Hall of Fame - Inductee Detail

Walter "Eckie" Eckersall

Walter "Eckie" Eckersall

Details

  • Position: Quarterback
  • School: Chicago
  • High School: Chicago, IL (Hyde Park HS)
  • Years: 1903-1906
  • Inducted: 1951
  • Place of Birth: Chicago, IL
  • Date of Birth: Jun 17, 1886
  • Place of Death: Chicago, IL
  • Date of Death: Mar 24, 1930
  • Height: 5-7
  • Weight: 141

Member Biography

"The first time I learned a football was not only something to kick, but something to think with, was when I saw a great football player in action for the first time." Those were the words of the legendary Knute Rockne, and he spoke of Walter Eckersall. Rockne had seen the great Chicago quarterback playing in a high school all-star game in 1900. Rockne was just a youngster and Eckersall became his hero. Indeed, Rockne could not have picked a better idol. Eckersall was the leader on coach Amos Alonzo Stagg's great Chicago teams at the turn of the 20th century. Eckersall was a fast, slippery runner and an exceptional kicker. It was his coffin- corner punts which were credited as the death-blows to Michigan's 56-game winning streak when the Maroons downed the Wolverines, 2-0, in 1905. Several seasons later, after Rockne became the head coach at Notre Dame, Knute discovered Eckersall was slated to referee an Irish game in Chicago. "I've been waiting years for this," Rockne said to Eckersall. "For what?" Eckersall wanted to know. "To shake your hand.", Rockne blurted, quick to relay his memories of that high school all-star game so many years before. "Stop! Stop!", Eckersall interrupted, "Or Notre Dame will be penalized five yards for speech making." Rockne loved that story.