William Thomas “Tommy” Brooker, an outstanding tight end and placekicker on Alabama’s 1961 national championship team who later became a founding member of the school’s “A” Club Educational and Charitable Foundation and a prominent Tuscaloosa businessman, died on September 21st after a long illness. He was 79 years old.
A memorial service will be held on Sunday, September 29, 2019, at Forest Lake United Methodist Church (1711 4th Avenue) at 2:30pm with Pastor Kevin Thomas officiating. Magnolia Chapel South is in charge of arrangements.
He is preceded in death by his wife; Margaret Perry Brooker, mother; Eleanor Eloise May Brooker, father; Clarence Edwin Brooker, Sr.
Survivors include his four sons; William Todd Brooker (Liza), of Austin, Texas, Patrick Blake Brooker (Stacy), of Waverly, Texas, Ralph Brantley Newton (Cheryl), of Lincoln, Alabama, and Richard Keith Newton of Tuscaloosa, sister; Eleanor Brooker (Harold) of Demopolis, Al., brother; Clarence E. Brooker, Jr. (Jackie), of Gallion, Al., ten grandchildren; Jordan Brooker, Kylie Brooker, and Libby Brooker of Austin, Texas, Emma Brooker Reeves, Ellie Brooker, and Luke Brooker of Waverly, Texas, Gavilyn Newton and Steele Newton of Lincoln, Al., Tyler Newton and Riley Newton of Tuscaloosa.
Born October 31, 1939 in Demopolis, Tommy was a very busy kid keeping up with chores, school, sports and his siblings Junior and Eleanor. He excelled as a multi-sport athlete in high school and became part of coach Paul “Bear” Bryant’s first Alabama recruiting class in 1958. That group, which also included Pat Trammell, Billy Neighbors, Bill Oliver and Mal Moore, among others, teamed up to lead the Crimson Tide to a national championship in their senior season of 1961. Tommy was also an Academic All-American at Alabama.
After college, Tommy was drafted by the Dallas Texans from the upstart professional American Football League in 1962. He played five seasons with the Texans (who became the Kansas City Chiefs in 1963), highlighted with Tommy kicking a 25-yard game-winning field goal in the second overtime of the 1962 AFL Championship game. During his pro career, Tommy kicked 149 consecutive extra points (never missed), scored 3 touchdowns, and was a part of the Chiefs team that lost the first Super Bowl in 1967 to a Vince Lombardi led Green Bay Packers team quarterbacked by Bart Starr.
After his football career ended, Brooker returned to Tuscaloosa to start his family with first wife Frances Wells. Their two boys, Todd and Blake, were born in 1967 and 1969, and enjoyed growing up around the Alabama football program as Tommy also served as a volunteer kickers coach for 15 years under Bryant and Ray Perkins. Tommy also started up a construction business, and later transitioned into running Tommy Brooker Realty & Insurance in Tuscaloosa, which continues today. If Tommy wasn’t running his business or attending Alabama events, you could often find him at Indian Hills Country Club hitting slices on either the golf course or tennis court.
In March of 1985, Tommy married Margaret Perry Newton (1942-2017) and welcomed her boys Brantley and Keith into the family. Margaret was a “breath of fresh air” who could not only light up a room, but also handle Tommy. Married for 32 years, they loved beach vacations, networking around Tuscaloosa and working together in real estate. When Margaret became ill in 2010, Tommy became her primary caregiver until she passed away in 2017.
A 2009 inductee into the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame, Tommy remained active with the “A” Club Educational and Charitable Foundation, his biggest passion, until the end of his life. He was also an active member of Forest Lake United Methodist Church and a highly devoted supporter of Alabama athletics.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made either to the “A” Club Foundation or to Forest Lake United Methodist Church.
Honorary pallbearers are Clarence Brooker Jr., Wes Neighbors, Lee Roy Jordan, Bill Oliver, Kirk McNair, Bobby Jackson, Jimmy Warren, Joe Hocutt.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to: Alabama “A” Club Educational & Charitable Foundation ,PO Box 1961 Tuscaloosa, AL 35403-1961 OR Forest Lake United Methodist Church, 1711 4th Avenue Tuscaloosa, AL 35401; http://forestlakeumc.org/online-giving/