Bednarik gets congratulations from Green Bay Packers Paul Hornung (left) and Jim Taylor after the Eagles upset the Packers 17-13 to win the 1960 NFL title — the team’s last crown — at Franklin Field.

By Theodore N. Beitchman

Chuck Bednarik, one of the greatest players in Penn history and perhaps the greatest Eagles player of all-time — one of the last links to the Birds’ 1960 NFL championship team — died today at the age of 89.

The Eagles announced Bednarik’s death in a statement, saying that the former center-linebacker died early Saturday morning at an assisted living facility in Richland following a brief illness:

“With the passing of Chuck Bednarik, the Eagles and our fans have lost a legend,” Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie said in the statement. “Philadelphia fans grow up expecting toughness, all-out effort and a workmanlike attitude from this team and so much of that image has its roots in the way Chuck played the game. He was a Hall of Famer, a champion and an all-time Eagle. Our thoughts are with his family and loved ones during this time.”

The Eagles also tweeted out a tribute to Bednarik, calling him “Forever an Eagle.”

Bednarik played his entire 14-year career with the Eagles from 1949 to 1962, helping lead Philly to two NFL championships in 1949 and 1960.

A native of Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, Bednarik was one of the NFL’s last two-way players as a center and linebacker.

kelly“I have had the opportunity to spend time with Chuck Bednarik, who is truly one of the most unique players that this game has ever seen,” Eagles coach Chip Kelly said (photo at left). “The foundation of this organization and this league is built on the backs of past greats, with Chuck at the forefront.

“The way he played the game with an endless passion and tenacity helped establish the standard of excellence that this organization stands for; one that we strive to achieve each and every day.”

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