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Bobby Mitchell runs the ball during a match between Cleveland Browns and Washington Redkines in 1963. Nate Fine / Getty Images

The Washington Redskins announced in a press release on Saturday that the NFL franchise will honor the late Bobby Mitchell by withdrawing the number 49.

This move marks only the second time in the team’s 88-year history that a number of shirts will be withdrawn.

The team also revealed that Fedex Field’s lowest level will now give Mitchell’s name as a tribute to the Hall of Fame running back and receiver.

“There is no one who deserves these distinctions from the late Bobby Mitchell,” team owner Dan Snyder said in a statement. “Bobby was one of the most important players not only in the history of our team, but also in the National Football League. of his efforts. He was one of the greatest men I have ever known. “

Another background: Mitchell, who died in April, played seven of his 11 seasons in the NFL in Washington.

In 1961, Mitchell was exchanged in Washington by the Cleveland Browns and became the first African-American to play in the franchise.

“Bobby was Jackie Robinson. He had to face the pressure of being the first African-American footballer to join the Washington Redskins,” former Brande Owens told Redskins in his release. standard for Washington, the community, The Redskins, the fan base and the NFL. “

Owens added: “He was more than just a great footballer and athlete, he was a great person. He was like a brother to me. “

Mitchell joined the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1983.

He was selected in the Pro Bowl four times during his career and was a three-time First Team All Pro.

After Mitchell’s retirement in 1968, his 14,078 yards were the second in NFL history, according to the team’s news bulletin. He also served in the team’s reception for a total of 41 years with the franchise, recording three Super Bowl titles.

The team will officially withdraw Mitchell’s jersey number during a ceremony at a future home game.

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