J. Grattan O’Connell, Class of 1920, played football and basketball at Bristol High before doing the same at Dean College.
He went on to enjoy a four-year football career at Boston College where he played both offense and defense without missing a single minute of play.
He recorded more career blocks and recovered more fumbles than any other BC player at that time and for his efforts was posthumously inducted into the school’s athletic Hall of Fame in 1971.
Following college, he played football for the famed Providence Steam Rollers and was player/coach of the Hartford Blues. He also became a respected football official.
He was a sports writer and cartoonist for the Hartford Courant while drawing a weekly cartoon for The Bristol Press. Upon his death at age 39 in1942, the most notable names in Connecticut sports were pallbearers at his largely-attended funeral.Watch The Video