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Redskins Hall of Famer Dudley Passes Away

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Halfback Bill Dudley, who played three seasons in Washington in the early 1950s, has passed away at his home in Lynchburg, Va.

He was 88.

Dudley played for the Redskins in 1950-51 and 1953. In a 9-year NFL career, he was named first- or second-team All-NFL six times and was named to three Pro Bowls.

"We are deeply saddened to learn of Bill's passing," commented Hall of Fame President/Executive Director Steve Perry. "Perhaps as much as his greatness on the football field, we will remember Bill as a great friend and a true ambassador for the Pro Football Hall of Fame and the sport he loved."

"Bill never missed returning to the Hall of Fame each summer to welcome the new class of enshrinees. He truly appreciated being with the other members of his unique fraternity of football greats," Perry added. "On behalf of all of the Pro Football Hall of Famers, our Board and staff, we extend our deepest sympathies to Bill's wife Libba and their family at this difficult time."

Dudley was a native of Bluefield, Va. The first NFL team he saw play as a youth was the Redskins and he said in later years that playing for the franchise was a "dream come true."

He also said that playing alongside Redskins legend and fellow Hall of Famer Sammy Baugh was a thrill.

Dudley was a standout football player at the University of Virginia. He was the first player from the University of Virginia to earn All-American honors and was later inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame.

Dudley entered the NFL as a first-round draft pick in 1942 with the Pittsburgh Steelers.

He would play three seasons each with the Steelers, Detroit Lions and Redskins. (He served in the military in 1943-44 and did not play in the NFL those years.)

At 5-10 and 182 pounds, Dudley made his mark at every stop. He would become known as "Bullet Bill," not because he was exceptionally fast but because he was always right on target.

In 1946, while playing for the Steelers, Dudley led the league in rushing, punt returns and interceptions. He was named the NFL's Most Valuable player award that year.

Dudley played for the Lions from 1947-49, and then he was traded to the Redskins in 1950. He took a hiatus from playing football in 1952.

During his years in Washington, Dudley led the Redskins in scoring each season.

During one memorable play in the burgundy and gold, Dudley caught a punt that was heading out of bounds at the 4-yard line, kept his feet in play and then raced straight upfield for a 96-yard touchdown return.

Dudley amassed more than 8,200 combined yards, intercepted 23 passes and scored 478 points in his career.

His most impressive career statistic may be that he led his team in scoring in each of his nine NFL seasons.

Along with earning induction into the Hall of Fame, Dudley was also named one of the 70 Greatest Redskins in 2002. He was also named to the team's Ring of Fame at FedExField.

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