Longtime Redskins fan and unofficial mascot Zema Williams, better known as Chief Zee, died Tuesday. He was 75.
"The Washington Redskins will always appreciate Zema Williams' unique passion and dedication to our football team and his fellow Washington Redskins' fans," the team said in a statement.
Williams, who wore a headdress and carried a tomahawk to games, first donned the outfit in in an October 2, 1978 game against the Redskins, he told the Washington Post in an 2013 interview.
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Williams claimed he had missed only four Redskins home games, all because of funerals, including the one following the death of his father in 1981. Williams also missed Washington's season opener against Miami in 2007 to be at Texas Stadium for a pregame ceremony honoring Cowboys superfan Wilford "Crazy Ray" Jones, who died earlier that year. Williams traveled to Texas for Dallas Week in 28 of the first 29 years after he created the Chief Zee alter ego, primarily because of the friendship he formed with Crazy Ray, who missed only three Cowboys home games in 46 seasons.
Williams occasionally attended road games, but quit making trips to the Meadowlands after he was pushed down an escalator in 1979, and stopped going to Philly after he suffered a broken leg and an eye injury in the Veterans Stadium parking lot in 1983.
"I don't put myself in danger like that no more," Williams said in 2007.
The Post also reported that Redskins owner Dan Snyder bought Williams a motorized scooter in recent years to help him get around. And according to the Washington City Paper's Matt Terl, earlier this year, several fans started a GoFundMe page for Williams after he fell behind on his rent. Those contributing to the fund included former Redskins players Darryl Grant, Phillip Daniels and Leigh Torrance.