Football hero

A new statue at Franklin Field will honor Penn alum and NFL Hall-of-Famer Chuck Bednarik. Known as “Concrete Charlie,” Bednarik played for the Quakers from 1945 to 1948, and then for the Philadelphia Eagles from 1949 to 1962.

Before going pro, Bednarik played for Penn as a 60-minute man (a player for both offense and defense), distinguishing himself as a center, a linebacker and a punter. A three-time All -American, Bednarik was also voted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1969. As a professional player, Bednarik is perhaps best remembered for delivering what has been called “the greatest hit in NFL history,” a tackle that knocked Frank Gifford out of professional football for more than one year.

The Bednarik statue will be located inside Gate 2 on the north side of Franklin Field, and will be complemented by a collage honoring the years the Philadelphia Eagles played at Franklin Field (1958-1970). The sculpture was created by Brian Hanlon of Hanlon Sculpture Studio in Toms River, N.J., who is the official sculptor of the Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield, Mass.

Originally published on November 17, 2011