There are 35 players/contributors recognized on the Edmonton Eskimo Wall of Honour at Commonwealth Stadium. Each recipient is renowned for his involvement with the Edmonton Eskimo Football Club.
A three-time CFL All-Star through 15 seasons, ‘Wilkie’ never missed a game in his 10 years (1972-1981) with Edmonton which included five wins in eight Grey Cup games. In 1974, Tom was named the CFL’s Outstanding Player. Tom was the first inductee to the Eskimo Wall of Honour at Commonwealth Stadium. He was elected to the Canadian Football Hall of Fame in 1987. Following his playing career, Wilkinson coached the University of Alberta Golden Bears football program and he remains one of Edmonton’s most popular sports heroes.
This powerful fullback gained 10,909 yards in 13 CFL seasons with Calgary and Edmonton. He was top rusher in the West four times, a Western All-Star six times and the Most Outstanding Player in the CFL in 1959. He rushed for 1,200 or more yards in five straight seasons and ran for 71 touchdowns. Bright helped lead the Eskimos to three-straight Grey Cup victories in 1954, 1955 and 1956.
‘The China Clipper’ played 13 seasons with Calgary and Edmonton. Twice voted the CFL’s Outstanding Canadian in 1955 and 1956, Normie finished his glorious career with 9,022 rushing yards and 78 touchdowns. He was the West Division’s leading rushing three times and earned four Western All-Star nominations. Teamed with Johnny Bright, Kwong gave the Eskimos a dynamic backfield which resulted in three consecutive Grey Cup wins (1954-55-56). Kwong was inducted into the CFL Hall of Fame in 1969. Normie’s name was added to the Eskimo Wall of Honour at Commonwealth Stadium in 1983.
During his 11 outstanding seasons with the Green and Gold (1951-1961), Rollie Miles was voted a Western All-Star eight times as a running back, defensive back and linebacker. In 1954, he was a first team All-Star halfback on both offense and defense. Rollie played in five Grey Cups and was on the winning side three times. He was elected to the Canadian Football Hall of Fame in 1980 and added to the Eskimo Wall of Honour in 1983.
“The Fast Freight from Mississippi State” or “Ole Spaghetti Legs” starred as quarterback, halfback and defensive back for the Edmonton Eskimos from 1954 to 1962, the Argos from 1963 to 1965 and B.C. Lions from 1966 to 1968. He played on three Grey Cup winners with Edmonton, won the Schenley as the CFL's top player three times, was an All-Star for eight straight years and he scored 750 points, including 88 touchdowns rushing and 75 TDs passing. Jackie’s dramatic 84- yard TD run in the 1954 Grey Cup game remains one of pro sports most memorable plays. Jack is a member of Canada's Sports Hall of Fame, was inducted into the Canadian Football Hall of Fame in 1971 and joined the Eskimo Wall of Honour in 1983.
“Doctor Death" was a stalwart on the Edmonton Eskimo Defensive Line from 1974 to 1983 and a major part of the Esks’ “Five in a Row” Grey Cup winning teams. He was the Defensive Star of the 1978 Grey Cup and the Defensive and Canadian Star of the 1982 Grey Cup. Dave was a CFL and Western All-Star at defensive tackle from 1977 to 1981 and the CFL’s Most Outstanding Defensive Player in 1978. He won the Most Outstanding Canadian Award in 1979 and was Runner-up in 1980. Dave Fennell entered the CFL Hall of Fame in 1990 and his name was added to the Eskimo Wall of Honour in 1984.
As a hard nosed Guard and Defensive Tackle, Frank played on two teams, Toronto and Edmonton, that put together three consecutive Grey Cup victories. Following his illustrious playing career, Frank distinguished himself as the Eskimo Director of Player Development from 1973 to 1988 and celebrated six more Grey Cup wins including the Five-in-a-Row dynasty of the late 1970’s and early ‘80’s. Frank was inducted into the Canadian Football Hall of Fame in 1983 and in 1984 his name was added to the Eskimo Wall of Honour at Commonwealth Stadium.
Nicknamed “Guts”, Anderson spent six seasons with the Eskimos from 1952-1957. The Oklahoma native was a five-time All-Star in the era of two-way players and he helped Edmonton to three consecutive Grey Cup victories in 1954, ‘55 and ‘56. Frank Anderson was inducted posthumously to the Eskimo Wall of Honour in 1985.
