If you claim to be a big fan of American football, you must know the legendary names in the history of this sport. These legendary athletes continue to be an inspiration not only to soccer fans, but to aspiring players and athletes in general. The Pro Football Hall of Fame, selected each year by a committee in Canton Ohio, honors players and coaches who have made a special contribution to football. Meeting players and coaches past and present will give you a deeper appreciation of the sport. Below are some of the most respected paymasters and coaches in American football history.

lance alworth

The first professional football player from the AFL (American Football League) to be honored in the Pro Football Hall of Fame, Lance Alworth was one of the star players for the San Diego Chargers, joining the team in 1961. He later played for the Dallas Cowboys for the last two years of his career. When he retired, he had caught 542 passes and rushed for a whopping 10,266 yards.

Bill Dudley

Bill Dudley, who earned the nickname “the bullet” during his college days at the University of Virginia, was famous for never missing his target. In 1942, he was invited to join the Pittsburgh Steelers and, during his first season, he was named Rookie of the Year. Bill Dudley enlisted in the armed forces during World War II, but returned in 1945 just in time for football season.

George Hallas

Aptly nicknamed “Mr. Everything” for his many talents, George Halas became a renowned Chicago Bears football player as well as a Bears manager and coach during his lifetime. Each year, football teams compete in the NFC Championship Game for the George Halas Trophy.

vince lombardy

One of the most famous football coaches in the history of the sport, Vince Lombardi brought the Green Bay Packers countless victories. Retiring as coach in 1968, he was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1971. Football’s most coveted award, the Super Bowl Trophy, is named after him.

walter payton

Walter Payton caught the attention of major figures in professional football during his college days at Jackson State University, where he is said to have single-handedly scored 46 points in one game. During the 1975 draft, he was invited to play in the first round for the Chicago Bears. OVER the course of his thirteen-year career, he rushed for a total of 16,276 yards, making him the most successful running back in NFL history.

OJ Simpson

Born in 1947, Orenthal James Jones had a successful college football career and won the Heisman Trophy in 1968 by the largest margin in history. In 1969, he was the first player to be drafted into the NFL and became one of the greatest running backs in history. He was named NFL Player of the Year four times, in 1972, 1973, 1975 and 1976. OJ Simpson retired and pursued a career as an actor and broadcaster and in 1994 was convicted and acquitted of the murder of his ex-wife. Nicole Brown and her friend Ronal Goldman.