Fans of the Chicago Bears legend William “the Refrigerator” Perry can breathe a sigh of relief. The former defensive lineman is alive — despite an erroneous Twitter report to the contrary that surfaced Wednesday (Aug. 14) morning.
“I know he is not dead,” Perry’s agent, Adam Plotkin, tells the Chicago Tribune. “I talked to Michael Dean (Perry) a few minutes ago. And i know the Bears were down there interviewing Fridge on Saturday for coach (Mike) Ditka’s (jersey) retirement. But I did talk to Michael Dean, and he had gotten some calls, too, and Michael Dean said it was OK to confirm that Fridge is fine.”
Plotkin says Michael Dean (Perry’s brother) received a call saying that someone named William Perry had died, but it was just a case of a shared name. “He is completely fine,” Plotkin assures.
Perry confirmed his living status himself on Wednesday, tweeting at @FridgePerry72: “I heard the rumors that I passed away online #SMH. Just wanted to let everyone (know) that they are not true and I’m doing fine. Thanks guys!”
The erroneous tweet announcing Perry’s passing came from the @ClemsonTigerNet account, though it was quickly taken down. The TigerNet staff explained their mistake on their webpage, writing, “There were several reports on Twitter this morning of William Perry’s passing, but it appears it was another William Perry that caused the confusion.”
Perry’s health has been cause for concern for several years, as he suffers from the sometimes life-threatening effects of Guillain-Barre syndrome, which affects the peripheral nervous system and causes progressive weakness. Four years ago, he spent five months in the hospital and was forced to use a wheelchair.