February 26, 2024

One Of One: Henoc Muamba announces retirement

Kevin Sousa/CFL.ca

TORONTO — Henoc Muamba brought his storied CFL career to a close on Sunday, when he announced his retirement from football on his Instagram account.

Breaking the news just a couple of days past his 35th birthday, Muamba left a heartfelt message for fans and thanked the many people that he’s crossed paths with over a 13-year pro career that saw him play in both the CFL and NFL. Born in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and raised in Mississauga, Ont., Muamba was the first overall pick in the 2011 CFL Draft. He won a Grey Cup with the Toronto Argonauts in 2022.

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A post shared by Henoc Muamba (@he_whoknocks)

His interception in the 109th Grey Cup helped seal the Argos’ win, leading to him being named Grey Cup MVP and Most Valuable Canadian. He’s just the second player ever to win both of those awards simultaneously.

He retires with the fourth most defensive tackles ever by a Canadian (610) and the 18th most in CFL history, regardless of nationality. Born in the Democratic Republic of Congo but raised in Toronto, Muamba holds the second and third-best tackling seasons by a Canadian in CFL history with 108 (2018) and 106 (2013).

He is a two-time CFL All-Star and three-time Division All-Star. He won the CFL’s Most Outstanding Canadian Player award in 2017, was the East nominee for Most Outstanding Canadian twice and was his team’s nominee for major awards on 10 separate occasions, including the aforementioned Most Outstanding Canadian Player (five times), Most Outstanding Defensive Player (three), and Most Outstanding Player (twice).

Muamba was chosen by the Winnipeg Blue Bombers with the first overall pick of the 2011 CFL Draft out of St. Francis Xavier and played in the Grey Cup game in his rookie campaign. The linebacker spent three seasons in the ‘Peg before a move to the NFL where he played 13 games for the Indianapolis Colts in 2014. He then played for Montreal (2015), Saskatchewan (2016-2017), and Montreal again (2018-2020) before coming home to the Boatmen in 2021.

The fan-favourite and ever-smiling Muamba capped off an incredible professional career with what would turn out to be his last ever CFL game; the 2022 Grey Cup. Eleven years after his first taste of a championship game, Muamba finally lifted the 115-year-old trophy, along with his MVP and MVC trophies.

Muamba has played in 135 games, starting 112 of them. He retires with 610 tackles, 17 quarterback sacks, 14 forced fumbles, 18 knockdowns and three fumble returns.

Muamba’s personality has shone through off the field over the years. He has served as the co-host of The Waggle, the CFL’s official podcast, since 2022 and has appeared on the panel for the CFL on TSN. He’s been a fixture in the community for each team that he’s suited up for (Winnipeg, Montreal, Saskatchewan and Toronto), both as a volunteer and as a speaker.

Muamba was a free agent, after spending the 2023 season with the Argos.

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