Former first overall pick, Grey Cup MVP Hénoc Muamba retires from CFL

Photo: Michael Scraper/3DownNation. All rights reserved.

Canadian linebacker Hénoc Muamba has officially retired from the Canadian Football League.

The 35-year-old dressed for a total of 135 career CFL regular season games as a member of the Winnipeg Blue Bombers, Saskatchewan Roughriders, Montreal Alouettes, and Toronto Argonauts. He made 610 defensive tackles, 35 tackles for loss, 78 special teams tackles, 18 pass knockdowns, 14 forced fumbles, 17 sacks, seven interceptions, and three fumble recoveries.

The six-foot, 230-pound defender was selected with the first overall pick in the 2011 CFL Draft by the Blue Bombers out of St. Francis Xavier University in Antigonish, N.S. He spent three seasons with the team before garnering NFL attention, dressing for 13 games as a member of the Indianapolis Colts in 2014.

Muamba signed with the Montreal Alouettes partway through the 2015 season following his release from the Colts and appeared in four games before being cut to pursue NFL opportunities. He landed with the Dallas Cowboys but was released at the conclusion of training camp.

The native of Kinshasa, Zaire joined the Saskatchewan Roughriders as a free agent in October 2016 and played two seasons with the team prior to being released ahead of an off-season roster bonus in February 2018. He signed a three-year contract with the Alouettes two months later and spent two seasons with the team prior to the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, which resulted in the cancellation of the 2020 season.

Muamba signed with the Toronto Argonauts as a free agent in March 2021 and spent three seasons with the team. He made three defensive tackles, one pass knockdown, and one interception in the 109th Grey Cup in 2022 to win his first championship and was named the game’s Most Valuable Player and Most Valuable Canadian.

The father of three was named a three-time East Division all-star, two-time CFL all-star, and one-time CFL Most Outstanding Canadian.

Muamba released the following statement on social media.

I’m forever grateful to God for endowing me with the skills and the ability to play football at a professional level. I pray everyone reading this can also discover the hidden gifts within themselves like I did years ago. It’s been a tremendous journey. Football has taken me to so many cities and more importantly, allowed me to meet some amazing individuals.

You don’t do anything for as long as I have without a fantastic support system, and I am blessed with the greatest! From my family who was there from the beginning, to my parents and my brothers, thank you for your unwavering support. Through different jerseys you’ve always been there.

To all my coaches who encouraged me to start and stick with football, I wouldn’t have had the career that I had without you. To the ones who challenged and taught me along the way, my sincerest thank you. To all my teammates, I will never forget the memories and thank you for the special brotherhood you’ve given me. To all those who trained me and helped with rehabbing aches, pains and injuries, thank you for making me stronger!

All my equipment and media managers for putting up with me and making me look good thank you! To all my supporters in each city, I can truly say you’ve been more than fans. Thank you for welcoming and embracing me and my growing family each time.

To everyone in Winnipeg, Saskatchewan, Montreal, Indianapolis, Dallas and Toronto, who have cheered for me in the stands, who sent me messages of encouragement on social media, thank you!

To my beautiful daughters and the most phenomenal wife, thank you for being my rock, for keeping me grounded, and for being a source of motivation and inspiration.

There’s been too many people that have helped me get to where I am to even list, so to all of you I want to say a heartfelt thank you. As I close this chapter in my life, I cannot wait to share with you guys what is to come. Stay tuned!