Carl "Spider" Lockhart

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Carl "Spider" Lockhart
refer to caption
Lockhart in 1965
No. 43
Position:Defensive back
Personal information
Born:(1943-04-06)April 6, 1943
Dallas, Texas
Died:July 9, 1986(1986-07-09) (aged 43)
Hackensack, New Jersey
Career information
High school:Hamilton Park (TX)
College:North Texas
NFL Draft:1965 / Round: 13 / Pick: 169
Career history
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics
Player stats at · PFR

Carl Ford "Spider" Lockhart (April 6, 1943 – July 9, 1986) was an American football defensive back in the National Football League for the New York Giants. He was a two-time Pro Bowler. Lockhart played college football at North Texas State University and was drafted in the thirteenth round of the 1965 NFL Draft.

On arriving at Giants training camp, Emlen Tunnell, their defensive backfield coach, gave Carl the nickname Spider. The popular and talented Spider spent his entire 11-year career with the Giants. He was a Pro Bowl free safety in 1966, despite the Giants being the worst defensive team in points allowed/game in NFL history: 35.8 (14 games, see 1966 New York Giants season), the 1981 Baltimore Colts allowing 533 points in 16 games: 33.3; see List of National Football League records (team). In particular, their run defense was shredded by Washington Redskins runners with 209 yards, net passing yards only 132, in a 72–41 game, the most points allowed by both teams combined in a single game, Lockhart did get an interception against Sonny Jurgensen in the game.[1]

He was a Pro Bowl free safety a second time in 1968, leading the league in defensive touchdowns. Spider intercepted 41 passes in his career and recovered 16 fumbles during his 145 games played. Lockhart also returned 328 punts and was famous for rarely calling for a fair catch.

Spider retired from football in 1975 at the age of 32 and was a resident of Teaneck, New Jersey.[2] On July 9, 1986, at the age of 43, Spider died of lymphoma. In his honor, a "Spider patch" was worn by the Giants throughout their Super Bowl XXI-winning 1986 season.

In 1993, his widow won a $15.7 million malpractice verdict, after claiming that doctors at St. Vincent's Hospital had misdiagnosed swollen lymph nodes when he went to the hospital in 1979 and told a doctor there that he feared that he had cancer. Then living in Mahwah, New Jersey, Lockhart was not correctly diagnosed until he returned to see a doctor two years after his initial complaint.[3]


  1. ^ *Box score vs Redskins in a 72-41 game
  2. ^ Chass, Murray. "Lockhart's Swan Song Is Full of Discord", The New York Times, December 16, 1975. Accessed October 24, 2011. "The 32-year-old resident of Teaneck, N.J., knows he won't be a Giant next season and he was hoping to play his last game in New York the way he had played virtually all the others in his career -- as the starting free safety."
  3. ^ Staff. "PRO FOOTBALL; Jury Rules in Favor of Lockhart's Widow", The New York Times, October 30, 1993. Accessed October 24, 2011. "When Lockhart, a stockbroker then living in Mahwah, N.J., returned to St. Vincent's with the same complaint in 1981, he was diagnosed as having cancer of the lymph nodes. He was 43 when he died."

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