Hugh McElhenny Wiki
Hugh McElhenny Biography
Who was Hugh McElhenny ?
NFL Hall of Famer Hugh McElhenny has passed away at the age of 93.
McElhenny, a 1950s runner, died of natural causes at his Nevada home on June 17, his son-in-law Chris Permann confirmed.
Hugh McElhenny has died at the age of 93, his family confirms.
McElhenny was inducted into the NFL Hall of Fame and is known as the ‘franchise saver’ for the San Francisco 49ersCredit: AP
The Pro Football Hall of Fame also announced his passing in a press release.
McElhenny was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1970 and was known for being a well-rounded athlete with skills as a running back, receiver and kick returner, making him one of the best players in the NFL at the time.
He was named Rookie of the Year in 1952, before he was an official award, and made two All-pro teams, six Pro Bowls and the All-Decade team of the 1950s.
“Hugh McElhenny was a threat in all phases of the game offensively: running, receiving passes, and as a kick returner and punt returner,” Hall of Fame president Jim Porter said in a statement.
“His overall talent, obvious to professional football scouts when Hugh was still a teenager, will forever be celebrated and preserved in Canton.”
The San Francisco 49ers, the team McElhenny played for from 1952 to 1960, released a statement following news of his death.
“The 49ers family is heartbroken to learn of the passing of one of the NFL’s all-time greats, Hugh McElhenny,” said 49ers Co-Chairman Dr. John York.
“Growing up my favorite team was the 49ers. I remember so many great players from the late ’50s and ’60s. When I started inviting a student to every game, my goal was to find the ‘Million Dollar Backfield.’
“Hugh was the last of the four to join us and we remain friends long after. Hugh is a huge part of 49ers history.”
On the 49ers, McElhenny was known as the “franchise saver.”
“It was questionable whether the franchise could survive,” said Lou Spadia, a former general manager. “McElhenny removed all doubt. That’s why we call him our franchise savior.”
The Niners only made the postseason once under McElhenny in a losing effort in the Western Conference title playoff game against Detroit in 1957.
He played with the Minnesota Vikings from 1961 to 1962, had a solid season and made the Pro Bowl when the Vikings went 3-11 in his inaugural season.