The B.C. Lions and the CFL community have lost a legend with the passing of Norm Fieldgate.
Widely considered as one of the best Canadian linebackers in CFL history, Fieldgate was the first player signed to the B.C. Lions by head coach Annis Stukus. He suited up for the Lions from the club’s inaugural season of 1954 until 1967 while also playing defensive back, defensive end, and tight end.
“Norm was one of the pillars of the B.C. Lions organization; a true talent who was with the team since game one in 1954,” said Lions’ Director of Community Partnerships, Jamie Taras.
“On the field, he was an exceptional player and leader who helped the team capture its first Grey Cup championship in 1964. Norm was also a very active member of the business and charitable communities in BC. He truly exemplified what being a BC Lion was all about. He will be dearly missed.”
Along with helping the Lions capture their first Grey Cup Championship in 1964, Fieldgate was named a CFL all-star in 1963 and was named a CFL West Division all-star three times (1959, 1960, 1963). He was also nominated six times as the B.C. Lions’ Most Outstanding Canadian (1958, 1960, 1961, 1962, 1963, 1965).
Fieldgate was inducted to the Canadian Football Hall of Fame in 1979 and his number 75 was retired by the organization. He also served on the board of directors for the Lions in the 1980s and was the club’s president in 1989.
Fieldgate is a member of the Lions’ Ring of Honour, the B.C. Football Hall of Fame, and the B.C. Sports Hall of Fame. In 2003, Fieldgate was voted a member of the B.C. Lions’ 50th Season All-Time Dream Team.
Fieldgate is survived by his loving wife Doreen and their three daughters, Lesley, Carey and Janine.