CFL legend Normie Kwong honoured with Heritage Minute

Screenshot courtesy: Historica Canada

One of the CFL’s all-time greats has been honoured with a brand new Heritage Minute.

The 60-second video depicts the racism Normie Kwong faced as a boy, life with his family, and his triumphs on the football field. He is the first CFL player to be the subject of a Heritage Minute video, which was produced in Calgary late last year. The video also includes a cameo from Mark Stephen, the longtime radio voice of the Stampeders.

Kwong was born in Calgary in 1929 and his family owned and operated a grocery store in the Bridgeland-Riverside area. His professional football career started at age 19, only one year after Canada repealed the Chinese Exclusion Act.

The five-foot-seven, 170-pound fullback played for the Calgary Stampeders from 1948 to 1950 and the Edmonton Football Team from 1951 to 1960. He won four Grey Cups, was a four-time West Division all-star, and still holds the record for most rushing touchdowns by any player in Edmonton club history. He remains ninth all-time in CFL rushing yards with 9,022, second-most among Canadian players.

Kwong was part owner of the Calgary Flames from 1980 to 1994 and served as the president and general manager of the Stampeders from 1988 to 1991. He is one of only five people whose name is on the Grey Cup and Stanley Cup. He received the Order of Canada in 1988 and served as the Lieutenant-Governor of Alberta from 2005 to 2010.

Kwong passed away in Calgary in 2016 at the age of 86 survived by his wife, Mary Lee, four children, and 10 grandchildren.