Football great, Minden native Charlie Hennigan passes at 82

Charlie Hennigan, a native of Minden and probably the greatest receiver in Houston Oilers history, died Wednesday at the age of 82.

Hennigan, five-time AFL All-Star and two-time champion, grew up in Minden until he attended LSU and later transferred to Northwestern State College.

He joined the Oilers in the team’s first year of operation and scored the first touchdown in Oilers history. Hennigan would go on to catch 410 passes for 6,823 yards and 51 touchdowns in his seven-year career with the Oilers.

Titans controlling owner Amy Adams Strunk released a statement Thursday morning about Hennigan’s passing.

“We are saddened to hear about the death of Charlie Hennigan yesterday,” Strunk said. “He was one of the finest players in our franchise’s history and a key component to our early championship teams, who still holds many of our receiving records. My father was particularly fond of Charlie and I have enjoyed getting to know him through the years. His contributions to our team will never be forgotten. We are thinking about him and his family during this difficult time.”

Hennigan was born in Bienville to Clarence Roland Hennigan and Lura E. Hennigan. Clarence was a long-time Webster Parish sheriff’s deputy, and Lura was a Pentecostal minister. She wrote a regular column for the Minden Press-Herald called “The Abundant Life.” Hennigan graduated from Minden High School in 1953.

Hennigan’s football accomplishments are too numerous to list. He was the second professional player to ever catch more than a hundred passes in a single season. He still holds the record for most receiving yards in a single calendar month, recording 822 in October 1961.

A visitation will be held on Friday, December 22, at 4:30 p.m. in Kingwood, TX at Darst Funeral Home, 796 Russell Palmer Road, Kingwood, TX 77339. A celebration of life will be held the same day at 5 p.m. also at the funeral home.

A graveside service will be held on Saturday, December 23 at 3 p.m. in Bienville, Louisiana at Campground Cemetery, HWY LA 507, Bienville, Louisiana 71008.

Hennigan’s survivor information was not available at press time.

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