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Published: Wednesday, 8/15/2007

Toledo's Shoe Bowl will continue to give

BY DONALD EMMONS
BLADE SPORTS WRITER
Hilton Murphy not only was the father of the Shoe Bowl, but he also designed its trophy, a size 14 bronze shoe. Hilton Murphy not only was the father of the Shoe Bowl, but he also designed its trophy, a size 14 bronze shoe.
JETTA FRASER/THE TOLEDO BLADE / THE BLADE/JETTA FRASER Enlarge | Buy This Photo

Helping those in need was the reason for the first Shoe Bowl.

Hilton Murphy is credited with coming up with the football event that helps supply students in need of shoes and coats. Murphy, 90, was instrumental in organizing the first Shoe Bowl in 1949 and plans to be in attendance for the upcoming preseason affair scheduled Friday night at the Glass Bowl.

"I didn't make it last year, but I will be there this year," said Murphy, a former Toledo Public Schools athletic commissioner and legendary DeVilbiss football coach.

The lineup for this year's football tripleheader begins with Start facing Waite at 5:05, followed by Scott meeting Bedford and St. John's Jesuit taking on Anthony Wayne. Each of the matchups will consist of two 15-minute quarters. A turnout of approximately 4,500 helped the organizers, the Old Newsboys Goodfellow Association, break even financially a year ago, which was the first year for the event since the early 1990s.

Tedd Long of the Old News boys said they are expecting a better turnout this year.

"This has been tremendous for us. Last year we were not sure how many people would show up and 4,500 showed up," Long said. "We're in a position now that it's a classic and we can select who is going to play in it."

All proceeds raised from the event will be used to supply area children with clothes and shoes. That was the impetus behind the game decades ago when the Shoe Bowl was a game on Thanksgiving morning between two City League teams playing for the league championship.

The end of the Thanksgiving Day game came shortly after the establishment of the state football playoffs. Eventually the Old Newsboys adjusted and made the Shoe Bowl a preseason showcase for several teams.

The Shoe Bowl had not taken place for nearly two decades before last season when the Old Newsboys brought the event back. It was a decision that pleased one of the group's oldest members.

"It's a great thing to have the Shoe Bowl back because there was much work put into it [through the years]," Murphy said. "It brings back a lot of great memories."

Besides coming up with the concept for the Shoe Bowl, Murphy also designed the Shoe Bowl trophy - a trophy with a bronze shoe mounted on top. The shoe, which is a size 14, was an actual football shoe used by a Start player.

In recognition of Murphy's contributions to the Old Newsboys organization and involvement with the Shoe Bowl and high school athletics, the Old Newsboys high school football player of the year trophy awarded at the end of the season will be named the Hilton Murphy Trophy beginning this season.

"For us, he's kind of the godfather of the Shoe Bowl," Long said. "Without him it would have never happened.

"He was the kind of person who had the great reputation that if you knew he was involved in something you'd offer your support."

The Old Newsboys Goodfellow Association is celebrating more than 75 years of serving those in need in northwestern Ohio. It is a 100 percent charity organization with more than 600 active and life members actively helping needy children since 1929. The men and women of the Old Newsboys come from all walks of life, but their common bond is compassion for children suffering under poverty or neglect.

This year's Shoe Bowl Football Classic is presented by Columbia Gas.

Contact Donald Emmons at: demmons@theblade.com or 419-724-6302.



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