Ernie Wheelwright
Wheelwright in 1965
No. 30, 39     
Running back
Personal information
Date of birth: (1939-11-28)November 28, 1939
Place of birth: Columbus, Ohio
Date of death: May 1, 2001(2001-05-01) (aged 61)
Place of death: Las Vegas, Nevada
Career information
College: Southern Illinois
No regular season or postseason appearances
Career history
* New York Giants ( 1964)
Career highlights and awards
  • N/A
Rushing attempts-yards     387-1426
Receptions-yards     54-531
Touchdowns     16
Stats at

Ernest Lamour 'Wheels' Wheelwright (November 28, 1939 – May 1, 2001) was an American football player. He attended Southern Illinois University.

He had several careers but is chiefly remembered as an American football player who played as a running back for the New York Giants (1964–65), Atlanta Falcons (1966–67) and the New Orleans Saints (1967–70).

He was also an actor who appeared in a number of films including: The Longest Yard (1974), Trackdown (1976), The Greatest (1977) & Wildcats (1986). Immediately before he began his career as a running back he had served in the 101st Airborne Division(a.k.a. the Screaming Eagles).[1]

Ernie Wheelwright was also owner of one of Atlanta's premier nightclubs in the 1960s, the Pink Pussycat Club.[2] 'Wheels' hosted many visiting black artists and had the opportunity to cut a record 'Beggin You Back' for the local Gaye label owned by Johnny Brooks.[3][note 1] In 1970 the NFL asked Wheelwright, then with the New Orleans Saints, to sell his interest on the grounds that continuing ownership would bring the NFL into disrepute.[4]

Ernie Wheelwright died of cancer in Las Vegas on May 1, 2001, aged 61.


Year Title Role Notes
1974 The Longest Yard Spooner
1976 Trackdown Rosey
1977 The Greatest Bossman Jones


  1. Sports Illustrated, 19th Hole, Readers comments, June 15, 1970
  2. Roy Powers "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2010-12-07. Retrieved 2010-05-31.
  3. Sir Shambling Deep Soul Website
  4. Sports Illustrated, This Saint has been called a sinner, June 1, 1970


External links Edit

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