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Another accolade bestowed on Ploen

Legendary QB inducted into club's Ring of Honour

With teary eyes, legendary Winnipeg Blue Bombers pivot Ken Ploen looked on as the club he led fearlessly during his playing days once again honoured him Thursday night.

Ploen’s name was unveiled in the club’s Ring of Honour at Investors Group Field during halftime of the Blue Bombers’ tilt with the defending Grey Cup champion Edmonton Eskimos.

Ploen, who led the march through the team’s greatest decade, including four Grey Cup victories in five years between 1958 and 1962, is the second name to hang at IGF, joining fellow Bombers great offensive lineman Chris Walby, who was honoured June 24 at the team’s home opener.

Standing ovation

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Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 14/7/2016 (497 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

With teary eyes, legendary Winnipeg Blue Bombers pivot Ken Ploen looked on as the club he led fearlessly during his playing days once again honoured him Thursday night.

Ploen’s name was unveiled in the club’s Ring of Honour at Investors Group Field during halftime of the Blue Bombers’ tilt with the defending Grey Cup champion Edmonton Eskimos.

RUTH BONNEVILLE / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS</p><p>All-star quarterback Ken Ploen, who started with The Winnipeg Blue Bombers in 1957, was inducted into the Ring of Honour with Bomber CEO Wade Miller during halftime of the Bombers' game against the Edmonton Eskimos at Investors Group Field Thursday night. </p>

RUTH BONNEVILLE / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS

All-star quarterback Ken Ploen, who started with The Winnipeg Blue Bombers in 1957, was inducted into the Ring of Honour with Bomber CEO Wade Miller during halftime of the Bombers' game against the Edmonton Eskimos at Investors Group Field Thursday night.

Ploen, who led the march through the team’s greatest decade, including four Grey Cup victories in five years between 1958 and 1962, is the second name to hang at IGF, joining fellow Bombers great offensive lineman Chris Walby, who was honoured June 24 at the team’s home opener. 

Standing ovation

With a throng of family watching on from a private suite, and Janet Ploen, his wife of 55 years by his side, Ploen received a rousing ovation from those in attendance.

Ploen, now 81 and suffering from the effects of dementia, didn’t speak, but the smile on his face said it all. 

"He’s always honoured to be remembered by the team and its fans, it hits a spot in his heart that you don’t get to see," said Doug Ploen, Ken’s son who was in from Chicago.

Inducted into the Canadian Football Hall of Fame in 1975, Ploen was named a CFL all-star in 1965 and a CFL West all-star on three occasions — 1957, 1959 and 1965.

Prior to legendary coach Bud Grant bringing Ploen into the Bombers fold, the Lost Nation, Iowa native led the University of Iowa Hawkeyes to victory in the 1957 Rose Bowl, where he was voted as the game’s most valuable player.

All-time great

Ploen was inducted into the Manitoba Sports Hall of Fame and Museum in 1987 and honoured by the Rose Bowl Hall of Fame in 1997.

In 2005, Ploen was named one of the Blue Bombers’ all-time greats. In 2007, Ploen was bestowed with the Order of Manitoba, and a road — Ken Ploen Way — was named in his honour adjacent to Investors Group Field.

"Every time you think there’s isn’t another something (to honour him with), there seems to be another (something)," said his daughter, Carol Ploen-Hosegood. "It’s wonderful that the whole community remembers my dad. He loves the community and loves the Bombers."

Seven more inductees will be announced this year — one at each home game — in the Bombers’ ongoing efforts to honour their past. The Ring of Honour features a series of placards bearing the names and numbers of esteemed athletes voted on by fans and vetted by a selection committee from the club.

scott.billeck@freepress.mb.ca

Twitter: @scottbilleck

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