Alex Webster: American footballer who went on to coach


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The Independent Online

Alex Webster, the star running back for the New York Giants who later coached the team for four years, died on 3 March aged 80. Webster played for New York from 1955-64 and was the head coach from 1969-1973. He is fifth on the Giants' all-time list, having rushed for with 4,638 yards.

Born in Kearny, New Jersey, in April 1931, Webster played his entire NFL career with New York. He ran for two touchdowns and had five catches for 76 yards in the Giants' 47-7 victory over the Chicago Bears in the 1956 NFL championship game.

Webster, led the Giants to a 9-5 win-loss record in 1970 in his second season as coach and overall had 29 wins, 40 defeats and a tie. But he was forced to resign as head coach in 1973 thanks to a 2-11-1 record. He also played for Montreal in the Canadian Football League in 1953-54. He had been drafted in the 11th round of the 1953 NFL Draft by the Washington Redskins, but chose to play in Canadan instead, for the Montreal Alouettes. While in Canada, he was named an All-Star in 1954 and played in that year's Grey Cup.

In 1955, Webster returned to the United States and played for the New York Giants from 1955 to 1964. As well as rushing for 4,638 yards, he caught 240 passes for 2,679 yards, he scored 56 touchdowns (39 rushing and 17 receiving). He was named to the Pro Bowl twice, in 1958 and 1961.

"Alex was one of the all-time great Giants," the franchise's co-owner John Mara said in tribute. "He contributed so much to our team as a player, assistant coach and head coach. He was an even better person. We shall miss him dearly"