Pro Football Hall of Famer Forrest Gregg, a man celebrated for his durability on the football field, is facing a difficult challenge away from the gridiron.
Nicknamed “Iron Man” for playing in a then-record 188 consecutive NFL games during his career with the Green Bay Packers and Dallas Cowboys, Gregg said he’s been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease.
Although the cause of the debilitating neurological disorder is unknown, Gregg, his family and his neurologist say his disease might be related to numerous concussions he suffered during his playing career in the 1950s at Southern Methodist University and from 1956-71 in the NFL.
Gregg beat melanoma in 1976 and colon cancer in 2001.
“This is not my first experience with a life-threatening disease,” he said. “So, I’ve got another battle to fight.”
The 78-year-old Gregg’s symptoms include hand tremors, a stooped posture, shortened stride and softened voice.
“I’d like to stop it there if I could,” he said.
A guard and tackle who was a six-time All-Pro and nine-time Pro Bowler, Gregg is one of three NFL players to win a half-dozen NFL championships, including the first two Super Bowls with the Packers. Gregg finished his career with another Super Bowl title with the Cowboys in 1971.
He went on to coach the Bengals, Browns and Packers, compiling a record of 75-85-1. He led Cincinnati to the Super Bowl after the 1981 season, where the Bengals lost to San Francisco, 26-21.
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