John Madden, the Super-Bowl-winning former coach and high-profile broadcaster, has died at the age of 85.
The influential sports personality was the head coach of the Oakland Raiders for 10 NFL seasons, leading them to Super Bowl victory in 1977.
By the time he was 42, Madden was the youngest coach to reach 100 career regular-season victories – which he achieved in just 10 full seasons. He is still the coach with the most wins in Raiders history.
The NFL announced Madden’s unexpected death on Tuesday and did not detail the cause.
In a statement, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said of Madden: “Nobody loved football more than Coach. He was football.
“He was an incredible sounding board to me and so many others.
“There will never be another John Madden, and we will forever be indebted to him for all he did to make football and the NFL what it is today.”
Following his retirement as a coach at 42, Madden became a household name across the US for his football commentary.
For three decades Madden was a revered sport broadcaster and analyst, winning 16 Emmy Awards for outstanding sports analyst/personality and covering 11 Super Bowls between 1979-2009.
Fellow veteran commentator Vin Scully expressed sadness over the news of Madden’s death, tweeting: “One (of) the all-time greats, he showed me the ropes during our brief football partnership. He was always kind and delightful. He can now join his former partner, Pat Summerall, in calling Super Bowls in heaven.”
In a statement, the Pro Football Hall of Fame said Madden’s “relentless passion for the game and unique career will leave an indelible mark on the sport forever”.
Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones added: “I am not aware of anyone who has made a more meaningful impact on the National Football League than John Madden, and I know of no one who loved the game more.”