Sayers, 73, barely spoke during a seven-hour visit by The Star
last week. However, his wife, Ardie Sayers, says he can hold
conversations at other times.
Ardie Sayers told the Star she believes the dementia began as
far back as 2009, but she said Gale remains fine physically. She
has been moving him home from a facility where he stayed the
last few months.
She wants to set the record straight regarding false impressions
others might have.
"Other people start making up stories, and people are asking
about him more and more," she told the Star. "People must know."
Vahe Gregorian, author of the Star article, wrote, "While family
and friends were attributing his increasing forgetfulness to the
normal aging process, others recognized vulnerability. Over
time, the family came to realize people they trusted had taken
advantage of him in various ways."
At the Sayers' house, there are a number of photos of Gale in
his Bears uniform, including one with Brian Piccolo. The
friendship was the theme of a movie titled, "Brian's Song,"
about Piccolo's battle with cancer, which eventually killed him.
Members of the Sayers family believe football contributed to
Gale's mental state.
After an All-American career at Kansas, Gale played seven
seasons in the NFL with the Bears, though the injuries that
eventually led to his early retirement limited him to five
He led the league in rushing twice and was a five-time
first-team All-Pro (1965-1969). He played just two games in 1970
and two more in 1971 before retiring during the 1972 preseason.
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