Police recover stolen trophy belonging to late Hall of Fame QB Len Dawson

LEE'S SUMMIT, Mo. — A trophy belonging to Hall of Fame quarterback Len Dawson was recovered by police earlier this month.

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According to a news release from the Lee’s Summit Police Department on Wednesday, the trophy was presented to Dawson in 1976 for “meritorious service in pro football” after the Kansas City Chiefs star retired after the 1975 season.

Dawson, the MVP of Super Bowl IV who later joined the cast of HBO’s “Inside the NFL” and served as a co-host for 24 years, died on Aug. 24, 2022, at the age of 87, The Kansas City Star reported. He also worked for six seasons as an NFL analyst for NBC and was an analyst on the Chiefs’ radio network from 1984 to 2017.

On Jan. 6, Lee’s Summit officers were patrolling at Summit Woods Shopping Center when they were notified about a suspect leaving a store with a large amount of merchandise, WDAF-TV reported.

An investigation revealed that the suspect had fled the store with approximately $6,500 worth of merchandise that included electronics, jewelry, clothing and cologne, police said in the news release. Police said the suspect was also driving a vehicle that was listed as stolen out of Kansas City, Missouri.

The trophy was found in the back seat of the vehicle, and the Chiefs organization contacted Dawson’s widow, Linda, who was “overjoyed” to have the hardware returned to the family.

“Detectives would learn that the trophy was probably stolen sometime in the early 1980s and Linda was overjoyed to have it back in her possession,” the news release stated. “We were glad could play a part in that reunion at the same time affecting a good arrest for theft and other charges.”

Inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1987, Len Dawson played 19 seasons in the AFL and NFL, completing 3,741 passes for 28,711 yards and 239 touchdowns, according to Pro-Football-Reference.com.

His Chiefs won Super Bowl IV in January 1970, and it took 50 years before Kansas City would hoist another Vince Lombardi Trophy. Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs ended that drought in February 2020 by winning Super Bowl LIV.

Dawson became a starter for the franchise in 1962 when it was known as the Dallas Texans. Under Dawson’s leadership, the Texans defeated the Houston Oilers 20-17 in double overtime to win the ‘62 AFL crown.

The AFL franchise shifted to Kansas City in 1963, and Dawson led the Chiefs to AFL titles in 1966 and 1969.

Kansas City was the AFL’s representative in the first Super Bowl, losing 35-10 to the Green Bay Packers in January 1967. At the time, the game was known as the AFL-NFL World Championship.