John Madden, a Super Bowl-winning NFL coach and later a legendary sports broadcaster, has died aged 85, the league has announced.
He died suddenly, with no given cause of death.
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said in a statement, âOn behalf of the entire NFL family, we extend our condolences to Virginia, Mike, Joe and their families.
âWe all know him as the Oakland Raiders Hall of Fame coach and broadcaster who worked for all the major networks, but most of all he was a dedicated husband, father and grandfather.
âNo one loved football more than Coach. He was football. He was an incredible sounding board for me and for so many others.
“There will never be another John Madden, and we will be forever indebted to him for all he did to make football and the NFL what it is today.”
He led the Oakland Raiders to the biggest prize in American football in 1976 when they won the Super Bowl in California against the Minnesota Vikings.
However, the fear of flying led him to hang up his crampons soon after and embark on a career in broadcasting.
To date, he holds the best winning record of any coach who has coached over 100 NFL games.
He was a highly regarded expert on American football, his voice being heard by millions of people as he covered weekly NFL games, winning him 16 Emmy awards.
Madden worked for most of the major US networks, spending most of his career at CBS, between 1979 and 1993.
He retired in 2009 after a 30-year career in broadcasting, his last game being that year’s Super Bowl, which saw Pittsburgh beat Arizona.
Madden is also the namesake of the annual NFL video games created by EA – one of the best-selling sports games of all time – and a best-selling author.
In 2006, he was inducted into the Professional Football Hall of Fame, where he said: âPeople always ask, ‘Are you a coach, broadcaster or video game player?’
“I am a coach, I have always been a coach.”
He is survived by his wife Virginia and his two sons, Joseph and Michael.
John and Virginia Madden’s 62nd wedding anniversary was two days before his death.