Wisconsin Football Countdown: No. 83, Allan Shafer


As the countdown to the first Wisconsin football game of the season continues, Badger of Honor is taking a look at Badgers by the numbers, checking in on a different Badger or Badgers players who wore the number corresponding with the remaining days until the Badgers head to Texas to take on the Alabama Crimson Tide Saturday, Sept. 5.

Next up in our countdown, signifying 83 days until college football is back, is Allan Shafer.

There’s not much information available about Allan Shafer, who spent only one season at UW — 1944 — for a tragic reason.

According to UWBadgers.com, Shafer died after sustaining an injury during a game against Iowa.

Wisconsin Badgers
Wisconsin Badgers /

Wisconsin Badgers

According to the article, Shafer was an all-conference and all-city high school center at Madison West High School. He delayed enrollment into the Naval Academy, opting to study engineering at Wisconsin.

He quickly became the starting quarterback after changing positions, and ultimately died as a result of injuries sustained on the field.

He was 17 years old.

Following his death, the No. 83 was retired in his honor, his family founded the Allan Shafer Memorial Fund, and UW-Madison created the Allan J. Shafer, Jr. Memorial Award in his honor, an award that is given to students — typically football players — based on both academic achievement and citizenship.

Today you can see Shafer’s No. 83 on the wall at Camp Randall, in between Pat Richter’s No. 88 and Dave Schreiner’s No. 80.

Who wore No. 83 first?

• Guard Whitney Slabaugh first wore No. 83 in 1934.

Who wore No. last?

• Shafer was the last Badger to wear No. 83. Only six Badgers wore No. 83: Slabaugh (1934), end Vernon Peak (1937), running back Robert Cone (1939), end Robert Hanzlik (1942), running back Joh Lutz (1943), and Shafer.

Stay tuned to Badger of Honor as we continue our daily countdown in preparation of the season opener against Alabama.

Next: Wisconsin Football Experience

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