Obituary: Bill Saul / Steelers linebacker in 1960s, Butler High alum

Nov. 19, 1940 - Sept. 12, 2006

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In a 1968 rookie card for Bill Saul, the Butler sports hero is clad in a Baltimore Colts football jersey, though the label below his picture says "Pittsburgh Steelers."

That's how he will most be remembered around here.

Mr. Saul, who left his mark on a number of sports teams from grammar school through college and beyond, died Tuesday at his Baltimore home. He was 65.

The fame began to build in Butler High School, where he starred in football and set records in basketball for the Golden Tornadoes before he graduated in 1958.

Mr. Saul even dabbled in baseball before he went to college.

Over the next four years he played football and basketball at Penn State University.

He was drafted in 1962 by the Baltimore Colts as a linebacker.

He played with the Colts for two years before he was traded to the Steelers, where he played linebacker in 1964 and from 1966-68.

After an abbreviated season with the New Orleans Saints in 1969, Mr. Saul finished his career with a full season with the Detroit Lions.

Coming from a sizable family in Butler, Mr. Saul turned out to be a trailblazer for two of his brothers, twins Richard and Ronald Saul.

Richard played for the Los Angeles Rams and Ronald played for the Washington Redskins.

All three Saul brothers were honored in September 2004 as part of Butler High School football's inaugural Hometown Heroes program at Art Bernardi Stadium.

He is survived by two children, Clifton Saul and Gail Klaben, both of Baltimore; five brothers, Richard of Newport Beach, Calif.; Ronald of Charlestown, W.Va.; Craig of Butler; David of Winter Park, Fla.; and Raymond of Butler; three sisters, Mary Elizabeth Brandon of Franklin, Pa.; Jean Baxter of Butler; and Joan Schomer of Boardman, Ohio; and four grandchildren.

Services will be today at 10 a.m. at the Leonard J. Ruck Funeral Home, in Baltimore, Md.

Memorial contributions may be made to the American Cancer Society.

Jim McKinnon can be reached at or 412-263-1939.


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