Memorial Stadium documentary premieres Tuesday on WILL

CHAMPAIGN – A never-before-seen interview with Harold "Red" Grange, Illinois' legendary football hero, is part of a documentary about Memorial Stadium.

WILL-TV, Channel 12, will broadcast the "Memorial Stadium: True Illini Spirit" program for the first time at 7 p.m. Tuesday.

The refurbished stadium opened to the public Saturday for the first home football game of the 2008 season.

The interview with Grange was done in 1982 and produced by Kemper Peacock Productions for the CBS Sports series "In Their Own Words." In it, Grange describes how his fraternity brothers at the University of Illinois made him play football as well as track and baseball and how he achieved his most famous performance on Memorial Stadium's dedication day on Oct. 18, 1924. He returned the opening kickoff for a 95-yard touchdown, ran for four more touchdowns and passed for a sixth as Illinois beat Michigan 39-14.

Called "the Galloping Ghost," Grange was named the greatest college football player of all time by ESPN earlier this year.

The full documentary, produced by John Paul and Denise La Grassa, tells the history of the stadium, one of the first of big sporting venues built on college campuses in the early 1920s.

UI students, alumni and other fans contributed $2 million for construction. Others donated because they wanted to honor soldiers who died in World War I. They are represented by columns on the stadium.

Steam engines and horses were used in the initial construction.

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