OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — Gale Sayers is the youngest person ever inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. He is revered as one of the best running backs in history.
Despite his remarkable success, Sayers never forgot his Omaha roots and remained connected to Central High School until his passing in 2020.
Within two months, the Sayers family and members of the Central High School Foundation were in touch about how best to honor Sayers.
The result: A bronze statue in front of Seeman Stadium.
Sayers' daughter, Gale Sayers Proby and his brother, Roger Sayers saw the statue for the first time last Thursday.
"Emotional. Shocking. The statue is a lot bigger and better than I thought it would be," Sayers Proby said.
"This statue is just overwhelming," said Roger Sayers. "When people see it up close, they will have an emotional reaction I'm sure."
Omaha sculptor Littleton Alston created the nearly 8-foot, 1,400-pound piece which the family said captured Gale Sayers' essence.
"Every artist wants to hear that," Alston said. "I also think it's important to note that I couldn't have done it without (the family's) input. They were so wonderful to me, and I think any commission is the collaboration between the client and the artist. And, in this case, it was very special and still remains that."
Members of the Central High School Foundation secured funding for the statue.
It will be unveiled to the public on August 26 at Central's first home football game of the year.