CFL legend Patterson dies

Hal Patterson

Hal Patterson

QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 5:28 PM ET

Hal Patterson, one of the greatest receivers in CFL history, died Monday. He was 79.

Patterson, who quickly became known as Prince Hal, thrilled CFL fans for 14 seasons from 1954 to 1967, seven with the Montreal Alouettes and seven with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats.

In Montreal, he was the favourite target of quarterback Sam Etcheverry and was chosen the league's most outstanding player in 1956. He set a CFL record that season with 338 receiving yards in one game -- against Hamilton, Sept. 29.

He finished with 88 receptions for 1,914 yards and 21.6-yard average in 1956. He also set a team record of 11 100-yard receiving games that stood until this season when Alouettes receiver Jamel Richardson had 12 100-yard games.

He also played defence with the Als, and had 20 interceptions during his first three seasons.

"It was tiring," Patterson once said of playing both ways. "I got awful tired."

After being traded to Hamilton in 1961, Patterson led the Tiger-Cats to three Grey Cup victories (1963, 1965, 1967).

After his CFL career, Patterson returned to his native Kansas to run his family's construction company.

Patterson, a three-time CFL all-star, was elected to the Canadian Football Hall of Fame in 1971.

Hall officials said in a statement, that Patterson "was instrumental in helping to shape Canadian football ... The Canadian Football Hall of Fame and Museum mourns the loss of a legend."

The Alouettes retired his number, 75, in 2008.

Born in Garden City, Kansas in 1932, Harold Patterson was a football, baseball and basketball star at the University of Kansas. He was drafted by the Philadelphia Eagles of the NFL but opted for the CFL.

Patterson is survived by three children, Angela, David and Tammy, siblings Keith, Sue, Mary, Roberta and Myra, as well as granddaughters Jessica and Brittany.

 


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