Five-in-a-row Grey Cup champion Eric Upton passes away at 71

Photo courtesy: John Bradley/

Long-time Edmonton offensive lineman Eric Upton has passed away at the age of 71, the team announced on Thursday night.

Upton was selected with the 18th overall pick in the second round of the 1976 CFL Draft and went on to play 10 seasons for the Green and Gold. He went on to become a team captain on the franchise’s legendary five-in-a-row Grey Cup dynasty from 1978 to 1982 and was named a West Division all-star at guard in 1979.

Prior to his CFL career, Upton played one season at the University of Colorado before transferring to his hometown University of Ottawa. He was twice named an Ontario conference all-star in three seasons at the school and helped lead the Gee-Gees to a Vanier Cup title in 1975.