Charlie Sanders

Charles Alvin Sanders (August 25, 1946 – July 2, 2015) was an American football player who played tight end for the Detroit Lions of the National Football League from 1968 to 1977. Sanders was chosen for the NFL's 1970s All-Decade Team and voted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2007.

Charlie Sanders
refer to caption
Sanders (far right) at his Pro Football Hall of Fame Bust Unveiling Ceremony at Ford Field in 2007
No. 88
Position:Tight end
Personal information
Born:August 25, 1946
Richlands, North Carolina
Died:July 2, 2015 (aged 68)
Royal Oak, Michigan
Career information
High school:James B. Dudley
(Greensboro, North Carolina)
NFL Draft:1968 / Round: 3 / Pick: 74
Career history
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics
Receiving yards:4,817
Receiving touchdowns:31
Player stats at
Player stats at PFR

Early years

Sanders was born in 1946 in Richlands, North Carolina.[1] He attended James B. Dudley High School in Greensboro, North Carolina, where he played for the football, baseball, and basketball teams.[2]

University of Minnesota

Sanders attended the University of Minnesota, where he played college football for the Minnesota Golden Gophers.[3] He was named to the All-Big Ten Conference Team in his senior year, when he recorded 21 receptions for 276 yards with two touchdowns, as Minnesota tied for the Big Ten championship with an 8–2 record.[4]

Detroit Lions

The Lions selected Sanders in the third round of the 1968 NFL Draft, and he became their starting tight end for the next 10 seasons. He had 336 career receptions for 4,817 yards and 31 touchdowns.[1] He was also known as a superior blocker. He was chosen for the Pro Bowl seven times (1968–1971 and 1974–1976).[5] He was the only rookie to be named to the 1969 Pro Bowl, following a season where he had 40 receptions for 533 yards.[6] Sanders was also selected as a first-team All-Pro for the 1970 and 1971 seasons, receiving the most votes of any player in both years.[7] During an exhibition game in 1976, Sanders injured his right knee, ending his career.[5]

Sanders was named to the NFL 1970s All-Decade Team as selected by voters of the Pro Football Hall of Fame.[6] Sanders was inducted into the North Carolina Sports Hall of Fame in 1997,[8] and the Minnesota M Club Hall of Fame in 2013.[4] In 2008, Sanders was chosen as a member of the Lions' 75th Anniversary All Time Team.[9]

Later years

Sanders served as a color analyst on Lions radio broadcasts from 1983 through 1988, worked with the team as an assistant coach in charge of wide receivers from 1989 to 1996, returned to perform radio broadcasts in 1997, and then joined the Lions' front office as a scout.[5] He became the team's assistant director of pro personnel in 2000,[10] and held the role until his death.[11] In 2005, he co-authored Charlie Sanders' Tales from the Detroit Lions, a book of anecdotes about the team and its players.[5]

Sanders also worked in the team's community relations department and served as a spokesman for the United Way and The March of Dimes. He created The Charlie Sanders Foundation in 2007, which provided two college scholarships per year for students from Oakland County, Monroe, Michigan and his home state of North Carolina. In 2012, he began the "Have A Heart Save A Life" program (within the foundation) to raise funds to provide heart (EKG) screenings to young people. In August 2012, the first "Charlie Sanders Have A Heart Save A Life Celebrity Golf Outing was held in West Bloomfield, Michigan. St. Jude Children's Research Hospital honored Sanders for his charitable work in 2014.[10][5]

Personal life and death

Sanders and his wife, Georgianna, had nine children[5] and lived in Rochester, Michigan. One of his daughters, Mary Jo is a pro boxer, and three of his sons played college football: one at Ohio State University, and had a brief NFL career with the Detroit Lions; one son formerly played at Saginaw Valley State University; and one son is currently playing at Saginaw Valley State University, after transferring from Michigan State University.[12][11]

Sanders developed a malignant tumor behind his right knee, which was discovered while he was undergoing knee replacement surgery. Sanders underwent chemotherapy, but died on July 2, 2015 in Royal Oak, Michigan from cancer.[10][13]


