Irsay: Manning a 'Tremendous Ambassador'

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St. Vincent Children's Hospital was renamed Peyton Manning Children's Hospital at St. Vincent. in 2007. St. Vincent Children's Hospital was renamed Peyton Manning Children's Hospital at St. Vincent. in 2007.
INDIANAPOLIS -

Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay says Peyton Manning will end his playing career as "the most recognizable face in the history of the NFL, and perhaps its most popular." The former Colts quarterback has informed the Denver Broncos that he will retire, ending a legendary 18-year career.

Manning will discuss his plans at a 1 p.m. ET Monday news conference in Denver.

The Colts drafted Manning in 1998. He would lead the team for 13 seasons, setting team and NFL records along the way. He has the most career passing yards in NFL history with 71,940, the most career passing touchdowns in league history, with 539 and the most passing yards and touchdowns in a single season. The pinnacle of his Colts playing career came in 2006, when he led the team to a Super Bowl win over the Chicago Bears. Manning won his second championship last month, when he helped the Broncos win Super Bowl 50 against the Carolina Panthers.

Manning's greatest contribution to Indianapolis, however, may have come in 2007, when St. Vincent Children's Hospital was renamed Peyton Manning Children's Hospital at St. Vincent. While St. Vincent did not disclose how much Manning had donated, it did acknowledge a strong relationship with the quarterback since he joined the Colts in 1998.

Statement From Colts Owner Jim Irsay:

“Few have left their marks on a sport as Peyton Manning has. Simply put, he revolutionized NFL football. Peyton energized it as had no one before him, he made it more fun for our fans, and made the game better.

Off the field, Peyton has been a tremendous ambassador for the game and the epitome of someone who gives back to the community. He is the most recognizable face in the history of the NFL, and perhaps its most popular.

I will miss seeing #18 on the field on Sundays and I am proud and thankful for all he’s done for the Colts, our community, and the NFL. On behalf of Colts and NFL fans worldwide, I thank Peyton and congratulate him on an incredible career.”

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