CFL Football: Al Wilson
Date of birth: 6 April, 1950
Place of birth: Duncan, British Columbia
CFL status: Non-import
College: Montana State University
Jack of all Trades
Al Wilson was born in Duncan, British Columbia on April 6th, 1950 and would go on to become one of the longest serving BC Lions in the history of the club.
Wilson started his football career playing high school football with the home town Cowichan Secondary School in Duncan where he was a standout defensive end, offensive guard and tight end. Yup – football was in his blood!
Wilson did enough in his high school career to land himself in an American university. Montana State would be where he would hone his craft for four years from 1968-1972, even becoming captain of the squad during his senior year.
After college, Wilson made a quick transition to the CFL when he joined the BC Lions where he would play his whole career – 15 seasons.
He started as an offensive guard but soon moved to center where he would spend the bulk of his playing career.
Wilson played 233 games with BC which ranks second in games played for the Lions and at one point played a staggering 167 straight games.
It wouldn’t be until his 11th season in the CFL that Wilson would finally appear in his first Grey Cup – 1983 against Toronto in a game that the Lions would go on to lose.
In 1985, Wilson finally got his first Grey Cup ring when the Lions defeated the Hamilton Tiger-Cats 37-24. In 1986, after 15 seasons in the CFL, Wilson called it quits and retired as one of the most iconic BC Lions ever.
Wilson was inducted into the Canadian Sports Hall of Fame and the BC Sports Hall of Fame in 1997 and was named to the BC Lions Dream Team as part of the club’s 50th anniversary celebration in 2003.
In 2006, Wilson was voted to the Honour Roll of the CFL’s top 50 players of the league’s modern era by Canadian sports network TSN.
On October 18th, 2008, Wilson was inducted into the Duncan/North Cowichan Sports Wall of Fame.
Some other CFL accolades include:
- Western Division and CFL All-Star for seven consecutive years (1975, 1976, 1977, 1978, 1979, 1980, 1981).
- Won the DeMarco-Becket Memorial Trophy as the CFL Western Division’s most outstanding lineman three years in a row (1976–1978)
- Won the Scheneley Award as the CFL’s “Most Outstanding Offensive Linemen” in 1977.
- CFL Most Outstanding Lineman (1977), Canadian Football Hall of Fame, 1997