In 1970, inspired by the 50th Anniversary of the Attleboro/ North Attleboro Thanksgiving Day rivalry, Attleboro High School Athletic Director Bill Madden organized a commemorative banquet that brought together former football players, coaches, and friends from the Attleboro area. The evening was such a huge success that it was suggested that an Attleboro Area Football Hall of Fame, and annual induction ceremony, would be a great way to establish another Thanksgiving time football tradition. A committee of supporters from the three area high schools was formed, and Bucky Gay was selected to serve as the Hall’s first chairman. Nominations of former players, coaches and supporters from Attleboro, North Attleboro, and Bishop Feehan high schools were solicited from the public through the Attleboro Sun and the first annual induction ceremony was held on November 23, 1971.
Any tradition that endures the span of 44 years is the result of the hard work and generosity of many dedicated individuals. In the all important early years, local businessman Jim “Shorty” Lee donated the staff, the facilities at the Stone Ends restaurant, and all of the food enjoyed by hundreds of guests for the first nine years. In 1980, when the banquet outgrew the restaurant, it was moved to the current facility donated by the Attleboro Lodge of Elks. For many years, Irma Rigby and her sister Elsie Reid spent hours decorating the hall with banners and flowers. As the tradition continued, new committee members from each of the high schools, organized by Chairman Jim Gravel, worked diligently year after year to research records of players and coaches and complete the difficult task of selecting those individuals that contributed the most to their teams. As a result of these efforts, 498 members have been selected to the Attleboro Area Football Hall of Fame, representing 94 years of area football and thousands of players, coaches, and supporters.