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Billy Thompson

Inducted 1985


Billy Thompson, regarded by many as the best defensive back in Denver Broncos annals, was the only Ring of Fame inductee in 1987.

He was the first player in team history to play 13 seasons with Denver, and he was the team’s defensive captain for many years. Thompson, despite being retired for 15 years, still ranks second on the Broncos’ all-time list for games started with 178, second with consecutive starts with 142, and sixth in games played with 179.

He finished his career with 61 turnovers (most in team history), 40 of which came via interceptions (third in team history). He holds two NFL records, one of which has stood for over two decades. As a rookie in 1969, Thompson became the only player in NFL history to lead the league in both kickoffs and punt returns in the same season. He is also one of only two players in NFL history to return four opponent fumble recoveries for touchdowns.

“BT” was a three-time Pro Bowl selection (1977, 1978 & 1981) and earned All-NFL honors twice (1977-’78) and All-AFC honors four times (1977-’79, ’81).

Thompson was a college scout for the Broncos for two years before moving into his current position as Director of Player Relations and Alumni Coordinator which he has held since 1993.

Billy Thompson

Regarded by many as the best defensive back in Denver Broncos annals.