Roy Riegels, whose wrong-way run during the 1929 Rose Bowl game ranks among the most famous plays in football history, died Friday in his sleep at his home in Woodland, Calif. He was 83.
Riegels was the California center when he picked up a Georgia Tech fumble on Tech's 20-yard-line, spun around and ran in the wrong direction toward his own goal. California quarterback Benny Lom, sensing what was wrong, pursued Riegels, but could not catch him until he reached the one-yard-line.
On the next play, Lom's punt was blocked for a safety, which turned out to be the decisive margin in an 8-7 Cal loss.
Riegels was elected captain of the Cal team the next season and was voted to the Associated Press All-American team. In 1991, Riegels was inducted into the Rose Bowl Hall of Fame. He was president of an agricultural chemicals dealership in Woodland for 20 years before retiring in 1976.
Survivors include a sister, Dora Riegels of Upper Lake, Calif.; daughters Alexa Richmond and Helen Mackey of East Calais, Vt., and sons David of Sacramento and Richard of Kailua, Hawaii. He is also survived by 10 grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.