of the need for organ donations and is widely credited with bringing national attention to the problem.

  • Sam Gonzalez

    I love you sweetness.. and miss you much.. You were a loving man and a great football player. I will always remeber the 1985 supper bowl champion bears. I was 17 years old.

    God love you and be with you.

    Mount Prospect, IL

  • Curt

    There is no “perhaps”, you were THE GREATEST BEAR. RIP friend.

  • techspec

    Simply the absolute best.

  • Halas

    Yes—He was the greatest—Unfortunately Dan McNeil tried to commercialize the event today in several ways–Telling stories of how close HE was to “walt” when we know payton did not like mcneil and they had issues as mcneil has with the entire bear org including coaches and players to this day—Tom Waddle (ESPN)actually played with him and was much more genuine than mcneils lame efforts today–mcneil further sullied th day taking cheap shots at giangreco…

  • Remembering Walter Payton « Donate Life Illinois – Organ Donation News – I am. Are you?

    […] Remembering Sweetness – CBS Chicago […]

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