BOSTON (MyFoxBoston.com/AP) -- Former Patriots linebacker Tedy Bruschi turned the big 4-0 on Sunday.
The beloved linebacker retired in 2009 after a storied 13-season career in the NFL that included three Super Bowl wins with the Patriots.
Coach Bill Belichick called him "the perfect player" upon his retirement.
The Patriots announced in May that the linebacker will be inducted into the team's Hall of Fame along with broadcaster Gil Santos at a ceremony Aug. 11.
Bruschi joins Drew Bledsoe and Troy Brown as the only players to be selected by the fans into the hall in their first year of eligibility.
The Patriots drafted Bruschi out of Arizona in the third round of the 1996 draft. During his career, he helped the team to 144 regular-season wins, eight division crowns, five Super Bowl appearances and three championships.
Bruschi shocked the football world by coming back from a stroke in 2005 to continue playing for the Patriots. The experience inspired Bruschi to become a spokesman for the American Heart Association and raise funds for stroke research.
The 40-year-old and his wife, Heidi, continue to be a fixture in the Bay State. The couple even ran in the Boston Marathon in 2012 to raise funds for stroke research.
Bruschi was in the Lenox Hotel watching some members of "Tedy's Team" finish the marathon this year when the bombings occurred. During a Sportscenter special after the bombings, Bruschi, an ESPN analyst, tried to explain to the world what Patriot's Day and being a New Englander means.
"Everyone's just proud to be a New Englander, and you're proud to show that by supporting people in the Boston Marathon or going to see your favorite team play. It's a day of pride for many New Englanders," said Bruschi.