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Neale, Alfred Earlelocked

(05 November 1891–02 November 1973)
  • Douglas A. Noverr

Extract

Neale, Alfred Earle (05 November 1891–02 November 1973), college and professional athlete and coach, was born in Parkersburg, West Virginia, the son of William Henry Neale, a wholesale produce operator, and Irene T. Fairfax. Called “Greasy” as a retort by a childhood friend whom Neale had called “Dirty,” the nickname stuck, and Neale enjoyed its use by all who knew him throughout his life. At the age of ten Neale went to work setting pins in a bowling alley and selling newspapers. After the eighth grade he left school and took a job with the Parkersburg Iron & Steel Co. He resumed his education in high school two years later and became a star in football, even coaching the team during his sophomore year. During the summers he played on neighborhood and then semiprofessional baseball teams; he was offered his first professional contract in the summer of 1912. He played briefly with Altoona, Pennsylvania, in the Tri-State League and then with two Ontario clubs in the Canadian League before enrolling at West Virginia Wesleyan in the fall of that year. There he became a three-sport athlete, starring as an end in football and helping his team defeat rival West Virginia University in 1912 and 1913. In college Neale met two people who would play important roles in his life: John Kellison, a football teammate who became his closest long-term friend and who served as his assistant coach on five different football teams, and Genevieve Horner, a coed at Wesleyan whom he married during the summer of 1915. They had no children....

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