"The love for the game never decreased but, as the years passed, the physical requirements of the game became harder to fulfill each and every day," Shields said on his website. "If it was up to me I would play football forever but, as we all know, that is unrealistic."
Shields was the ultimate ‘Iron Man' in a profession that generally doesn't allow anyone to play as long as he did. In addition to his longevity, Shields' play on the field was impressive as was his charitable work in the community.
In 1993 he started the Will to Succeed Foundation. It was established for the purpose of inspiring, guiding and improving the lives of abused, battered and neglected women and children in the Kansas City area.
"If there's one kid who we can impact, then our efforts are all worthwhile," says Shields of his foundation on his website.
With his retirement, he can now devote more time to his charitable causes. He leaves the game with his head held high, feeling good that he went out on his terms.
"I am looking forward to a future filled with sports in mind," said Shields. "Whether it is in the stands, on the sideline, in the press box or in an office -- football will remain in my blood."
On that very football field where Shields played at a Pro Bowl level for 12 consecutive seasons, the Chiefs now have to find someone to take his place.
There are several candidates on the roster. Veteran John Welbourn and second-year man Tre Stallings could foot the bill at guard. In the draft, keep an eye out for Auburn guard Ben Stubbs, who would be a perfect replacement.
Stay tuned to Warpaint Illustrated for how Shields retirement will impact the Chiefs and a recap of the legacy he leaves behind.
For more information about Will Shields foundation you can go to his website at Willtosucceed.org
Shields Calls It a Career
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