Allen Park, Mich. – Former Detroit Lions great, Wayne Walker, 80, passed away earlier today.
STATEMENT FROM LIONS OWNER AND CHAIRMAN MARTHA FIRESTONE FORD ON THE PASSING OF WAYNE WALKER
“On behalf of my family and the Detroit Lions, I would like to extend our sincere condolences to Wayne’s wife, Sylvia, and to his children, Steve, Doug and Kathy.
“Wayne was one of our finest players from the decade of the 60s and will not only be remembered for his career accomplishments as a Lion, but also for his great success as a broadcaster after his playing days were over.”
WALKER’S LEGENDARY LIONS CAREER
When Walker was drafted out of Idaho in the fourth round of the 1958 NFL Draft, he was a prospect at linebacker, center and kicker. In 15 seasons with the Lions, he fulfilled two of those projections as a standout linebacker and productive kicker. He finished his career playing in 200 games with Detroit, a team record that he held until kicker Jason Hanson broke it in 2004.
Walker, who played his entire NFL career with the Lions, ranks second on the team’s all-time list for seasons played (15) and third in games played (200). He was the first player in team history to play 200 games.
As a Lion, he was selected to three Pro Bowls (1964-66), and he ranks eighth on the team’s list for career points scored (345), which includes two return touchdowns (one interception and one fumble), 53 field goals and 172 PATs. He led Detroit in scoring in 1962, 1964 and 1965. As a linebacker, he recorded 14 interceptions for 163 return yards.
In 1958, the rookie linebacker returned both an interception and fumble for touchdowns and established himself as one of the young stars in the NFL. He later went on to receive the team’s defensive MVP award in 1968. In 2008, Walker was named to the franchise’s 75th season All-Time Team.
The former Idaho prep and collegiate star turned to broadcasting after his NFL career ended, which included 11 years as a color analyst for NFL games on CBS. He was a long-time sports director for KPIX in San Francisco and served as a color analyst on 49ers radio broadcasts.
Walker is survived by wife, Sylvia, sons Steve and Doug and daughter Kathy.
Funeral arrangements are pending.