Moore, Razorbacks' top rusher of the 1950s, dies at 88

By: Bob Holt Bob Holt's Twitter account , Matt Jones Matt Jones's Twitter account
Published: Tuesday, January 31, 2023
Henry Moore was a two-time All-Southwest Conference player for the Razorbacks from 1954-55.
Henry Moore was a two-time All-Southwest Conference player for the Razorbacks from 1954-55.

FAYETTEVILLE — Henry Moore, an Arkansas Sports Hall of Fame inductee who starred in football at Little Rock High School and at the University of Arkansas, died Sunday at 88.

The Pulaski County coroner’s office confirmed Moore’s death but no reason was given.

Moore, who played two seasons in the NFL for the New York Giants and Baltimore Colts, was inducted into the Arkansas Sports Hall of Fame in 1990 and into the UA Sports Hall of Honor in 1997.

As a junior at Arkansas in 1954, Moore was one of Coach Bowden Wyatt’s “25 Little Pigs” and helped the Razorbacks win the Southwest Conference championship and finish 8-3.

Moore was a two-time All-SWC player in 1954-55. He led the Razorbacks in rushing with 153 carries for 670 yards and 8 touchdowns in 1954 and with 134 carries for 701 yards and 3 touchdowns in 1955. Both yardage totals were single-season program records at the time.

Moore had 26 carries for a career-high 134 yards in Arkansas’ 14-7 victory at Texas A&M in 1954. Also in 1954, he rushed 13 times for 125 yards and a touchdown when the Razorbacks won at Texas 20-7.

“When we beat Texas at Austin, it was Texas that wore out in the heat,” Moore told Jim Bailey for an Arkansas Democrat-Gazette article in 2010. “Coach Wyatt had us in such good shape we could have run all the way back to Fayetteville.”

Moore scored on an 82-yard touchdown run against Texas in 1954.

In a 1990 article by Orville Henry for the Democrat-Gazette, Moore credited assistant coach George Cole — later Arkansas’ athletic director — with calling a draw play that put the Razorbacks ahead 20-0 just before halftime.

“Coach Cole sent in ‘Draw 1,’ ” Moore told Henry. “I know Texas thought we were just going to run out the clock. They were up close. [Offensive linemen] Jerry Ford and Wayland Roberts trapped their guys, and I ran into a hole a buffalo could have gotten through.”

Moore’s other 100-yard rushing game came against Texas in 1955 when the Razorbacks beat the Longhorns 27-20 in Little Rock.

Moore was voted to the Razorbacks’ All-Decade team for the 1950s.

“It was just being part of something great created by Coach [John] Barnhill, the Razorback program,” Moore told Henry in reference to Arkansas Athletic Director John Barnhill. “I don’t think we had any egos. It was just Razorback football, and we played it.”

Moore was the older brother of Billy Moore, an All-America quarterback in 1962.

At Little Rock High School [now Little Central], Moore played for Coach Wilson Matthews, who later became an Arkansas assistant coach for Frank Broyles.

The Giants made Moore a second-round pick in the 1956 NFL Draft and 19th overall selection. His offensive coordinator in New York was Vince Lombardi, who became the head coach of the Green Bay Packers and led the team to five NFL championships.

“After playing for those three great coaches, I figured most other football coaches in the world operated the same way — yelling all the time,” Moore told Bailey about playing for Matthews, Wyatt and Lombardi. “Eventually I realized they didn’t, but it sure worked for those three.”

As a rookie for the Giants, Moore scored a touchdown during their 47-7 victory over the Chicago Bears in the NFL Championship Game at Yankee Stadium on Dec. 30, 1956, when he blocked a punt and covered it in the end zone.

“Lombardi was about as tough as they get,” Moore told Bailey. “He’d jump all over you if you did something wrong — hundreds of words.

“If you happened to do something right, he was fair enough to acknowledge it with two or three words.”

Moore played his second and final NFL season with the Colts in 1957.

CORRECTION: The date of Moore's death was initially printed incorrectly. 


Have a comment on this story? Join the discussion or start a new one on the Forums.