Blue Bomber Report Record: 7–11–0

Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Blue's Gorrell welcomed into Hall of Fame

Durable, noted natural athlete among 2013's CFL honourees

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Miles GORRELL arrived in Winnipeg near the end of his career, but there was still quite a bit left in his 6-8, 300-pound-plus tank.

Gorrell was inducted into the Canadian Football Hall of Fame on Thursday along with the rest of the class of 2013.

Gorrell spent time with five teams in the CFL, but most notability with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats, where he won his only Grey Cup in 1986.

Upon retirement, Gorrell ranked fourth all-time on the CFL service list with 19 seasons (321 games played).

"I had a lot of fun in Winnipeg playing with Chris Walby, the best offensive lineman I've ever seen play. Chris was also the only guy who could match me in the drinking department," said the 57-year-old Gorrell, via conference call Thursday evening.

"Winnipeg gave me a lot. The CFL was a place to make friends and I made a lot of friends and a lot of memories and I still have them all.

"My wife is from Winnipeg and one of my children was born there. It's a great CFL town with great fans and it was an honour to play for the Bombers.

A five-time divisional all-star and two-time finalist for Outstanding Lineman, Gorrell played for the Calgary Stampeders, Ottawa Rough Riders, Montreal Concordes, Tiger-Cats and Blue Bombers. He won that one Cup with Hamilton and played in two more with Winnipeg.

Walby still marvels at what Gorrell could do.

"Miles was the best athlete I ever played with. He did all-natural. No weightlifting or training. He was just gifted," said Walby.

"He was such a nice guy, too. I'd be out there trying to hurt guys and he was smiling after plays talking to them and asking, 'Where are we having beers after?' When he arrived, we didn't like each other but we instantly became friends. We sat beside each other in the locker-room and we'd stay there all night after games. This is way overdue. Miles is one of the all-time greats. On and off the field."

"Miles played over 300 games in the pit," said Walby. "Do you know how hard that it is to do? Punters are the only other guys that last 19 years and 300 games. They don't make them like Miles. They never did."

Gorrell's size made him a candidate for the NFL but the league down south never really turned his head.

"The money was about the same when I first came up and I never really even considered going to the NFL," said Gorrell. "I loved the CFL and I believed in it. I wouldn't trade one minute of my time in the CFL for any of the NFL's money."

The University of Ottawa, where he played his collegiate football, has named an award after him. The Miles Gorrell Award is handed out to the best offensive lineman.

 

-- Brian Fryer was drafted by the Washington Redskins 234th overall and signed a three-year deal with Washington. Fryer was only the second Canadian trained at a Canadian university to be drafted and signed by an NFL team.

In 1978, Fryer signed with the Edmonton Eskimos and won five straight Grey Cups.

 

-- Dan Ferrone played a total of 213 games in his career with stops in Toronto and Calgary.

Ferrone was an All-Eastern guard during the years 1983-87 and 1990-92, and an All-Western Guard in 1989. Ferrone was an All-Canadian guard in 1984, 1985, 1987, 1990 and 1991.

Ferrone played in four Grey Cup games, winning two of them in 1983 and 1991.

 

-- Earl Winfield spent his 11-year career with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats, making just one appearance in the Grey Cup during the 1989 season.

Upon retirement, Winfield was fourth all-time in the CFL with 41, 100-yard receiving games, 11th for combined yards with 14,804, and second with 11 punt returns for touchdowns.

 

-- John (Jake) Ireland was a CFL official for 555 games over 29 seasons. Ireland's first game as a CFL official was on June 12, 1979 when the Ottawa Rough Riders played the Montreal Alouettes.

During his career, Ireland was an official in 16 Grey Cups, and refereed four straight Grey Cups from 1985 to 1989. Ireland retired as an on-field official in 2008.

 

-- Don Loney coached St. Francis Xavier to a 133-31-2 record including nine conference titles, four Atlantic Bowl Championships, six Jewett Trophy Championships and one Canadian College Bowl championship.

Loney played eight seasons in the CFL with the Argonauts and the Ottawa Rough Riders, winning two Grey Cups and the Jeff Russel Trophy in 1950 for being the Most Valuable Player of the East.

gary.lawless@freepress.mb.ca Twitter: @garylawless

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition February 22, 2013 C2

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