Football Legend “Bullet Bill” Dudley

getStaticImage-24 - Version 2On this football Sunday, I thought we’d look back at a football legend who played his college ball at the University of Virginia.

Bill Dudley was just 16 years old when he started playing football at UVA.  Known as “Bullet Bill,” he played the positions of running back, punter, place-kicker, and even defensive back. He is seen in this photograph from the UVA Library, #35, carrying the ball for the Cavaliers.

In 1942 he would be drafted into the NFL, playing 9 seasons in total for the Pittsburgh Steelers, Detroit Lions, and Washington Redskins, taking time out of that career to serve his country in WWII.  Dudley made the Pro Bowl in all 9 of his professional football seasons. He is credited with scoring in almost every way you can score in football:  kick returns, rushing and receiving touchdowns, as well as place-kicking.

Bill Dudley died 4 years ago this week, at age 88.

getStaticImage-19Bill Dudley, circa 1941, as a local celebrity, escorts Hollywood actress Ruth Hussey to a film showing at the Paramount Theater in downtown Charlottesville. The buildings seen behind the crowd in this photo include what are today CVS Drugstore and Citizen Burger Bar.

getStaticImage-38News of Dudley’s football heroics for the Virginia Cavaliers is displayed in the window at The Corner Shop on University Avenue in this photograph from Dudley’s time at UVA.

Scott Stadium UVAScott Stadium how it looked during the Dudley era, with a capacity of over 20,000.

All photographs courtesy Special Collections, UVA Library, except Scott Stadium photo taken from a uncredited postcard image in the digital collection at Cv’ille Images.

One thought on “Football Legend “Bullet Bill” Dudley

  1. Thanks for the tribute, Steve. I know Daddy would be humbled by the remembrance. Thanks, too, for the photo of Scott Stadium in the ’40’s

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