Two former Blue Bombers to be inducted into Canadian Football Hall of Fame

Started by ModAdmin, June 21, 2022, 07:05:21 PM

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Two former Blue Bombers to be inducted into Canadian Football Hall of Fame

WINNIPEG, MB., June 21, 2022 - The Winnipeg Blue Bombers congratulate former head coach Dave Ritchie and defensive back Dick Thornton for their induction into the Canadian Football Hall of Fame.

Ritchie and Thornton are part of a 2022 induction class that includes quarterback Ricky Ray, linebacker Chip Cox, kicker Paul McCallum, fullback Tim Tindale, Calgary Colts founder and former general manager Keith Evans and long-time CFL executive Roy Shivers.

The class will be officially inducted on September 16 at Tim Hortons Field and honoured the following day at the annual Hall of Fame Game when the Blue Bombers visit the Hamilton Tiger-Cats.

Both Ritchie and Thornton are also members of the Winnipeg Football Club Hall of Fame, with Ritchie inducted in 2014 and Thornton in 1988. Ritchie is now 83 years old, while Thornton will be inducted posthumously, having passed away in 2014.

Dave Ritchie served two coaching stints with the Blue Bombers, first joining the club as a special-teams assistant under then head coach Mike Riley in 1990 and being part of the team that captured the Grey Cup that year.

He was the head coach of the B.C. Lions, winning the Grey Cup in 1994, and then the Montreal Alouettes before joining the Blue Bombers in 1999 as head coach, working in that role until 2004. The club began a quick ascent with Ritchie at the helm, going from 6-12 in his first year to 14-4 in 2001 and a berth in the Grey Cup.

Ritchie amassed a 52-44-1 record over his time as the head coach with the Blue Bombers with his 52 wins ranking behind only Bud Grant (102), Cal Murphy (86) and Mike O?Shea (69).

Dick Thornton - nicknamed 'Tricky Dick' - played both defensive back and quarterback during his days with the Blue Bombers from 1961-66. He was a West Division All-Star three times (1962-63, 1965) and a CFL All-Star in 1963 and 1965) as a Blue Bomber before being traded to the Toronto Argonauts in 1967, playing with the Boatmen until 1972. He finished his professional career playing with the Memphis Southmen of the World Football League. He served three years as the athletic director and head coach at Southwestern at Memphis (now known Rhodes College).

He was originally selected by the Cleveland Browns in the 1961 National Football League Draft out of Northwestern University. The Browns traded his rights after the draft to the St. Louis Cardinals, but Thornton opted to sign instead with the Blue Bombers.

A versatile athlete who played primarily in the defensive backfield, Thornton also occasionally caught passes, rushed the ball, filled in at quarterback, returned kicks and punted for the Blue Bombers. He played in 67 regular-season games during his days in Winnipeg and was part of the 1961 and 1962 Grey Cup championship teams.
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