William ‘Bullet Bill’ Dudley (far left, carrying the ball) has often been called the University of Virginia’s greatest football player and the greatest football player to come out of the State of Virginia. He died Thursday, at the age of 88 in Lynchburg.
Dudley grew up in Bluefield, Virginia and played for Graham High School. He went to UVA at age 16 on a scholarship and soon became a star (see Times Dispatch). After UVA, he was drafted in the 1942 NFL draft as first pick by the Pittsburgh Steelers. WWII interrupted his football career but following the war, he returned to Pittsburgh for 9 NFL seasons.
Bill Dudley went in to the insurance business in Lynchburg. He was inducted into the NFL Hall of Fame in 1966. He also served in the General Assembly for 4 terms and was known as being outspoken and direct. Bill Dudley suffered a stroke at the end of January and died at home February 4, 2010, in the arms of his wife, Libba. Bradley and Libba celebrated their 62nd wedding anniversary in July.
Certainly Bullet Bill Dudley will be remembered at some point during the Super Bowl tomorrow. He was a native Virginian and one we can all be proud of. This picture and more information about Dudley can be found in the Richmond Times Dispatch.
This picture is especially important to me. Imagine looking at it and seeing Old # 66 along side Bullet Bill Dudley. # 66 is quarterback Walt Smith, who was my dad. Old football players never die, they just fade away….
Good Old Song
That Good Old Song of Wahoowa,
We’ll sing it o’er and o’er.
It cheers our heart and warms the blood
To hear them shout and roar.
We come from old Virginia,
Where all is bright and gay.
Let’s all join hands and give a yell
For dear old UVa.
What though the tide of years may roll
And drift us far apart,
For Alma Mater still there’ll be
A place in ev’ry heart.
In college days we’ll sing her praise,
And so, when far away,
In memory we still shall be
At the dear old UVa.
(tune Auld Lang Syne)
Further reading about Bullet Bill Dudley
Richmond Times Dispatch
Bill Dudley Wikipedia