Stallworth honored in Tuscaloosa

10/18/2012

Pro Football Hall of Fame wide receiver John Stallworth, a four-time Pro Bowl selection with the Pittsburgh Steelers, was honored Tuesday as a Hometown Hall of Famer™ by the Pro Football Hall of Fame and Allstate Insurance Company. A special plaque ceremony took place at Central High School in Tuscaloosa, Ala., in front of an audience of about 500 students, family, friends and local community members including two members of the Alabama House of Representatives.
 

 
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Presenting Stallworth with his plaque was his brother Spikey Howard who walked the audience through Stallworth’s accomplishments both on and off the football field. Some of Stallworth’s greatest accomplishments include the John Stallworth Foundation and the work he has done as a deacon in his church and as a member of 100 Black Men of America.
 
“I would like for you to view this plaque as a motivation,” said Stallworth. “You will have people tell you that you can’t do something. When you look at this plaque, please believe that you can. Don’t let anyone ever tell you that you can’t. If you’re willing to work hard at it, you can be whatever you want to be.”
 
Following the ceremony, Stallworth requested to speak with the Central High School football team. He met each individual player in the auditorium and reiterated his message of perseverance and his appreciation of the Tuscaloosa community.
 
“Don’t look at playing football as the road to the NFL but as the road to life,” said Stallworth. “Teamwork, discipline and organization are lessons that you can apply to your life and career choices that will serve you well. It is your on-the-job training so treat it that way.”
 
In addition to the plaque, a commemorative John Stallworth Hometown Hall of Famer™ road sign will be on display in Tuscaloosa.
 
Additional speakers included event emcee and Tuscaloosa City Schools Superintendent Dr. Paul McKendrick; Jay Barker, a Birmingham Allstate agent and former University of Alabama quarterback; and George Veras, president and CEO of Pro Football Hall of Fame Enterprises.
 
“I have been a part of this community for many years and I am proud to be here today,” said Barker. “I couldn’t be more privileged to recognize Pro Football Hall of Fame member John Stallworth and Central High School with a hometown plaque and commemorative road sign here today.”

 Veras shared, “This plaque was created to commemorate the strength and the spirit of the community that got John Stallworth on the road to Canton. When you see this plaque, you can say to yourself ‘I can be a Hall of Famer in any field I choose.’”

Following the ceremony, Stallworth requested to speak with the Central High School football team. He met each individual player in the auditorium and reiterated his message of perseverance and his appreciation of the Tuscaloosa community.
 
After serving as captain of the high school football team his senior year at Tuscaloosa High, John Stallworth continued his path at Alabama A&M University where he became the Bulldogs’ all-time leading receiver and a two-time All-Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference receiver.  
 
Known for his great leaping ability and excellent speed, Stallworth was selected by the Pittsburgh Steelers in the fourth round of the 1974 NFL Draft. After a rookie year as an understudy, he became a starter in his second season and held that job for the rest of his 165-game career. In his 14 seasons with the team, he caught 537 passes for 8,723 yards and 63 touchdowns, all Steelers team records at the time of his retirement. A veteran of six AFC championship games and four Steelers Super Bowl triumphs (IX, X, XIII, XIV), Stallworth scored the winning touchdown on a 73-yard reception against the Los Angeles Rams in Super Bowl XIV. Stallworth was named All-Pro in 1979, All-AFC in 1979 and 1984, and NFL Comeback Player of the Year in 1984. He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2002.

Watch ceremony highlights>>>



Stallworth, John
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