Published: Sat, May 20, 2017
Sports | By Nelson Rowe

Former Lions LB and broadcaster Wayne Walker dies at 80

Former Lions LB and broadcaster Wayne Walker dies at 80

After finishing his playing career, Walker took over as sports director at KPIX.

Walker passed away in Boise, Idaho, his hometown and the place he moved back to after retiring from broadcasting.

News of the death of former Detroit Lions All-Pro linebacker and San Francisco 49ers broadcaster Wayne Walker at the age of 80 on Friday is just the latest example. "There was a point where Wayne was pretty much the voice of record when it came to Bay Area sports". He also served as a commentator on 49ers radio broadcasts for 20 years, and did additional radio broadcasts of Oakland A's games.

Walker also hosted a weekly program called "49ers Preview" on KPIX and it was evident players on the team felt comfortable opening up to the former National Football League player.

"He did things the right way that allowed him to get answers and trust from players that no one else could", Hall of Fame quarterback Joe Montana told SFGATE. "And I don't think Wayne had an agenda ... And, you know, you never had that with Wayne".

"I would get up after a lot of plays, after a collision of some sort - usually with your head - and I would look like I was looking through a frosted glass for a while", said Walker in 2015.

"On behalf of my family and the Detroit Lions, I would like to extend our honest condolences to Wayne's wife, Sylvia, and to his children, Steve, Doug and Kathy", Lions owner Martha Ford said in a statement released by the team.

Walker went on to a 15-year NFL career after his fourth-round selection by the Detroit Lions in the 1958 NFL draft, a period of longevity that is is matched only by tight end Jeff Robinson as the longest professional football career of any Vandals player.

Walker is survived by his wife, Sylvia, and his three children, sons Steve and Doug, daughter Kathy and eight grandchildren.

Funeral arrangements were pending.

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