One of the BC Lions’ all-time greats is headed to the Canadian Football Hall of Fame.
Geroy Simon, a Cloverdale resident and longtime youth football coach in the community, was named to the 2017 Hall Of Fame class last week, along with fellow inductees Kelvin Anderson, Anthony Calvillo, Mike O’Shea, Stan Schwartz and Brian Towriss.
Simon’s inclusion among the league’s best all-time players is comes as little surprise to longtime fans of the CFL – the longtime receiver played 15 years in the league, primarily for the Lions, but also the Winnipeg Blue Bombers and Saskatchewan Roughriders, and he retired as the all-time leader in receiving yards and receptions, with 16,352 yards and 1,029 catches.
He holds the BC Lions’ team records for receiving yards, receptions and touchdowns.
He also won three Grey Cup titles – in 2006 and 2011 with the Lions plus one with the Roughriders – and was named the CFL’s Most Outstanding Player in 2006, as well.
The Lions retired his jersey No. 81 in 2014.
Simon, 41, was scouting at the University of Idaho earlier this week, but did express his gratitude for the hall-of-fame nod in a statement issued last week by the Lions.
“I’m both grateful and tremendously proud to be selected by the Canadian Football Hall of Fame for this incredible honour,” he said.
“Receiving the call from CFL commissioner (Jeffrey) Orridge… will be one of the fondest memories of my football career.
“I was extremely fortunate to take the field with some of the best players in the history of our amazing league and my thanks go out to them along with my former coaches.”
After retiring as a player in 2013 after one year with Saskatchewan, Simon moved into a new position with the Riders as a scout.
In 2015, he rejoined the BC Lions in a front-office capacity as a business and development advisor, and he now serves as a personnel assistant and director of CIS scouting in the team’s football operations department.
Through his years with the organization, Simon has also been very visible in the community, coaching his son’s Cloverdale youth football team, among other endeavours.
When the team retired his number in 2014, Lions’ general manager Wally Buono – a South Surrey resident – called Simon “a tremendous ambassador in the community.”
Simon’s induction last week earned him further praise from his longtime coach and general manager.
“Geroy was a special player who played a significant role in the success of our organization for many years,” Buono said.
“He was an incredible talent on the field who left an indelible mark on our league and I am proud to offer him sincere congratulations on behalf of our club.”
The 2017 inductees will officially be inducted during Hall of Fame weekend in Hamilton in mid-September.