Saturday, December 26, 2015

To Absent Friends - Ray Matthews

The busyness of the Christmas Holiday caused a delay in me commenting on the death of former Pittsburgh Steeler Ray Matthews this past week at the age of 86.

Ray Matthews

The name of Ray Matthews goes back to my earliest days of awareness of the Pittsburgh Steelers.  Matthews played for the Steelers from 1951 to 1959, and finished his playing career after spending the 1960 season with the expansion Dallas Cowboys.  In his ten year career, Matthews scored a total of 45 touchdowns as a wide receiver, and can no doubt be considered one of the best of the Pre-Merger Era Steelers.

What I didn't know was that Matthews was a local guy.  He went to McKeesport High School before going on to star at Clemson University (he is a member of Clemson's Sports Hall of Fame).  After his playing days, he went on to coach in Canada and the NFL, and also had a stint as head coach in the WPIAL at Braddock High School for several years.

The death of a guy like Ray Matthews makes you realize that in the days before Chuck Noll came on board, the Steelers, even if they seldom fielded very good teams, had a lot of pretty good players.

RIP Ray Matthews.

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