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Former Bears coach Ditka suffers stroke

Former National Football League player and coach Mike Ditka listens during a hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington September 18, 2007. REUTE
Former National Football League player and coach Mike Ditka listens during a hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington September 18, 2007. REUTE

(Reuters) - Super Bowl winning player and coach Mike Ditka was taken to hospital after a minor stroke on Friday and will be rested from his usual weekend television commitments.

Ditka, 73, was playing cards at a suburban country club when he noticed his hands "weren't working quite right" and then he had a problem speaking, the Chicago Tribune reported.

"I feel good right now and it's not a big deal," Ditka said.

The hugely popular coach was at the helm of the Chicago Bears for their 1985 Super Bowl winning season and remains the most beloved by Bears fans.

Ditka was a five-time Pro Bowl selection at tight end while playing at the Bears between 1961-66 before moving on to the Philadelphia Eagles and then the Dallas Cowboys, where he featured in the Super Bowl VI triumph.

He was later assistant coach for the Dallas Cowboys when they won Super Bowl XII.

Ditka suffered a heart attack while coaching the Bears in 1988 but returned to work within a week.

(Reporting by Ben Everill, editing by Nick Mulvenney)

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