NFL legend Dick Butkus dies

The Chicago Bears player passed away peacefully and surrounded by his family at the age of 80.

NFL linebacker Dick Butkus died this Thursday, aged 80, his team, the Chicago Bears, announced. A football legend, Butkus entered the sport's Hall of Fame and became a beloved character, which led to a second career as a film and television actor.

According to the statement, the linebacker died peacefully surrounded by his family at his home in Malibu, California. "The Butkus family is gathering with Dick's wife, Helen. They appreciate your prayers and support," reads the family message posted by the Chicago Bears.

A native of Chicago, he dedicated his entire career to his city team from 1965 to 1973. Throughout his playing years, Butkus became a defensive player feared by his opponents. The NBC chronicles describe him as a "well-trained animal, and every time he hit you, he tried to take you to the cemetery, not the hospital."

Butkus was awarded a large number of sporting and social awards throughout his life. He is on the NFL all-decade team of the 60s and 70s. Also in the Hall of Fame and among the 100 best players in the entire history of the Chicago Bears.