August 1, 2015


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Bombers legend 'Lincoln Locomotive' dead at age 80

LEO LEWIS, one of the greatest running backs in Winnipeg Blue Bombers history, died Friday at age 80.

Nicknamed the "Lincoln Locomotive," Lewis rushed for 8,861 yards during a stellar 11-year CFL career. Lewis's rushing records stood for 41 years before being eclipsed by Charles Roberts in 2007.

Lewis was also a member of four Bombers Grey Cup-winning teams; 1958, 1959, 1961 and 1962.

Lewis passed away peacefully at his home in Missouri.

Born in Des Moines, Iowa in 1933, Lewis attended Lincoln University, where he still holds records for touchdowns in a season (22), touchdowns in a career (64), rushing yards in a season (1,239) and career rushing yards (4,357).

Lewis signed with the Blue Bombers out of college and was subsequently named a six-time all-star. He was named to the Canadian Football League Hall of Fame in 1973. He was inducted into the Bombers Hall of Fame in 1984. In 2005, Lewis was named to the Manitoba Sports Hall of Fame.

"He was a quarterback's best friend" said former Blue Bomber great Ken Ploen, in a biography of Lewis on the Manitoba Hall of Fame website. "It didn't matter what you asked him to do he'd do it to the best of his ability... He was a true professional."

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition August 31, 2013 C9

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