Longtime radio play-by-play announcer for the New England Patriots, Gil Santos, passed away on Thursday. The day on which he entered into eternity also happened to be his 80th birthday.

For legions of Patriots fans, Santos will forever be remembered as the ‘Voice of the Patriots.’ His deep baritone voice seemed to make each play vividly come to life as he described the action to his radio audience alongside his broadcast partner Gino Cappelletti. His trademark call of Patriots touchdowns will forever live in the hearts of Patriots Nation: “Touchdown, Patriots!”

Santos also provided commentary on games for the Boston Celtics, Boston Breakers, Providence Friars basketball, Penn State Nittany Lions football and Boston College Eagles football.

In 2012, Santos retired from the Patriots play-by-play duties. That same year, he was inducted into the Patriots Hall of Fame. During his speech, Santos fondly recalled his most memorable moments, such as Super Bowl XXXVI against the St. Louis Rams, the playoff win in the snow against the Oakland Raiders, Super Bowl wins over the Carolina Panthers and Philadelphia Eagles and everything else tied for fifth.

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Despite his love for football, Santos was a simple, family man, first and foremost.  Shortly before his induction, Santos told WBZ News in Boston (for whom Santos also worked):

“I am a very lucky man because my whole life has been great,” he said. “Good parents, good brother, good upbringing, good friends and good family,” he said. “I got the job I wanted. Made a living over 50 years working in a job that I love to do. Yeah, I was a lucky guy, absolutely.”

His voice, his legacy and most of all his presence will be truly missed.

Mike D’Abate is a Managing Editor and National Columnist for Full Press Coverage sports Media. He covers the New England Patriots and the NFL. Follow him on Twitter @mdabateFPC.

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