Green Bay Packers great Bart Starr dies

Los Angeles (AFP) –


Legendary Green Bay quarterback Bart Starr, who anchored the Packers dynasty of the 1960s and was Most Valuable Player of the first two Super Bowls, died Sunday at the age of 85, the NFL team said.

Starr won an unprecedented five NFL championships as Green Bay's starting quarterback, leading the Packers to the title in 1961, 1962, 1965, 1966 and 1967.

"We are saddened to note the passing of our husband, father, grandfather, and friend, Bart Starr," the Hall of Famer's family said in a statement. "He battled with courage and determination to transcend the serious stroke he suffered in September 2014, but his most recent illness was too much to overcome.

"While he may always be best known for his success as the Packers quarterback for 16 years, his true legacy will always be the respectful manner in which he treated every person he met, his humble demeanor, and his generous spirit."

The five titles won in seven years by Packers teams led by Starr and coach Vince Lombardi remain the most successful such span in NFL history.

Among the accomplishments of those years, Starr is best remembered for the game-winning quarterback sneak that delivered victory in the December 31, 1967 game against the Dallas Cowboys dubbed the "Ice Bowl".

That triumph at frigid Lambeau Field epitomized the grit of the Lombardi-era Packers.

"That's the sign of a champion," Cowboys tackle Ralph Neely told the Green Bay Press-Gazette after the contest. "They needed a score, and Starr got it for them."