Pro Football Hall of Famer and one of the great Eagles of all time, Steve Van Buren, has passed away due to pneumonia at the age of 91. He is survived by three daughters, 16 grandchildren, and 16 great grandchildren.
Van Buren won 2 NFL championships with the Eagles in 1948 and 1949. In the '49 championship game, Van Buren ran for a then record 196 yards. In 1948, he scored the lone TD that won the Eagles their first ever title. He led the NFL in rushing 4 times (the only Eagle to ever win the rushing title) and his single season TD record stood from 1945 to just last year, when it was broken by LeSean McCoy.
"On the field and off, as a player, a leader and a man, Steve Van Buren embodied the finest characteristics of our city and our sport," said Eagles chairman and CEO Jeffrey Lurie. "He was a friend and an inspiration to generations of fans, and the model of what an Eagle should be."
Upon his retirement, he held 10 franchise records and 4 different NFL records. And they were big ones.
* [1st] Most Rushing Attempts, Career - 1,320
• [1st] Most Rushing Yards, Career - 5,860
• [1st] Most Rushing Yards, Season - 1,146 (1949)
• [1st] Most Touchdowns, Season - 18 (1945)
"Watch those old films and you know that Steve Van Buren was something special," said head coach Andy Reid. "He was special in person, too, humble about his own accomplishments and encouraging to others. His memory will be with Eagles fans for as long as this team takes the field."
Van Buren, a first round pick from LSU, played in a time before guys got rich in pro football. These were guys truly playing for the love of the game and its important that we don't forget their contributions. Van Buren is one the greats to ever play this game, he's a champion and most importantly an Eagle. RIP.
Below is a look at Van Buren's career from NFL Films, who named him among the top 100 greatest NFL players of all time.