Walter Payton - 25 Year Memorial Tribute: Football Career, Jackson State, NFL Athlete, Running Back, MVP Award, Super Bowl, Chicago Bears, Coach Mike Ditka, Sweetness, Liver Disease, Death & Legacy!
Walter Payton - 25 Year Memorial Tribute: Football Career, Jackson State, NFL Athlete, Running Back, MVP Award, Super Bowl, Chicago Bears, Coach Mike Ditka, Sweetness, Liver Disease, Death & Legacy!
Walter Payton - 25 Year Memorial Tribute: Football Career, Jackson State, NFL Athlete, Running Back, MVP Award, Super Bowl, Chicago Bears, Coach Mike Ditka, Sweetness, Liver Disease, Death & Legacy!
Walter Payton - 25 Year Memorial Tribute: Football Career, Jackson State, NFL Athlete, Running Back, MVP Award, Super Bowl, Chicago Bears, Coach Mike Ditka, Sweetness, Liver Disease, Death & Legacy!
Walter Payton - 25 Year Memorial Tribute: Football Career, Jackson State, NFL Athlete, Running Back, MVP Award, Super Bowl, Chicago Bears, Coach Mike Ditka, Sweetness, Liver Disease, Death & Legacy!
Walter Payton - 25 Year Memorial Tribute: Football Career, Jackson State, NFL Athlete, Running Back, MVP Award, Super Bowl, Chicago Bears, Coach Mike Ditka, Sweetness, Liver Disease, Death & Legacy!
Walter Payton - 25 Year Memorial Tribute: Football Career, Jackson State, NFL Athlete, Running Back, MVP Award, Super Bowl, Chicago Bears, Coach Mike Ditka, Sweetness, Liver Disease, Death & Legacy!

Walter Payton - 25 Year Memorial Tribute: Football Career, Jackson State, NFL Athlete, Running Back, MVP Award, Super Bowl, Chicago Bears, Coach Mike Ditka, Sweetness, Liver Disease, Death & Legacy!

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Walter Payton was “Sweetness” in every way. From 1975 through 1987, he ran with a grace that disguised punishing power and tremendous toughness. He glided through defenses, the ever-present smile on his face making football seem almost elegant. “He was the best football player I’ve ever seen,” said his longtime Chicago Bears coach Mike Ditka. “And probably one of the best people I’ve ever met.” In 1999, when Payton died at age 46 of a rare liver disease, professional football mourned an athlete who was as well-known for his kindness and compassion as he was his accomplishments on the field—which is saying quite a lot. He retired as the all-time NFL rushing leader with 16,726 career yards. He had a Super Bowl ring (1985), an MVP award (1977), nine Pro Bowls and five All-Pro First Team honors. There is a very good reason why the name Walter Payton will always live on: There has never been a player—nor person—more worthy of admiration than the one they called “Sweetness.” This is his story.

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