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Del Shofner, The most fantastic Professional soccer go receivers of his time, who combined with Y.A. Tittle to help propel the New York Giants to 3 consecutive league championship online games inside the early 1960s, died on Wednesday in La. He was eighty five.

His death was declared by his daughter Laurie Shofner Corwin, who didn't specify the lead to. Shofner lived in Bradbury, Calif., but was for most of his everyday living a resident of San Marino, nearby.

A tall, slender Texas native who could outrun and outmaneuver most any defensive back again, Shofner revived his occupation in Big apple following the Los Angeles Rams had presented up on him when he was only 26 many years old. He was a five-time Professional Bowl player and went on for being named by the professional Football Corridor of Fame towards the N.File.L’s all-ten years workforce for the nineteen sixties.

“We called him ‘Slim’ or ‘Blade,’ and After i think about him I imagine Clint Eastwood,” Sam Huff, the Giants’ Corridor of Fame Center linebacker, recalled in his memoir “Tough Stuff” (1988). “Lean and indicate out on that industry, fantastic speed and far better moves, with legs potent plenty of to interrupt tackles and leap into your air.”

As Claude Crabb, a Washington Redskins defensive back, when place it: “If he has a pattern of any type, it’s his weaving movement. It drives you insane seeing him dip in and dip out as he moves downfield. He’s so rapidly that when you make the wrong transfer you may’t Recuperate.”

The Giants acquired Shofner and Tittle, his fellow Texan, two weeks aside. They received Tittle, the San Francisco 49ers’ star quarterback with the nineteen fifties, in mid-August 1961 when he was 34, sending the lineman Lou Cordileone to San Francisco in what turned just one of professional soccer’s most a person-sided discounts. They obtained Shofner from your Rams for 2 high draft picks following the freshly arrived Tittle, whose 49ers experienced commonly confronted the Rams, raved about him into the Giants’ operator, Wellington Mara.

The acquisition of Shofner and Tittle gave the Giants a long-selection passing danger in an offense currently showcasing Kyle Rote, Alex Webster as well as the getting older quarterback Charlie Conerly within the backfield. (Frank Gifford was to return in 1962 from his devastating hit via the Philadelphia Eagles’ Chuck Bednarik inside of a 1960 game.) Having gained three convention titles and an N.F.L. championship in the next fifty percent on the 1950s, the Giants also experienced a whole new mentor in Allie Sherman and were being going to embark on Chapter 2 of their glory many years.

The Tittle-to-Shofner long-length passing plays thrilled Giants followers. Shofner, six-foot-three and 185 lbs . or so and adept at likely up in excess of the outstretched arms of defenders, caught sixty eight passes, one-period Giants report at enough time, in 1961. When Tittle threw seven touchdown passes in opposition to the Redskins within an October 1962 sport, Shofner, who snared one of these, had 11 receptions, tying Gifford’s single-recreation club mark, and he amassed 269 yards on move receptions, still a Giants report.

He was the initial Large to gain at the very least 1,000 yards in receptions inside of a season, exceeding that milestone in each of his very first 3 yrs Using the crew.


The Giants went to the N.File.L. championship video game in 1961, ’sixty two and ’sixty three, but lost two times for the Eco-friendly Bay Packers then towards the Chicago Bears. Shofner caught 32 touchdown passes even though racking up more than 3,four hundred yards in that span.

“I used to be awfully unhappy to go,” he reported of his trade within the Rams to your Giants, as quoted by Jim Baker and Bernard M. Corbett in their oral historical past “Essentially the most Memorable Video games in Giants Historical past” (2010). “It took me possibly several months just before I noticed how Blessed I was.”

Delbert Martin Shofner was born on Dec. eleven, 1934, in Heart, Texas. He performed halfback at Baylor, starred to be a sprinter and was named most useful player while in the 1957 Sugar Bowl sport for his fifty four-garden run that arrange a touchdown in a thirteen-7 upset of unbeaten Tennessee.

The Rams chosen Shofner in the first spherical of your 1957 draft. Immediately after participating in at defensive back again, he was switched to split conclude in 1958 and gained a league-major 1,097 yards in move receptions. He experienced A different great period in 1959 but caught only twelve passes in 1960, when he battled ulcers along with a leg harm, prompting the Rams to ship him for the Giants.

Wonderful as it absolutely was, the Tittle-to-Shofner mix thrived for only three seasons. Tittle, whose leveling by a Pittsburgh Steelers lineman in the 1964 game was captured in a very unforgettable Picture, retired after that year. Shofner’s ulcers and leg injuries limited his Engage in in his past 4 years as a Giant. He retired following the 1967 period with 349 profession receptions for fifty one touchdowns and almost six,500 yards.

He later on owned a company offering elements for animal feed.

Shofner lived in San Marino for greater than fifty years. His spouse, Carol Shofner, died in 2015.

In combination with Ms. Corwin, he is survived by One more daughter, Stacey Shofner Gates; a son, David; and 5 grandchildren.

Tittle grew to become a celebrity in The big apple — the balding, typically-battered warrior who found a 2nd lifestyle in soccer and was afterwards elected to the professional Football Corridor of Fame. Shofner couldn't match Tittle’s charisma.

Even so the Texan known as Slender, along with his teammate Conerly, graced billboards and magazines throughout the place. They have been Amongst the figures chosen to model as that American marketing icon in their day, the Marlboro Gentleman.

Michael Levenson contributed reporting.