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Memorable Manitobans: Melford Russel “Mel” Wilson (1917-2007)

Athlete.

Born at Winnipeg on 3 April 1917, son of Heber Switzer Wilson and Edith May Hayward, he was educated at Lord Roberts School, St. John’s College, and Kelvin High School. His interest in football began at an early age, first at Kelvin and later with the Winnipeg Rugby Football Club and the St. John Roamers. He joined the senior league of the Winnipeg Rugby Football Club which, in 1938, became the Winnipeg Blue Bombers. He played centre and linebacker until 1942 when he joined the Merchant Marines during the Second World War. After the war, he returned to the Blue Bombers then played with the Montreal Alouettes and the Calgary Stampeders until retirement in 1951. He remained active in amateur sports, receiving trophies in curling, racketball, golf, and ballroom dancing. In 2004, he was inducted into the Manitoba Sports Hall of Fame as a member of the 1939 and 1941 Blue Bombers. He died at Winnipeg on 29 July 2007 and was buried in the Chapel Lawn Memorial Gardens.

Sources:

Obituary, Winnipeg Free Press, 1 August 2007, page 28.

“Versatile athlete Wilson helped Bombers win Grey Cup,” Winnipeg Free Press, 3 August 2007, page 38.

This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.

Page revised: 4 August 2015

Memorable Manitobans

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