Fred Thurston went to Valparaiso University on a basketball scholarship after completing high school. He didn’t begin playing collegiate football until his junior season where he led Valparaiso to an Indiana Conference title and was twice selected All-American. He was named the conference’s top lineman in 1955.
The Philadelphia Eagles selected Thurston in the NFL draft in the fourth round. In 1956, he was drafted by the U.S. Army where he served 21 months of duty and played football for the Army. In 1958, he played football for the Chicago Bears, again for the Eagles, and the Winnipeg Blue Bombers before playing on the NFL Champion Baltimore Colts.
Thurston was traded to the Green Bay Packers in 1959 where he played left guard and was and remained a fan favorite. He played during the team’s glory years under coach Vince Lombardi. Thurston and fellow guard Jerry Kramer led the Packers power sweep running attack. He won five NFL Championships with the Packers including the first two Super Bowls. Thurston was named All-Pro twice, receiving the most votes of any player in 1962. He is one of only three players in football history to play on six World Championship teams (one with the Colts and five with the Packers). He was inducted into the Green Bay Packers Hall of Fame in 1975, elected to the Indianan Football Hall of Fame in 1982 and the Wisconsin Athletic Hall of Fame in 2003. He was the first athlete ever to be voted in by the people of Wisconsin.
Thurston remained popular in Wisconsin after his playing days while owning several restaurants. This allowed him to stay in touch with the Packer fans who he loved so much. He was co-owner of The Left Guard Restaurants from the 1960’s – 1980’s. He owned Fuzzy’s Shenanigans from 1984 until 1999 and Fuzzy’s 63 Bar and Grill from 1999 until 2010. He also owned Fuzzy’s Tickets and Tours taking pride in helping fans enjoy the tradition of experiencing a Packer game.