Al Wilson (Canadian football)
|Date of birth:||April 6, 1950|
|Place of birth:||Duncan, British Columbia|
|Height:||6 ft 2 in (1.88 m)|
|Weight:||240 lb (110 kg)|
Career highlights and awards
|CFL All-Star:||1975, 1976, 1977, 1978, 1979, 1980, 1981|
|CFL West All-Star:||1975, 1976, 1977, 1978, 1979, 1980, 1981|
|Awards:||CFL Most Outstanding Lineman (1977)|
|Retired #s:||BC Lions #52|
Al "Dirt" Wilson (born April 6, 1950 in Duncan, British Columbia) is a former professional Canadian football player with the Canadian Football League BC Lions. Wilson spent his entire 15 year career with the Lions as an offensive lineman. Wilson played American college football at Montana State University. He is a member of the Canadian Football Hall of Fame, the B.C. Sports Hall of Fame, the B.C. Lions Wall of Fame, and has a street named in his honor, "Al Wilson Grove," in his hometown of Duncan. Wilson's #52 jersey is one of eight numbers retired by the B.C. Lions. In 2003, Wilson was voted a member of the B.C. Lions All-Time Dream Team as part of the club’s 50 year anniversary celebration. In 2006, Wilson was voted to the Honour Roll of the CFL's top 50 players of the league's modern era by Canadian sports network TSN.
High school and college career
Wilson attended Cowichan Secondary School in Duncan, British Columbia where he played defensive end, offensive guard, and tight end for the football team. He went on to play college football at Montana State from 1968 to 1972, where he was the Bobcats' captain during his senior year.
Following his graduation from Montana State, Wilson joined the B.C. Lions in 1972. Playing offensive guard, and later, center, Wilson rarely missed a Lions' game in his 15 year career with the team, finishing with 233 games (he is the second longest-playing Lion in team history behind teammate Lui Passaglia's 408 game record). During his career, Wilson played in 167 consecutive games until a knee injury ended his season in 1982.
In 1983, Wilson was a part of the Lions' 11-5 season that culminated in a Grey Cup matchup with the Toronto Argonauts. The Lions ultimately lost the game, 18-17. Two seasons later, in 1985, Wilson and the Lions returned to the Grey Cup championship game, where they defeated the Hamilton Tiger-Cats 37-24 for the Lions' second Grey Cup.
Wilson's play led to his selection as a Western Division and CFL All-Star for seven consecutive years (1975, 1976, 1977, 1978, 1979, 1980, 1981). Wilson won the DeMarco-Becket Memorial Trophy as the CFL Western Division's most outstanding lineman three years in a row (1976–1978) and won the Scheneley Award as the CFL's "Most Outstanding Offensive Linemen" in 1977.
Following his retirement in 1986, Wilson was inducted into the Canadian Football Hall of Fame and the BC Sports Hall of Fame in 1997. In 2003, Wilson was voted a member of the BC Lions All-Time Dream Team, at the center position, as part of the club’s 50 year anniversary celebration. In 2006, Wilson was voted to the Honour Roll of the CFL's top 50 players of the league's modern era by Canadian sports network TSN.
Since his retirement, Wilson has been active in the Duncan, British Columbia community, and has sponsored charity events and golf tournaments. Wilson has also spent the past 10 years coaching the Windsor Dukes Football team out of North Vancouver, British Columbia. His coaching has helped the Dukes claim the title of Provincial Champions seven times in the past 10 years.
On Oct. 18, 2008, Wilson was part of the inaugural group inducted into the Duncan/North Cowichan Sports Wall of Fame.
- "B.C. Lions Retired Numbers". BCLions.com. Retrieved 2006-09-06.
- "B.C. Lions Dream Team". BCLions.com. Retrieved 2006-09-09.
- "TSN Top 50 Honour Roll". TSN.ca. 2006-11-28. Archived from the original on 4 May 2007. Retrieved 2007-05-01.
- "BC Sports Hall of Fame - Al Wilson". BC Sports Hall of Fame.com. Retrieved 2006-09-06.[dead link]
- "Canadian Football Hall of Fame: Al Wilson". Canadian Football Hall of Fame & Museum. 1997. Archived from the original on 22 January 2010. Retrieved 2010-03-05.