Gordon Sturtridge

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Gordon Sturtridge
Date of birth: 1929
Place of birth: Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
Date of death: December 9, 1956(1956-12-09)
Place of death: Mount Slesse, British Columbia, Canada
Career information
CFL status: National
Position(s): DE
CJFL: Winnipeg Rods
High school: St. Paul's, Winnipeg, Manitoba
Organizations
As player:
1949
1953-1956
Winnipeg Blue Bombers
Saskatchewan Roughriders
Career highlights and awards
CFL All-Star: 1954, 1955, 1956
Awards: 1953 - Dr. Beattie Martin Trophy
Retired #s: 73 (Saskatchewan Roughriders)

Gordon Henry Sturtridge (1929 – December 9, 1956) was a professional Canadian football player, and was one of 62 people that died on Trans-Canada Air Lines Flight 810, on December 9, 1956.[1]

Sturtridge played his entire five-year professional football career as a defensive end for the Saskatchewan Roughriders of the Western Interprovincial Football Union, and his #73 jersey is one of eight that has been retired by the club.

Amateur football career[edit]

Sturtridge played amateur Canadian football in the Canadian Junior Football League, and was a member of the Winnipeg Rods.[2]

Professional career[edit]

Sturtridge signed with the Saskatchewan Roughriders where he starred for four years.[1] In 1953 he won the Dr. Beattie Martin Trophy as best Canadian rookie in the Western Conference (this despite having played with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers in 1949).[3] He was a three-time Western All-Star (in 1954, 1955, and 1956), and was on his way back to Regina, Saskatchewan, on Trans-Canada Air Lines Flight 810 after playing in the Shrine Game in Vancouver, British Columbia, on December 8, 1956.[1]

Death[edit]

Sturtridge, his wife, Mildred, Roughriders teammates, Mario DeMarco, Mel Becket, and Ray Syrnyk, were passengers on Flight 810 with another WIFU player, Calvin Jones, of the Winnipeg Blue Bombers.[1] All five players were present at the 1956 All-Star game in Vancouver, British Columbia, and were headed back to their respective teams' home cities. The five players and Mildred were accompanied by 53 other passengers, and 3 crew members who all lost their lives in Western Canada's worst aviation disaster on December 9, 1956, on Slesse Mountain (Mount Slesse) near Chilliwack, British Columbia.[1] The crash is the subject of the 2012 documentary The Crash of Flight 810, part of TSN's Engraved on a Nation series of eight documentaries celebrating the 100th Grey Cup.[4][5][6]

Gordon and Mildred were survived by their three young children who were home in Regina at the time of the crash.[1]

Legacy[edit]

In 1957, a youth football league in North Vancouver, British Columbia was named in memory of Sturtridge.[1] The Gordon Sturtridge Football League is for players aged 6 to 15.[1]

References[edit]

External links[edit]