Earl Lunsford

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Earl Lunsford
Date of birth: (1933-10-19)October 19, 1933
Place of birth: Stillwater, Oklahoma
Date of death: September 3, 2008(2008-09-03) (aged 74)
Place of death: Fort Worth, Texas
Career information
CFL status: International
Position(s): RB
Height: 5 ft 11 in (180 cm)
Weight: 200 lb (91 kg)
College: Oklahoma State
NFL Draft: 1956 / Round: 26 / Pick: 305
Drafted by: Philadelphia Eagles
Organizations
As administrator:
19681982
19851987
Winnipeg Blue Bombers
Calgary Stampeders
As player:
1956
19591963
Calgary Stampeders
Calgary Stampeders
Career highlights and awards
CFL All-Star: 1961, 1962
CFL West All-Star: 1960, 1961, 1962
Career stats

Earl Lunsford (October 19, 1933 – September 3, 2008), known as the "Earthquake", was a fullback for the Calgary Stampeders and is a member of the Canadian Football Hall of Fame.

College football[edit]

Lunsford played his college football with Oklahoma State University.

Calgary[edit]

Lunsford was drafted by the Philadelphia Eagles of the National Football League in 1956, but instead began his six year career in the Canadian Football League that year with the Calgary Stampeders. His time in Calgary was interrupted for 2 seasons, 1957 to 1958, while serving in the United States military. He played 5 more seasons for the Stamps, from 1959 to 1963.

Lunsford rushed for over 1000 yards 5 times, leading the West Division with 1,343 yards in 1960. During his best season, 1961, he led the entire CFL with a whopping 1,794 yards, which made him known as the first running back in professional sports to rush for a mile in one season.[1] He was an All West all star in 1960 and All Canadian in 1961.[2] That year, Calgary finished with a mediocre 7-9 record, but defeated the Edmonton Eskimos in the Western conference semi-final. However, they lost the Western conference final to the eventual Grey Cup winner, the Bud Grant-led Winnipeg Blue Bombers. His best game was on September 3, 1962, in Calgary, when he scored 5 rushing touchdowns, still a Stampeder record.[1]

In his career, he rushed 1199 times for 6994 yards, a 5.8 yard average, and 55 touchdowns, with his longest run being 85 yards. He is the Stampeder all-time rushing leader with 55 touchdowns and 28 100-yard games and is second among Stampeders for all-time rushing yards.[1]

Earl Lunsford had his own theme song "Earl The Pearl of Calgary".

General manager[edit]

After his playing career, Lunsford became General Manager of the Winnipeg Blue Bombers (1968–1982) and the Calgary Stampeders (1985–1987).[1]

Post-football honors[edit]

For his outstanding years as a dominant running back, Lunsford was elected to the Canadian Football Hall of Fame in 1983.

Death[edit]

He died September 3, 2008, aged 74, of Alzheimer's disease at his Texas home.[3][4] He is survived by his wife Margot, children Brenda and Lamar, and three grandchildren.[5]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d Sportak, Randy (2008-09-05). "Earthquake shook up CFL". Calgary Sun. Retrieved 2008-09-05. 
  2. ^ "Earl Lunsford Passes Away". Calgary Stampeder Football Club. 2008-09-04. Retrieved 2008-09-05. 
  3. ^ Cameron, Allen (2008-09-04). "CFL legend Lunsford dies at age 74". Calgary Herald. Retrieved 2008-09-05. 
  4. ^ "Legendary Stampeder dies". Calgary Sun. 2008-09-04. Retrieved 2008-09-05. 
  5. ^ "CFL loses Hall of Famer Earl Lunsford". CBC Sports. 2008-09-04. Retrieved 2008-09-05. 

External links[edit]