A pair of Winnipeg Blue Bomber legends are going to be inducted into the Canadian Football Hall of Fame, it was announced Sunday.
Receiver Milt Stegall and the late Tyrone Jones will join quarterback Damon Allen, offensive lineman Jack Abenschan, CIAU great Eric Lapointe and builders David Braley and Peter Connellan in the next class to be inducted into the hall.
The announcement was made on TSN Sunday afternoon during their broadcast of the Montreal Alouettes-Hamilton Tiger-Cats game from Percival Molson Stadium.
"I was thrilled when I got the call from the commissioner," Stegall said in a phone interview Sunday afternoon. "When I first got to Winnipeg, I was just excited to be able to play receiver. And so the fact that I’m now being inducted into the hall of fame, it’s truly a blessing. It’s overwhelming and a great honour."
It was also a bit bittersweet for the family of Jones, who passed away last June from cancer wondering if he would be forgotten. "Tyrone was so afraid," his brother Artie Jones said Sunday afternoon. "In his last days, he was so afraid that he would be forgotten as a family member and as a football player. This honour would really make him happy and it also makes the family happy.
"I’m so glad the CFL has given him this honour because it’s something permanent up there that they can tell their kids about. And their kids will be able to go online and see, even if they’re not able to make it up there to see what kind of man he was."
"This tribute is definitely fitting and well deserved," Bombers president Jim Bell said in a statement. "These two gentlemen made up the foundation of what Blue Bomber football is all about. Both individuals had outstanding careers wearing blue and gold and their selection into the Canadian Football Hall of Fame reflects their hard work and dedication to their craft."
Stegall retired following the 2008 season at the top of the CFL list for career touchdowns (147), career receiving touchdowns (144) and most touchdowns in a season (23).
Stegall scored those 23 touchdowns in 2002 and was named the CFL’s Most Outstanding Player that year. He was also a division all-star eight times and league all-star six times and holds almost all of the Bombers major receiving records, including receptions (854), 1,000 yard seasons (10) and most receiving yards in a season (1,896). He played his entire CFL career - 14 seasons from 1995-2008 - with the Bombers.
Jones remains one of the most dominant linebackers in Blue Bombers history. Anchoring a defence that won Grey Cups in 1984 and 1990, Jones played eight seasons for the Bombers and holds the franchise record for career sacks with 98, as well as Grey Cup records for most sacks in a game (four) and most Grey Cup sacks (five). He was also Grey Cup MVP in 1984 and was the CFL’s top defensive player in 1985.