Former Saints TE Henry Childs Dies at Age 65

Henry Childs 1979 New Orleans Saints Topps Card
New Orleans Saints Tight End Henry Childs

Former New Orleans Saints Tight End Henry Childs Has Passed Away

The Whodat Nation has lost another great player. Former All-Pro Tight End Henry Childs has died of a heart attack at the age of 65. Childs played a total of 7 seasons with the Saints and is still #7 on the New Orleans Saints All-Time Touchdown catches in a career.
Sports Blogger Barry Hirstius has written a little account of the late Henry Chils at

Former Saints TE Henry Childs Dies at Age 65

by Barry Hirstius

Former late 1970’s Saints All-Pro tight end Henry Childs has died at the age of 65, according to his niece, Ty Monroe. Monroe says that her Uncle died of a massive heart attack while driving his vehicle in Thomasville, Georgia.

“My uncle and his baby sister — my Aunt Debra — had just left the Thomasville High School track from walking and exercising yesterday morning. He was driving when he told my aunt that ‘something wasn’t right,’ and my aunt stated that he gurgled and then slumped over the wheel, but he never took his foot off the brake!!! He had a massive heart attack! By the time that the ambulance got there, he had already went into cardiac arrest. They shocked him 6 times, but he was already gone”.

Like many tight ends of this current NFL era do now, Childs excelled back then by utilizing his unique talent and ability to make amazing catches as an integral part of the “first” high-powered Saints offense, thrown to him by original Saints quarterbacking legend, Archie Manning.

For Saints fans who grew up during that era (the late 1970’s), the exploits of Manning and Childs made for some of the more memorable moments in all of Saints history.

Originally drafted by the Atlanta Falcons in the 1974 draft out of Kansas State, Childs was released by Atlanta during his rookie season and then claimed off of waivers by the Saints.

Childs became the full-time starting tight end the following year in 1975, but it wasn’t until the 3rd year after in 1977 (when new Saints head coach Hank Stram installed his wide-open, progressive passing offense to fit the talents of Manning), that Childs would explode onto the scene. Childs was the classic “late-bloomer”.

He went from being an afterthought, to becoming one of the most heralded and respected players at his position for the remainder of that decade, including a Pro Bowl selection after the 1979 season.

Childs had an innate ability to make the ‘big play’ when the Saints would need it most. In most of them, Henry would be completely covered when quarterback Archie Manning was forced to get rid of the ball sooner than he had wanted to, but would incredibly STILL make the catch.

Childs emerged during those seasons in the late 1970’s as one of the best at his position — behind only Ozzie Newsome of Cleveland, Kellen Winslow of San Diego, and Dave Casper of Oakland.

Childs’ knack to get open and make the most difficult of catches set him apart from the other tight ends in the league and the Saints benefited greatly from his incredible talent during that unforgettable era.

In all, Childs played in 8 seasons (1974-1981) for the Saints, and amassed 223 receptions for a total of 3,401 yards with 28 touchdowns.

Childs was inducted into the New Orleans Saints Hall of Fame in 1994.

For the “old school” Saints fans, they’ll always remember old number #85 and how becoming Archie Manning’s favorite target allowed him to blossom and evolve into of the most under appreciated players at his position in both Saints and NFL history……

This article was originally posted at


I've been following the Saints since a kid in the 70s watching the likes of Archie Manning and Tommy Myers.
We may not have as grandiose a history as some NFL teams, but there are scores of memories the New Orleans Saints have given to their fans and I have done my best to record them here at New Orleans Saints History.

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One comment

  1. Henry Childs was the greatest of friends. He was always happy and full of pleasure. Henry was a friend in Thomasville and at the NFL games where we were his guests. Henry always showed us a great time. We miss you great friend.

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