(CBS DETROIT) – Former Detroit Lions safety William White has died after a six-year battle with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), the team announced Thursday night.

DETROIT, MICHIGAN – OCTOBER 31: Chris Spielman, left, embraces William White, both former Detroit Lions players, during the Pride of the Lions celebration during halftime in the game against the Philadelphia Eagles at Ford Field on October 31, 2021 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Rey Del Rio/Getty Images)

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White played 11 seasons in the NFL, spending six seasons in Detroit.

In addition to playing for the Lions, he also played for the Kansas City Chiefs and Atlanta Falcons.

“I loved William,” Lions special assistant to president/CEO Chris Spielman said in a statement. “We shared experiences of joy and sorrow on and off the field. He was and always will be my brother. I am forever grateful for the special moment last year when he was able to be by my side during the Pride of the Lions ceremony at Ford Field. I can’t wait to see him again when he will be free from ALS. May God’s peace rest upon his family.”

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Officials with the NFL say White was drafted in the fourth round of the 1988 NFL Draft out of Ohio State by the Lions.

Spielman, a middle linebacker was picked in the same draft by the Lions after they had played at Ohio State together for two years.

During his career, White played in 170 games (132 starts) with 20 interceptions and 721 tackles.

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