Former Detroit Lions All-Pro linebacker and kicker Wayne Walker has died at the age of 80.
Walker, the Lions’ fourth-round pick in 1958, played 15 seasons with Detroit, and when he retired he held a team record with 200 games played — a mark since passed by Jason Hanson.
An Idaho native, Walker made three Pro Bowls in his career, from 1964 to 1966, and scored 345 career points — including 53 field goals, 172 extra points, an interception returned for a touchdown, and a fumble returned for a touchdown. He also had 14 career interceptions as a linebacker.
Walker was Detroit’s defensive MVP in 1968 and was part of the franchise’s all-time team in 2008 as part of the Lions’ 75th anniversary.
“On behalf of my family and the Detroit Lions, I would like to extend our sincere condolences to Wayne’s wife, Sylvia, and to his children, Steve, Doug and Kathy,” Lions owner Martha Ford said in a statement. “Wayne was one of our finest players from the decade of the ’60s and will not only be remembered for his career accomplishments as a Lion, but also for his great success as a broadcaster after his playing days were over.”
After his playing career ended, Walker was a broadcaster, calling NFL games for 11 seasons on CBS. He was also the sports director at KPIX in San Francisco and an analyst for San Francisco 49ers radio broadcasts. His time as sports director in San Francisco coincided with some of the glory years of the organization.
“He was the best,” Hall of Fame quarterback Joe Montana told SFGate.com. “He did things the right way that allowed him to get answers and trust from players that no one else could.”