Lance 'Bambi' Alworth

 

NFL Teams: San Diego Chargers (1962-70), Dallas Cowboys (1971-72).

Important Notes:

Drafted by the San Francisco 49ers with the eighth overall pick of the 1962 NFL Draft and by the Oakland Raiders in the second round of the '62 AFL Draft...he was signed by Raiders' assistant coach Al Davis in New Orleans prior to the 1962 Sugar Bowl and then traded to the San Diego Chargers for Flanker Bo Roberson, QB Hunter Enis and OT Gene Selawski...the Chargers moved him to wide receiver...nicknamed "Bambi" because of his slender build, speed, and grace, the 6-foot, 180-pound Alworth played with the Chargers for 9 seasons and was an All-AFL selection 7 consecutive times, from 1963 through 1969...played in seven AFL All-Star Games:1964, '65, '66, '67, '68, '69, & '70...caught passes in 96 straight games...AFL's leading receiver three years...was the Chargers Most Valuable Player in 1965 & 1966...scored the first Dallas TD in their Super Bowl VI win...finished his career as a Dallas Cowboy earning a Super Bowl Ring in 1971...when Alworth retired, he held records for the most consecutive games with a reception, 96, and the most games with 200 or more yards on receptions, 5. Both records have since been broken, but Alworth is still the only receiver to average more than 100 yards a game in 3 consecutive seasons, 1964 through 1966...elected to the city of San Diego's Hall of Champions in 1972...was elected to the Chargers Hall of Fame in 1977...he was enshrined into the Pro Football Hall Of Fame in 1978...became the first American Football League player elected to the Hall...ranked #31 on The Sporting News' 100 Greatest Football Players.

Click here to read a story and see a photo. [credit: DELL SPORTS FOOTBALL-1965.]

"He was the standard of excellence of all professional football among receivers, not just the AFL. Nobody denied his greatness. There are few I'd signify as legendary. He's one." - Raiders owner Al Davis

In tribute to the accomplishments of legendary wide receiver Lance Alworth, the first American Football League player inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame and one of the most popular athletes in San Diego history, the San Diego Chargers will formally retire jersey number 19 at a halftime ceremony during the Chargers-Bills game on November 20, 2005.
Alworth's famous number 19 joins Dan Fouts' number 14 as the only two retired numbers in the team's 46-year history.

Important Stats:

Season highs: 1,602 yards in 1965...23.2 yards per reception in 1965...14 touchdowns in 1965...73 receptions in 1966...

Career highs: 542 receptions...10,266 receiving yards...85 touchdown receptions...18.9 per reception.

Arkansas Notes: Lettered in 1959, '60, & '61...a running back at the University of Arkansas...he led the nation in punt return yardage in 1960 and 1961...All-American in 1961...All-Southwest Conference HB...elected to the College Football Hall of Fame in 1984...on the Arkansas All-Centry Team and All-Decade Team of the 60's.

Links: Oinkville Pictures...Hickok Sports Bio...The Locker Room Bio...#31 on TSN's 100 greatest...Pro Football Hall of Fame page...CBS Sportsline AFL Player Profile...NFL Legends & Lore, Hall of Fame...Pictures...Razorback Football History.

Fan Memories:

Razorback fans share their memories of former Hog greats. Send us an email and include your name if you want it listed. Or it can be anonymous.

As a boy, growing up in Arkansas, I first started to follow the Razorbacks Football teams in 1961. Lance Alworth soon become my favorite player. In February 1962, at a Lee Jeans Promotion held at Jay's Department Store in Benton, I got to meet my hero Lance Alworth and fellow Razorback Jim Collier. Lance ask questions about my family and school and was genuinely interested in my responses, even though there was a long line of people waiting for his autograph. I cannot begin to tell you how much this meant to a young boy that had just lost his father to a heart attack a few months earlier. What a positive affect Lance Alworth had on this Razorback fan. Go Hogs!

