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Tuesday, January 1, 2002
Wells remembered for 1954 Rose Bowl
Associated Press

LOS ANGELES -- Billy Wells, the star of the 1954 Rose Bowl for Michigan State and later an NFL player, died at 70.

He died Christmas Day at his home in suburban Altadena, longtime friend Palmer Casey said Monday.

Wells, a halfback for Clarence "Biggie" Munn's Michigan State team, scored two touchdowns -- one a 62-yard punt return in the fourth quarter -- in the Spartans' 28-20 victory over UCLA in the Rose Bowl 38 years ago. Michigan State had rallied from a 14-0 deficit before a crowd of 101,100.

"Biggie Munn was like a father to him," Casey said. "After the punt return, as he was running to the bench, he said, `That was for you, Biggie."'

Wells joined the NFL in 1954 and played for Washington, Pittsburgh and Philadelphia. His last year was in 1960 with the Patriots of the AFL.

In 1961, Wells and Casey founded Billy And His Bachelors, a Dixieland band. Casey said the band played at social functions in the Southern California area.

"Billy was my best friend for over 40 years," Casey said. "He was the leader of our band, a banjo player and singer."

Wells is survived by a son, Chris Wells, and daughters Becca Rosen and Scottie Wells.

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