Willie "Wonderful Willie" Richardson
- Position: End
- School: Jackson State
- High School: Greenville, MS (Coleman HS)
- Years: 1959-1962
- Inducted: 2003
- Place of Birth: Clarksdale, MS
- Date of Birth: Nov 17, 1939
- Place of Death: Jackson, MS
- Date of Death: Feb 08, 2016
- Jersey Number: 87
- Height: 6-1
- Weight: 198
Member BiographyThe son of a minister, Willie Richardson began playing
football without the approval of his father. The elder
Richardson found out about his son's playing by reading
his name in the newspaper.
When he came to Jackson State he was unable to play
quarterback due to a hand injury. As a freshman he
became a starter in the second game of the season after
Jackson State lost their opener 52-6.
Known as "Wonderful Willie," Willie Richardson became
one of the most honored players in the great history of
the Southwestern Athletic Conference. Richardson was
one of just a handful of players to be a four-time
member of the Pittsburgh Courier Black All-America
In addition, he was a three-time All-SWAC performer and
a two-time NAIA All-America. In his final two seasons
he led the Tigers to SWAC titles in 1961, and again the
following season as Jackson State claimed the Black
College National Championship.
On offense, Richardson caught 171 passes for 36
touchdowns while he played safety on defense.
At the end of his career, the city of Jackson held a
"Willie Richardson Day" that included a parade as part
of ceremonies that retired his jersey number and named
him the first inductee into the Jackson State Hall of
In the pros, Richardson was a seventh round selection
by the Baltimore Colts. With the Colts and Dolphins,
Richardson played eight seasons, catching 195 passes
for 25 touchdowns.