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SandersWidely recognized for an uncanny knack for hauling in passes from Lions quarterbacks, Hall-of-Fame tight end Charlie Sanders lost his fight with cancer today at the age of 68.

Sanders played 10 seasons with the Lions amassing numbers worthy enough for his induction into the Pro Football League Hall of Fame in 2007.

The blue and silver icon battled cancer while continuously bringing hope and support to students and athlete through the work of his foundation. The Charlie Sanders Foundation provided scholarships to high school students in Michigan and North Carolina.

“Today we lost one of the greatest Detroit Lions of all time,” Lions president Tom Lewand said in a statement. “Charlie was a special person to the entire Lions family for nearly a half century. While never forgetting his North Carolina roots, ‘Satch’ became the consummate Detroit Lion on and off the field.”

Retiring in 1977, Sanders led the Lions organization in receptions from the tight end position. He is credited for revolutionizing the position and served as a member of the organization in the personnel department.

“He was a perfect ambassador for our organization and, more important, was a true friend, colleague and mentor to so many of us,” said Lewand.

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