On Thursday, the NFL world lost one of the best runners of all time due to the death of Hugh McElhenny. He was 93 years old.
The Pro Football Hall of Fame announced Thursday that McElhenny has passed away. They included a tribute package dedicated to his career, which lasted from 1952 to 1964.
McElhenny, selected 9th overall in the 1952 NFL Draft, quickly became one of the elite runners from day one. He earned Pro Bowl and First-Team All-Pro honors in each of his first two seasons and led the NFL with 7.0 yards per carry as a rookie.
Over the next few years, McElhenny, John Henry Johnson, Joe Perry and Y.A. Tittle will form a “million dollar backfield” that together will set records for offensive performance. All four members of the group will be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. McElhenny was the last surviving member of the group.
Hugh McElhenny earned the nickname “The King” during his 13-year career and was one of the most feared runners of his era.
In addition to being a top-notch running back, he was a reliable receiver and return player for the 49ers and later for the Minnesota Vikings.
McElhenny was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1970 and into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1981. His No.39 jersey was discontinued by the 49ers team, and he was a core member of the 49ers Hall of Fame.
Our hearts go out to the family and loved ones of Hugh McElhenny.