Though he was known as a “savage tackler” throughout his 18-year professional football career with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers, it was not football that earned Bill “Red Dog” Ceretti his nickname. It was his prowess at the card table. Red Dog was the name of a card game Ceretti taught his fellow Bombers to play, it turned out he was good at that game too and the name stuck. Ceretti started playing football in 1929 as a junior. In 1931, he had joined the Winnipeg Blue Bombers (known as the St. Johns and then the Winnipegs) where he played guard both defensively and offensively. Ceretti was a member of the first three Manitoba teams to capture the Grey Cup (1935, ‘39 & ’41). Throughout his career, Ceretti was considered one of the outstanding linemen in the history of the football club and received all-star honours in 1938, ‘40 & ‘46. He retired from football in 1948.
Sportswriter Vince Leah described Ceretti in 1975 as “one of the finest Canadian-born linemen in the history of the game.” After marrying Dorothy in 1933, the couple welcomed the first of three daughters Glenda (Crawford) two years later in the same year of 1935 that Ceretti and the Bombers won the first ever Grey Cup by a team from the West. In 1937 and 1943, the family was completed with daughters Carol (Phillips) and Janet (Summers). When he was not playing football, Bill Ceretti made his living as a driver for Canada Bread and later for Canadian Pacific Railway until he died in 1974.
b. March 10, 1912
d. May 5, 1974