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Lionel Conacher

FROM THE Footprints COLLECTION

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A part of our heritage...

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Lionel Conacher was an all-around champion and Canada’s athlete of the half-century. He was Mr. Everything. He excelled in football, lacrosse, baseball, boxing, wrestling, hockey, and track and field.

They called him “The Big Train,” and he just rolled along - all year, every year. He grew up in a tough section of Toronto and distinguished himself from his nine siblings right from the beginning.

He was light heavyweight boxing champion of Canada and went four rounds with legendary heavyweight champion Jack Dempsey just for fun!

Conacher led the CFL’s Toronto Argonauts to Grey Cup victory in 1921, played for the champion Toronto Maple Leaf Triple-A baseball team in 1926, and led Toronto to the Lacrosse championship the following year.

In NHL hockey, he played defence with four different teams – Pittsburgh, New York, Chicago and Montréal – and tasted Stanley Cup victory twice. He made the first all-star team in 1934.

Conacher even made a name for himself in politics, serving first in the Ontario legislature and then in the House of Commons.

He is a member of the Hockey Hall of Fame, Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame, the Canadian Lacrosse Hall of Fame, and the Canadian Football Hall of Fame.

In an era when balance was everything, The Big Train set the standard.

Lionel Conacher of Toronto, Ontario. An indelible Footprint on the playing fields of Canada.

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