Born in 1962, William Anthony Perry became a household name in the NFL. He attended Aiken High School, South Carolina and at the age of 11 he weighed in at almost 200 lbs. Despite his size he was the sixth fasted high school football at 295 lbs. He had incredible power and agility that often gave him the advantage on the sporting field.
Clemson State University
In 1981 Perry won a scholarship with Clemson and played for the Tigers football team. He earned his nickname as a freshman in 1981 by player Ray Brown due to his large frame. Perry was recognized as an All-American in 1983.
Head coach Mike Ditka drafted the 'Fridge' in a first round pick. Defence co-ordinator Buddy Ryan called Perry a wasted pick. Ryan did not see eye to eye with Ditka, their relationship was caustic at best. The number 72 was not rated by Ryan but got his chance after trimming down from over 380lbs, he later became a big hit with the Bears faithful. Perry had 31 tackles and 5 sacks in his first season as a pro football player. The defensive tackle was often used as a blocker for Walter Payton.
In 1986 The Bears reached Super Bowl XX. Almost 74,000 spectators were packed into the Lousianna Superdome to witness the NFC champions route the AFC champions the New England Patriots 46-10. The Bears dominated from start to finish and William 'Fridge' Perry picked up a coveted Super Bowl ring.
Perry continued to be a regular for the Bears up until 1992 before he was traded to the Philadelphia Eagles. In a career that lasted from 1985 to 1993, Perry had over 500 tackles and 29.5 sacks.
In August of this year William Perry was at the centre of a death hoax. He broadcast to the world via twitter that he was indeed alive and well.
He will be remembered not only for his size but as one of the great characters that played football. One thing is for sure, he was one of a kind.
stats via pro-football-reference.