Former Lions LB Wayne Walker dies at 80

Sports Xchange

May 19, 2017 at 8:15 pm.

Wayne Walker, an All-Pro linebacker who spent 15 years with the Detroit Lions and was later a broadcaster for 20 years, has died at age 80.

The Lions announced Walker died Friday. In 2015, Walker said he had Parkinson’s disease.

“Wayne was one of our finest players from the decade of the 60s and will not only be remembered for his career accomplishments as a Lion, but also for his great success as a broadcaster after his playing days were over,” Lions owner Martha Firestone Ford said in a team statement.

Walker died in Boise, Idaho, which is his hometown and where he lived after his retirement from broadcasting.

Walker was a center and middle linebacker at the University of Idaho and was chosen by the Lions in the fourth round of the 1958 NFL Draft.

He was a three-time Pro Bowl selection and was named first-team All-Pro in 1965. He was also the Lions’ place-kicker and his 200 career games played were a franchise record until that mark was broken by kicker Jason Hanson.

After Walker retired from football, he moved to the San Francisco Bay Area and worked in broadcasting. He covered the 49ers and the Oakland Athletics.

“He was the best,” 49ers Hall of Fame quarterback Joe Montana told the San Francisco Chronicle. “He did things the right way that allowed him to get answers and trust from players that no one else could.”

Walker was sports director of San Francisco TV station KPIX from 1979 to 1994.