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12 Bert Johnson

Bert Johnson
Hometown (Last School)
Ashland, KY (High)
February 18, 1912

Obituary – Bert Johnson, UK football star in 1930s who went pro, dies at 81, Lexington Herald-Leader (August 11, 1993) by Herald-Leader Staff

Bert Edward Johnson, one of the best running backs to play football for the University of Kentucky, died yesterday at Lexington Manor Health Care Facility. He was 81.

Mr. Johnson, who played professional football for Brooklyn, the Chicago Bears under legendary Coach George Halas, the Chicago Cardinals and the Philadelphia Eagles, was on the UK Wildcat team in the 1930s.

The Ashland native, who was sought by many colleges, was known for being able to gain full speed quickly. He scored a school-record 247 points at Ashland High School. While on the team he was All-State twice and All-South once, and was the third athlete to be selected for the Ashland Sports Hall of Fame.

Mr. Johnson was UK’s second All-Southeastern Conference player, following Ralph Kercheval.

Mr. Johnson, whose nickname at UK was Man o’ War, had said that the personal highlight of his college football days came in the 1934 season when he scored two touchdowns against Alabama – one on a 69-yard run. Alabama allowed only three other touchdowns in an unbeaten season and went on to win the Rose Bowl.

He played professional football for six seasons. While playing for the Bears he had a 50-yard run. He had another 50-yarder for Brooklyn in an exhibition game in Louisville.

Mr. Johnson was a former Brown & Williamson Tobacco Co. employee.

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