'King' Krol dead at 89

TERRY KOSHAN, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 7:49 AM ET

Joe (King) Krol was remembered yesterday not only as one of the greatest Argonauts in team history but as a solid human being.

"He was a tremendous guy to play with and he always put the team first," ex-teammate and Argos consultant Nick Volpe said. "Despite the fact he had incredible talent, he was extremely humble."

ARGOS LEGEND

Krol, 89, died on Tuesday night after suffering a fall at his home a few days earlier. Krol won five Grey Cups with the Argos from 1945-52 and is one of four Argos to have his jersey retired. Krol's No. 55 hangs in the Rogers Centre along with the jerseys of Danny Nykoluk (No. 60), Dick Shatto (No. 22) and Michael (Pinball) Clemons (No. 31).

Krol did it all as an Argo, playing significant roles on defence, offence and special teams. This past season, he was named an all-time Argo at running back. A native of Hamilton, Krol, was one of half of the Gold Dust Twins along with teammate Royal Copeland. In 1963, Krol was inducted into the Canadian Football Hall of Fame; in 1975, the same honour was bestowed by Canada's Sports Hall of Fame.

"When you think of Argonauts football and Argos legends, Joe's right there at the top," said former Argo Pete Martin, the president of the club's alumni association. In his era, Joe was arguable the greatest player in the league. He will always be remembered as Mr. Argo in Toronto."

In TSN's top 50 players in CFL history, Krol was ranked No. 46.

Krol's name is littered through the Argos record book. He and Doug Flutie share the team mark for most passing touchdowns in a Grey Cup game, with three. Krol, in the first game of the 1945 East final in Ottawa, tossed four touchdown passes, tied for the Toronto record for the most in one playoff game.

"Simply put, he was the greatest Argo ever and definitely the best of his era. What made Joe special was that he did it all -- he could run, pass, kick and defend," said another of Krol's former teammates, Charlie (Chick) Camilleri. "He was a true Argo for life and was always proud to have worn the Double Blue."

Meanwhile, the Argos' coaching candidates list dwindled yesterday when Richie Hall got the job in Edmonton. Another candidate, Danny Barrett, reportedly is not overly interested. Mike Benevides is rumoured to still be the leading candidate.


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