Former VUU star Fairley dies
Fred Jeter | 8/10/2023, 6 p.m.
Nathan Fairley, a swift, bruising fullback during a highly successful era of Virginia Union football, died Monday, July 31, 2023, of natural causes. He was 65.
Under Coach Willard Bailey, Mr. Fairley played for the Panthers from 1976 to 1979. During that time VUU posted an overall record of 34-11-1 and made their first trip to the NCAA Division II playoffs in 1979 at Delaware.
Mr. Fairley scored a total of 19 touchdowns for VUU while averaging 5.7 yards per carry. His best seasons were 1977, when he had nine TDs, and 1979, when he crossed the goal line on nine occasions.
His first TD came as a freshman with an 85-yard highlight reel special against Fisk University. It was his very first carry as a Panther.
At 255 pounds, he also was a powerful blocker in Coach Bailey’s Wing-T attack. He was recruited to VUU following an outstanding career at Patrick Henry High School in Ashland.
Mr. Fairley is survived by his wife, Patricia, and the couple’s only child, Nate Jr., who played football at Lee-Davis High School, the University of Richmond and Elizabeth City State Univerity.