Ed Healey

  • Rock Iceland Independents (1920-1922)
  • Chicago Bears (1922-1927)

Edward "Ed" Francis Healey, Junior ( born December 28, 1894 in Indian Orchand, Massachusetts, USA, † December 9, 1978, South Bend, Indiana) Nickname: Big Ed, was an American Football player and coach. He played mostly as a offensive tackle. He was the first player in American football, for the change of club a transfer fee has been paid.


Healey comes from a humble background. He attended the Springfield Classical High School in Springfield and grew up on a farm outside of Springfield. He had eight brothers and sisters. Already at the school fell on the athletic stature of Healey. At the request of the local coach he played with his father's permission already in high school American football. His father, who described himself as uneducated and hoped for a better life for his son, was therefore willing to support after his graduation this, as he was offered a scholarship.

Playing career

College Players

1914 Healey studied at the College of Holy Cross, but broke after a year of his studies. In 1916, he then joined the Dartmouth College, but had to interrupt his 1918 study lasting three years, due to his military service in the First World War in the U.S. Army, but it continued after the end of the war in 1919. A great sensation was not achieved as a player of the college football team Healey. He was mainly used as an end and his performances were average at that position. After his studies, he first had to make no prospects as a professional or semi- professional football playing career. He was across the country in search of a job on the road and wanted to try to Omaha to get such a case of a railway company, when he was informed by the former player of the University of Nebraska Ed Shaw on a newly formed Football League. He even inquired about the nearest location - Rock Iceland - and decided there to give it a start as a professional player.

Professional players

1920 the already played in another league rock Iceland Independents of the newly established NFL had joined. The strong and great Ed Healey, however, was not used as an end, but retrained as an offensive tackle. This was his breakthrough as a professional player. In 1922 he was discovered in the course of the season by George Halas, then coach of the Chicago Bears during a game the Bears against the Independents and committed for a transfer fee of 100 U.S. dollars. He was the first professional football for the club change a transfer fee has been paid. For Healey had the change benefits. While the circumstances were very humble in his former team, the local stadium did not have his team showers and played often without a coach, he took showers at Wrigley Field, the former home of the Bears, before and Halas, the Bears also had an outstanding coach. He himself referred in Chicago a salary of initially 100 U.S. dollars per game, but the Bears offered him initially only $ 75 content. Throughout his career, Healey was again significantly increase its income. The obligation of Healey was a stroke of luck for the Bears. Healey was responsible for the protection of its quarterbacks and had not the task freizublocken own running backs the way into the opponent's end zone. He mastered this task with flying colors and was elected in all game years, he performed in Chicago for All- Pro.

The fast Healey it was, who was responsible for two of the most spectacular moves of NFL history. In 1924 he tackelte a teammate immediately before the own end zone, who had caught an interception, but then ran with the ball in the wrong direction. Two years later he started from an opposing running back, which was broken by the Defense of the Bears. In order to catch up with the player still, Healey had as a hurdler over several players jump and could thereby prevent of almost certain touchdown of the Los Angeles Buccaneers yet.

In 1924 the Bears crowned itself to (though unofficial ) champion. They had the Cleveland Bulldogs defeated on December 7, 1924. Since the NFL was, however, assumed that the season had ended on 30 November 1924, the team from Cleveland was named the champion.

In 1926, his teammate Red Grange to the New York Yankees and Healey received by CC Pyle, the owner of the football team, who were playing in a competitive league of the NFL in 1926, an offer of a contract with an income of $ 10,000 per year. At this time he earned in Chicago $ 150 per game, which corresponded to an income of 1500 U.S. dollars for a season. His teammate, later a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame Paddy Driscoll, 1926 was the highest paid player in Chicago - he received $ 5000 in a game round. Healey, the Pyle anyway did not like and did not trust, Halas informed about the contract offer and it was agreed to increase the income of the offensive tackles significantly, with the exact sum was never released.

1927 Healey ended his career.

After playing career / coaching career

Healey worked after his playing career as a businessman and had representatives from different companies. As mentioned before in his career he was constantly in the U.S. on the road and moved here several times the place of residence and the workplace. He remained in American football continues to faithfully and was passing assistant coach at the University of Notre Dame and Creighton University as well as the trainer for various high school teams. Healey died at the age of 83 years and is on the Calvary Cemetery in Niles, Michigan, buried.


Healey is a member of the NFL 1920s All- Decade Team in the Pro Football Hall of Fame and the College Football Hall of Fame. He was five times voted All- Pro.