Brian Timmis

Last updated
Brian Timmis
Born:(1899-12-05)December 5, 1899
Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
Died:August 22, 1971(1971-08-22) (aged 71)
Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
Career information
Position(s) HB/FB/MW/T
Height5 ft 11 in (180 cm)
Weight200 lb (91 kg)
Junior footballOttawa Seconds
High schoolElgin High School
Career history
As coach
1943 Hamilton Flying Wildcats
As player
19201922 Regina Rugby Club
1923 Ottawa Rough Riders
19241935, 1936 Hamilton Tigers
CFL East All-Star 1932, 1934
Career stats

Brian Mercer "Old Man of the Mountain" [1] Timmis [2] (December 5, 1899 – August 22, 1971) was a star senior Canadian football player in the Saskatchewan Rugby Football Union (SRFU) and Interprovincial Rugby Football Union (IRFU) for a combined 17 seasons, mainly for the Hamilton Tigers. He is a three-time Grey Cup champion as a player, having won with the Tigers in 1928, 1929, and 1932. He later coached the Hamilton Flying Wildcats, leading them to the 1943 Grey Cup championship. He was an inaugural member of the Canadian Football Hall of Fame in 1963 and was also inducted into Canada's Sports Hall of Fame in 1975. Brian Timmis Stadium in Hamilton, Ontario was named after him.


Early life

Timmis was born in Winnipeg and moved to Ottawa in 1910 where his father, a militia member, was stationed. [3] He played football locally before enlisting in the Canadian Armed Forces in 1915 by stating he was two years older than he actually was. [4] After returning from the First World War in 1919, he played junior football for the Ottawa Seconds. [3] After being released from military service, Timmis joined the Royal Canadian Mounted Police where he was stationed in Regina. [3]

Senior football career

Following his move to Regina, Timmis played locally for the Regina Rugby Club where he played from 1920 to 1922. In a game in 1921, an opponent nearly strangled him with his own chinstrap, so Timmis played the rest of his career without a helmet. [3] [4] In 1923, he moved back to Ottawa and played one season for the Ottawa Rough Riders. [5]

He joined the Hamilton Tigers in 1924 and played in his first game with the club on October 4, 1924, starting at middle wing. [6] The team finished in first place in the IRFU in 1924, but lost the East Final to the Queen's Golden Gaels. After sub-par seasons in 1925 and 1926, where the team did not qualify for playoffs, Timmis played in his first Grey Cup game in 1927, but the Tigers lost to the Toronto Balmy Beach Beachers. The Tigers then won back-to-back Grey Cup championships over Timmis' former club, Regina, in 1928 and 1929 while Timmis scored two touchdowns in the 1928 game. [7] Timmis was named an Eastern All-Star by the Canadian Press in 1932 at the Tackle position, which was the first year players were named all-stars. He capped off his year by winning his third Grey Cup championship in the 20th Grey Cup game by once again defeating the Regina Roughriders. [8] He retired at the end of the 1935 season which culminated in a Grey Cup loss to the Winnipeg Pegs. [3] [9]

At the behest of the Tigers organization, Timmis came out of retirement to play in the team's 1936 IRFU playoff game against the Ottawa Rough Riders in Ottawa. [10] He played with infected tonsils and shoulder neuritis, leaving his left arm limp, but still played the entire game. [3] He was cheered on by the crowd in Ottawa as he left the field as a player for the final time. [3] [10]

Coaching career

After his playing career, Timmis had numerous stints as a football coach, highlighted by his 1943 season when he coached the Hamilton Flying Wildcats to a win in the 31st Grey Cup game. [11]

Personal life

Timmis' son, Brian II, played fullback for the Saskatchewan Roughriders (the same club that Timmis had played for) in 1953. [2] [12] His great-grandson, Mercer Timmis, was drafted by the Hamilton Tiger-Cats (a continuation of the Tigers and Flying Wildcats) and, as of 2018, plays as running back for the team. [13]

Related Research Articles

Canadian Football Hall of Fame Canadian football museum in Ontario, Canada.

The Canadian Football Hall of Fame (CFHOF) is a not-for-profit corporation, located in Hamilton, Ontario, that celebrates great achievements in Canadian football. It is maintained by the Canadian Football League (CFL). It includes displays about the CFL, Canadian university football and Canadian junior football history.

Hamilton Tiger-Cats Canadian Football League team from Hamilton, Ontario

The Hamilton Tiger-Cats are a professional Canadian football team based in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. They are currently members of the East Division of the Canadian Football League (CFL). The Tiger-Cats play their home games at Tim Hortons Field. They were founded in 1869 as the Hamilton Football Club. In 1950, the Tigers merged with cross-town upstart Hamilton Wildcats and adopted the nickname "Tiger-Cats".

The East Division is one of the two regional divisions of the Canadian Football League, its counterpart being the West Division. Although the CFL was not founded until 1958, the East Division and its clubs are descended from earlier leagues.

