Thursday, 10 December 2015

Hall of Famer John Madden undergoes open heart surgery, expected to recover

Hall of Fame NFL coach and broadcaster John Madden is recovering from major heart surgery but expected to recover fully.

“I spoke to John yesterday,” NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said in a statement released by the league Thursday.

“He sounds great, but is frustrated about being on injured reserve for the time being. He is anxious to return to action soon doing the important work he does for our game. He’s a tremendous fountain of ideas and we can’t wait to get him back. We are all pleased to know that John’s procedure was successful and wish him a speedy recovery.”

Madden had the surgery to repair blockages, according to the league. He was released from a San Francisco hospital Wednesday.

Madden was 119-41 in 10 seasons as head coach of the Oakland Raiders, who won Super Bowl XI on his watch following the 1976 season. All 10 his Raider teams had winning records and none finished with fewer than eight wins. The 1976 team, which finished 13-1 in the regular season, is considered one of the greatest in NFL history.

Madden coached numerous Hall of Famers, including Gene Upshaw, Art Shell, Fred Biletnikoff, Dave Casper and Willie Brown.

After Madden left the sideline following the 1978 season, he embarked on a successful career as a television analyst while lending his name and persona to the wildly popular EA Sports video football game.

He was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2006.

Now retired from the broadcast booth, Madden continues to serve the league as co-chair of the player safety advisory panel and is chair of the coaches subcommittee to the competition committee.

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