(Gray News) – Julius Campbell, one of the key football players portrayed in “Remember the Titans,” died of organ failure on Friday. He was 65.
Campbell was one of the leaders on the football team at a newly integrated school in Alexandria, VA, in the early 1970s that went on to win the state championship.
“Julius was very, very instrumental on that team at simply getting kids to just talk to one another, kids who never talked to kids from another race their entire lives,” former coach Herman Boone told the Washington Post.
“By doing so, they learned many things about each other that were not passed down to them and for that, the world owes Julius a debt of gratitude.”
Boone coached the Titans from 1971 to 1979.
The 2000 film told the story of T.C. Williams High School the first season following integration in 1971. The Titans went on to win the state championship that year under Boone, who was played by Denzel Washington in the movie.
Campbell befriended white linebacker Gerry Bertier and the two became the leaders of the team, helping to unify the players.
Campbell was the player who told the team in order to win they needed to have “one heartbeat.” Wood Harris played Campbell in the movie.
Campbell graduated from T.C. Williams in 1973 and played football at Ferrum Junior College after high school.