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Earl Tanner Britton

Inducted 1980

Elgin High School Class of 1922


Many consider Earl Tanner Britton, who earned 12 letters in major sports at Elgin High School from 1919-22, to have been the most versatile athlete in Elgin’s history.  He was the fullback on the Elgin High School  football teams which compiled a  four year aggregate record of 23-7-3.  In 1921 he scored seven touchdowns in a single game and finished the season with 157 points, an EHS record that stands today.  Earl  was a sprinter, high jumper and relay anchor on the school’s track teams, and was center on the basketball team and its leading scorer for two seasons (1920-21 and 1921-22).  During the summers “Britt” could be found swinging a bat on baseball diamonds around the city.  His football ability led him to the University of Illinois and in 1923, 24 and 25 he was blocking back for the immortal Harold “Red” Grange.  He also excelled at kicking field goals; in 1923 he preserved an undefeated season for the Illini by booting one 55 yards.  His coach, Bob Zuppke, called Britton

“one of the greatest punters and place kickers of all time.”  He left Illinois at the close of its football season in 1925, his senior year, to play professional football with the Chicago Bears.  He played pro ball for the Brooklyn Lions 1926, Frankford Yellowjackets 1927, Dayton Triangles 1928, and the Chicago Cardinals in 1929.