Gale Sayers statue to go up this fall

April 14, 2021

A bronze statue of Central alum and Hall of Fame football player Gale Sayers will be going up this fall outside Seeman Stadium.

Sayers, who passed away in late September of last year, graduated from Central in 1961 after four incredible years of high school football and track. He went on to have a record-setting college football career at Kansas University, and then an even more spectacular pro football career.

“Gale is considered one of the greatest running backs in the history of the National Football League,” a press release from the Central High School Foundation said, “He is the youngest person to ever be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame at age 34.”

And according to Central Foundation Executive Director Michele Roberts, Sayers stayed in touch with Central throughout his life.

“He not only graduated from Central, but he continued to give back to it,” she said. “As he was older and went on with his career, he never forgot about Central.”

The statue will be designed and sculpted by local artist Littleton Alston. Alston is a Professor of Sculpture at Creighton University and a Central parent.

“We are excited to have him aboard,” Roberts said, “He’s done some remarkable work in the Omaha area, including the Bob Gibson statue that is over at Werner Park.”

Throughout the design process, Sayers’ older brother, Roger, has been involved, serving on the committee in charge of coordinating the statue’s design.

“He’s been an integral part in making sure the statue has the right look—the facial features, the flow of the statue, those types of things,” Roberts said.

When the statue goes up, Roberts thinks that it will be an important symbol for students.

“Whenever we talk about Central, we talk about a tradition of excellence,” Roberts explained, “Gale is definitely an example of that, from everything that he did in his career, to everything he did after his career with philanthropy. I think it’s important to show our young kids the great things that our alumni do, not only for our school, but for the community as a whole.”

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