Two Wildcat legends pass away over the weekend

07/17/2017 08:16 AM

Two former Kentucky Wildcats legends passed away over the weekend. Former Kentucky quarterback Vito “Babe” Parilli passed away on Saturday at the age of 87 and former Kentucky basketball player Jerry Bird died on Sunday at the age of 83.

Parilli led the Kentucky football team to the Orange, Sugar and Cotton Bowls in the 1949-1951 seasons. The Rochester, Pennsylvania native was a first-team All-American in 1950 and 1951. He had a historic career at Kentucky, throwing for 4,351 yards and 50 touchdowns. That led to his enshrinement into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1982. Parelli went on to play 18 professional football seasons.

Jerry Bird played for Kentucky and coach Adolph Rupp from 1954-1956. He helped lead Kentucky to two SEC titles in 1954 and 1955 and was a member of the 1954 team that was named national champions by Helms Athletic Foundation. In his career, Bird scored 713 points and grabbed 589 rebounds. He averaged 16.2 points and 11.3 rebounds in his final season at Kentucky. A public memorial service in Bird’s honor is planned for Saturday at 12:30 p.m. at Central Baptist Church in Corbin, Kentucky.

Clayton Abernathy

Clayton is a Producer for Spectrum News. He graduated with a Journalism degree from the University of Kentucky and he lives and breathes UK Basketball, making him the perfect fit to produce KSTV. That’s Kentucky’s only nightly half-hour show dedicated solely to UK sports. You can watch it weeknights at 7:30 and 11 on Spectrum News. Follow Clayton on twitter @ClaySTV1 to stay updated on the latest UK Basketball and recruiting news or to follow his amateur competitive eating endeavors. He once ate thirteen cheese Coney hot dogs in one sitting…on his lunch break.


Subscribe to email updates.

Subscribe and get the latest KSTV Sports info delivered to your inbox.