The only two-game total point series in Grey Cup history was played between the Ottawa Rough Riders and the Toronto Balmy Beach Beachers. It was Ottawa's first Grey Cup championship since the Senators won back-to-back titles in 1925 and 1926. It was Balmy Beach's fourth and final appearance at a Grey Cup, winning two times in four opportunities.

The Winnipeg Blue Bombers were once again permitted to challenge for the Grey Cup following a rule dispute a year earlier. In a meeting of the previous two Grey Cup champions, the Blue Bombers prevailed, sending the coveted mug west for the third time.

The Hamilton Flying Wildcats were trying to defend their championship, but the St. Hyacinthe-Donnacona Navy team finished off a Cinderella season by returning the Grey Cup back to Montreal for the first time since 1931.

For the first time in Grey Cup history, the same two teams challenged for the trophy for the third consecutive year. But unlike the previous two years, the Toronto Argonauts needed some late game heroics to win their third consecutive title.

The Hamilton Tiger-Cats defeated the Winnipeg Blue Bombers in the annual Grey Cup in 1953.

The Edmonton Eskimos defeat the Montreal Alouettes in the first Grey Cup held in the west.

The Edmonton Eskimos faced the Montreal Alouettes in the Grey Cup game for the third consecutive year. And for the third consecutive year, the Edmonton Eskimos were Grey Cup champions. It was the first time in a Grey Cup that a touchdown was worth six points instead of five.

The Hamilton Tiger-Cats defeat the Winnipeg Blue Bombers in the Grey Cup.

The 1958 CFL season was the inaugural season of the Canadian Football League. The Hamilton Tiger-Cats and Winnipeg Blue Bombers met again for Canadian football supremacy. The Bombers turned the tables on the Tiger-Cats this time, winning their first Grey Cup since 1941.

The Hugo Ross Trophy was named after a Winnipeg real estate broker, Hugo Ross, who donated the championship trophy to the Western Canada Rugby Football Union (WCRFU). Hugo Ross died a year earlier in April 1912, as he was one of many who drowned in the sinking of RMS Titanic.

The Toronto Balmy Beach Beachers were a Canadian football team based in Toronto, Ontario and a member of the Ontario Rugby Football Union, a league that preceded the Canadian Football League. They appeared in four Grey Cup championships spanning three decades and were the longest tenured member of the ORFU.

The Hamilton Tigers were a Canadian football team based in Hamilton, Ontario that played in the Ontario Rugby Football Union from 1883 to 1906 and 1948 to 1949 and in the Interprovincial Rugby Football Union from 1907 to 1947. The club was a founding member of both the ORFU in 1883 and the IRFU in 1907. Throughout their history, the Tigers won five Grey Cup Championships and two Dominion Championships, including the 1908 title, the year before the Grey Cup was first awarded. After struggling to compete on a sound financial level with the Hamilton Wildcats, who had joined the ORFU in 1941 and later the IRFU, the two clubs merged in 1950 to form the Hamilton Tiger-Cats.

Mercer Edward Timmis is a former Canadian football running back in the Canadian Football League (CFL). He was drafted in the second round, 14th overall by the Hamilton Tiger-Cats in the 2016 CFL Draft and played three seasons for the team before finishing his career with the Toronto Argonauts. He played CIS football for the Calgary Dinos.


  2. 1 2 Scott Radley (May 12, 2016). "A Ticat draft pick 92 years in the making". The Hamilton Spectator. Retrieved October 22, 2018.
  3. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Canada's Sports Hall of Fame, Brian Timmis
  4. 1 2 Taylor McKee (September 4, 2014). "Brian Timmis' legacy of ironman football". Gauntlet. Retrieved October 22, 2018.
  5. "Ottawa defeated Hamilton 29-11". The Montreal Gazette. October 15, 1923. Retrieved October 22, 2018.
  6. "Ottawa defeated Hamilton 29-11". The Montreal Gazette. October 6, 1924. Retrieved October 22, 2018.
  7. "Grey Cup: 1928". Canadian Football League. Archived from the original on August 20, 2013. Retrieved October 22, 2018.
  8. 1932 – Hamilton Tigers 25, Regina Roughriders 6
  9. "First rugby title for West as Winnipeg trims Tigers, 18-12". The Montreal Gazette. December 7, 1935. Retrieved October 22, 2018.
  10. 1 2 Elmer Dulmage (November 16, 1936). "Turville standout in Tigers' losing effort at Ottawa". The Montreal Gazette. Retrieved October 22, 2018.
  11. 1943 – Hamilton Flying Wildcats 23, Winnipeg R.C.A.F. Bombers 14
  12. CFLapedia players
  13. "Ticats' Mercer Timmis showing signs of CFL Hall of Fame bloodline". The Vancouver Sun. June 29, 2018. Retrieved October 22, 2018.