Welcome to The Hall

JULIE HORBAL -- Winnipeg Sun

, Last Updated: 8:21 AM ET

The Winnipeg Blue Bombers home opener against Toronto Argonauts this Friday is more than just a kick-off to the 2006 season for the hometown fans.

It's also the contest celebrating the induction of the Blue Bombers Hall of Fame class of 2006, which includes players Brett MacNeil, Dave VanKoughnett and Michael Gray and builders Dr. Ross Brown and Joe Wilder.

There is no doubt if you bleed Blue and Gold you will be there to welcome this year's edition of the Bombers and also this year's inductees.

But -- as you likely already know about the men on the field -- here are a few things to know about the men on the honour role before you to the big game.

BRETT MACNEIL

Offensive lineman

Born: November 27, 1967 in Nepean, Ont.

CFL seasons: 11

Teams played on: Two (Winnipeg Blue Bombers and Edmonton Eskimos, after being drafted by Ottawa Roughriders in 1991)

Seasons in Winnipeg: 10 (1992-1998 and 1999-2002)

Bomber Highlights:

- Played in three Grey Cups (1992, 1993, 2001)

- Played in all 18 regular seasons games in 1993

- Missed only five games between 1994 and 1996

Awards:

- Named a CFL all-star in 2001

MICHAEL GRAY

Defensive lineman

Born: February 11, 1960 in Baltimore, Md.

CFL seasons: 10

Teams played on: Three (Ottawa Roughriders, B.C. Lions, Winnipeg Blue Bombers)

Seasons in Winnipeg: seven (1987-1993)

Grey Cup wins: Three

Bomber Highlights:

- Registered 37 tackles, 36 assists, 10 QB sacks and one fumble recovery in his first year with Winnipeg

- Played in three Grey Cups (1988, 1990, 1992)

- Intercepted Matt Dunnigan's pass to preserve a Winnipeg victory over the Lions in the 1998 Grey Cup

Awards:

- CFL Rookie of the Year (with B.C. 1984)

- Blue Bombers Mr. Consistency (1989)

DAVE VANKOUGHNETT

Offensive Lineman

Born: April 1, 1966 in Kamloops, B.C.

CFL seasons: 11

Teams played on: Two (Saskatchewan Roughriders, Winnipeg Blue Bombers)

Seasons in Winnipeg: 11 (1989-2000)

Bomber Highlights:

- Took over then-centre and now president and CEO Lyle Bauer in the Bombers starting lineup (1991)

- Played in all 18 regular season games in 1993 as part of the line giving up the fewest QB sacks in the league

- Played in every regular season game from 1994-2000

Awards:

- CFL Divisional All-Star (1993)

- Bombers Outstanding Offensive Lineman (1995)

- Three-time nominees for the Bombers' Tom Pate Memorial Award for outstanding citizenship

BUILDERS:

DR. ROSS BROWN

Years with the organization: 15 (1982-1997)

Contributions:

- Board of Directors vice-president

- Sat on CFL Board of Governors

- Bombers president (1988, 1999)

- Liaison between the Bombers and Winnipeg Enterprises

- Member of Grey Cup organizing committees

- Appointed to club's Honorary Council

JOE WILDER

Years with the Organization:

Contributions:

- Board of Directors rotating executive member

- Member of annual dinner committee, management committee, Hall of Fame selection committee

- Part of the executive which spearheaded full-time media and marketing directors and development of the merchandise department

- Created Blue and Gold Club, the foundation for the now-Blue and Gold Room

- Named an Honorary Life Member of the Board of Directors


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