If the Eskimos needed a big play, chances are they got it from George McGowan. A standout at Kansas University, McGowan signed with Edmonton in 1971 and would enjoy eight record-setting seasons with the Green and Gold. Winner of the Schenley Most Outstanding Player Award in 1973, McGowan caught 81 passes for 1,123 yards and 9 touchdowns. In 1975, McGowan posted 98 receptions for 1,472 yards and 8 touchdowns. He is still second on the CFL's all-time list for most catches in a regular season game with 15 receptions for 249 yards. A three time CFL All-Star and West Division All-Star (1973, '75,'76), McGowan appeared in five Grey Cup games in eight seasons and was on the winning team twice (1975,'78). In 1985, McGowan's name was added to the prestigious Wall of Honour at Commonwealth Stadium. He joined the Canadian Football Hall of Fame in 2003.
Dave was an Eskimo for his entire 16-year career (1969-‘84). The native of Biggar, Saskatchewan hit 464 field goals, 627 converts and 218 singles for 2,237 points – now second on the Eskimo list for career points. His 59-yard field goal in 1970 stands third on the CFL’s all-time list. Dave played on six Eskimo Grey Cup winning teams (1975, 1978-‘82) and was a Western All-Star in 1977, 1978 and 1980 and an All-Canadian in 1977 and 1978. He was the West Division’s Top Scorer eight times. Dave joined the Eskimo Wall of Honour in 1986 and was inducted into the Canadian Football Hall of Fame in 1998.
Danny and teammate Dave Fennell were Edmonton’s marquee defensive players during the team’s golden era. From his middle linebacker position, Danny helped lead the Esks to five straight Grey Cup titles from 1978 to 1982. He was named to both the Western and CFL All-Star teams for five consecutive years (1977-81) and was a three-time winner of the Schenley Award as the CFL’s top defensive player in 1977, 1980 and 1981. Danny was inducted to the Eskimo Wall of Honour in 1987 and joined the Canadian Football Hall of Fame in 1996.
Roger Nelson is one of the most consistent offensive tackles ever to play in the Canadian Football League. He is a four-time Western All-Star and won the Schenley as Most Outstanding Lineman in 1959. He played 13 seasons for the Edmonton Eskimos between 1954 and 1967. Inducted into the Canadian Football Hall of Fame in 1985, Roger’s name was added to the Eskimo Wall of Honour in 1987.
|TOMMY JOE COFFEY
Seven times an All-Canadian All-Star, four times an Eastern All-Star and three times a Western All-Star, Tommy Joe played both receiver and kicker and finished with 10,320 yards on pass receptions and 971 points. He was the West Division’s leading scorer in 1962. After two seasons (1959-‘60) with Edmonton, Tommy Joe left football in 1961 but returned to star for the Eskimos (1962-1966), Hamilton (1967-72) and Toronto (1973) before retiring in 1973. Elected to the Canadian Football Hall of Fame in 1977, Tommy Joe joined the Eskimo Wall of Honour in 1988.
If one player can be credited with turning around the fortunes of a franchise, John LaGrone is that player. Arriving in 1967, John was a quiet leader who let his on-field play do the talking. During his eight seasons (1967-1974) with the Esks, John won the Schenley Award in 1969 as Top Lineman and was a two-time CFL All-Star and six-time West Division All-Star. He played in two Grey Cups (1973 -‘74) and retired prior to the 1975 season.
Affectionately known as "Howdy Doody", the 5'9" Kelly was an exceptionally intelligent receiver during his nine-year career (1979-‘87). Brian caught 575 passes for a then CFL record 11,169 yards and scored 586 points. His 97 career touchdowns are currently fourth on the CFL’s all-time list. A six-time CFL All-Star, Kelly was the CFL’s Most Outstanding Rookie is 1979 and the West Division’s Most Outstanding Player in 1987. He had his name added to the Eskimo Wall of Honour in 1989 and was elected to the Canadian Football Hall of Fame in 1991.
A product of Michigan State, Danny Bass entered the CFL in 1980 with Toronto. The following season he was traded to Calgary where he played for two seasons, but it was as an Eskimo from 1984 – 1991 that he enjoyed his greatest success. A six-time CFL All-Star and a Western All-Star eight times, Danny won the Schenley Most Outstanding Defensive Player in 1989. Bass played in three Grey Cups (1986, ’87, ‘90) and was on Edmonton’s 1987 championship team. Danny’s name was enshrined on the Eskimo Wall of Honour in 1992 and he entered the Canadian Football Hall of Fame in 2000.
