Eugene Neeley

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Eugene Neeley
Eugene Neeley.png
Neeley from The New York Times, October 1916
Date of birth (1896-02-09)February 9, 1896
Place of birth Comanche, Texas
Date of death December 2, 1949(1949-12-02) (aged 53)
Place of death Dallas, Texas
Career information
Position(s) Guard
College Dartmouth College
Career history
As player
1916–1917 Dartmouth
Career highlights and awards
Consensus All-American (1917)

Eugene Gentry "Guy" Neeley (February 9, 1896[1][2] – December 2, 1949) was an American football player. Despite having only one arm, he played college football at the guard position for Dartmouth College and was a consensus first-team selection to the 1917 College Football All-America Team.

Early years[edit]

Neeley was born in 1896 in Comanche, Texas,[2] and raised in Dallas, Texas.[3] His parents were Richard V. Neely and Opelia Gentry.[4] He lost his right arm in a hunting accident in approximately 1911.[3] His arm was cut off above the elbow.[5]


Neeley enrolled in Dartmouth College in 1915. Neeley played football for Dartmouth's freshman team in 1915. It was reported at the time that he was probably "the only one-armed football player in the country."[5]

Neeley then played for the Dartmouth Big Green football varsity team during the 1916 and 1917 football seasons. By October 1916, he had won a reputation as "the best man" in Dartmouth's line.[3] He reportedly used the stub of his severed right arm "with telling effect in blocking and straight arming."[6] Despite his handicap, he was also able to intercept and return a forward pass, later described by Life magazine as a "spectacular" play, during a game against West Virginia.[7][8] After the 1917 season, he was selected as a consensus first-team guard on the 1917 College Football All-America Team.[9]

Later years[edit]

After leaving Dartmouth, Neeley returned to Texas. He was married shortly after returning to Texas, and he and his wife Nell had two children, Stanley (born c. 1919) and Adele (born 1920).[10][11][12] In 1920, he was living in Comanche, Texas, working as an oil dealer.[10] In 1930, he was living in Dallas and working as a securities broker.[11] In 1940, he was living in Dallas and working as a loan agent for life insurance.[12] In 1942, he was employed by the Federal Housing Administration in Dallas.[2]

Neeley died in Dallas in 1949 at the age of 53.[4]


  1. ^ Draft registration card for Eugene Gentry Neeley, born Feb. 9, 1896, at Comanche, Texas, claim of exemption due to "one arm." U.S., World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917–1918 [database on-line].
  2. ^ a b c World War II draft registration card for Eugene Gentry Neeley, born Feb. 9, 1896, in Comanche, Texas.
  3. ^ a b c "Dartmouth Has One-Armed Player on 'Varsity Eleven". The New York Times. October 8, 1916. 
  4. ^ a b Death certificate for Eugene Gentry Neeley, born Feb. 9, 1896, died Dec. 2, 1949. Texas, Death Certificates, 1903–1982 [database on-line].
  5. ^ a b "One-Armed Football Player at Dartmouth". The Pittsburgh Press. October 27, 1915. p. Sports. 
  6. ^ "Crippled Athlete Often Makes Good". The Day. July 14, 1917. p. 10. 
  7. ^ Jean Libman Block (December 2, 1946). "Doctor Football: Stomach specialist is expert on gridiron facts". Life. p. 20. 
  8. ^ Horace Gibson Pender; Raymond Francis McPartlin (1923). Athletics at Dartmouth. Dartmouth College Athletic Council. (describing Neeley's interception and "the ensuing run" as "spectacular")
  9. ^ "2014 NCAA Football Records: Consensus All-America Selections" (PDF). National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA). 2014. p. 4. Retrieved August 16, 2014. 
  10. ^ a b 1920 U.S. Census for Eugene G. Neely, age 23, born in Texas. Census Place: Comanche, Comanche, Texas; Roll: T625_1789; Page: 4A; Enumeration District: 70; Image: 609. 1920 United States Federal Census [database on-line].
  11. ^ a b 1930 U.S. Census for E. G. Neeley, age 34, born in Texas. Census Place: Dallas, Dallas, Texas; Roll: 2318; Page: 41A; Enumeration District: 0067; Image: 83.0; FHL microfilm: 2342052. 1930 United States Federal Census [database on-line].
  12. ^ a b 1940 U.S. Census entry for Eugene G. Neeley, age 43, born in Texas. Census Place: Dallas, Dallas, Texas; Roll: T627_4172; Page: 61A; Enumeration District: 255-20. 1940 United States Federal Census [database on-line].