Alabama man, 61, earns spot as college football kicker

Fri Sep 2, 2011 7:45pm EDT
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By Verna Gates

BIRMINGHAM, Ala (Reuters) - When the recession booted Alan Moore out of a 37-year career in civil construction, he kicked back -- by becoming a kicker for an Alabama college football team at age 61.

On Saturday, Moore, affectionately referred to as "Pops" by his Faulkner University teammates, will get his first chance to kick in public for the small Christian school during a squad scrimmage in Montgomery. Four of his five grandchildren will be there to watch.

"I came back to play football," he told Reuters. "I know I can do it."

Back in his glory year of 1968, Moore kicked for a national title for Holmes Community College in Goodman, Mississippi. He had taken up the position in high school, thrilling his mother by kicking an extra point. The late Agnes Moore called it "the prettiest play she had ever seen."

"My momma wanted me to kick a football," he said.

But Moore's football career ended early in 1969 with the Vietnam War draft looming over his head. He and a buddy joined the Army thinking they could choose where they served.

Instead, he spent 10 months in a bunker, and his buddy was shot and paralyzed. Moore came home to work and raise a family, with college by then a distant dream.

He started practicing football again after he was laid off in 2009.   Continued...