Ex-Lion Dies; Helped Team Win Two NFL Titles
The Detroit Lions say Vince Banonis, a member of three NFL championship teams, including two in Detroit, died over the weekend at Providence Hospital in Southfield.
Banonis, a native Detroiter, was 89. The team did not release a cause of death.
Banonis was a star linebacker and center at the University of Detroit. He was drafted by the Chicago Cardinals in 1942. After a stint in the Navy during World War ll, Banonis helped the Cardinals win the 1947 title.
He was traded to Detroit in 1951 and was the starting center when the Lions won NFL championships in 1952 and ’53, retiring after the 1953 season.
Banonis was inducted into the Michigan Sports Hall of Fame in 1975, and the College Football Hall of Fame in 1986.
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