Former Houston Oilers great Charlie Hennigan dies at 82

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Former Houston Oilers great Charlie Hennigan died Wednesday. He was 82.

Henningan scored the first touchdown in Oilers’ history, catching a 43-yard pass from George Blanda. He was a five-time AFL All-Star who played from 1960-66 with the franchise.

“We are saddened to hear about the death of Charlie Hennigan yesterday,” Tennessee Titans controlling owner Amy Adams Strunk said in a statement. “He was one of the finest players in our franchise’s history and a key component to our early championship teams, who still holds many of our receiving records. My father was particularly fond of Charlie, and I have enjoyed getting to know him through the years. His contributions to our team will never be forgotten. We are thinking about him and his family during this difficult time.”

Hennigan helped the Oilers to the first two AFL championships before losing the third in overtime to the Dallas Texans.

Hennigan surpassed 100 yards in 10 of Houston’s 14 games during the 1961 season. That record stood for 34 years before Michael Irvin posted 11 100-yard games for the Cowboys in 1995 in a 16-game season. Hennigan’s three 200-yard games that season remain a NFL record 53 years later.

His 1,746 yards receiving was another record that stood for 34 years before Jerry Rice broke it in 1995, with 1,848 yards for the 49ers.

Hennigan, a native of Bienville, Louisiana, went to LSU on a track scholarship but transferred to Northwestern State to play football. He earned his doctorate in education at the University of Houston.

4 responses to “Former Houston Oilers great Charlie Hennigan dies at 82

  1. Every time I hear of an old time NFL or AFL player passing, it brings back memories of watching those guys play and reading about them. I still have many football magazines I bought back in the early 60’s. When I went in the Army, I put them in a box and stored them in my mom’s attic. I found them many years later and kept them. The only color pictures in most of them are the ones on the cover.
    Hennigan was an excellent WR for the Oilers. May he rest in eternal peace.

  2. May you rest in peace!! Charlie Hennigan and Bill Groman were the best in the early days of the Oilers with Blanda chunking the ball…. RIP Charlie!!!

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