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Starr ‘turning corner’ in recovery from strokes

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Bart Starr wasn’t able to be in attendance as Brett Favre joined him in the Green Bay Packers Hall of Fame, but his health is improving, according to his son.

Starr’s son, Bart Jr., spoke at the banquet to honor Favre, who was inducted and had his No. 4 retired on Saturday in the Lambeau Field Atrium in Green Bay, Wis.

Starr, 81, suffered multiple strokes and a heart attack last fall and is undergoing stem cell treatments, but his son said his father has “begun turning the corner in a significant way.”

The son said that if all goes well, Bart Starr will be in Green Bay on Thanksgiving night when Favre’s No. 4 goes up on the Lambeau Field facade during a ceremony when the Packers play the Chicago Bears.

“He wants to walk out onto midfield and give Brett Favre a hug and tell him how much he loves and admires him,” Starr Jr. told the crowd for Favre’s induction into the Packers Hall of Fame and retirement of his number Saturday. “He wants to tell the same thing to all of you because you cannot imagine how strengthening it is getting all of your messages and all your well wishes. You have made a difference in his recovery and therefore in my mom’s well-being also.”

Starr and his wife, Cherry, congratulated Favre on his induction in a video message that played at Lambeau Field.

“I have my fingers crossed that he’ll be there for that ceremony,” Favre said. “And Bart Jr. has promised me he’s going to be here. We’re getting him in tip-top shape, so I’m looking forward to that.”

More than 67,000 fans packed into the stadium to honor the 45-year-old Favre, who played for the Packers from 1992 to 2007 and led Green Bay to a 35-21 victory over the New England in Super Bowl XXXI at the Louisiana Superdome in New Orleans at the end of the 1996 season.

“I never dreamed of standing here before you in a moment like this. This is way beyond what I dreamed of and I am so honored,” Favre told the crowd Saturday.

Favre received a 2 1/2-minute standing ovation in his first visit to Lambeau since he played for the rival Minnesota Vikings in 2009 and 2010. In 16 seasons with the Packers, he was named the NFL’s Most Valuable Player three times and played in two Super Bowls.

Five other Packers have had a number retired by the team: Tony Canadeo (3), Don Hutson (14), Bart Starr (15), Ray Nitschke (66) and Reggie White (92).


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