Bill Shepherd
Position:Running back
Personal information
Born:(1911-12-04)December 4, 1911
Clearfield, Pennsylvania
Died:March 8, 1967(1967-03-08) (aged 55)
Detroit, Michigan
Height:5 ft 9 in (1.75 m)
Weight:198 lb (90 kg)
Career information
High school:Clearfield (PA)
College:Western Maryland
Career history
* Boston Redskins (1935)
Career NFL statistics
Player stats at

William Leroy Shepherd (December 4, 1911 – March 8, 1967) was an American football player. He was All-American running back for Western Maryland College, now called McDaniel College and a four-time All-NFL selection in six years playing professionally in the National Football League (NFL) with the Boston Redskins and Detroit Lions.


Shepherd was describe as "heavy, strong, sawed-off (5′9″) running back who could be positioned at tailback or fullback alternately (and was a) productive pro passer." Shepherd was also known as being a great defensive player being "part of a vigorous defensive unit that shut out eight of its nine opponents, including all of the major foes: Villanova, Boston College, Catholic U, Georgetown and Bucknell.[1]

Football HighlightsEdit



All NFL Team[5]

Year Team Voters
1935 2nd GB Press-Gazette
1935 2nd United Press International
1937 2nd Collyers Eye Magazine
1938 1st Collyers Eye Magazine
1938 1st NY Daily News
1938 2nd Pro Football Writers Association
1939 2nd International News Service

All-American controversyEdit

According to James Mark Purcell, one of the founders of College Football Historical Society, Bill Shepherd, like many other players during his time, did not make the All-American Team due to politics. Purcell Explains that the coaches knew who he was as he was considered the best back the two All-star colleges games, while then 1st team all American Fred "Buzz" Borries only made it on as a reserve. He describe the situation in 1934 as "[would have been] politically impossible for even Jim Thorpe to get any All-America voter attention".[6] Purcell gives the example that only one All-American started in the Chicago all-star game. He implies that the reasons for this were due Buzz Borriess playing for Navy and that two other great running backs also for consideration were from Shepherd's home town, splitting the vote among the local writers.[1] Even Grantland Rice was quoted as saying that Shepherd was a better back then Buzz Borries and should have been on the all American team.[4]

See alsoEdit


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Purcell, Mark. "Unknown All-Starr." College Football Historical Society Newsletter. III.May (1999): 8-10. Web. 13 Jun. 2012. <>[dead link].
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Lighter, James E. Fearless and Bold. Westminster: McDaniel College, 2007. 334 Print
  3. 3.0 3.1 "All-Americans". McDaniel Athletics. Retrieved 2012-06-13.
  4. 4.0 4.1 Lighter, James E. Fearless and Bold. Westminster: McDaniel College, 2007. 334. Print
  5. "Bill Shepherd NFL Football Statistics". Retrieved 2012-06-13.
  6. Purcell, Mark. "Unknown All-Starr." College Football Historical Society Newsletter. III.May (1999): 9. Web. 13 Jun. 2012. <>[dead link].
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