'The Fridge' remains hospitalized as family fights over care

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William "Refrigerator" Perry remains at Northwestern Memorial Hospital after a routine checkup found he had a leg infection. (WLS)

William "Refrigerator" Perry remains hospitalized at Northwestern Memorial Hospital with a leg infection as his siblings fight for control of his care.

Perry has been hospitalized since Sunday. His family says a sister is on her way to Chicago to meet him and bring him home to South Carolina.

Perry has been a Chicago icon since the magical 1985 Bears Super Bowl season. Known by everyone as "The Fridge", he was one of the most colorful members of an extremely colorful team - and his popularity in Chicago endures.

When he made a rare appearance at Soldier Field at halftime of Sunday's game, fans gave him a standing ovation and he was full of smiles.

His appearances in the Chicago area these days are for an occasional autograph sessions. His brother Willie Perry brought him to Chicago last weekend, apparently without his medication, which prompted a trip to the hospital right after the game Sunday.

His other brother, Michael Dean Perry, also an NFL veteran, is William's legal guardian. Michael Dean Perry accused Willie Perry of trying to cash in on The Fridge's name. He told the hospital not to release Perry until another family member could meet him.

Willie Perry, who is back in South Carolina, had no comment other to say his brother is doing well.

Jim Morrissey spoke to The Fridge two weeks ago about the upcoming 30th anniversary '85 Bears Super Bowl reunion later this month. They were both rookies in '85 and had lockers next to each other.

"Tremendous guy, tremendous teammate, hard worker and was an excellent football player. I mean, he was one of the first 300-pounders that was actually a pretty darn good athlete," Morrissey said.

In recent years, The Fridge has suffered from numerous health problems, including diabetes. He now lives in an assisted living facility in his native South Carolina.

The '85 Bears reunion is scheduled to take place on January 25. Former Coach Mike Ditka, who is expected to attend the reunion, said he stays in touch with The Fridge and recalls him as a great-hearted guy.

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