Norm Hill, one of the architects of the Calgary Stampeders' victory in the CFL-changing1948 Grey Cup game, has passed away at the age of 91.
Hill, a Winnipeg native, played for the Stamps from 1948-50, and then again in 1954.
He died Jan. 18, in his sleep.
Hill is often remembered as the man who caught the Sleeper Play that led to the Stamps' first touchdown in the 1948 Grey Cup game. The play involved a receiver flopping onto the ground, hoping the opposition would lose sight of him, before having the ball tossed to him.
It was a play that often didn't work in those days because fans would alert players to the stunt. However, Hill's daughter Avery, who lives in Edmonton, said on a Calgary radio program last year that in 1948, the Stampeders called it at the same moment Barbara Anne Scott, a famous figure skater, was walking to her seat. Fans were distracted.
Calgary quarterback Keith Spaith tossed the ball to Hill, who caught it and made it into the end zone for a touchdown.
The Stamps went on to win the Grey Cup, 12-7 against Ottawa in the game that basically would lead to the birth of the Grey Cup Festival. That's when hundreds of Stampeders fans rode the train across the country, a future Calgary mayor rode a horse through the lobby of the Royal York Hotel, and a pancake breakfast, Stampede-style, was held on the front steps of Toronto City Hall.
After his football days ended, Hill became a Winnipeg neurosurgeon.
The Stampeders mourn the death of Norm Hill, one of the players involved in the famous "Sleeper Play" during the 1948 Grey Cup.— Calgary Stampeders (@calstampeders) January 24, 2020