GREEN BAY

- Former Packers guard Fuzzy Thurston, a member of the great Green Bay teams of the 1960s, has died. He was 80. The team confirmed yesterday that Thurston died after several years of health issues.

Born Fred Thurston, he was best known for his blocking on the Packers' famed power sweep. He helped Green Bay win five NFL titles. He also won with Baltimore in 1958. Despite weighing less than 250 pounds, Thurston was a powerful force. He retired in 1967 and was inducted into the team's Hall of Fame in 1975.

"The Packers family was saddened today to learn of the passing of Fuzzy Thurston," said Packers president/CEO Mark Murphy. "Fuzzy was an endearing figure for Packers fans for more than 50 years."

A Wisconsin native who played basketball in high school because his school didn't have a football team, Thurston then went to Valparaiso. He didn't join the football team until his junior year, yet was drafted in the fifth round by the Eagles in 1956.

After a stint in the armed forces, he tried to make the Eagles and Bears but failed before joining the Colts for the final four regular-season games of 1958. Green Bay acquired Thurston the next year in a trade.