Gene Alderton
Alderton (left) presents Prince Philip an autographed football on October 17, 1957.
Personal information
Date of birth: April 3, 1934
Place of birth: Cumberland, Maryland
Date of death: July 2, 1992(1992-07-02) (aged 58)
Place of death: Hyattsville, Maryland
Career information
College: Maryland (1955–1957)
NFL Draft: 1957 / Round: 15 / Pick: 179 by the Detroit Lions
No regular season or postseason appearances
Career history
 As player:
*Detroit Lions ( 1958)
 As coach:
*Maryland (freshman coach) (1958)
Career highlights and awards
*1956 AP All-ACC first team

Wayne Eugene "Gene" Alderton (April 3, 1934 – July 2, 1992) was an American football player. He played college football for the University of Maryland. He was selected by the Detroit Lions of the National Football League in the 1957 NFL Draft.

College careerEdit

A native of Cumberland, Maryland, Alderton attended college at the University of Maryland, where he played as a center on the football team. As a sophomore in 1955, he was pressed into service to replace injured starting center Bob Pellegrini.[1] In 1956, he was an honorable mention Associated Press All-American.[2] The Associated Press also named him to its All-Atlantic Coast Conference first team.[3]

As a senior in 1957, he served as the team co-captain alongside Jack Healy.[4] That season, Maryland played North Carolina in the "Queen's Game"—the first American football game attended by Queen Elizabeth II. Alderton was scheduled to meet the Queen in the pre-game ceremonies.[5] After he lost a tooth in the previous week's game, "university officials speedily ordered up a replacement so he could smile properly when he and the other co-captains were introduced to Elizabeth and Philip".[6][7] Alderton presented a souvenir football to the Queen and Prince Philip alongside fellow co-captain Jack Healy before the game.[8] The Newspaper Enterprise Association named him an honorable mention All-American.[9] The Atlantic Coast Conference selected him as a member of its All-ACC second team.[3][10]

Head coach Tommy Mont recommended Alderton, alongside back-up center Wilbur Main, for selection to the South squad in the all-star Shrine Game to Miami coach Andy Gustafson.[11] Upon the conclusion of his collegiate playing career, Alderton received the Teke Trophy for service by a football player over four years.[12] He graduated from Maryland in 1958 with a Bachelor of Science degree in education for industry.[13]

After collegeEdit

Alderton was selected in the 15th round of the 1957 NFL Draft by the Detroit Lions.[14] In the summer of 1958, he was competing for a position at the Lions' training camp,[15] and considered to have a good chance at making the roster.[16] He played for Detroit, the defending NFL champions, in the 1958 College All-Star Game.[17][18]

In mid-August, he was hired as the freshman team coach at his alma mater.[19] In 1964, Alderton was elected to the board of trustees of the University of Maryland M Club, an athletic alumni organization.[20] He died on July 2, 1992, while living in Hyattsville, Maryland.[21]


  1. Jim Tatum Isn't Ready To Downgrade Early Appraisal of Maryland Gridders, The Free Lance-Star, September 16, 1955.
  2. 1956 Associated Press All-America Football Team Announced; Vols' Johnny Majors is Picked as First String, Times Daily, December 7, 1956.
  3. 3.0 3.1 "All-Time Honors", 2007 Maryland Football Media Guide, pp. 162–163, University of Maryland, 2007.
  4. 1958 Terrapin, p. 226, University of Maryland, 1958.
  6. Maryland's queen for a day, The Washington Times, October 19, 2007.
  7. All He Wants Is New Tooth as Queen Calls, Chicago Daily Tribune, October 18, 1957.
  8. 1958 Terrapin, p. 226, University of Maryland, 1958.
  9. Three SEC Players Selected, Gadsden Times, November 18, 1957.
  10. Christy Heads All-A.C.C. Team, The Baltimore Sun, December 3, 1957.
  11. Maryland Players Get Boost For Shrine Tilt, The Miami News, November 17, 1957.
  12. Gene Alderton Wins Maryland Sports Award, The Washington Post and Times Herald, p. A17, January 18, 1958.
  13. 1958 Terrapin, p. 336, University of Maryland, 1958.
  14. 1957 NFL Player Draft Script error, Database Football, retrieved August 25, 2010.
  15. Five Rookies Figure In Lions' Plan, Ludington Daily News, August 11, 1958.
  16. Veteran Performers to Carry Load for Lions in 1958 Camp, Ludington Daily News, July 7, 1958.
  17. Underdog College Team Tackles Lions Friday, Herald-Journal, August 10, 1958.
  18. Tonight's Rosters, Numbers, The Miami News, August 15, 1958.
  19. Terp Frosh Post To Gene Alderton, The Baltimore Sun, August 12, 1958.
  20. Appendix D; M Club Board of Trustees; 1923 – 2000 Script error, University of Maryland M Club, retrieved August 29, 2010.
  21. Social Security Death Index, retrieved August 29, 2010.
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