Alan Moore oldest college player at 61
MONTGOMERY, Ala. -- A 61-year-old Vietnam veteran and grandfather of five became the oldest player ever to get in a college football game. Alan Moore kicked an extra point for NAIA Faulkner in its season-opener on Saturday.
Moore wore a square-toe shoe and kicked old-school style, not soccer style -- trends that were popular when he first played college football in the late `60s. He gave Faulkner a 25-0 lead early in the second half Saturday en route to a 41-19 win over Ave Maria, located in southwest Florida and playing its first game ever.
Players one-third his age swarmed Moore as he jogged off the field smiling. Gray-bearded and tanned, Moore swapped high fives and fist bumps with teammates.
Moore -- with the word "believe' written on his kicking shoe -- said he was glad to get the first kick behind him.
"It's not about me, and it's not about being old. It's about the team," Moore said before hugging his grandkids at midfield after the game.
Faulkner coach Gregg Baker knew his team wanted to see Moore get a chance to play.
"When we called his number to go kick it all the players got really excited," Baker said.
Moore replaces Tom Thompson as the oldest football player to get in a game, according to College Football Hall of Fame historian Kent Stephens. Thompson was also 61 when he kicked off once at NCAA Division III Austin College in 2009, but Moore has the age edge.
Moore "is a couple of months older," Stephens said.
Originally of Mt. Olive, Miss., Moore kicked during his freshman year in 1968 at Mississippi's Jones College before heading to Vietnam that December. He was in the war almost a year, serving with an infantry unit doing reconnaissance missions.
His military service over, Moore worked in the construction business for decades before losing his job to the slow economy in 2009. Now retired and living in Homestead, Fla., he went to visit his grandchildren in Mississippi and wound up catching the kicking bug again after watching a Jones College game.
Using footballs he bought at a sporting goods store and the old-style kicking shoes, Moore began practicing on goal posts he built in his daughter's yard. He couldn't get on the Jones College squad but played last season when he was 60 at Holmes Community College in Goodman, Miss., missing a 30-yard field goal against Jones but making an extra-point attempt at Itawamba.
"He's a good guy," said Steve Diffey, communications director at Holmes. "He's got a good mission. He works well with kids, and he's all about the team."
The College Football Hall of Fame already has asked for a football signed by Moore after his appearance for Faulkner, the historian said.
"We talked about them sending a jersey, but it's a small school and they don't have many extra jerseys lying around," Stephens said.
Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press
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