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Lynchburg historical marker honors “Shoeless Wonders” football team

LYNCHBURG, Va. (WDBJ7) A Lynchburg football team that garnered national attention for its unusually way of playing the sport is being recognized with a permanent landmark in their hometown.

A historical marker was unveiled along Peakland Place Saturday afternoon, honoring the "Shoeless Wonders."

The Shoeless Wonders were a group of orphans at The Presbyterian Home in Lynchburg, who earned headlines for winning football games in the 1920’s while playing barefoot.

The tradition of playing football without shoes lived on at The Presbyterian Home for many years, and today some living members of those later teams were on hand for the marker dedication.

"The fact that the Virginia Department of Historical Resources has decided to make this marker available will mean that the Shoeless Wonders will live beyond our passing tradition. It will be here for everyone to see," said Hugh Stallard, a Presbyterian Home alumni who played for the "Shoeless Wonders" in the 1940’s and 50’s.

An independent feature film that tells the Shoeless Wonders’ story is currently in development. A website for the project states filming is projected to start this fall.

Saturday’s marker dedication was part of Homecoming Weekend events at the Presbyterian Home, which is now a non-profit called HumanKind that offers financial education, mental health counseling, early childhood resources, resources for adults with disabilities, and other services for nearly 7,000 people throughout Virginia. You can learn more about the organization by visiting www.humankind.org

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