Joseph B. (Joe) Ryan
Member of Canadian Football Hall of Fame (Inducted 1968)
Ryan was one of the great movers and shakers in Canadian football and was part of three different pro teams in the country. He began with the Winnipeg Football Club in 1930 after engineering the amalgamation of the ‘Winnipegs’ and the St. John’s Rugby Club and the Western Interprovincial Football Union in 1934.
Ryan, nicknamed ‘Yussel the Muscle’, was part of three Grey Cup teams in Winnipeg – in 1935, 1939 and 1941 – and then, after moving to Montreal to work with the federal tax department, helped form the Montreal Alouettes, winning a championship there in 1949. He was also involved with the Edmonton Eskimos from 1959-66.
Ryan was remembered for his push to allow the forward pass into Canadian football and was seen as a pioneer for the Winnipeg Football Club’s practice of recruiting American players such as Fritz Hanson, Carl Cronin, Bob Fritz, Reg Threlfall and Joe Perpich.