SACRAMENTO (CBS13) —  Oakland Raiders quarterback Ken Stabler has died, according to a family statement released through his foundation on Thursday.

Stabler had been battling Stage 4 colon cancer since February.

READ MORE: Memorial Service For Fallen Marine Sgt. Nicole Gee Held In Roseville

Stabler played 15 seasons in the NFL, including starting most of the games for the 1970s Oakland Raiders, including a win in Super Bowl XI.

Like many of his games, the Snake kept fans guessing throughout the day how things would end. Earlier reports from the Tuscaloosa News had the quarterback dead, but the newspaper later issued an apology, saying his death wasn’t confirmed, giving fans hope he had slipped death’s grasp. But then his foundation and the University of Alabama confirmed it later that afternoon.

Family’s Statement on the Passing of Ken Stabler

We announce with great sadness that our father, Ken Stabler, passed away Wednesday, July 8 as a result of complications associated with colon cancer.

He passed peacefully surrounded by the people he loved most, including his three daughters and longtime partner, as some of his favorite songs played in the background, such as Lynyrd Skynyrd’s “Sweet Home Alabama. and Van Morrison’s “Leaves Falling Down.”

READ MORE: Suspect Armed With An Ax Arrested In Stockton

He quietly battled Stage 4 colon cancer since being diagnosed in February 2015.

He wanted to make a difference in the lives of others in both life and death. At his request, his brain and spinal cord were donated to Boston University’s Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy Center to support research for degenerative brain disease in athletes.

He was a kind, generous and unselfish man, never turning down an autograph request or an opportunity to help someone in need. A great quarterback, he was an even greater father to his three girls and grandfather to his two “grand snakes.”

We are grateful for the tremendous love and support from friends and fans. We ask that you please respect our privacy during this difficult time as we grieve this heartbreaking loss.

Funeral arrangements are pending. In lieu of flowers, we ask that donations be made to the X0X0 Stabler Foundation to support research of colon cancer and sports-related head trauma. More information will be available on Ken Stabler’s Facebook fan page and the X0X0 Stabler Foundation.

He is survived by his three daughters Kendra Stabler Moyes (husband, Scott), Alexa (fiance, Hunter Adams) and Marissa; his grandsons Jack and Justin Moyes; sister Carolyn Bishop; nephew Scott Bishop; and great nephew and niece Tayler and Payton Bishop. He is preceded in death by his father, Leroy Stabler, and mother, Sally Stabler.

MORE NEWS: Antelope Woman's Stolen Cotton Candy Trailer Located In Rio Linda