Today is New Year’s Eve and it is also a day to remember Dave Allerdice on the seventy-fifth anniversary of his death. David Way Allerdice left his family, friends and Michigan teammates on this day in 1941. He was only fifty-four years of age when he died.
Dave Allerdice grew up in Indiana, but he chose to become a Michigan Man when he arrived in Ann Arbor to play football for Fielding Yost. The 1907 Michigan Football Roster listed his hometown as Indianapolis, Indiana. Allerdice was listed as a halfback, but he did a lot more than that. He played defensive back and also punted and performed placekicking duties for Yost’s Wolverines.
Dave Allerdice was not listed on the 1906 roster, but was listed as the Class of 1910 on the 1907 roster. He must have sat out his freshman season for a reason that is unknown to me! He was good enough to play in 1907. In fact, he started three games at right halfback and earned his first letter in 1907.
Fielding Yost took a liking to the versatile Allerdice. He started fourteen of his next fifteen games at Michgian. Allerdice was Michigan’s leading scorer in 1908 and 1909. He was a triple-threat player who could beat you in many different ways.
Dave Allerdice played on the 1907, 1908 and 1909 Michigan football teams. These were the first three seasons that Michigan was not in the Western Conference. So, there was no championship to play for. During the “Allerdice Years,” the Wolverines posted a record of 16 wins, 4 losses and 1 tie.
Allerdice received one of the greatest honors a Michigan football player can receive when he was selected as the captain of the 1909 team. He helped lead the Wolverines to six wins in sevengames that season. Dave was good enough to earn some All-American recognition, but not from the “big boys” of college football at the time. Unfortunately, his honors are not recognized by the Michigan Athletic Department.
There is no doubt that Dave Allerdice had a successful football career at Michigan. He played for the legendary Fielding Yost and earned three varsity letters. Mr. Allerdice played well on three very good Michigan football teams. He was an important part of the transition years that saw the Wolverines leave the conference in 1907 and not return until 1917.
So, on the seventy-fifth of his death, let us remember David Way Allerdice and celebrate his contributions to the great history that is Michigan football. He was a special player on teams # 28, 29 and 30. May he always rest in peace. Go Blue!