Indianapolis Colts to unveil Peyton Manning statue, retire his jersey in October
INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – Peyton Manning’s place in Indianapolis Colts’ history is undeniable. Soon, he’ll also have a presence outside of Lucas Oil Stadium.
The team announced Tuesday it will unveil a statue of Manning on the north plaza outside Lucas Oil Stadium Oct. 7 at 3 p.m. On the following day, when the Colts entertain the San Francisco 49ers, Manning’s No. 18 jersey will be officially retired, and he’ll be inducted into the Ring of Honor during a halftime ceremony.
“I am humbled and I am grateful to Jim and the Irsay family for this tremendous honor,’’ Manning said in a team release.
Added owner Jim Irsay: “Peyton will always be a Colt. This will be an event our city, state and Colts fans around the world can celebrate and be proud of.’’
Manning is the first Colt from the Indy era to have his jersey retired and joins Raymond Berry (82), Art Donovan (70), Gino Marchetti (89), Lenny Moore (24), Jim Parker (77), John Unitas (19) and Buddy Young (22).
Irsay laid the groundwork for honoring Manning’s 14-year career with the team in March 2016 during a farewell press conference. “Actions are the most powerful things in life, more powerful than words,’’ Irsay said at the time.
He announced the team had commissioned construction of a statue of Manning that would be positioned outside Lucas Oil Stadium.
“It will be a destination spot for all of our fans,’’ Irsay said. “We couldn’t be more excited about the statue. It’s not too often you build statues of people, particularly in their lifetime.
“But we’re really excited about putting this iconic statue outside of Lucas Oil Stadium where it will stand for many, many years. So much deserving.’’
Irsay also noted “no future Indianapolis Colt will ever play the No. 18 . . . you’re the eighth retired jersey for the Colts. It’ll never be worn again. Proudly sitting right next to No. 19, who I know you have so much affection for.’’
Manning is the NFL’s only five-time Most Valuable Player, and he earned four while with the Colts. He led the franchise to a pair of Super Bowl appearances, highlighted by a 29-17 victory over the Chicago Bears in Super Bowl XLI.
Over his 18-year career that ended with four seasons in Denver, Manning set all-time NFL records with 71,940 passing yards and 539 touchdowns.