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CHRIS WALBY
Athlete/Football
Inducted 2006
CHRIS WALBYFor 15 seasons, Winnipeg’s Chris Walby was one of the biggest men in the Canadian Football League and one of the best. Walby was one of the League’s first offensive linemen to tip the scales at over 300 pounds but it was his ability to protect quarterbacks and open holes for running backs that made him stand out.

Born in Winnipeg, Walby played high school football at St. John’s before heading to Dickinson State for his college career, where he played on the defensive line. Drafted by Montreal in the first round of the Canadian College Draft in 1981 he found himself on a team with the likes of Vince Ferragamo, Keith Gary, David Overstreet and Billy “White Shoes” Johnson. But after only five games in Montreal, Walby discovered he was eligible to leave and made his way to the Bombers. It seems Montreal GM Bob Geary was trying to pull a bit of a fast one with Walby’s contract and that gave him the avenue to bolt.

Twice named the CFL Outstanding Offensive Lineman and a four-time Leo Dandurand Trophy winner (Outstanding Lineman in the East Division), Walby was named an All Canadian All-Star nine times in 15 seasons. He also helped the Bombers win Grey Cups in 1984, ’88 and ‘90. The ’84 win was his most memorable from a team standpoint but he also vividly recalls the sting of losing Cups in ’92 and ’93.

“You remember the losses more than the wins. It’s the competitive nature.”

A personal highlight for Walby was his first Mack Truck Award as the League’s top offensive lineman as voted on by the players. It snapped a streak by Saskatchewan’s Roger Aldag.

Walby admits to being supremely confident in his ability to get the job done.

“There was a time I knew I couldn’t get beat.”

Nowadays he works full time with Wyeth Consumer Health Care and is the lead analyst for the CFL on CBC.

“TV keeps you connected. It’s made retirement so much easier.”

He was honoured by the Winnipeg Blue Bombers as one of the top 20 players in the 75-year history of the team. He was one of only two offensive linemen named to the Blue Bomber All-Star Team. Chris Walby was inducted into the Winnipeg Blue Bomber Hall of Fame in 2000 and into the CFL Hall of Fame in 2004.

b. October 23rd, 1956
 
Sport MB