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Alan Ameche
Jersey #(s)
Born March 1, 1933(1933-03-01)
Kenosha, Wisconsin
Died August 8, 1988 (aged 55)
Houston, Texas
Career information
Year(s) 19551960
NFL Draft 1955 / Round: 1 / Pick: 2
College Wisconsin
Professional teams
Career stats
Rushing Yards 4,045
Average 4.2
Touchdowns 40
Stats at
Career highlights and awards

Lino Dante "Alan" Ameche (March 1, 1933 – August 8, 1988), nicknamed "The Horse", was an American football player who played six seasons with the Baltimore Colts in the National Football League after winning the Heisman Trophy in college at the University of Wisconsin–Madison. He was elected to the Pro Bowl in each of his first four seasons in the league. He is famous for scoring the winning touchdown in the 1958 NFL Championship Game against the New York Giants, labeled "The Greatest Game Ever Played."

After emigrating to the United States in the late 1930s, his family returned for a year to Italy. The family then returned to Kenosha, Wisconsin. Alan was a cousin of noted actors Don Ameche and Jim Ameche. With colleague (and former Colts teammate) Gino Marchetti, Alan Ameche founded the Gino's Hamburgers chain. However, the Baltimore-based Ameche's Drive-in restaurants were named for him. Ameche died in Houston, Texas.


College career

Ameche earned All-American honors at the University of Wisconsin–Madison, where he played linebacker as well as fullback in those single-platoon days. In four years as a Badger, he gained 3,212 yards, then the NCAA record, scored 25 touchdowns, and averaged 4.8 yards a carry. He won the Heisman in 1954. Ameche is one of six Wisconsin players whose number (35) has been retired, and one of four whose name and number appears on the Camp Randall Stadium façade (fellow Heisman winner and current career rushing record holder Ron Dayne (No. 33) Dave Schreiner (No. 80) and Pat Richter (No. 88) are the others).

NFL career

Ameche played fullback for the Baltimore Colts from 1955 until 1960. Named NFL Rookie of the Year in 1955, he was a four-time Pro Bowler (1955-58). He averaged 4.2 yard per carry over his career. He held the record for rushing yards in his first three NFL games until Carnell "Cadillac" Williams passed it in 2005.

Ameche may be best remembered for his role in the 1958 NFL Championship Game at Yankee Stadium, often cited as "The Greatest Game Ever Played." Ameche scored the winning touchdown for the Colts on a one-yard run in overtime as the Colts beat the Giants, 23-17. It was his second touchdown of the day as he also scored a TD on a 2 yard run in the second quarter.

Ameche finished a relatively short six-season NFL career with 4,045 rushing yards, 101 receptions for 733 yards and 44 touchdowns.

Preceded by
Johnny Lattner
Heisman Trophy Winner
Succeeded by
Howard "Hopalong" Cassady

See also


External links

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