Jurgensen receives Hometown Hall of Famerâ„¢ plaque

Pro Football Hall of Fame quarterback Sonny Jurgensen was the latest enshrinee to be honored as part of the Hometown Hall of Famer™ Program. The long-time Philadelphia Eagles and Washington Redskins was recognized in special tribute as part of the program presented by the Pro Football Hall of Fame and Allstate Insurance. Tuesday's ceremony took place in his hometown of Wilmington, N.C. during a morning ceremony in the gymnasium at his alma mater, New Hanover High School.

Sonny Jurgensen unveils his Hometown Hall of Famer™ plaque with help from high school teammates George Gaddy and Paul Burton.
Jurgensen, a five-time Pro Bowl selection and member of the NFLs 1960 All-Decade Team and current broadcaster for the Washington Redskins, was presented with his "Hometown Hall of Famers™" plaque by former high school teammates George Gaddy and Paul Burton. The plaque will live on permanent display at the high school to serve as an inspiration for students.

"To be part of a program that brings the prestige and tradition of the Pro Football Hall of Fame to communities like Wilmington is an honor for Allstate, our agents and employees," said Mark LaNeve, Allstate executive vice president, marketing and sales operations.

Attending the ceremony were community officials and representatives from the Pro Football Hall of Fame and Allstate and several of Jurgensen's former teammates. In addition to the plaque, a commemorative Sonny Jurgensen "Hometown Hall of Famer™" road sign will be displayed in the Wilmington community to honor the roots of Jurgensen's legacy in the place where it all began.

Jurgensen was a star athlete in both football and basketball during his days at New Hanover High School and maintained his star power as a quarterback at Duke University before entering the 1957 NFL Draft where he was selected by Eagles in the fourth round. He played for Philadelphia until he was traded to the Washington Redskins in 1964 where he played through his retirement after the 1974 season. In all he threw for 32,224 yards and 255 touchdowns in his career. He had 25 games in which he threw for 300 or more yards and had five 400-yard passing games. Jurgensen was enshrined into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1983.

"The passion for the Hometown Hall of Famer™ was evident today when Sonny Jurgensen returned to New Hanover High School in Wilmington with the freshmen, junior varsity and varsity football teams on stage with him when the plaque was unveiled," said George Veras, president and CEO of Pro Football Hall of Fame Enterprises. "To see these youngsters, six decades removed from Sonny's class, swarming the Hall of Famer afterward with questions and taking photos with him and the plaque, showed a rich appreciation and passion for pro football history."

Hometown Hall of Famers™ is the Hall of Fame's first nationwide plaque program and will lead into the celebration of its 50th anniversary starting in August 2012.

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