'I lost a great friend:' Paul Hornung reflects on Bart Starr's legacy ahead of Alabama 'celebration of life' event

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. -- Bart Starr was more than just one of the greatest quarterbacks in NFL history. On Sunday, June 9, family members, friends, teammates, and fans were set to gather in Birmingham, Alabama to celebrate Starr's life.

Starr died on May 26 at the age of 85. “Celebrating the Legacy of Bart Starr” will take place from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday, June 9, at the Wright Center, Samford University.

Paul Hornung played with Starr, one of the best men to ever represent the Packers as a player and as a human, so he celebrates Starr's legacy regularly.

"I lost a great friend, and Green Bay lost maybe the greatest player they ever had. Bart was the most successful quarterback of his time. It was such a tremendous honor for me to have the opportunity to play with him all those years," said Hornung.

Bart Starr Jr. anticipated an upbeat tribute to his father Sunday.

Bart Starr

Starr will be honored in Green Bay the weekend of Sept. 15.

The weekend, which also will be held in conjunction with Packers Alumni Weekend, will begin with the Green & Gold Gala on Friday, Sept. 13, an annual event that benefits Family Services of Northeast Wisconsin.

This year’s Green & Gold Gala, held in the Lambeau Field Atrium, will include a presentation from Starr’s wife, Cherry, and their son, Bart Starr, Jr., with several Packers alumni also in attendance. Tickets are available for the event and can be purchased at greengoldgala.com.

The following day, Saturday, Sept. 14, the Starr family, along with the Packers and Rawhide, will host a public celebration of Starr at Rawhide in New London, Wisconsin. The event will be free and open to all fans.

Bart Starr

The celebration of Starr’s life will continue with Sunday’s game against the Minnesota Vikings, along with the annual Packers Alumni Weekend. A halftime program and ceremony to honor Starr is planned, and dozens of Packers alumni, including some of Starr’s former teammates and players, will be in attendance.

The Packers will also wear a No. 15 decal on their helmets to pay tribute to Starr for the duration of the 2019 season.

Additionally, in honor of Starr’s life, his dedication to the community and his legacy as a Packers player, coach and alumnus, the Packers announced they are awarding a $250,000 impact grant to the Bart and Cherry Starr Foundation. The grant will be directed through the Bart and Cherry Starr Foundation to benefit four charitable organizations that the Starr family supports, including Rawhide, the Starr Children’s Pediatric Cancer Fund, Cornerstone Schools of Alabama and the Birmingham Humane Society.