Colts kicker Myhra, whose FG forced overtime in '58, dies at 60

August 06, 1994|By Jamison Hensley | Jamison Hensley,Contributing Writer

Steve Myhra, whose last-minute field goal for the Baltimore Colts set the stage for sudden-death overtime in "The Greatest Game Ever Played" in 1958, died of a heart attack in Detroit Lakes, Minn., Thursday night.

Myhra, who celebrated his 60th birthday in Baltimore with some former Colts teammates on April 2, played for the Colts from 1957 to 1961, including the NFL championship teams of 1958 and 1959.

In the 1958 NFL championship game against the New York Giants, Myhra kicked a 20-yard field goal with seven seconds left in the fourth quarter to force overtime after quarterback Johnny Unitas drove the Colts downfield.

The Colts won in overtime, 23-17, on Alan Ameche's 1-yard touchdown run. In that game at Yankee Stadium, Myhra also played linebacker when Leo Sanford was injured.

During the 1958 season, Myhra was second on the Colts with 60 points.

In the 1959 NFL championship game in Baltimore, Myhra capped a 24-point fourth quarter with a field goal as the Colts again defeated the Giants, 31-16. He led the league in points after touchdowns in 1958 and 1959.

Myhra won the first three games for the Colts in 1961, his final season, with last-minute field goals. He led the Colts with 96 points that year and made 21 of 39 field-goal attempts.

After that season, Myhra returned to North Dakota and operated a business in Fargo.

Myhra attended the University of Minnesota and graduated from North Dakota. He was drafted by the Colts as a "future," meaning he had a year left before his class graduated. Myhra replaced Bert Rechichar, who had kicked for the Colts since 1953.

He is survived by three sons and a sister, Joan Holtz of Scottsdale, Ariz. The funeral is scheduled for Wednesday in Fargo.

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