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Saturday, November 29, 2003
'Gray Ghost' was Hall of Fame halfback
GREEN BAY, Wis. -- Tony Canadeo, a star halfback with the Green Bay Packers in the 1940s and 1950s and member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame, died Saturday at 84.
Canadeo passed out at his Green Bay home and was taken to St. Mary's Hospital Medical Center, where he later died, his son, Tony Jr., said.
Canadeo, who became known as the "Gray Ghost" while playing football at Gonzaga, was just the third 1,000-yard rusher in pro football history when he gained 1,052 yards for the Packers in 1949.
He ranks fourth in rushing in franchise history, losing the No. 3 spot to Ahman Green on Sept. 29. Canadeo ran for 4,197 yards on 1,025 carries, a 4.1-yard average.
Canadeo was a seventh-round draft choice of Green Bay in 1941 and became a starter in 1943. He spent 1945 in the military and returned the next season, playing with the Packers through 1952.
"He was probably one of the best all-around players in Packer history," longtime Packers spokesman Lee Remmel said. "He could do just about anything. He was a good runner, a good blocker, a good returner and a good receiver.
"He was one of the toughest players the Packers have ever had, an extremely hard-nosed player."
Canadeo's No. 3 was the second number retired by the Packers after Don Hutson (14). The only others to have their numbers retired are Ray Nitschke (66) and Bart Starr (15).
After his playing career, Canadeo continued his association with the team as a broadcaster and member of the organization's executive committee. He remained listed as one of the directors emeritus.
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