Stamps' Thelwell retires

IAN BUSBY, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 3:47 PM ET

CALGARY - One of the most popular members of the Calgary Stampeders is hanging up the cleats.

Canadian receiver Ryan Thelwell is calling it a career after 10 CFL seasons.

The 37-year-old had a remarkable comeback from a torn Achilles suffered in the 2009 season, returning in 2010 to catch 12 passes for 125 yards in 13 games.

Although he was a part-time player last season, not giving up was inspiring to teammates as he suited up in 13 regular-season outings plus the West final.

The London, Ont., native spent the first six seasons of his career with the B.C. Lions, posting his best season in 2005 with 74 catches for 1,035 yards and seven touchdowns — all career highs.

He signed with the Stampeders as a free agent in 2007 and helped the team win the Grey Cup in 2008 — his second ring after winning the title with the Lions in 2006.

The Achilles injury nearly ended his career a year ago at this time, but through a gruelling rehab, Thelwell was able to return.

Clearly the ailment slowed him down and the timing of this announcement is right.

“My mind wants one thing and my body is telling me something else,” Thelwell said after the Stamps lost the West final to the Saskatchewan Roughriders.

“There were times last year when I didn’t think I would walk straight.

“I made it through the season. I’m thankful that I got to play with this great group of guys.”

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