The Oakland Raiders are deeply saddened by the passing of George Anderson, who served as head trainer of the Raiders from 1960-94. Anderson passed away Thursday morning at the age of 82.
Anderson was the first head trainer in the history of the Raiders organization and personally worked with players and coaches for four decades.
"It saddens me to hear of George's passing," said Raiders General Manager Reggie McKenzie, whose career with the Silver and Black overlapped with Anderson's tenure as Raiders trainer. "He was a great help to me as well as my teammates during my playing career with the Raiders. With George, we all knew that we were in excellent hands when it came to athletic training and treatment. Our hearts go out to his family during this difficult time."
Two-time Super Bowl-winning Head Coach Tom Flores met Anderson at the very beginning of the Raiders franchise. "George and I and Jim Otto started out on the very first day in Raider history in Santa Cruz and we were bonded pretty well together," said Flores. "We were all from similar backgrounds and we were all giving it one last shot in pro football. Through the years we became the best of friends, not only on the field and in the locker room, but off the field as well, he and his family. He was a consummate trainer and friend."
Raiders Hall of Fame Coach John Madden said on Daily Madden on KCBS, "When you're a head coach, one of the most important people on your staff is your trainer. George was one of those guys that I always appreciated so much because he was going to take care of the player. He wasn't going to put a player out there and say he was okay if he wasn't. He'd would work day and night. If a player needed some therapy or treatment, George would come back at night. We'd be meeting as coaches at 10 or 11 o'clock at night, and George Anderson was still in there working with the players. He was a great guy, he had a great sense of humor, which you kind of have to have as a trainer too, and he was with the Raiders a long time. He was there well before I got there and he was there well after I left."
Current head athletic trainer H. Rod Martin worked for many years with Anderson, who was a legend and innovator in the field of athletic training.
"He was an inventor, a writer, a Hall of Fame Athletic Trainer, and a great teacher," said Martin, who succeeded Anderson as head athletic trainer in 1995. "I always considered him a part of my family. He blessed us all and he was a Raider, a true Raider."
Among Anderson's many innovations was a knee brace for Raider Legend Kenny Stabler after the quarterback sustained an MCL injury in the 1970s. The knee brace would eventually be called the Anderson Knee Stabilizer and would go on to be used universally.
Anderson's work was recognized in 1986 when he was inducted into the National Athletic Trainers' Association Hall of Fame.
Funeral arrangements are pending.