Former Detroit Lions Safety William White Dead at 56 After Six-Year Battle with ALS

CREDIT: AMY LEMUS/NURPHOTO VIA GETTY

Former Detroit Lions safety William White has died at age 56.

On Thursday, the team announced White’s passing in a statement on Twitter, and said he had dealt with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) over the last six years.

“I loved William. We shared experiences of joy and sorrow on and off the field,” Lions special assistant to president/CEO Chris Spielman said. “He was and always will be my brother. I am forever grateful for the special moment last year when he was able to be by my side during the Pride of the Lions ceremony at Ford Field.”

He continued, “I can’t wait to see him again when he will be free from ALS. May God’s peace rest upon his family.”

White’s son Brendon White also shared a tribute to his father on social media Thursday.

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SOURCE: PEOPLE, Stephanie Wenger