An intelligent, versatile player, Don Getty played ten seasons as quarterback for the Eskimos (1955-64) and had his name added to the Wall of Honour at Commonwealth Stadium in 1992. Born August 30, 1933 in Westmount, Quebec, Getty was an outstanding student/athlete at the University of Western Ontario where he quarterbacked the Mustangs to the Eastern Collegiate Union Championship in 1954 and '55. He was also the starting guard on Western's championship winning basketball team in 1952, '53, '54 and in 1955 was named Western's Most Outstanding Athlete. Getty joined the Eskimos in 1955 and helped lead them to Grey Cup wins in 1955 and '56. In 1959, Getty was named Outstanding Canadian in the Western Canada Football League and was runner up for the Schenley Award as the CFL's Outstanding Player. Following his playing career, Getty entered politics in 1967 as a member of Alberta's Legislative Assembly. He left politics in 1979 and returned to the private sector. In 1985, he was elected leader of the Alberta Progressive Conservatives and that same year would lead the party to election. Don Getty served as Alberta's 11th premier from 1985-1992.
An Edmonton native, Oscar played one season of junior football with the Edmonton Wildcats in 1953 before making the jump to the Eskimos in 1954. He played 12 seasons at safety and ended his career with 46 interceptions and 16 fumble recoveries. A former provincial boxing champion, Oscar earned a law degree from the University of Alberta while playing for the Esks. A four-time West Division All-Star in 1957, ‘58, ’61 and ‘62, Kruger was named the Eskimos’ Top Canadian in 1963. He retired in 1965. Oscar’s name was added to the Eskimo Wall of Honour in 1992.
Tom entered the CFL with Winnipeg and was named the CFL's Most Outstanding Rookie in 1973. He was traded to Edmonton in 1978 and would spend six productive seasons at slotback with the Esks. Tom played a key role in the Five-in-a-Row dynasty teams. He finished his career with 649 receptions for 10,320 yards and 88 touchdowns. He was an All-Canadian in 1977, 1978, 1980, 1982 and 1983 and the West Division’s Most Outstanding Player in 1982. Tom’s name was added to the Eskimo Wall of Honour in 1993 and he was inducted into the Canadian Football Hall of Fame in 1998.
Flashy and outspoken, Larry Highbaugh had the numbers to back up the talk during his 13-year CFL career. A B.C. Lion from 1971-‘72, Larry came to Edmonton in ‘72 and would stay until his retirement in 1983. A four-time Western All-Star and a three-time CFL All-Star, Larry played in nine Grey Cups, winning six. His 2,190 yards on punt returns includes the Eskimo all-time longest return of 116 yards against Winnipeg in 1975. Larry’s 4,189 yards on kick-off returns includes the club’s all-time longest return of 118 yards and the second longest of 109 and he’s the only Eskimo with three kick-off returns for touchdowns. He also caught 80 passes for 1,364 yards and 14 TDs. Larry’s name was added to the Eskimo Wall of Honour in 1996 and he was inducted into the CFL Hall of Fame in 2004.
Schenley Award winner Warren Moon spent his entire CFL career with the Edmonton Eskimos, from 1978 to 1983. In 1980, he became the team's starting quarterback and led the team to its third straight Grey Cup victory. Moon would help lead the Eskimos back to the Cup game three more times, with the Esks winning twice. In 1983, his final season in the CFL, Warren won the Schenley as Most Outstanding Player and was named both a CFL All-Star and Western All-Star. For Warren’s last year in Canada, he was the top quarterback with 380 completions of 664 attempts for 5,648 yards and 31 touchdowns.
The Los Angeles, CA native (born: November 18, 1956) starred at the University of Washington and was the 1978 Rose Bowl MVP. Warren would go on to great success in the NFL with Houston, Minnesota, Seattle and Kansas City and he retired in 2000 as the most prolific passer in pro football history. Warren was elected to the Canadian Football Hall of Fame and the Eskimo Wall of Honour in 2001.
Warren Moon: Awards and Honours:
- CFL All-Star Team (Quarterback) - 1983
- Western All-Star (Quarterback) - 1983
- Schenley Most Outstanding Player - 1983
- Grey Cup Most Outstanding Offensive Player - 1980
- Grey Cup Most Outstanding Player - 1982
- Jeff Nicklin Memorial Trophy (Western MVP) - 1983
- Edmonton Eskimo Wall of Fame - 2001
- Grey Cup Participation - 1978, 1979, 1980, 1981,1982
- Grey Cup Winning Teams - 1978, 1979, 1980, 1981, 1982
|HENRY “GIZMO” WILLIAMS
The greatest kick returner in pro football, Henry “Gizmo” Williams played his final game October 28, 2000. Born May 5, 1963 in Memphis, Tennessee, Gizmo thrilled Eskimo fans for 14 seasons and leaves behind a legacy of records that will likely never be broken. Gizmo worked tirelessly in the community throughout his career and in 1999 was honoured with the Eskimo Community Services Award. He was inducted into the CFL Hall of Fame in 2006.
