The NFL community is mourning the loss of two-time NFL champion and three-time Pro Bowl halfback/return specialist Timmy Brown, who passed away April 4 at the age of 82.
The Philadelphia Eagles, the franchise Brown earned the bulk of his accolades with, announced the news of his passing on Tuesday afternoon.
"Timmy Brown was an all-time great Eagle and one of the most dynamic multipurpose players of his era. He overcame many obstacles in his life to enjoy success both as an athlete and as an entertainer," Eagles chairman and CEO Jeffrey Lurie said in a statement, via the team’s official website. "A three-time Pro Bowler and member of our 1960 NFL Championship team, Timmy excelled as a running back and return specialist with his incredible athleticism and signature versatility. He was one of the most exciting players to watch during his career. Those who knew him well have said they will remember him for his outgoing, uplifting personality and the connections he built with his teammates and the community. Our thoughts are with his loved ones during this time."
Drafted late by the Packers in the 1959 NFL Draft out of Ball State, Brown played in just one game before being cut coach Vince Lombardi.
It didn’t take long for Brown to bounce back as he soon found a home in Philadelphia, playing under coach Buck Shaw, in 1960. The marriage would prove to be instantly fruitful for all parties. Brown saw immediate playing time, contributing nine carries for 35 yards and two touchdowns while hauling in nine passes for 247 and another pair of TDs in 12 games.
The Eagles would go on to defeat Bart Starr and the Packers to win the 1960 NFL Championship. Shaw was named the AP Coach of the Year.
Brown played the next seven seasons in Philly, being featured primarily as a kick and punt returner while occasionally playing halfback. He was named to the 1962, 1963 and 1965 Pro Bowls; he led the league in all-purpose yardage in ’62 and ’63.
In 1966, Brown became the first NFL player to return two kickoffs for touchdowns in the same game in a contest against the Cowboys. In 1968, Brown was traded to the Baltimore Colts for cornerback Alvin Haymond. It would be his last season in the NFL but he would exit much like he entered: as a champion. Up 27-0 over the Browns, Brown scored a fourth-quarter TD to put the finishing touches on the victory.
Despite playing his last snap for the Eagles over 50 years ago, Brown is still the Eagles’ all-time leader in average yards per touch (6.52), and still holds the franchise record for most kickoff returns (169), most kickoff return yards (4,483), and most kickoff returns for touchdowns (5)
He was named to the Eagles’ Hall of Fame in 1990 and the franchise’s 75th anniversary team in 2007.
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