September 6, 2016

CFL mourns the passing of Normie Kwong

Photos of Normie Kwong, supplied. For David Staples feature to run.

TORONTO — The Canadian Football League is mourning the passing of one of its true legends, Norman Kwong, who passed away Saturday at the age of 86.

One of the greatest running backs of all-time, Kwong rushed for over 9,000 yards and 83 touchdowns during an 11-year CFL career with the Edmonton Eskimos and Calgary Stampeders.

Kwong was a four-time Grey Cup Champion and was indicted into the Canadian Football Hall of Fame in 1969, the Canada Sports Hall of Fame in 1975, the Eskimos Wall of Honour in 1983 and the Alberta Sports Hall of Fame in 1987.

In a statement, Kwong’s family said, “Our father was a great man who accomplished so much in his lifetime. A genuine family man, he also had tremendous success as a professional athlete, team owner, business executive and government official.”

A successful business man after he retired from football, Kwong was the president of the Calgary Stampders and also served as share owner of the Calgary Flames of the National Hockey League.  Kwong remains one of the few to have his name on both the Grey Cup and Stanley Cup after winning hockey’s championship as owner of the Flames in 1989.

Kwong held the CFL record for most rushing yards in a single season by a Canadian with 1,437 in 1956 in 15 games. The record held for 56 years and it is still an Esks team record. He also holds the Eskimos record for most rushing touchdowns in a career with 72. Kwong added 75 receptions for 903 yards and four touchdowns during his impressive career.

After football, Kwong transitioned into politics. He was made a member of the Order of Canada in 1988 and served as the national chairman of the Canadian Consultative Council on Multiculturalism. He was appointed Lieutenant-Governor of Alberta on Jan. 20, 2005 and served out his term until May 11, 2010.

– With files from