Ellison Kelly, American football player, Died on 80


Ellison Lamar Kelly was born on May 17, 1935, and died on February 11, 2016.

He was an American and Canadian football offensive lineman.

He worked for the Hamilton Tiger-Cats from 1960 to1970 and the Toronto Argonauts from 1971-1972 of the Canadian Football League.

Kelly also played in the National Football League for the New York Giants.

The footballer has never missed a game in his 13 seasons in the CFL, playing 175 consecutive games.

Kelly normally played guard or tackle, but the versatile performer also provided depth at the defensive end and linebacker positions.

His Teammates recalled him as being a tough, solid competitor, even when injured.

Ellison Kelly was the winner of three Grey Cups for the Tiger-Cats in 1963, 1965, 1967 and played in the 1971 Grey Cup with the Argonauts.

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.

Kelly was one of the rare football players to have a race horse named after him.

As they called him “Wildcat Kelly”, he 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.)

Around 1970, the six-year-old “Wildcat Kelly” had won $14,000 in its lifetime.

He was inducted into the Canadian Football Hall of Fame in 1992.

Ellison Kelly spent most of his post-football life in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, 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.

Ellison childhood family was a spiritual one.

Mr.Ellison became ‘the one’, the family hope that one of theirs would get out of the poverty cycle.

Ellison Kelly speeches were dominated by a quite spiritual appreciation and gratitude for the wonderful life he has had.

Kelly continued to live in Hamilton with his family until his death in 2016.

Ellison Kelly passed away at 80 yrs old.