NEW YORK (Reuters) - Former Cleveland Browns running back Jim Brown is getting his 1964 championship ring back, five decades after the Hall of Fame football legend said someone stole it during a robbery.
Brown, 79, appeared in Manhattan federal court on Wednesday, where a settlement was reached over a lawsuit he filed last year against a memorabilia dealer that had sought to auction the ring.
After appearing before a federal magistrate judge, Brown, walking with a cane, said it “feels great” to know he will get the long-lost ring back, which he plans to give to one of his children at Christmas.
“It’ll just be interesting to see it,” he said in an interview. “It has been a long time.”
Brown played for the Cleveland Browns in the National Football League as running back from 1957 to 1965, retiring from the sport after scoring 106 rushing touchdowns. He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1971.
Brown received the ring following the Cleveland Browns’ victory in the 1964 NFL Championship against the Baltimore Colts.
According to Brown’s lawsuit, the ring was stolen from his Cleveland home in the late 1960s, and reappeared in 2014 in an online sale hosted by the sports auction house Leland’s Collectibles, Inc.
Leland‘s, whose auctions have included items such as baseball legend Mickey Mantle’s 1960 jersey, claimed the ring was purchased from Brown’s ex-wife. But Brown contended he never authorized anyone to sell it.
Terms of the settlement beyond the ring’s return to Brown are confidential, lawyers for both sides said.
“We’re pleased that Mr. Brown is getting his ring back, and we’re pleased this case has resolved,” said William Fried, a lawyer for Leland‘s.
Reporting by Nate Raymond in New York; Editing by Richard Chang