American-born Chuck Ealey burst onto the Canadian professional football scene like a spectacular comet and made believers of the fans in his very first year. That was in 1972 and all the young quarterback with a strong arm and a desire to run with the ball whenever opportunity arose did was win the Canadian Football League's Scheneley Award at the outstanding rookie of the year and guide the Hamilton Tiger-Cats to Grey Cup victory.
For the next six years, until he bid farewell to the game, Chuck proved to be a strong performer in the CFL.
Born in Portsmouth,Ohio, like a lot of American boys, Chuck received a solid football education good and early. It took him to the University of Toledo where he won many honors. Between 1969 and 1971, he led the Rockets to two Tangerine Bowl wins and also appeared in the All- American conference. At the end of his university football career, he held six school passing records.
After Toledo came to Canada and the Hamilton Ti-Cats. Chuck's first year in professional football in '72 was an outstanding one. He completed 148 passes in 253 attempts for a total of 2,573 yards and 22 passing touchdowns. He also rushed for 519 yards in 87 carries and scored four rushing TD's.
For his stellar efforts, he was voted All- Eastern quarterback, won the outstanding rookie Schenley Award and, as a piece de resistance, led the Tiger-Cats to a thrilling last minute Grey Cup victory over the Saskatchewan Rough Riders.
The sweet taste of Grey Cup success more than having been selected as the game's Most Valuable Player ranks among the most memorable moments of Chuck's illustrious professional football career.
The year following their Grey Cup success, the Ti-cats struggled and partway through the 1974 campaign, Chuck was traded to Winnipeg Blue Bombers. Late in the '75 season, he was traded again- this time to the Toronto Argonauts. During the 1975 season, he completed 102 passes in 196 attempts for 1,535 yards on 99 carries, scoring a pair of TD's.
Chuck's last three years with the boatmen were equally consistent and impressive.
Following his football field heroics, Chuck turned his attention and racquetball and soon made a name for himself in that game, too, attaining national racquetball rankings.
Chuck has been a resident of Mississauga since 1974 and still lives here with his wife, Sherri, and three children- Damon, Skye and Jack.