SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Sports

April 9, 2014

Billy Ransom remembered as one of Beverly football's all-time greats

(Continued)

“He built a ski chalet in New Hampshire, and at that time I had just started skiing. I used to go up to ski at Loon and stay at his chalet. He’d come up later Friday night with his wife and two kids. By that time I’d have the fire going, and we’d always have a wonderful weekend skiing. Those were great times together.”

Ransom, who was called ‘Billy’ by everybody in Beverly, grew up in Danvers and spent a little more than a year-and-a-half there before attending Beverly High. According to his bio in the Beverly Athletic Hall of Fame, Ransom accumulated more than 4,000 rushing yards in his varsity football career between Danvers and Beverly.

After he came out of the service, he attended the University of Rhode Island before transferring to Boston University, graduating in 1960. Ransom got his Master’s degree in education and was a teacher/coach in Woburn, Gloucester and Conway, N.H., but most of his career was spent at Malden Catholic.

“He was a wonderful person and really enjoyed teaching,” said Beverly sports legend LeRoy ‘Red’ Hutt. “Billy was a fantastic athlete, a real natural.”

George Gagnan was a former St. John’s Prep football captain who went on to become the defensive coordinator at Malden Catholic under Ransom and remembers him fondly.

“Billy was a dear, dear friend. He was a disciplinarian and all the kids respected him,” Gagnan. “He was all about offense, but like Ted Williams (with hitting), everything came so easily for Billy that he couldn’t understand why others couldn’t do it.

“Last week I went to Dr. (Leon) Remis to have my eyes checked and got to talking football while I had drops put in my eyes. A man in the next cubicle overheard the conversation about Billy, who had just passed away. He told me he was 81, had played for Swampscott and said Billy was the fastest player he ever saw on the field.”

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