Former Wichita State football player plans to toast fallen teammates

  • Wichita State will hold its annual remembrance of the 1970 plane crash on Oct. 2.
  • Bill Burch, who played linebacker for the Shockers, did not travel to the game at Utah State because of a knee injury.
  • Burch, who lives in Michigan, saved a decanter of bourbon since 1971, waiting for the right time to share.

Wichita State University will remember the 50th anniversary of the 1970 football plane crash on Oct. 2. Many of the survivors of the crash and their teammates will gather in Cessna Stadium to honor the memory of the 31 people – 14 student-athletes, 14 staff and boosters, and three crew members – who died as a result of the crash in Colorado.

Bill Burch, a linebacker for the Shockers in 1970, did not travel on that plane because of a knee injury. He stayed in Wichita to rehabilitate. Burch will join many of his teammates back on campus on Oct. 2 and he is bringing a special decanter of bourbon - in the shape of the WuShock mascot – to share.

“I was holding it for a special event,” he said. “And the 50th, it just doesn’t get more special.”

To read more about Bill Burch and his WuShock decanter, go to

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