March 18, 2010

Eskimos mourn the passing of Willie Manley (1926 – 2010)

Edmonton Eskimos
ESKS.com Staff

(Edmonton)  Willie Leon Manley, who played for the Edmonton Eskimos in 1953 & ’54, died Saturday at age 83 at his home in Austin, Texas.  A star at the University of Oklahoma, Manley was a childhood friend and later a high school and college teammate of  Darrell Royal who coached the Esks in 1953.  

Drafted by Green Bay, Manley spent two seasons with the Packers (1950 & ’51) and was the first player in team history to wear a jersey number in the #90’s.  After leaving the Esks in 1954, Manley jumped to the U.S. college coaching ranks with stops at Northeastern and Colgate before reuniting with Royal at Texas from 1996 – ’74.  Manley returned to the Longhorns for a second stint from 1977 – ’85. 

Predeceased by his wife, Johnnie in 2008, Manley is survived by his two sons, three grandchildren and 10 great grandchildren.