There’s one Philadelphia Eagles fan celebrating his team’s underdog victory harder than most – 99-year-old Phil Basser.
Basser, who turns 100 next month, was at the U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis with his family to watch his team win their first Super Bowl with a 41-33 victory over the favored New England Patriots on Sunday.
Now better known as ‘Philadelphia Phil,’ Basser became well known after his teenage grandson Josh Potter tweeted about his devotion to the Eagles recently.
In response to a tweet about a 99-year-old Vikings fan Millie, who was looking forward to her team meeting the Eagles on the field two weeks ago, Josh told the world about his grandfather.
Phil Basser (pictured) is celebrating after seeing his beloved Philadelphia Eagles win the first Super Bowl
Basser became known as ‘Philadelphia Phil’ after his grandson tweeted about him last month
‘My 99yr old grandpa Phil (turning 100 in march) has lived in Philadelphia since 1918 and has never seen an Eagles Super Bowl,’ Josh wrote.
‘Looks like we got a battle of the centenarians!’
Basser was born in Philadelphia on March 6, 1918 – 15 years before the Eagles played their first NFL game in 1933 – and his life story is just as impressive as the Eagles’ victory.
His mother died when he was four, followed by his sister four years later – meaning his father, unable to work and raise him at the same time, was forced to put him in a Jewish orphanage and visit only on the weekends.
His father died just as he was about to be deployed to fight in World War Two and he also served in the Korean War.
But he found success after founding an advertising agency and married his wife Pearl, with whom he had four children – and later, 14 grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.
Basser (left, recently, and right, during the Korean War) was born 15 years before the Eagles played their first NFL game. The first Super Bowl wasn’t held until 1967
His daughter Faith died of BRCA-related ovarian cancer at the age of 44, according to the Philly Voice.
The University of Pennsylvania’s Basser Center for BRCA-related cancers was found after another of Basser’s daughters – Mindy, and her husband Jon Gray – donated $55million.
In April last year, Basser’s wife of 65 years, died, and he moved in with his daughter in New York.
‘One look at my life and see the hurdles and tragedy,’ he told the Philly Voice last month.
‘These were all devastating, but I choose to wake up each and every day seeing the best that life has to offer.’
And he was always confident his team would triumph.
‘Stay faithful to the cause and never be a quitter!’ he said last month.
Now, after the Eagles made sure Basser had tickets to see Sunday night’s game, he can check seeing his team winning the Super Bowl in person off his bucket list.