Reports of the death of Detroit Lions owner William Clay Ford Sr. have been confirmed and team president Tom Lewand released the following statement:
“It is with profound sadness that we mourn the loss of Mr. Ford and extend our deepest sympathies to Mrs. Ford and to the entire Ford family.
“No owner loved his team more than Mr. Ford loved the Lions.
“Those of us who had the opportunity to work for Mr. Ford knew of his unyielding passion for his family, the Lions and the city of Detroit.
“His leadership, integrity, kindness, humility and good humor were matched only by his desire to bring a Super Bowl championship to the Lions and to our community. Each of us in the organization will continue to relentlessly pursue that goal in his honor.”
Ford died of pneumonia six days short of his 89th birthday and was the last surviving grandchild of Ford Motor Company founder Henry Ford.
Reggie Bush and Joique Bell were among the first players to tweet their condolences.
Today the city of Detroit lost a great man! RIP Mr. William Clay Ford
— Reggie Bush (@ReggieBush) March 9, 2014
The passing of Mr. Ford was very unfortunate. My prayers are with you Ford family.
— Joique Bell (@JoiqueBell) March 9, 2014