“Gizmo” by the numbers:
- West Division All-Star: 1987, 1988, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1997
- CFL All-star: 1987, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994
- Member of the Eskimo 1987 and 1993 Grey Cup winning teams
- Grey Cup record for most yards on missed field goal returns: 143 vs Toronto Nov 29th, 1987.
- Grey Cup record for longest missed field goal return: 115 yards vs. Toronto Nov 29th 1987
- Longest punt return in playoffs: 103 yds vs Sask Nov 15, 1992
One of Edmonton’s most outstanding defensive players, Pless was a punishing force at linebacker for eight seasons and 142 games as an Eskimo. Beginning his career with Toronto in 1986, Pless was an 11-time CFL All-Star and earned an unprecedented five CFL Most Outstanding Defensive Player awards. Pless became the 23rd player added to the Wall of Honour in 2004 and was inducted into the CFL Hall of Fame in 2005. He remains the CFL leader in tackles with 1241 and playoff tackles with 88.
Arguably one of the CFL’s most durable and hard-nosed players, Connop enjoyed a 16-year career, playing in six Grey Cups and winning three times (‘82, ‘87, ‘93). He was an eight-time Western All-Star (once as a North Division selection) and a six-time CFL All-Star. He was named the Most Outstanding Offensive Lineman in the West Division in 1989. Connop put together a string of 210 consecutive games beginning in 1983 and ending with his retirement after the 1997 season. Rod remains the all-time Eskimo leader in games played with 274. He was inducted into the CFL Hall of Fame in 2005.
A first round draft pick (8th overall) by Edmonton in the 1992 CFL Draft, Morris starred at the University of Toronto. He cracked the veteran laden Eskimo line-up and was in the starting line-up for the opening game of the ’92 season. He would keep that job for the next 14 years, playing a key role in Edmonton’s Grey Cup titles in 1993, 2003 and 2005.
A six-time Grey Cup champion and one of the club’s greatest defensive players, Ron Estay was inducted to the Eskimo Wall of Honour in 2010. Known as “Swampdog”, the Lousiana State product got his start in the CFL with BC in 1972 and was traded to Edmonton mid-way through the following season. He was instrumental in helping the Esks to an appearance in the 1973 Grey Cup against Ottawa, the first of nine Grey Cups that Estay would play in. The Raceland, LA native would become a mainstay on Edmonton’s famed “Alberta Crude” defence that was so dominant through the 1970’s and early 80’s. In 1974, Estay tied a CFL record with five sacks in a game. He was inducted into the Canadian Football Hall of Fame in 2003.
Grey Cup appearances – 1973, ’74, 75, ’77, ’78, 79, 1980, ’81, ‘82
Grey Cup victories – 1975,’78, ’79, ’80, ’81, ‘82
All-Canadian Defensive End - 1977, 1980
All-Western Defensive End – 1973, ’77, ’78, 1980
The Eskimos made a trade with the Roughriders in 1985 to obtain the rights to linebacker Larry Wruck. The Saskatoon native dominated Saskatchewan high school football, followed by a brilliant career with the Saskatoon Hilltops where he was named Most Outstanding Defensive Player in all of Canadian Junior Football.
Wruck played 12 seasons (1985-1996) with the Esks and remains 6th on the Eskimo all-time list in regular season games played with 213 and 2nd on the club's all-time list with 647 defensive tackles. Over his career, Larry won two Grey Cups (1987 & 1993), was Edmonton’s nominee for Most Outstanding Canadian five times and was twice the runner-up for the CFL's Most Outstanding Canadian.
Wruck has remained in Edmonton since his retirement from football and has an active role with Eskimo Alumni and all its charitable efforts.
The Eskimos’ first pick in the 1992 CFL Draft, Fleming played soccer and baseball growing up in Burnaby, BC before finding his way onto the football field in high school at Vancouver College.
At the University of Wyoming, Sean set numerous career and season records and has been inducted into the school’s Hall of Fame.
Over 16 seasons (1992-2007) in the CFL, all of them with the Eskimos, Fleming won the Grey Cup three times (1993, 2003, 2005) and was named the Grey Cup’s Most Outstanding Canadian in 1993. He is the club’s all-time scoring leader (2571) and second on the Esks’ all-time list for games played (268).
Sean continues to play a key role in our community and, over 22 years, his annual charity golf tournament as raised over 1.5 million dollars for diabetes research.
EDMONTON ESKIMO CONTRIBUTORS
1990 - HUGH CAMPBELL, BRYAN HALL, NORM KIMBALL
1991 - WALTER SPRAGUE
2001 - JIM HOLE, JOE HEALY
2005 - WES MONTGOMERY
2011 - BOB TURNER