February 1, 2024

Black History Month feature: Tom Casey

During Black History Month this February, we salute some of the black players who have played significant roles in the Blue Bombers’ long history.

Today: Tom Casey – running back, defensive back, punter from 1950-55.

Tom Casey had come west to Winnipeg from the Hamilton Wildcats for the 1950 season, just as much for the opportunity to study medicine at the University of Manitoba Medical Collage as to play with the Blue Bombers.

Before he had even suited up for the club he made an instant impression, volunteering to help Winnipeggers deal with the 1950 flood just days after his arrival. That character and unselfishness would only grow during his days in Manitoba where he earned the nickname ‘Citation’ – after the dominant thoroughbred of that era – for his exploits on the field as a running back, defensive back, punter, and all-star in each of his six seasons with the club.

Casey set a then-team record for touchdowns in 1952, scoring 16 times in the last nine games of the season while also racking up 23 interceptions as a defensive back – all the while attending med school at the U of M, volunteering and coaching high school girls’ basketball in Winnipeg.

The Wellsville, Ohio product was named Winnipeg’s ‘Citizen of the Year’ in 1956 and in 1964 became the first Black player inducted into the Canadian Football Hall of Fame.