St. Louis Football Cardinals great Larry Wilson dies

By NewsRadio 1120 KMOX


ST. LOUIS (KMOX) - One of the greatest players in the history of the St. Louis Football Cardinals has died. Larry Wilson, who is credited with innovating the safety blitz and once intercepted a pass with two broken hands, died Thursday at the age of 82.

Wilson, drafted in the 7th round of the 1960 draft as a running back out of the University of Utah, Wilson became one of the game's greatest defensive backs.

Wilson played 13 seasons with the Cardinals, and was carried out on his teammates' shoulders at the conclusion of his final game at Busch Stadium II in 1972. In 159 games he had a team record 52 interceptions, returning five for touchdowns, including one of 96 yards. He once intercepted passes in seven straight games. He was selected to eight Pro Bowls and named first-team all-pro five times.

We mourn the loss of of Hall of Fame safety and long-time team executive Larry Wilson.

— Arizona Cardinals (@AZCardinals) September 18, 2020

He was named to the NFL's 75th and 100th anniversary teams and enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1978.

After his playing career, Wilson worked in the Cardinals front office from 1973 until 2002, including as VP and General Manager from 1988-93.

In a press release from the Arizona Cardinals, Owner Michael Bidwill says besides his father, Wilson the most influential male figure in his life.

“He was someone who truly lived his faith and demonstrated it daily in the kindness he showed every single person he met. Any of us lucky enough to be in his orbit – whether that was for a few minutes or four decades - was always better off from the experience. I will remember Larry Wilson first as a fantastic person but then obviously as one of the greatest players the National Football League has ever seen. It’s fitting that his passing coincides with the league’s 100th birthday because his toughness and the way he revolutionized his position make him one of our game’s most unforgettable figures. Whether on the field playing with casts on both hands or brightening the lives of every person he knew, Larry’s selflessness defined who he was and how we will all remember him.”

Bob Rowe blocked three Jim O'Brien kicks and TVG "out-dueled" Unitas!

— St. Louis Football Cardinals (@BigRed_STL) September 17, 2020

Wilson was married to former KMOX personality Nancy Drew for 40 years.

Wilson says, “Larry Wilson was the kindest, most humble person that I will ever know. To most, he was this ferocious and fierce football player who some described as pound for pound the toughest player of his generation. To me, he was the most generous and gentle soul you would ever meet. For Larry, it was always about everyone else and what he could do for them. And especially in the times we live, that’s something that we could use more of today.”  

Video provided by the Arizona Cardinals
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