American Football, Irish-Born AAA Football Players, Irish-Born NFL Players, Irish-Born Pro American Football Players

Tom Furlong Irish-Born NFL and Pro American Football Player 1965-1966

Tom Furlong

Born: Daingean, Co. offaly

Career: Kicker on the Practice Squad of the New York Giants (NFL) 1965 / Pre-Season signing for Atlanta Falcons (NFL) 1966 (Cut after tearing cruciate ligaments) / Brooklyn Dodgers, Continental Football League 1966.

Biography: Tom Furlong was born in Daingean, Co. Offaly, and played Inter-County Football for Offaly, before being banned by the County Board for playing Soccer. Sitting in a bar in New York, he overheard members of the New York Giants Coaching Staff lamenting at the quality of their kickers (The Giants were having a woeful season) and having seen the game on TV, thought there was nothing to it a GAA player could not do, and volunteered to try out. He got on the Practice Squad for the Giants in 1965, leading to interviews with the New York Times and other newspapers with Irish-American connections.

The Giants brought in a new Kicker the following season, but the Irish-American Community Leaders, seeing the value of an Irish-born player in the NFL, arranged tryouts with the Atlanta Falcons and New England Patriots. He was signed by the Falcons for $12, 000-a-yeat contract, but unfortunately tore his cruciate ligament in training four days before the start of the season.

He didn’t give up on a Pro Career, however, as he was only working as a carpet fitter at the time and signed for the Brookyn Dodgers in the Continental Football League, where he played the 1966 season before retiring, as he thought his kicking was never as good after the injury.

Reference: [3-4]

Tom Furlong in Action [Ref: 7]

Tom Furlong Career Statistics

YearNo.TeamLeaguePositionGPGS
196621Brooklyn DodgersCoFLK60
Tom Furlong Career Statistics [Ref: 6]

Legend: No. = Shirt Number. CoFL = Continental Football League. K = Kicker. GP = Games Played. GS = Games Started.

Kicking

YearTeamLeagueFG FGAPctXP1XP1APctPts
1966Brooklyn DodgersCoFL21020.0192190.525
Tom Furlong Kicking Statistics [Ref: 6]

Legend: CoFL = Continental Football League. FG = Field Goals (Successful). FGA = Field Goals Attempted. Pct = Percentage. XP1 = Extra Points (Successful). XP1A = Extra Points attempted. Pts = Total Points (3 Pts FG, 1 Pt XP1)

Punting

YearTeamLeagueNo.YDSAVGLGBLOCK
1966Brooklyn DodgersCoFL11010.0100
Tom Furlong Punting Statistics [Ref: 6]

Legend: CoFL = Continental Football League. No. = Number of Punts Made. YDS = Yards Punted. AVG = Average Yards Punted. LG = Longest Punt. BLOCK = Punts Blocked.

NFL 1965

PWLTPFPAPct
Eastern Conference
*Cleveland Browns141130363325.786
Dallas Cowboys14770325280.500
New York Giants14770270338.500
Washington Redskins14680257301.429
Philadelphia Eagles14590363359.357
St. Louis Cardinals14590296309.357
Pittsburgh Steelers142120202397.143
Western Conference
*Green Bay Packers141031316224.769
Baltimore Colts141031389284.769
Chicago Bears14950409275.643
San Francisco 49ers14761421402.538
Minnesota Vikings14770383403.500
Detroit Lions14671257295.462
Los Angeles Rams144100269328.286
National Football League Standings 1965 [Ref: 1]
DateHome TeamAway Team
Western Playoff
1965Green Bay Packers13Baltimore Colts10 OT
NFL Championship
1965Green Bay Packers23Cleveland Browns12
National Football League Playoffs 1965 [Ref: 1]

Tom Furlong, who was born in Co. Offaly, Ireland, was on the Practice Squad of the New York Giants in 1965 [Ref: 3-4]

NFL Preseason 1966

PWLTPct
Baltimore Colts55001.000
Dallas Cowboys55001.000
Chicago Bears4310.750
Minnesota Vikings5311.750
Philadelphia Eagles5320.600
Cleveland Browns5320.600
New York Giants5320.600
Los Angeles Rams5320.600
Green Bay Packers4220.500
St. Louis Cardinals5230.400
Washington Redskins4130.250
Pittsburgh Steelers5140.200
Atlanta Falcons5140.200
Detroit Lions5041.000
San Francisco 49ers5050.000
National Football League Preseason Standings 1966 [Ref: 5]

Tom Furlong, who was born in Co. Offaly, Ireland, played Kicker for the Atlanta Falcons in the NFL preseason 1966 [Ref: 3-4]

CoFL 1966

PWLT
West Division
Orlando Panthers141220
Charleston Rockets141040
Montreal Beavers14770
Richmond Rebels144100
Wheeling Ironmen140140
East Division
Toronto Rifles14950
Philadelphia Bulldogs14950
Norfolk Neptunes14860
Hartford Charter Oaks14680
Brooklyn Dodgers14590
Continental Football League Standings 1966 [Ref: 2]
DateHome TeamAway Team
CoFL Championship
1966Philadelphia BulldogsW
Continental Football League Playoffs 1966 [Ref: 2]

Tom Furlong, who was born in Co. Offaly, Ireland, played as Kicker for the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1966. [Ref: 3-4]

References:

Bibliography

[1] National Football League (2014) “Past Standings” 2014 NFL Record & Factbook . pg. 396.

Websites:

[2] Greater Northwest Football Alliance (2017) Continental Football League (1965-1969) [Internet] Available from: http://www.gnfafootball.org/continentalleague.htm [Accessed 30 August 2017]

Sources:

[3] Hannigan, Dara (1987) “Greening of the Gridiron” The Sunday Tribune , 27 July 1987. Sportweek, pg. 10 [Available online at the British Newspaper Archive: https://www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk/ ]

[4] Irish Independent (2014) Tom Furlong and the NFL career that slipped away [Internet] Available from: https://www.independent.ie/sport/gaelic-games/gaelic-football/offalys-tom-furlong-and-the-nfl-career-that-slipped-away-30549405.html [Accessed 2 April 2020]

[5] Anon. (1966) NFL Exhibition Final Standings El Paso Herald Post. September 5 1966. pg. 19 [Internet] Available from: https://newspaperarchive.com/el-paso-herald-post-sep-05-1966-p-19/ [Accessed 2 April 2020]

[6] Pro Football Archives (2020)1966 Brooklyn Dodgers Continental Football League [Internet] Available from: https://www.profootballarchives.com/1966coflbkn.html [Accessed 2 April 2020]

Images:

[7] Irish Independent (2014) Tom Furlong and the NFL career that slipped away [Internet] Available from: https://www.independent.ie/sport/gaelic-games/25ee2/30549403.ece/AUTOCROP/w1240h700/2014-08-31_spo_3142175_I1.JPG [Accessed 2 April 2020]

Acknowledgements

Thanks to Tim Leadingham

About this document

Researched, compiled and written by Enda Mulcahy for the

Eirball | Irish North American & World Sports Archive

Last Updated: 2 April 2020

(c) Copyright Enda Mulcahy and World Gridiron Archive 2020

You may quote this document in part provided that proper acknowledgement is given to the authors. All Rights Resereved.

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