John Tuggle

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John Tuggle
John Tuggle.jpg
No. 38
Position:Running back
Personal information
Born:(1961-01-13)January 13, 1961
Honolulu, Hawaii
Died:August 30, 1986(1986-08-30) (aged 25)
Tijuana, Mexico
Height:6 ft 1 in (1.85 m)
Weight:210 lb (95 kg)
Career information
High school:San Jose (CA) Independence
NFL Draft:1983 / Round: 12 / Pick: 335
Career history
  • New York Giants (1983)
Career NFL statistics
Rushing attempts:17
Rushing yards:49
Receiving yards:50
Kick returns:9
Player stats at

John Davis Tuggle (January 13, 1961 – August 30, 1986) was a running back in the National Football League.[1] Tuggle was the last selection of the 1983 NFL Draft, selected by the New York Giants.[2] The nickname given to the last player selected in the draft is "Mr. Irrelevant." He played that season with the team. He would go on to be awarded the New York Giants Special Teams Player of the Year that season.

Tuggle played high school football for Independence High School in San Jose, California.[3] The school now holds an annual golf tournament in his memory, as a sports program fundraiser.

Tuggle died from cancer on August 30, 1986.[4][5] Though they did not keep him on the team after the 1985 season, the Giants paid for Tuggle's health insurance for the remainder of his life, and wore his number 38 on their helmets during their 1986–87 Super Bowl winning season.[6]

Coincidentally, another former Giant, Carl "Spider" Lockhart, a defensive back from 1965-75, died from lymphoma on July 9, 1986. The Giants honored Lockhart with a "Spider" patch on their jerseys throughout the 1986 season.

Tuggle was the subject of the 30 for 30 short, The Irrelevant Giant.[7][8]


  1. ^ "John Tuggle". Retrieved 2011-07-25.
  2. ^ Finn, Robin (14 September 1986). "TUGGLE'S FIGHT AGAINST TIME". The New York Times. The New York Times Company. Retrieved 22 July 2016.
  3. ^ Finn, Robin. "Tuggle's Fight Against Time" The New York Times. September 14, 1986.
  4. ^ "Holmdel's Tommy Nolan Wins John Tuggle Memorial Award". All Shore Media. Retrieved 2011-07-25.
  5. ^ "1989 – 1980 Necrology" Archived 2015-09-27 at the Wayback Machine, Oldest Living Pro Football Players,, Retrieved 2011-09-06; Robin Finn, "Tuggle’s Fight Against Time", The New York Times, 1986-09-14. Retrieved 2011-09-06
  6. ^ Weintraub, Robert. "Once Mr. Irrelevant, a Giant Remains an Inspiring Force". The New York Times. April 21, 2013.
  7. ^ "The Irrelevant Giant - ESPN Films: 30 for 30". ESPN. Retrieved March 21, 2016.
  8. ^ "30 for 30: The Irrelevant Giant". ESPN. Retrieved 24 April 2013.

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