How a Heart Transplant Made This Yardley Man into a Steelers Fan

Steelers Fan of the Year
Image via YouTube.
Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker T.J. Watt stands between Bill Soloway, left, and Jim Zimmerman, a lifelong Steelers fan, before last month's game against the Eagles.

Despite loving all of his Philadelphia sports teams, Yardley resident Bill Soloway is quick to admit that his heart is with the Pittsburgh Steelers, writes Teresa Varley for

About a decade ago, Soloway received a life-changing diagnosis. He was suffering from Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. His only hope was a heart transplant, but he knew the odds were stacked against him.

However, within just 90 days, he got news that he was about to receive a life-saving transplant. After the surgery and recovery, he wanted to thank the family.

He met Jim Zimmerman, of Pittsburgh, whose son James Zimmerman Jr. was his heart donor. The two formed an immediate bond. When they started talking about their love of sports, Soloway saw how passionate Zimmerman was about the Steelers, and he soon discovered that the older man had never been to a game.

“I looked Jim in the eye and said James is going to take you to a Steelers game,” said Soloway. “He looked at me cockeyed. I told him I am going to take you to a Steelers game, with James’s heart in me.”

The two men have been great friends ever since.

Read more about Bill Soloway at


Jim Zimmerman Sr. got the surprise of a lifetime when T.J. Watt delivered the news that he’s the winner of the 2022 Steelers Fan of the Year, an award he was nominated for by his friend and Eagles fan, Bill Soloway.

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