WON FOUR GREY CUPS
THERE'S NO way a man who participated in nine Grey Cups would let a health scare keep him down.
Tommy Grant, a former Hamilton Tiger-Cats great who shares the record with a handful of other players for most Grey Cup games played, is back on his feet after spending time in hospital earlier this year.
"It was a weird thing," Grant, 69, said. "I have always felt in really good health but, back in March, I took an attack. I don't know if it had something to do with the heart or whatever, but it was pretty scary."
A Windsor native, Grant now lives in Burlington with his wife, Ida Mae. His CFL career was nothing short of remarkable, given the number of times he competed for the Grey Cup with Hamilton. On four occasions Grant walked off the field a champion, but there is one title game that stands out for a completely different reason -- the 1962 Cup, which many know as the Fog Bowl. Played at Exhibition Stadium in Toronto, featuring the Ticats and Winnipeg Blue Bombers, the game had to be finished the following day because of the fog that enveloped the old stadium on Dec. 1, 1962.
"The morning of the Fog Bowl, it was beautiful," Grant said. "The sun was shining and, up until halftime, it was okay. Then the fog just rolled in. I was returning punts then, and I could see the guy punt the ball, but once it went up about 50 feet, it was gone. You had to judge where the ball was coming down out of the fog and it was just like when you see an airplane coming out of the clouds. It was crazy. That will never happen again in 100 years."
Grant played for Hamilton from 1956 to '68 and ended his career with one season in a Blue Bombers uniform. A couple of other highlights are cherished by Grant -- he was named outstanding Canadian in 1964, and in 1995, received the crowning glory when he was elected to the CFL Hall of Fame.
Upon his retirement, Grant remained in the Hamilton area and went into car sales. He also "was in the variety store business" with his father-in-law before fully retiring in 1996.
He and his wife have four children and 11 grandchildren.
"You don't realize at the time how fortunate you are," Grant said of his Grey Cup appearances. "It just seemed like a given we would play in the Grey Cup every year. When you are doing it, it's a big deal, but it does not hit you until many years later when you can sit back and look at it. I was lucky to play for so many years on so many good teams."