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September 24, 2018

Eagles Hall of Famer Tommy McDonald dies at age 84

The receiver, known for his speed, scored more receiving touchdowns than any player in team history

Pro Football Hall of Fame receiver and former Philadelphia Eagle Tommy McDonald, a member of the 1960 NFL Championship team, has died at the age of 84. 

The cause of death is still unknown, but McDonald had reportedly been suffering from dementia-related illnesses for some time, the Inquirer reported.

RELATED: Is Tommy McDonald the greatest living Eagle?

McDonald came to Philadelphia in 1957. He was selected by the Eagles in the third round (31st overall) draft. That next year, he led the NFL with nine touchdowns and continued to be first or second in the league in touchdowns for four years. He also consistently ranked among the top 10 in yards, receptions, yards per game, yards per reception throughout his seven seasons with the Eagles.

He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1988 — which makes him one of nine Eagles to do so.

“Tommy McDonald played the game with a passion and energy that was second to none,” Eagles Chairman and CEO Jeffrey Lurie said in a statement Monday morning. It continued:

“He will be remembered as one of the most exciting players ever to play his position, but what really separated him and made him so unique was the infectious personality and charisma that he brought to his everyday life. He had a genuine love for this team, for the Philadelphia community, for the fans, and, of course, his family. He was a man of character, both on and off the field, who exemplified all the qualities that we hope to represent as an organization. He was a champion, a Pro Football Hall of Famer, and one of the most genuine individuals I have ever met. On behalf of the Philadelphia Eagles, I would like to express our deepest condolences to the entire McDonald family.”

McDonald remains second in the Eagles record books with 66 touchdown catches, despite playing in far fewer games and catching fewer passes many of the franchises other top receivers. Nearly 23 percent of his receptions resulted in a touchdown. 

The announcement of his death came from David Baker, president and CEO of the Pro Football Hall of Fame. On Twitter, Baker called McDonald "such a character who lived life like he played the Game..."

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