Bill Kelly (American football)

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Bill Kelly
Position: FB, HB, QB
Personal information
Date of birth: (1905-06-24)June 24, 1905
Place of birth: Denver, Colorado, U.S.
Date of death: November 14, 1931(1931-11-14) (aged 26)
Place of death: New York, New York, U.S.
Career information
College: Montana
Career history

William C. "Wild Bill" Kelly (June 24, 1905 – November 14, 1931) was a professional American football player. He was born in Denver, Colorado, but grew up in Missoula, Montana.

High school career[edit]

Kelly's legend started when he led Missoula High School to the school's first state championship in 1921.[1] The win made Kelly a local hero, and he was recruited to play for the hometown college, the University of Montana.

College career[edit]

It didn't take long for him to make his mark at the college level—as a sophomore, he ran 9 times for scores of longer than 40 yards. He played quarterback, but he was most noted for his skills as an open-field runner. He also performed as a kick returner and during his final two seasons he ran back 5 kickoffs, including 2 of more than 90 yards. Although his skills were legendary, he was not surrounded with enough talent at Montana to deliver a winning season during his college career. However, he provided the fans with more than their share of excitement. Importantly, Kelly never lost to rival Montana State University, leading the team to huge wins in 1925 and 1926. He scored a total of 7 touchdowns in the two games to go along with 4 interceptions.

In the 1927 East-West Shrine Game, Kelly threw the only touchdown pass of the day, which provided the margin of victory in a 7-3 win by West.

Professional career[edit]

After college, Kelly went on to play for the National Football League's New York Yankees, Frankford Yellow Jackets and Brooklyn Dodgers from 1927 through 1930.

Kelly collapsed suddenly and died while watching a football game in New York at the age of 26.

Awards and recognition[edit]

The College Football Hall of Fame inducted Kelly in 1969. In 1971, he was named as the quarterback of the East-West Shrine Game's all-time team.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Montana High School Association State Boys’ Football Champions of the Past, 1900–2006" (PDF). mhsa.org. Archived from the original (PDF) on August 8, 2008. Retrieved 2008-06-12. 

External links[edit]