New England Patriots

New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft and head coach Bill Belichick each released statements on Thursday night to pay their respects to late ex-team broadcaster Gil Santos.

Santos, who broadcasted for 36 Patriots seasons over a period of 46 year, passed away on Thursday, which also happened to be his 80th birthday. Santos started off as the color commentator for the Patriots from 1966-70, but was best known as the Patriots’ radio play-by-play man from 1971-79 and again from 1991-2012.

Kraft issued a statement just hours after the news of Santos’ passing. It read in part: “Gil was a legendary broadcaster, who for 36 years passionately described the play-by-play detail of every Patriots game during his career, including many of the most memorable moments in franchise history.” Here’s the owner’s full statement:

Belichick issued a statement of his own on Friday morning, describing Santos in part as “a special figure in the lives of generations of players, coaches, and fans who knew him”. Here’s Belichick’s statement in full:

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