<
>

Report: William 'The Refrigerator' Perry hospitalized in Chicago

CHICAGO -- Former Chicago Bears defensive tackle William "The Refrigerator" Perry is hospitalized in Chicago with a leg infection following his triumphant return to Soldier Field last Sunday.

Perry’s brother told WLS-TV (ABC) in Chicago that the iconic ex-Bears player was in town for the weekend when he went to Northwestern Memorial Hospital on Friday to refill his prescribed medications for diabetes and other ailments. While at the hospital, doctors discovered an infection in Perry's leg.

The doctors, however, permitted Perry, 53, to attend the Bears' season finale against the Detroit Lions, but only under the condition he returned to the hospital after the game.

Perry, who had not been to Soldier Field in years, received a standing ovation from the crowd, and even participated in a sideline interview that was broadcast over the stadium's Jumbotron.

Perry then watched the second half of the game from the Bears' private suite before checking back into the hospital.

Perry’s family says there is a dispute about when he will be discharged, according to the brother.

Perry has battled a variety of health issues over the years.

He is one of the most recognizable members of the 1985 Bears; a dominant team that finished the regular season 15-1 and defeated the New England Patriots 46-10 in Super Bowl XX in the Louisiana Superdome.

Nicknamed "The Refrigerator" because of his massive 335-pound frame, Perry shot to instant NFL stardom because of his contributions to the Bears’ defense and offense. Used as a fullback on offense by Bears head coach Mike Ditka, Perry scored three touchdowns as a rookie, including a one-yard rushing touchdown in the Super Bowl victory against New England.

He played for the Bears from 1985-1993 before ending his NFL career with the Philadelphia Eagles.

Perry resides in an assisted-living community in South Carolina.