Ron W.
West Melbourne, FL


My mother went to high school with Lance Alworth and I used to follow his career as a youngster. In my opinion, he's the best player there ever was. But, that's my opinion. I've got all his yearbooks from Brookhaven High School, signed, and they are priceless to me! He's just the best!

Rhonda W.


I grew up in Arkansas. One of my greatest thrills was being able to see Lance Alworth play in Little Rock's War Memorial Stadium. One of my most treasured possessions for a long time was a chin strap I stole off of Lance Alworth's football helmet after one of the games. This was when fans were allowed on the field to celebrate with the players. My conscious had problems for years because I took it without asking - but I have kept it now for over forty five years and still remember the game.

Frank C.


My grandfather lived in Fayetteville and worked for a laundry business that was contracted to clean the razorbacks uniforms. He would drive an old panel truck to the Little Rock games and pick up the laundry. He picked out an Alworth jersey for my dad the game that Lance won the AP back of the week against Ole Miss. It's an old white cotton game jersey with holes and bloodstains on it. The jersey looks like those that would have been worn in only one game and then used as a practice jersey. As a child I remember my dad keeping it in a drawer inside of a sandwich bag until it began to rust with stains. It hangs in his closet now.It wasn't until I grew older that I realized the significance of the Man that wore that jersey and his contribution to the legacy of razorback football tradition.

D. H.


My Father played high school football with Lance at Brookhaven High. They also tied for most handsome. My son Ty, who is just 10 recently discovered Lance and his accomplishments from my Dad and I talking. Dad called Lance out in Cal. a couple of weeks ago and told him about Ty. Well Lance just sent him an autographed football and jersey personalized. He also wants all of us to come out to Cal. and go fishing with him. This is the caliber of person he his.

Ged D.


I moved to Little Rock from El Paso around 1960; at the time I knew nothing about Razorback football. When I went to Sunday School for the first time and was introduced to my class (my first name is Lance) one of the students said "Oh, like Lance Alworth". When I mentioned I didn't know who he was the students thought I was nuts. It didn't take me long to find out who they were talking about!!!

As I grew up the Razorbacks and San Diego Chargers were the center of my football world. I sold programs outside of War Memorial Stadium; once the game started I would turn in my money and remaining programs and my pay was a pass to sit anywhere I could find a seat. I thought I had died and gone to Hog Heaven. On Sunday I'd turn on the television to watch my beloved San Diego Chargers and my #1 football hero---Lance Alworth. The man could do no wrong; I'm not sure there has ever been as graceful a player on the football field. He was poetry in motion.

I'm now in my 50's and Lance is still my alltime football hero. I've got an Alworth autographed football and recently started collecting baseball and football cards again after a 16 year hiatus. I've started a nice collection of Alworth football cards, including an autographed limited edition card and several cards that have pieces of game used jerseys on them.

I have an Alworth replica jersey that I wear on the weekends; it's a great way for me to strike up a conversation with the younger generation so I can educate them on the accomplishments of my football idol. It's sad how many young people don't know who Lance Alworth was; there's no one like him in the game today. To me Lance Alworth has always been The Man and will always remain so!!!

Lance K.
Katy, TX


I was named after Lance in 1960 because my dad ran track with him. When I started witching pro football he would say see #19 for the Cowboys that is who I named you after. Ever sence I have been a Dallas Cowboy fan. My dad's name is Larry Hunter from Cherryvally, AR.

Thank's for your time,

Lance H.


Yes, Lance has always been my football idol. I remember when in the Navy at San Diego, I went to Balboa Stadium to watch the Chargers play the Chiefs. I am from Missouri but my eyes were on my man. They double teamed him and made a rough day for him. My time came when he (with fingers taped together), dived through the air and caught a pass stretched out horizontally and landed in the mud that way and held on to the ball. Len, Otis and others beat my team that day, but Lance was as always poetry in motion. I am 63 yrs. old today and he still is my idol.

Claude

December '08