Tributes pour in following death of popular former NFL star Charles White aged 64

HUNDREDS of tributes flooded social media after the death of popular former NFL star Charles White was announced.

American football star Charles White, who was a 1979 Heisman Trophy-winning tailback and played 9 seasons in the NFL, died on Wednesday, January 11 (local time) at the age of 64.

White, who was a member of the University of Southern California’s (USC) Trojans American football team that won the national championship in 1978, passed away in Newport Beach, California following a battle with cancer.

White was USC’s third Heisman Trophy winner and still is USC’s career rushing leader (6,245 yards, then the No. 2 mark in NCAA history) while scoring 49 touchdowns.

He was a 4-year USC letterman (1976-77-78-79) and 2-time unanimous All-American (1978-79), and he set 22 NCAA, Pac-10, USC and Rose Bowl records.

Charles captained the 1979 Trojans while leading the nation in rushing. As a senior in 1979, he also won the Walter Camp, Maxwell and Pop Warner Awards.

He was a 3-time All-Conference first-teamer (1977-78-79), was USC’s team MVP in 1978 and 1979 and won the 1978 Voit Trophy while finishing fourth in the Heisman voting as a junior.

He was USC’s rushing leader in 1977 (1,478 yards), 1978 (1,859 yards) and 1979 (2,050 yards), as well as the school’s total offence leader in 1978 (1,854 yards), scoring leader in 1978 (86 points) and 1979 (114 points) and kickoff return leader in 1976 (295 yards).

He had 31 career 100-yard rushing games, including 10 in 1979.

The 1978 and 1979 Rose Bowl Player of the Game, he is a member of the Rose Bowl Hall of Fame. USC went 42-6-1 during his 4-year career, won the 1978 national title and was victorious in 4 bowls (including 3 Rose Bowls).

He was inducted into the USC Athletic Hall of Fame in 1995 and the College Football Hall of Fame in 1996.

He made the Pac-12 All-Century Team in 2015.

He also was a hurdler on USC’s 1979 track team.

During the 1980 NFL Draft, White was a first-round for the Cleveland Browns.

He played for the Browns between 1980 and 1984 before playing for the Los Angeles Rams (1985-88).

In 1987, White led the league in rushing.

He returned to USC in 1990 as a special assistant to the athletic director. In 1993, he became an assistant football coach in charge of the Trojan running backs (a position he held through 1997).  He then held an administrative job at USC.

“He was the toughest player I’ve ever coached,” said John Robinson, White’s former USC and Rams head coach.

“He was really unusual in that regard. He was a great player and just loved playing the game. Those are the things I remember the most. He was a really tough guy, and he was an extremely gifted athlete. But the toughness…wow!”

“Charles White was one of the all-time great Trojans,” said USC athletic director Mike Bohn.

“A Rose Bowl legend, a two-time unanimous All-American and a NCAA record setter, he made USC proud donning the Cardinal and Gold. He will always be remembered by the Trojan Family for the history he made on the football field and the legacy he left at Troy. Fight On Forever!”

White is survived by his ex-wife Judianne White-Basch, their children Nicole White, Julian White, Tara White, Ashton White, Sophia White, and granddaughter Giovanna Hemmen, as noted by USC.

Tributes flooded social media.

“The Heisman Trophy Trust mourns the loss of 1979 Heisman Trophy winner Charles White and shares its deepest condolences with his family and friends as well as the entire University of Southern California community.”

“Growing up in Michigan , we had @CMU_Football , @UMichFootball @MSU_Football but watching these these two take over College Football that year was every Saturday must see 📺. They were like Magic and Larry Bird in College Basketball. RIP Charles White.”

“RIP to the great Heisman Trophy Winner Charles White Fight On ✌🏻”

“💔💔💔💔💔 what a huge loss to his family and the Trojan family…Rest in Peace, #CharlesWhite 🙏🏾”

“My old man to this day still talks about his senior year at Banning losing to Charles White’s San Fernando. Always paid respect to the greats. RIP.”

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Written by

Matthew Roscoe

Originally from the UK, Matthew is based on the Costa Blanca and is a web reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at [email protected]