Corridor of Famer Hugh McElhenny dies at 93

Hugh McElhenny, whose very good playmaking with the ball in his arms made him one of many largest soccer stars of the Fifties, has died on the age of 93.

A California state champion in each the hurdles and the lengthy soar as a excessive schooler, McElhenny was about as shut as a highschool soccer participant might get to stardom within the Forties. Newspapers ran articles speculating about the place he would attend faculty, and it was a shock when he determined to enroll not at a significant soccer powerhouse however at Compton Junior School. After one yr of stardom on Compton’s soccer staff, he spurned hometown colleges USC and UCLA and selected the College of Washington and have become an All-American fullback in addition to a punt returner, kickoff returner and kicker. McElhenny’s 296-yard speeding sport in opposition to Washington State stays Washington’s all-time report.

When he was 91, McElhenny admitted in an interview with TheAthletic.com that he selected Washington as a result of they provided him cash to offer for his household.

“I had so many selections. I wished to go to USC or UCLA and keep in Los Angeles, however the College of Washington got here up with a package deal for me to have the ability to marry my spouse, Peggy, so I took their provide, ”McElhenny recalled.

The 49ers chosen McElhenny with the ninth general decide within the 1952 NFL draft, and he made an instantaneous affect, main the NFL with a whopping 7.0 yards per carry as a rookie. Together with quarterback YA Tittle, halfback John Henry Johnson and fullback Joe Perry, McElhenny shaped within the Fifties what was known as the Million Greenback Backfield, though all 4 gamers mixed didn’t even make $ 1 million from the 49ers.

McElhenny was identified for his nice velocity, elusiveness and area imaginative and prescient, and few gamers of his day might match his highlight-reel runs. He was chosen a first-team All-Professional halfback in 5 of his first NFL seasons.

By 1961 the 49ers felt that McElhenny had misplaced a step, and so they positioned him on the growth listing, permitting him to depart for the Minnesota Vikings a first-year growth staff. McElhenny had first season in Minnesota, main the Vikings in speeding, ending second on the staff in receptions, and scoring a landing on a punt return. However he struggled to make a lot occur late in his profession, serving as a backup for another yr for the Vikings, one for the Giants and one for the Lions earlier than retiring.

McElhenny was elected to the Professional Soccer Corridor of Fame in 1970 and the School Soccer Corridor of Fame in 1981. After retiring he served as a commentator on 49ers radio broadcasts, after which within the Nineteen Seventies he joined a gaggle trying to convey an NFL growth staff to Seattle, though his group’s efforts have been unsuccessful and a special group based the Seattle Seahawks.

Though most footage of his video games is in grainy black-and-white, even as we speak the NFL Movies archive of McElhenny’s nice performs stands the check of time. He was a soccer participant for the ages.

Corridor of Famer Hugh McElhenny dies at 93 initially appeared on Professional Soccer Discuss

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