William Shakespeare (American football)

William Shakespeare (American Football)

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William Shakespeare (American football)

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William Valentine Shakespeare (September 27, 1912 – January 17, 1974) was an American football player. He played at the halfback position, and also handled punting, for the Notre Dame Fighting Irish football teams from 1933 to 1935. He gained his greatest acclaim for throwing the winning touchdown pass as time ran off the clock in Notre Dame's 1935 victory over Ohio State, a game that was voted the best game in the first 100 years of college football. Shakespeare was selected as a consensus first-team All-American in 1935 and was posthumously inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1983. Sharing the same name as "The Bard of Avon", Shakespeare earned nicknames including "The Bard of Staten Island", "The Bard of South Bend", and "The Merchant of Menace."


Early years

Shakespeare was born on Staten Island, New York. The family claimed to be direct descendants of the famed writer William Shakespeare. The younger Shakespeare became a star football player at Staten Island's Port Richmond High School. He showed particular talent as a punter and later told reporters that he had trained his pet fox terrier to retrieve his punts as he practiced his technique.


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