Widow of legendary football star releasing tell all book - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Widow of legendary football star releasing tell all book

The widow of a legendary football star says she hopes a new book will release her husband of the demons he carried most of his life. Bobby Hoppe died in 2008. At the age of 73.

Hoppe was a running back at central high school in the 1950's and went on to play for Auburn. He made headlines off the field in 19 88.When he stood trial for murdering a moonshine runner some 30-years prior.

A judge declared mistrial. But, the accusations followed him his entire life.

Under his pads stood an All-SEC halfback, easily one of Chattanooga's all-time best athletes, Bobby Hoppe. On top of those pads stood the weight of the world.

His widow Sherry Hoppe said, "he tortured himself for killing another man, even though it was in self defense. He had taken another mans life and he had a very hard time living with himself."

Sherry Hoppe said Bobby spent 31 years battling demons. Only a minister he confided in, knew what happened to his sisters ex-lover on that hot July Chattanooga night in 1957.

31 years later that minister broke his silence, which lead to 1st degree murder charges in 1988. It was year before that, when he finally told his wife the truth.

"He looked me in the eye and said I killed Don Hudson. It was a difficult time for him to unburden his soul for the first time, other than the minister," said Sherry.

Right away, she saw the relief in his eyes, she saw even more when he testified in court.

Sherry said, "he took the stand and testified for seven and a half hours, and told the world I killed Don Hudson in self defense."

The jury could not come to a decision, charges were ultimately dismissed.

Bobby continued his search for internal peace, in 2000, 8 years before his death, he traveled to Israel to walk where Jesus had.

"I think that trip, for the first time allowed him to totally accept forgiveness," said Sherry.

A man dead, football legend, and murder charges, it's one wild story and sherry's ready to share it all in her new book.

Sherry said, "people thought they new the inside story, they don't. This book is the unvarnished truth about what happened."

 

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