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CHARLIE "CHOO CHOO" JUSTICE DIED 14 YEARS AGO TUESDAY---HE'S AN IMPORTANT PART OF OUR LEGACY AT WHKP---AS WE CELEBRATE OUR 71ST YEAR!

CHOO CHOO DIED 14 YEARS AGO TODAY (OCTOBER 17, 2003) AT THE AGE OF 79 AT HIS HOME IN CHERRYVILLE, NC.   

 Choo

HE'S IN THE PHOTO WITH UNC TEAM MATE ART WEINER ANOTHER FOOTBALL GREAT IN 1949    

On October 17, 2003, football star Charlie “Choo Choo” Justice died at his home in Cherryville at the age of 79. A native of Western North Carolina, Justice acquired his nickname in the Navy, into which he was drafted in 1943. Seeing him dodge tacklers for the Bainbridge Naval Training Center team, an officer remarked, “He looks like a runaway train. We ought to call him ‘Choo Choo.'”

After the war, Justice played for UNC, though many other college vied for his talents. From 1946 to 1949, while Justice played for the Tar Heels, the team had a record of 32-9-2, went to three bowl games and even achieved a number one ranking in the AP Top 10. Justice was named National Player of the Year in 1948, was runner up for the Heisman Trophy in 1948 and 1949 and remains in the record books at UNC for a number of achievements.

Justice played for the Washington Redskins in the National Football League in 1950 and again between 1952 and 1954, before retiring to work in the oil business and then in the insurance industry. He was inducted into the North Carolina Sports Hall of Fame in 1963.

Choo Choo was well known and liked in the Hendersonville area in the oil business and later in the insurance business.   And he was always a special friend to WHKP. 

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