NFL side Houston Texans rocked by the death of their billionaire owner Bob McNair, aged 81, to cancer

NFL side Houston Texans have been rocked by the death of billionaire owner Bob McNair.

The team confirmed last night that the 81-year-old had lost a long battle with cancer.

 Houston Texans have been rocked by the death of their owner Bob McNair

AP:Associated Press
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Houston Texans have been rocked by the death of their owner Bob McNair

An official statement said: “It is with deep sadness that we announce Houston Texans founder, senior chairman and chief executive officer and philanthropist, Robert C, McNair passed away peacefully in Houston today with this loving wife, Janice, and his family by his side.”

McNair, who made his fortune in energy plants, is the man responsible for bringing NFL back to the city.

Two years after the Houston Oilers left the city in 1997, now known as the Tennessee Titans, he convinced the league to grant him an expansion franchise in 1999.

The Texans debuted in 2002 and the city have hosted two Super Bowls in 2004 and 2017 since.

 The 81-year-old died on Friday after a long battle with cancer

AP:Associated Press
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The 81-year-old died on Friday after a long battle with cancer

Head coach Bill O'Brien said in a statement: “Mr McNair was an amazing man who made tremendous contributions to the NFL and the City of Houston.

“He was a very caring, thoughtful passionate individual.

“As much as he cared about winning, I think the thing I will remember most about Mr McNair is the way he cared about his players.

“I know how much giving back meant to him and his loyalty and generosity to the City of Houston and our community will never be forgotten.

“My thoughts and prayers are with Janice and the McNair family.”

McNair, born in Tampa, Florida, graduated from University of South Carolina before moving to Houston with his wife in 1960.

Roger Goodell, NFL commissioner, also extended his “heartfelt condolences” McNair’s family and said the late millionaire “deeply cared about the league and adopted Houston as his home”.

NFL side Houston Texans have been rocked by the death of billionaire owner Bob McNair.