While growing up in Kenora, it seemed whatever sport Noel got involved with he excelled in. A member of championship basketball teams and rowing crews he was also an award-winning track-and-field star. It was in the sport of football, however, where Noel would leave his mark in Kenora's history books by going on to enjoy a professional career in the Canadian Football League.


Noel's talents were developed in the early 1950s while playing in Kenora's Little League of football. A standout with the Kenora High School Mustangs, he received the 1956 Rookie of the Year Award. His exceptional talent on the field earned him entry into Winnipeg's Big Blue Farm System, playing junior with the St. James Rods and senior with the St. James Rams.


In 1963, Noel signed with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers where he played in the end/flanker position under Coach Bud Grant. Known for his blocking and speed, he gave excellent back-up for regular ends Farrell Funston and Ernie Pitts, remaining with the Blue Bombers for his entire six-year career. One of his best performances came in a game against Montreal where he caught seven passes for 139 yards including one for a fourth quarter touchdown.


The Blue Bombers made it to the Grey Cup finals against Hamilton in 1965, however, Noel was forced to watch his team go down in defeat from the sidelines due to a serious back injury. Following the 1968 season, Noel decided to hang up his cleats, going on to lend his talents to assisting coaches of young players in both baseball and football in the Winnipeg area.


Inducted into the Northwestern Ontario Sports Hall of Fame, September 25th, 1993


Noel Dunford

Inducted: 
1993
Sport:
Football
Community:
‚Äč
Kenora
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