Donovan McNabb

Former Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Donovan McNabb waves to the crowd during halftime of an NFL football game between the Eagles and the Kansas City Chiefs, Thursday, Sept. 19, 2013, in Philadelphia. The Eagles retired McNabb's jersey number at halftime. (AP Photo/Michael Perez)

PHILADELPHIA - Eagles fans showed their love for former quarterback Donovan McNabb at Lincoln Financial Field Thursday night.

Not only did the crowd give a warm welcome to former coach Andy Reid before Kansas City's 26-16 victory over the Eagles, they also cheered wildly while McNabb had his No. 5 jersey retired at halftime.

"Number five will always love you," McNabb said to the crowd. "Thank you."

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McNabb, 36, became the ninth Eagles' player to have his number retired, joining Chuck Bednarik (60), Tom Brookshier (40), Jerome Brown (99), Brian Dawkins (20), Pete Retzlaff (44), Steve Van Buren (15), Reggie White (92) and Al Wistert (70).

Dawkins, who had his No. 20 raised to the rafters last season, served as emcee for McNabb's ceremony.

After McNabb walked out of the inflatable Eagles tunnel through a cloud of smoke, the two former teammates embraced at midfield, drawing a loud ovation from the fans, many of whom were sporting McNabb jerseys.

The Eagles started the ceremony by playing an emotional video that highlighted some of McNabb's top plays during a terrific, 11-year career with the team from 1999-2009.

Afterward, the lights were lowered, save for a spotlight showing the banners of the retired jerseys at the top of the Linc. Eventually, they unveiled McNabb's while the crowd roared.

"I stand here to let you know to I truly love and respect everything that you've given me for (11) years," McNabb said. "I stand here and from the bottom of my heart let you know I truly appreciate everything you've done for me. I cannot say how much I truly love you."

When the Eagles unfurled the banner showing McNabb's jersey number five, the crowd delivered a standing ovation while fireworks were shot off during an emotional ceremony.

Former Eagles safety Brian Dawkins, who had his number 20 retired last season, served as emcee and introduced McNabb.

McNabb, who set virtually ever Eagles' passing record during his 11-year tenure with the team (1999-2009), strode out to midfield and thanked the fans for their support.

"Number Five will always love you," he said. "The City of Brotherly Love, thank you."


Member of The Press sports staff since 1986, starting my 25th season as The Press Eagles' beat writer. Also cover boxing, MMA, golf, high school sports and everything else.

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