Peyton Manning was back where his NFL career began in Indianapolis for Friday's announcement that the Colts will retire his No. 18 jersey and erect a statue of the quarterback outside Lucas Oil Stadium.
Manning spent the first 14 years of his career in Indy and won a Super Bowl for the franchise before finishing with four seasons in Denver, winning his second Super Bowl title with the Broncos.
"It was my honor and privilege to play for this organization for 14 years," Manning said. "I'll always be a Colt."
Manning announced his retirement on March 7 in Denver. But Colts owner Jim Irsay wanted to pay tribute to the man who was responsible for the franchise's success in Indianapolis.
"It's not too often you build statues of people," Irsay said. "We're really excited about putting this iconic statue outside of Lucas Oil Stadium, where it'll stand many, many years. So deserving."
Manning won four league MVP awards and led the Colts to a 141-67 record and 11 playoff appearances. The Colts released Manning in March 2012 after he missed the 2011 season with a neck injury.
"That was a tough, emotional day four years ago," Manning said. "But I'm glad to be back. I'm glad to be back."
"I feel like I speak for Colts fans: He's always ours," Irsay said.