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McNutt brothers continue World Cup tradition

L. William "Bill" McNutt Jr. (June 16, 1925–September 1, 2006) served as the Collin Street Bakery's president for 30 years and oversaw the fruitcake-making company's expansion into a global enterprise, making it one of the biggest food-by-mail businesses in the world. He was president and co-owner of the Dallas Tornado Soccer Club from 1967 to 1980.

Hunt, the Dallas oil heir who already owned the Kansas City Chiefs, the World Championship Tennis Association, and the Chicago Bulls, didn't need another rabbit to chase. Neither did his colleague, Bill McNutt.


As Both of them loved soccer, they co-owned the Dallas Tornado of the North American Soccer League, which they won in 1971. After the 1981 season, the Tornado folded and formed a minority partnership with the Tampa franchise, transferring the Dallas player contracts and other assets to Florida. In 1984, the entire league folded. 

Lamar Hunt (August 2, 1932 – December 13, 2006) was a businessman best known in the United States for his promotion of American football, soccer, and tennis.

World Cup tradition

Attending a World Cup is an unforgettable experience. On the field, there's an intoxicating mix of politics, cultures, and drama that happens only every four years. It has a distinct addictive quality that keeps fans from all over the world coming back for more.

McNutt and Hunt had a tradition of watching football matches, and their love of the game was passed down to their children. As a result, Mr. McNutt's sons Lee William "Bill" McNutt III and Robert Pritchett McNutt, as well as Lamar Hunt's son Dan Hunt, continued the World Cup tradition.

Robert Pritchett "Bob" McNutt is the Merrimack Valley Soccer League's Co-Director and the third-generation President/CEO of Collin Street Bakery Inc. 

Bill McNutt is chairman of State Funeral for World War II Veterans and, has developed a remarkable career in public service, Government and civic leadership, international trade, and private enterprise.

McNutt highlights from each World Cup

Central Texas was well represented at the Qatar FIFA World Cup by two unlikely soccer fans, Bob and Bill McNutt.

Bob was at his 13th World Cup, and Bill was at his 12th, when Argentina and Croatia began their semi-finals match on Tuesday, December 13, 2022. Dan Hunt, chairman of Dallas' bid to host the FIFA Men's World Cup in 2026, accompanied the McNutts. It was Dan's 10th consecutive World Cup.

McNutt's World Cup highlights

The McNutt’s made it a family affair in 1974, with sisters Katherine and Melanie, as well as mother Josephine, joining the trip. They invited famous Dallas sports journalists Verne Lundquist, Blackie Sherrod, and Walter Robertson to promote soccer in Texas. The group met with Pele to invite him to leave his Brazilian club Santos and play in the United States. Three years later, he joined the New York Cosmos.

The McNutt’s attended a half-dozen matches in 1978 and formed a lifelong friendship with the Leibovich family, Argentine industrialists.

When Italy defeated Germany 3-1 in the 1982 final, the Lamar Hunt and McNutt families traveled together once more. 

Lamar Hunt, L. William McNutt, and his son Bill McNutt attended the tournament in Mexico City in 1986, climbing the Teotihuacan Pyramids and eating lunch at Aztec Charlies restaurant.

A mediocre World Cup was held in 1990 in a great country, Italy and the McNutt’s attended it too.

The death of the McNutt grandmother, 94-year-old Anna "Mama Mae" McNutt, in 1994 brought the family back to Texas from California for the funeral. However, Bob and Bill returned to the Rose Bowl for the championship game.

In 1998, Bill McNutt spent four hours walking around the lobby of a large Paris hotel with a sign that said "need one ticket for the finals." Sure enough, it paid off, and he was seated 20 rows above the pitch.

In 2002, while traveling alone for the majority of the time, Hunt had his briefcase containing all of his tickets stolen at a train station. But he had them replaced and went out to dinner with the McNutt’s the night before the finals in Tokyo.

The 2006 World Cup took place during the hottest summer in decades. The McNutt brothers drove two separate vans on the Autobahn, Bob’s van had air conditioning, and Bill’s did not the local Hertz agency recommended "Please read zee operational manual! Zee procedure is for rolling down ze window!"

In 2010, Bob McNutt went, but his brother Bill did not, ending his nine-year streak in World Cup finals.

Bill and Bob sat alongside FC Dallas President Dan Hunt for the historic 7-1 semi-final in 2014

Bob McNutt's wife Amber and Bill's wife Susana attended their first World Cup final in Luzhniki Stadium in 2018. Rabel and Slone McNutt, Bill's daughters, traveled with him. Taking part in the semi-final match.

The McNutt brothers attended both the semi-finals and the finals in 2022, with Bob McNutt being in rare company attending his 13th consecutive World Cup and Bill McNutt attending his 12th World Cup. 

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