DENVER — The news of longtime Denver Broncos owner Pat Bowlen’s passing spread quickly Friday morning after he died late Thursday night.
Bowlen battled Alzheimer’s in the later years of his life; the disease forced him to step down from his day-to-day duties with the team.
Bowlen’s wife, Annabel, recently announced that she, too, is battling Alzheimer’s.
Tributes to the Broncos’ biggest fan began rolling in across the internet rapidly from fans, players, politicians and rival teams.
I just woke up to the the very sad news of my friend & confidant Mr.B passing away.The world has lost a great man/legend.My heart & prayers to the Bowlen family.Mr.B, I’ll never forget the impact you had on my life.I can’t thank you enough. Rest In Peace, TD#patbowlen #broncos pic.twitter.com/93x25GFOcr
— Terrell Davis (@Terrell_Davis) June 14, 2019
Rest in Heaven Mr. Bowlen!! You changed a lot of individuals lives throughout your life, from the players and people directly associated with the organization to the community. You left an everlasting mark! Thank… https://t.co/EcWu8RDgwT
— David BRUTON JR. (@D_Brut30) June 14, 2019
My thoughts & prayers go out to the Bowlen family and all friends and acquaintances of a remarkable man #patbowlen #broncos As a player with the @Broncos it was awesome to have an owner that loved his players & did everything he could to help us succeed both on & off the field!
— Jake Plummer (@snakestakes) June 14, 2019
You know the term “players coach” Mr. B was a true “players owner” He treated the @Broncos like family. I remember Pat working out with the team in the weight room everyday. What owner does that? He had only 1 goal for us every year, Win The Super Bowl. pic.twitter.com/gKzlTZGGZL
— byron chamberlain (@bc_chamberlain) June 14, 2019
RIP to Mr. Bowlen 🙏🏾🙏🏾
— Cj Anderson (@cjandersonb22) June 14, 2019
Sad to hear about the passing of Pat Bowlen. His accomplishments in life were amazing, including brining 3 Super Bowl titles to Denver as Broncos owner. His legacy & impact on the state will be remembered for years to come in many ways. My thoughts are with his family & friends.
— Jared Polis (@GovofCO) June 14, 2019
I’m saddened to learn of the loss of longtime @Broncos owner, Pat Bowlen. Mr. Bowlen was an institution here in #Denver and the NFL, and his presence and dedication to our city, our beloved team and the sport of football will be greatly missed, but never forgotten.
— Michael B. Hancock (@MayorHancock) June 14, 2019
Saddened to learn of the passing of Pat Bowlen. Pat’s love of his players, the Broncos organization, and the Denver community was evident in everything he did.
Our sincere condolences to his family and the entire Broncos community. https://t.co/6UYrxjQx0F
— Michael Bennet (@SenatorBennet) June 14, 2019
Broncos Manager John Elway, who famously played for and won Super Bowls under Bowlen’s ownership, issued the following statement:
“Pat gave me so much and he was someone that I always looked up to. He gave this team everything we needed to be the best and compete for championships, and the focus was always on football. That’s all you can ask for in an owner—yet he did more. He was a tremendous mentor to me and a tremendous friend. Pat was a great listener, always asking what was going on, and I learned so much from watching him. He was a terrific leader. Whether things were going right or things weren’t going right, he would always let you know what we needed to get better. He did a great job of applying pressure at the right times but always trusted his football people to make the right decisions. Other than his family, nothing meant more to Pat than making sure the Denver Broncos were successful. What he did for this team, this city and the entire NFL will never be matched. His shoes will never be filled. I will miss Pat greatly and will always treasure the times we had together. We’ll continue to take care of his team as if he were here today. My deepest sympathies are with Annabel and the entire Bowlen family.”