George Blanda, who played professional football for a record 26 seasons and helped win three championships in the American Football League, has died at age 83.
Blanda, a quarterback and place kicker, played for the Chicago Bears, Baltimore Colts, Houston Oilers and Oakland Raiders, who announced his death in a news release. He retired at age 48 having score 2,002 points, the most in National Football League history at the time, and was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1981.
Blanda’s career spanned 340 games over 26 seasons, the longest in pro football history, according to the Hall of Fame’s website. The cause of his death wasn’t released.
“We are deeply saddened by the passing of the great George Blanda,” the Raiders’ statement said. “George was a brave Raider and close personal friend of owner Al Davis.”
In 1970 with the Raiders, Blanda accounted for the tying or winning points in the closing minutes of five consecutive games. He remains the oldest player to compete in an NFL game (48 years, 109 days) and one of two players in league history to play in four decades.
Blanda is survived by his wife, Betty, and 11 children. The time and place for a memorial service will be announced later, the Raiders said.
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