William H. Neale, Jr., (Yale Class of 1925), was the youngest of six children. Neale, a member of the Connecticut Golf Hall of Fame, got his nickname as a youngster because he was “iddy-widdy” compared to his older brother Earle “Greasy” Neale who is in the College Football Hall of Fame.
At Parkersburg High School in West Virginia Widdy starred in football, baseball, basketball, and track. The football team was the state champion in 1916 and 1918 with Widdy performing as an All-State quarterback in 1916 and then as halfback in 1917 and 1918.
Widdy became a standout player at Yale, but it took a while to get there. He entered West Virginia University and played varsity football as a freshman in 1919. The Yale admissions committee was not impressed by his course of study in agriculture and horticulture and turned him down. He asked the committee to consider a delayed transfer. He attended Marietta College for a year and did not play any sports but achieved straight A’s!
Eventually, he was accepted as a delayed transfer and by 1922 he was playing halfback on the Yale football team before 80,000 fans in the eight-year-old Yale Bowl. The 1923 team, with Widdy and six other transfers, went untied and undefeated against the usual Ivy opponents, as well as North Carolina, Georgia, Maryland, and Army. Widdy also starred in baseball and basketball until his eligibility ran out. He graduated from Yale in 1925, married his high school sweetheart, and went to work.