#63 RON FORWICK, DE

 

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One of the longest-serving members in Edmonton Eskimos history, defensive end Ron Forwick, succumbed to cancer at age 57 on Monday, July 2, 2001.

 

He played 10 seasons between 1965 and 1974 - during one of the more lean times in team history.

 

Ron was raised in Edmonton and jumped straight from the Edmonton Huskies junior football team to the pros.   He won the Dr. Beattie Martin Trophy as the Most Outstanding Canadian Rookie in the Western Conference in 1965.

 

He was named CFL West All-Star in 1970, but missed out on the team's 1975 Grey Cup win, their first after a 19-year drought.   He was traded to Hamilton after the final pre-season game that year, where he played just the one year before retiring at the end of 1975.   Ron continued to make Edmonton home after his football career ended.

 

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On a personal note, I grew up idolising the Eskimos of the seventies, and also played against Ron in the Edmonton Sportsman's Curling League in the eighties.   I got to know Ron quite well, and consider him a true friend.   A big bear of a man at 6' 4", he had a friendly, unassuming manner which belied his earlier CFL career.   He had a wonderfully uproarious laugh and a mischievous twinkle in his eye that instantly put you at ease.

 

As manager of the Edmonton Firefighters' Social Club, where many Eskimos team events were held in the past, Ron aided my wife and I immensely with our wedding reception in 1990.   He and his staff made our wedding something which friends still remark on.

 

 

UPDATE:

Wednesday, September 25, 2002 - Edmonton, AB - The Edmonton Eskimo Football club announced the dedication of Forwick Field, adjacent to Husky House in Kinsman Park, directly under the High Level Bridge.

 

Forwick, who starred for the Edmonton Huskies before joining the Esks in 1965, spent ten seasons as a defensive back with the Green and Gold.  He was named a CFL All-Star in 1970 and played in two Grey Cups (1973 & '74).  He finished out his 12 year pro career with Hamilton.  Ron Forwick died in July 2001 at the age of 57 after a lengthy battle with cancer.  He is survived by wife Gale, son Shane and daughters Rhonda and Sheri.