Canadian Football Hall of Famer Neil Lumsden elected as MPP for Hamilton East-Stoney Creek

Photo courtesy: Progressive Conservative Party of Ontario

Canadian Football Hall of Famer Neil Lumsden has been elected as the new member of provincial parliament for the riding of Hamilton East-Stoney Creek.

Lumsden ran on behalf of Ontario’s Progressive Conservative Party, edging out NDP candidate Zaigham Butt and Liberal candidate Jason Farr. Incumbent Paul Miller, running as an independent after being ousted by the NDP, had received just 6.2 percent of the vote when the riding was called by outlets. Miller had held the seat comfortably since 2007.

An outstanding running back with the University of Ottawa, Lumsden carried the Gee-Gees to an undefeated season and Vanier Cup victory in 1975, scoring 148 points. He graduated from school as the all-time leading point scorer in Canadian university football history, recording 410 total points as the team’s primary ball carrier and kicker.

Lumsden joined the Toronto Argonauts as a territorial exemption in 1976 and was the East Division nominee for Most Outstanding Rookie. He joined the Hamilton Tiger-Cats in 1978, before moving west in 1980 as a member of the Edmonton Football Team. Lumsden won three Grey Cups as part of Edmonton’s iconic five-in-a-row dynasty, taking home the Dick Suderman Trophy in 1981 as the title game’s most valuable Canadian player.

The well-respected fullback retired following the 1985 season and was inducted into the Canadian Football Hall of Fame in 2014. In his 10-year career, Lumsden carried the ball 767 times for 3,755 yards and 36 touchdowns, adding 180 receptions for 1,729 yards and 15 more touchdowns. Occasionally used as an emergency kicker and punter, he scored 348 career points.

Lumsden would go on to serve as Ticats’ general manager from 1996 to 1999, winning another Grey Cup in his final season. He is also the father of former CFL running back Jesse Lumsden, who spent six seasons in the league.

Outside of professional football, Lumsden has previously worked as the general manager and COO of the 2003 Road World Cycling Championships in Hamilton, managed a sports marketing agency out of Hamilton, and was the athletic director at Brock University.

The 69-year-old first-time MPP will serve as part of the PC caucus under Premier Doug Ford, who won his second straight majority government in Ontario on Thursday night.