Friday, August 24, 2012

Delco's Mackrides mourns loss of Eagles teammate Van Buren

When they weren't playing football Bill Mackrides hung out in Delaware County with Eagles teammate Steve Van Buren.

Inevitably they would be interrupted by autograph seekers as Eagles fans sat atop the football world after their team won consecutive NFL championships in 1948-49.

When Mackrides, the backup quarterbvack who resided in Springfield, was asked how he remembered Van Buren, the running back trumped the football player. It’s a safe bet the people whose lives Van Buren touched feel the same way.

“Great guy, great friend, very approachable,” Mackrides said Friday after learning Van Buren had passed away at age 91. “You would never know he played pro football because he was just a regular guy. If you were in his company you never knew he was a star. He cared about people.”

Mackrides played for the Eagles from 1947-51. The Eagles selected the Nevada-Reno product in the third round of the 1947 draft.

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