Jim Brown received quite the birthday present on Wednesday.
Brown, who is celebrating his 80th birthday, was made aware by Browns' owners Jimmy and Dee Haslam that a statue will be built in front of FirstEnergy Stadium in his honor.
It will be the first statue featuring a player's likeness to ever be erected at the venue.
“Everyone admires the incredible impact that Jim Brown has made for Cleveland, the Browns and the NFL throughout his lifetime, and we have had the special opportunity to know and learn from his contributions to our team on a personal level, as well,” said the Haslams. “It is only fitting that one of the most iconic professional football players and members of Cleveland and the Browns is commemorated with this statue as he will always be such a permanent fixture in our city.”
Brown, upon hearing the news, thanked both the fans and those in charge of making this decision.
“It humbles me to be honored in this manner,” said Brown. “Dee and Jimmy Haslam, thank you for the respect and love. Your investment in Cleveland is unparalleled. To the fans of the Cleveland Browns, I guess I'll always be with you – thank you.”
Brown, who joined the Browns as a special advisor on May 29, 2013, will be immortalized in bronze by Lakewood sculptor David L. Demming, who also sculpted the Jim Thome statue outside of Progressive Field.
Amidst a nine-year career, Brown rushed for 12,312 yards and 106 touchdowns, while posting a 5.2 yards-per-carry average, earning him a spot in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
In eight of Brown's nine seasons in Cleveland, he led the NFL in rushing yards in eight of those seasons, while earning three Associated Press MVP awards.
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