Philadelphia Bell
Founded 1974
Folded October 1975
Based in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Home field JFK Stadium
League World Football League
Division Eastern
Colors Blue & Gold          
Head coach Ron Waller (1974)
Willie Wood (1975)
Owner(s) John B. Kelly, Jr.
John Bosacco

The Philadelphia Bell was a franchise in the World Football League, which operated in 1974 and a portion of a season in 1975. The Bell played their home games at JFK Stadium in Philadelphia. The team logo was a representation of the Liberty Bell. At first the team seemed to be one of the WFL's most successful. However, it soon became known that their relatively large crowds were mostly the result of the distribution of free tickets, on a scale almost unprecedented in professional sports. Although the Bell continued to operate until the league folded, they never seemed to regain much credibility afterward with either the media or fans.

The Bell was one of just two WFL teams that maintained the same ownership in both 1974 and 1975. The group was headed by John B. Kelly, Jr., a respected business and sportsman in Philadelphia and part of the well-known Kelly family, which included his sister Grace Kelly, movie star turned Princess of Monaco. The major money contributor behind the ownership group was John Bosacco who came forward during the first season and took over the operations of the franchise. Bosacco believed that the WFL could survive as a league and he was instrumental in the removal of Gary Davidson as commissioner following the 1974 season. Ron Waller was hired as head coach in 1974. Waller was fired during training camp at Glassboro State University (now called Rowan University) in 1975. He was replaced by NFL Hall of Famer Willie Wood for the entirety of the 1975 season.[1]

Vince Papale, the inspiration for the 2006 film Invincible, played wide receiver for the Bell for two seasons prior to his two years with the Philadelphia Eagles.[2][3]


  1. "WFL Head Coach", Football Digest, August 1974 issue
  2. Vince Papale website
  3. # 83 Vince Papale of the Bell grabs a pass

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