Former Lions LB and broadcaster Wayne Walker dies at 80

Walker retired from broadcasting in 1999 and he and his wife Sylvia resided in the Boise area since 1994.

News of the death of former Detroit Lions All-Pro linebacker and San Francisco 49ers broadcaster Wayne Walker at the age of 80 on Friday is just the latest example. He was also a sports commentator for the San Francisco 49ers’ radio broadcasts for over twenty years and a commentator on Oakland Athletics baseball broadcasts from 1976 to 1980 and 1985; he teamed up with fellow southern Idahoan Killebrew in 1979. Walker also was a color analyst for National Football League games on CBS and was a longtime 49ers radio analyst (from 1979-81 and ’87-97).

“I think one of the things that happens so many times with athletes … is that somebody has an agenda in most cases, so they’re looking for something that fits into their agenda”, said former 49ers Hall of Famer Joe Montana.

“On that play, Walker reminded me of a big, tough cat playing with an uncommonly truculent mouse”, Missildine wrote. And so you get so guarded, immediately.

Walker announced he was battling Parkinson’s disease in 2015 and cited the multiple concussions he suffered in his National Football League career as a reason for the disease.

Walker recalled in 2009 that he took great pride in his dedication as a player, which meant going to work every day for 15 years. “I got knocked out totally and went back in the same game”, he said.

A fourth-round draft pick by the Lions in 1958, Walker played his entire 15-year career with the franchise.

“On behalf of my family and the Detroit Lions, I would like to extend our honest condolences to Wayne’s wife, Sylvia, and to his children, Steve, Doug and Kathy”, Lions owner Martha Firestone Ford said in a statement released by the team.

Walker is survived by his wife, Sylvia, sons Steve and Doug and daughter Kathy, and eight grandchildren.

Funeral arrangements are pending.