Ex-Lions safety William White dead at 56 after battling ALS

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Ex-Lions safety William White dead at 56 after battling ALS

ormer Detroit Lions safety William White has passed away at the age of 56 after battling ALS, the Lions announced. White, who played in the NFL for 11 season, was first diagnosed with ALS in 2016. After playing college football at Ohio State, White spent his first season in the NFL in Detroit.

"We share in the sadness felt today throughout the NFL community following the news of William White’s passing. Drafted by the Lions in the 4th round of the 1988 Draft out of Ohio State, White played 6 seasons in Detroit (1988-1993) & appeared in 95 games (79 starts) for the club," the Lions said in a statement.

The Lions saddened to learn about the passing of White

Even though White didn't finish his career in Detroit, he remained connected to the Lions even after his career finished. “I loved William,” said Lions special assistant to president/CEO Chris Spielman, a former teammate of White’s.

“We shared experiences of joy and sorrow on and off the field. He was and always will be my brother. I am forever grateful for the special moment last year when he was able to be by my side during the Pride of the Lions ceremony at Ford Field.

I can’t wait to see him again when he will be free from ALS. May God’s peace rest upon his family”.

Kirk Herbstreit, a sports analyst, revealed he knew White's family and added the ex-Lions safety fought as hard as he could after being diagnosed with ALS.

"When I heard about his diagnosis years ago I was in shock. He fought it like you’d expect, with uncommon valor. Known his family for many years-my thoughts and prayers to Nikol, their children, and the rest of the White family.

So sorry for your loss," Herbstreit wrote on Twitter.

After six seasons with the Lions, White played three seasons with the Kansas City Chiefs before playing out his final two years in the NFL with the Atlanta Falcons.