Frank J. Hannibal
Football builder Frank Hannibal was born in Bristol, England and came to Canada at the age of 9. He served overseas in the First World War and rose to the rank of major. It was an indication of leadership qualities that would translate well on the gridiron and in the boardroom. Employed in Toronto by the Canada Company, he was sent to Winnipeg in 1930 to organize the western branch. Within the next four years, Hannibal became involved with the Winnipeg Rugby Football Club and assumed the Vice-Presidency in 1934. He became President in 1935 and helped to steer the club to the first Grey Cup ever won by a western team. Winnipeg defeated the Hamilton Tigers 18-12 on a chilly December 7, 1935 in Hamilton.
Hannibal served as President in 1936 as well and is credited along with Les Isard and Barry Bain, as well as fellow Hall-of-Famers G. Sydney Halter (1982) and Joe B. Ryan (1982), with rebuilding the Winnipeg Rugby Football Club into a formidable contender. It culminated with that 1935 Team (inducted in 1983) and its historic championship win. He was inducted as a Charter Member of the Canadian Football Hall of Fame in 1963 with the following praise; “Frank Hannibal stood as one of the great builders of Western Canadian football.”
b. September 23, 1892
d. March 27, 1959