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Legendary lineup announced for Eskimo Annual Dinner

Edmonton Eskimos
ESKS.com Staff

(Edmonton) – Some of the biggest names in Eskimo history will participate in a hot stove panel at the 48th Eskimo Annual Dinner. The all-star alumni will represent different eras of the club’s historic past, including:

•    Bill Smith, representing the 1950s
•    Warren Moon, representing the five-in-a-row Eskimo Grey Cup wins
•    Henry “Gizmo” Williams, Damon Allen and Sean Fleming,  representing 1987 – 1993
•    Ed Hervey and Shannon Garrett, representing  2003 – 2005

“The roster of guests who agreed to participate in our hot stove panel speaks for itself,” says Len Rhodes, President and CEO of the Edmonton Eskimo Football Club.  “The moment they were asked to participate, each one of them responded with an affirmative, without any hesitation whatsoever.  Our alumni share a common trait with our current players; they remain always accessible to this wonderful Edmonton community. Yet another example of Once an Eskimo, Always an Eskimo.”

The Eskimo Annual Dinner is one of Edmonton’s premiere social and sporting events of the year. Meet the full green and gold roster at the reception and then join us for dinner where we will honour the club’s rich tradition as we make a run for the 100th Grey Cup and celebrate our 13 championships.  All proceeds support the Eskimo Champions in the Community programs. Tickets are available at www.esks.com/eskimo-annual-dinner

Bill Smith, defensive back 1956 – 1963
A member of the 1956 Eskimo Grey Cup team, Smith had 22 career interceptions, including six in two different seasons (1959, 1960).  In 1960, he was named a West All-Star. After leaving football in 1963, Smith went on to a successful career in business and politics that includes serving as the mayor of Edmonton from 1995 to 2004.

Warren Moon, quarterback 1978 – 1983
Moon spent 23 seasons in pro football, playing the first six of those seasons with the Edmonton Eskimos. He won an unprecedented five consecutive Grey Cups with the green and gold (1978 – 82) and threw for 21,228 yards and 144 touchdowns. In 1982, Moon became the first quarterback in the league to reach 5,000 passing yards in a season. He is a member of the Canadian Football Hall of Fame, Canadian Sports Hall of Fame and Pro Football Hall of Fame. In 2008, he ranked fifth on the list of the 50 greatest CFL players of all time in a TSN poll.

Henry “Gizmo” Williams, kick returner 1986 – 2000
Gizmo played his entire 14-year CFL career in Edmonton, thrilling Eskimo fans with his famous touchdown front-flip. His legacy of records include the league’s all-time leader in punt returns (1,003), punt-return yardage (11,177), kickoff returns (335) and kickoff-return yardage (7,354). He racked up 23,927 all-purpose yards during his career that includes 14 consecutive post-season appearances. Gizmo is a seven-time West All-Star and a five-time CFL All-Star. He was inducted to the Eskimo Wall of Honour in 2002 and into the CFL Hall of Fame in 2006.  

Damon Allen, quarterback 1985 – 88, 1993 – 1994
Allen began his career in green and gold. He won a Grey Cup with the Eskimos in 1987 and again when he returned to Edmonton in 1993. He retired as the league leader in passing yards (72,381), touchdowns (394) and completions (5,158).  He still holds the record as the top rushing quarterback in league history with 11,920 yards. In his 23 CFL seasons, he became a four-time Grey Cup champion, two-time Grey Cup MVP, Grey Cup Offensive Player of the Game, an East Division and CFL All-Star and was the 2005 CFL Most Outstanding Player. This year, he enters the CFL Hall of Fame in the 2012 class.

Sean Fleming, kicker/punter  1992 – 2007
Fleming played his entire 16-year CFL career with the Edmonton Eskimos. He was a key member of three championship-winning teams (1993, 2003, 2005) and was named the Grey Cup’s Most Outstanding Canadian in 1993. A two-time CFL all-star, Fleming retired as the Eskimos' all-time leader in points (2,571), field goals (553), converts (713), punts (1,264), punt yardage (52,957) and kickoff yardage (69,973). He is second on the Esks’ all-time list for games played with 268. Fleming continues to play a key role in our community and, over 22 years, his annual charity golf tournament as raised over 1.5 million dollars for diabetes research. Last year, he was inducted into the Eskimo Wall of Honour.

Ed Hervey, wide receiver 1999 – 2006
In eight seasons with the Eskimos, Hervey stood out with his world class speed, toughness and leadership on and off the field. In 118 career games, he caught 476 passes for 6,715 yards and 43 touchdowns. He played in eight post season games and three Grey Cups, winning two in 2003 and 2005.  The two-time CFL All-Star received the David Boone Memorial Award in 2006 in recognition of his outstanding contributions to the community. He is now the Eskimos’ head scout and a key part in the team’s preparation and research for the CFL Canadian Draft.

Shannon Garrett, defensive back/linebacker 2000 – 2008
Garrett played nine of his 14 CFL seasons with the Edmonton Eskimos where he won two Grey Cups in 2003 and 2005, and was named as a CFL west all-star in 2001 and 2003. He retired from pro-football with 638 tackles, which was the third highest Eskimo total, and 35 pass interceptions – returning three of them for touchdowns.  An active member of the community, Garrett supported many causes and made over 200 appearances on behalf of the Eskimos. He is still very involved in minor football in Edmonton and he is a coach for the Edmonton Huskies Junior Football Club.
   

About the Edmonton Eskimo Football Club
The Edmonton Eskimos are a community-owned football team playing in the Canadian Football League (CFL) that was formed in 1949 and adopted their now famous green and gold uniforms from the University of Alberta. The Eskimos have won 13 Grey Cup Championships since 1949, including three-in-a-row in the 1950’s and five-in-a-row in the ‘70s and ‘80s.  The Eskimo Football Club plays a very active role in the Edmonton and Northern Alberta communities and participates in many events under their Champions in the Community program.