The former middle linebacker was synonymous with the Green Bay Packers, spending his entire 15-year career with the franchise.
Known for his hard-hitting and toughness, he was the anchor for five NFL championship and Super Bowl winning teams, while earning MVP honours for the 1962 NFL Championship Game. Nitschke, who was born on this day in 1936, was also a three-time First-team All-Pro selection.
Nitschke’s No66 was retired by the Packers in 1983, only the fourth number retired by the team, and he was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1978.
The NFL also named him the league’s all-time top linebacker in honour of the NFL’s 50th Anniversary, making him the only player at his position to make both the NFL’s 50th and 75th Anniversary Teams. Nitschke died at the age of 61 in 1998.
1974: Richie Sexson, American retired first baseman who at 6’8” was the tallest position player in MLB history (41).
1978: Kieron Dyer, English former footballer for Newcastle United and the England national team (37).
1988: Eric Berry, American safety for the NFL’s Kansas City Chiefs and cancer survivor (27).
1989: Kei Nishikori, Japanese tennis player ranked world No8 and runner-up at the 2014 US Open (26).
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