  1. ^ a b "Charlie Sanders". Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved November 3, 2016.
  2. ^ "Charlie Sanders, proud of his Dudley roots, never forgot where he came from (video)". News & Record (Greensboro, NC). Retrieved July 3, 2015.
  3. ^ Fox Sports. "Former Gophers standout Charlie Sanders dies at age 68". FOX Sports. Retrieved July 3, 2015.
  4. ^ a b gopherguy05. "Former Gopher Football Great Charlie Sanders Dies at Age of 68". The Daily Gopher. Retrieved July 3, 2015.
  5. ^ a b c d e f "Longtime Lions stalwart Charlie Sanders dies at age 68 – US News". US News & World Report. Retrieved July 3, 2015.
  6. ^ a b "Toledo Blade – Google News Archive Search". Retrieved July 3, 2015.
  7. ^ "Gadsden Times – Google News Archive Search". Retrieved July 3, 2015.
  8. ^ "Star-News – Google News Archive Search". Retrieved July 3, 2015.
  9. ^ "Lions unveil 75th Season All-Time team". Retrieved July 3, 2015.
  10. ^ a b c Dave Birkett (July 2, 2015). "Detroit Lions legend Charlie Sanders dies at 68". Detroit Free Press. Retrieved July 3, 2015.
  11. ^ a b "Charlie Sanders through the years". Detroit Free Press. June 30, 2015. Retrieved July 3, 2015.
  12. ^ "Charlie Sanders: Hall of Fame player, Hall of Fame person". Retrieved July 3, 2015.
  13. ^ "Charlie Sanders, Hall of Fame Tight End With Lions, Dies at 68". July 3, 2015 – via

External links

1940 Detroit Lions season

The 1940 Detroit Lions season was their 11th in the league. The team failed to improve on their previous season's output of 6–5, winning only five games. They failed to qualify for the playoffs for the fifth consecutive season.

Due to a dispute between new Lions owner Fred Mandel and Detroit Tigers owner Walter Briggs, the Lions played the entire 1940 home schedule at University of Detroit Stadium.

Charlie Sanders (actor)

Charles Henry Sanders (born August 22, 1979) is an American actor, comedian, and Writers Guild Award–winning writer best known for starring as Officer Joe Stubeck in the MTV comedy-action series Death Valley, writing on all five seasons of Key & Peele and creating the YouTube Premium series Weird City.

Death Valley (TV series)

Death Valley is a horror black comedy mockumentary television series broadcast on MTV. The series premiered on August 29, 2011. The series follows the Undead Task Force (UTF), a newly formed division of the LAPD, as they are filmed by a camera news crew documentary-style, as they capture the monsters that roam the streets of San Fernando Valley in California. In March, 2012, the show's creator announced that Death Valley had not been picked up for a second season.

List of Detroit Lions broadcasters

The following is a List of broadcasters for the Detroit Lions, both past and present.

Mary Jo Sanders

Mary Jo Sanders (born January 13, 1974, in Auburn Hills, Michigan) is a female professional boxer. She is also daughter of NFL Hall of Famer, Charlie Sanders.In a highly anticipated bout in 2008 with Holly Holm, a fight in which Sanders was favored to win, Holm won via decision. The two had a rematch four months later and fought to a draw. It was the last time Sanders fought. Her record is 25 wins, 8 by knockout, with 1 defeat, and 1 draw.

Sioux Falls Storm

The Sioux Falls Storm are a professional indoor football team based in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. The Storm joined the original Indoor Football League as an expansion team in 1999 as the Sioux Falls Cobras, and first took the field for the 2000 season. They currently participate in another iteration of the Indoor Football League; prior to that, the Storm were in United Indoor Football (UIF), where they won all four of the league's championship games. In the newer IFL, the Storm have won six of the nine championships in the league.

They play their home games at Denny Sanford Premier Center. In mid-April 2014, the team announced that the 2014 season would be its last at the aging Sioux Falls Arena (also known as the Storm Shelter), originally constructed in 1961. In 2015, the Storm followed the Sioux Falls Stampede of the United States Hockey League to the newly constructed Denny Sanford Premier Center.

Weird City (TV series)

Weird City is an American comedy science fiction anthology web television series that premiered on February 13, 2019, on YouTube Premium.

Running backs
Wide receivers /
Tight ends
Pre-modern era
two-way players
Defensive backs
and punters

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