Former Riders LB Dave Albright, hero of 1989 West Final, passes away at 63

Photo courtesy: John Bradley/

Former Saskatchewan Roughriders linebacker Dave Albright has passed away from a heart attack.

Albright played six seasons in Saskatchewan from 1986 to 1991, dressing for 76 career games. He amassed 377 total tackles, 12 sacks, eight fumble recoveries and an interception. He led the league in tackles in 1987 — the first year that stat was officially recorded — setting a single-season Riders record of 118 that stood until Darnell Sankey broke it this past season.

The San Jose State product is best remembered for his heroics in the 1989 postseason. After missing six games down the stretch that season due to a fractured forearm, broken hand, and ligament damage in his knees, Albright returned for the playoffs and recorded an interception in the West Semi-Final. His finest moment came in the West Final when he scooped up a Tracy Ham fumble that was forced by Eddie Lowe, returning it 62 yards for a game-tying touchdown in the second quarter.

The 9-9 Riders would go on to upset the 16-2 Edmonton Football Team by a score of 32-21, capturing their second-ever Grey Cup championship over the Hamilton Tiger-Cats a week later — a feat that would not have been possible without Albright’s stellar play.

After retiring following the 1991 season, Albright returned to California with his wife, Laurie, and raised two sons, Connor and Jacob. He passed away one day after his 63rd birthday.