Ellison Kelly

Last updated
Ellison Kelly
Born:(1935-05-17)May 17, 1935
Butler, Georgia, U.S.
Died:February 11, 2016(2016-02-11) (aged 80)
Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
Career information
CFL status National
Position(s) G/OT
Height6 ft 3 in (191 cm)
Weight250 lb (110 kg)
College Michigan State
High school Sandusky High School
NFL draft 1959 / Round: 5 / Pick: 59
Drafted by New York Giants
Career history
As player
1959 New York Giants
19601970 Hamilton Tiger-Cats (CFL)
19711972 Toronto Argonauts (CFL)
Career highlights and awards
CFL All-Star 1964, 1969, 1970, 1971
CFL East All-Star 1961, 1962, 1963, 1964, 1968, 1969, 1970, 1971
Career stats

Ellison Lamar Kelly (May 17, 1935 – February 11, 2016) was an American and Canadian football offensive lineman for the Hamilton Tiger-Cats from 1960–1970 and the Toronto Argonauts from 1971-1972 of the Canadian Football League. He also played in the National Football League for the New York Giants. Kelly never missed a game in his 12 seasons in the CFL, playing 175 consecutive games. Kelly usually played guard or tackle, but the versatile performer also provided depth at the defensive end and linebacker positions. Teammates recall him as being a tough, solid competitor, even when injured. He won three Grey Cups for the Tiger-Cats in 1963, 1965 & 1967 and played in the 1971 Grey Cup with the Argonauts.

American football Team field sport

American football, referred to as football in the United States and Canada and also known as gridiron, is a team sport played by two teams of eleven players on a rectangular field with goalposts at each end. The offense, the team with possession of the oval-shaped football, attempts to advance down the field by running with the ball or passing it, while the defense, the team without possession of the ball, aims to stop the offense's advance and to take control of the ball for themselves. The offense must advance at least ten yards in four downs or plays; if they fail, they turn over the football to the defense, but if they succeed, they are given a new set of four downs to continue the drive. Points are scored primarily by advancing the ball into the opposing team's end zone for a touchdown or kicking the ball through the opponent's goalposts for a field goal. The team with the most points at the end of a game wins.

Canadian football Canadian sport in which opposing teams of twelve players attempt to score by advancing a ball by running, passing and kicking

Canadian football is a sport played in Canada in which two teams of 12 players each compete for territorial control of a field of play 110 yards (101 m) long and 65 yards (59 m) wide attempting to advance a pointed oval-shaped ball into the opposing team's scoring area.

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

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Kelly was drafted in the fifth round of the 1959 NFL Draft by the Giants after a stellar career at Michigan State University, but he opted to go to Canada to play in the CFL in his second season.

The 1959 National Football League draft had its first four rounds held on December 1, 1958, and its final twenty-six rounds on January 21, 1959. Both sessions were held at the Warwick Hotel in Philadelphia.

Michigan State University Public research university in East Lansing, Michigan, United States

Michigan State University (MSU) is a public research university in East Lansing, Michigan. MSU was founded in 1855 and served as a model for land-grant universities later created under the Morrill Act of 1862. The university was founded as the Agricultural College of the State of Michigan, one of the country's first institutions of higher education to teach scientific agriculture. After the introduction of the Morrill Act, the college became coeducational and expanded its curriculum beyond agriculture. Today, MSU is one of the largest universities in the United States and has approximately 576,000 living alumni worldwide.

Kelly is one of the few football players to have a race horse named after him. "Wildcat Kelly" was a gelding pacer in the stable of Yellow and Black farms of Hamilton, a partnership of Dill (Pickles) Southwick, a former quarterback for the Hamilton Tigers, and businessmen Bruce Woodward and George Ridpath. (Yellow and Black were the colours of the Tiger Cats.) As of 1970, the six-year-old "Wildcat Kelly" had won $14,000 in its lifetime. [1]

Kelly was inducted into the Canadian Football Hall of Fame in 1992. He spent his entire post-football life in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, first as a teacher with the Hamilton Board of Education, and later as a Recreations Officer with the Hamilton-Wentworth Detention Centre, where he was regarded as a gentle giant and a gentleman. He was a frequent guest on Tiger Cat alumni days and was asked to speak on many occasions. His speeches were often dominated by a spiritual appreciation and gratitude for the wonderful life and opportunities he had been given. He continued to live in Hamilton until his death in 2016. [2]

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

The Canadian Football Hall of Fame 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.

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References

  1. "Ticats set example for Wildcat Kelly; 1st win of season", Toronto Globe and Mail, Wednesday 14 October 1970, p. 34.
  2. "Goodbye, Mr. Kelly: Ticats legend dies". thespec.com.