January 24, 2011

Canadian Thelwell calls it a career


CALGARY — Calgary Stampeders receiver Ryan Thelwell has announced his retirement.

The 37-year-old London, Ont., native played for the B.C. Lions and Calgary during his 10-year CFL career.

He plans to become an account manager with a management group.

“It’s been an amazing ride,” said Thelwell. “I’m going to miss the game. It’s more about the people I’ve met along the way.

“You just never think it’s going to come to an end. My mind still thinks I can play, but my body is saying no.”

Thelwell won Grey Cups with the Lions in 2006 and the Stampeders in 2008.

He completes his career with 441 catches for 6,728 yards and 39 touchdowns.

“The season he had in 2008 was unbelievable for us,” said Stampeders coach and general manager John Hufnagel. “If we needed a first down catch, Ryan Thelwell was the guy getting it done for us. Truly we would not have accomplished what we did that year without Ryan’s play.”

Thelwell said his Grey Cup championships are among his best memories, but not the best ones.

“They are very important moments in my life, but for me an important moment and something I’ll always remember was the birth of my first daughter because we were actually on the road in Montreal when Liz went into labour,” he said. “I got to listen in, the whole thing on the phone. I was so excited and so focused on what was going on over the phone, that I didn’t realize I’d locked myself out of my (hotel) room in my underwear.

“I’ll always remember that.”