HOUSTON (KTRK) -- A University of Alabama spokesperson has confirmed with Eyewitness News that former Oilers quarterback Ken Stabler died Wednesday from complications associated with colon cancer. He was 69 years old.
Stabler was diagnosed with Stage 4 colon cancer in February 2015, according to a statement issued by Stabler's family.
"He passed peacefully surrounded by the people he loved most, including his three daughters and longtime partner, as some of his favorite songs played in the background, such as Lynyrd Skynyrd's 'Sweet Home Alabama' and Van Morrison's 'Leaves Falling Down,' the statement read. "He was a kind, generous and unselfish man, never turning down an autograph request or an opportunity to help someone in need."
Stabler, who played his college football at the University of Alabama, spent 10 seasons in Oakland before coming to the Oilers in 1980. He finished his career with the New Orleans Saints.
Stabler was a four-time Pro Bowler and a Hall of Fame finalist. He led the Raiders to a 1977 Super Bowl title.
The family says per his request, Stabler's brain and spinal cord were donated to Boston University's Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy Center to support research for degenerative brain disease in athletes.
"We are grateful for the tremendous love and support from friends and fans. We ask that you please respect our privacy during this difficult time as we grieve this heartbreaking loss," the family wrote.
Stabler is survived by his three daughters Kendra Stabler Moyes (husband, Scott), Alexa (fianc, Hunter Adams) and Marissa; his grandsons Jack and Justin Moyes; sister Carolyn Bishop; nephew Scott Bishop; and great nephew and niece Tayler and Payton Bishop. He is preceded in death by his father, Leroy Stabler, and mother, Sally Stabler.
Officials with the University of Alabama also have sent their condolences. In a statement, Deborah Lane, UA Associate Vice President for University Relations, wrote:
"The UA family sends its deepest sympathies to the family and friends of Kenny Stabler. One of the best players to ever wear a uniform for the Crimson Tide, he will always be remembered for his talent, his hard work and his love for the game he played so well at every level. We will miss him greatly,"
Bill Battle, UA Director of Athletics also issued the following statement:
"I am very sad to hear of the death of Ken Stabler. While there have been many outstanding players in our great football history at Alabama, I think its safe to say that few - if any - connected with our fans in the way that Kenny did. Hes one of the few quarterbacks to win a national title in college and a Super Bowl in the pros in a career that ranks among the best of anyone to play the game. He was an Alabama man through and through. The thoughts and prayers of all of us in the Alabama Family are with Kenny, his family, and all who knew and loved him.
Funeral arrangements are pending. In lieu of flowers, the family asked for donations be made to the XOXO Stabler Foundation to support research of colon cancer and sports-related head trauma.
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