The Winnipeg Blue Bombers announced that offensive linemen Pat Neufeld as the 2021 recipient of the Cal Murphy ‘Heart of a Legend Award’ winner.
The award was named after former Blue Bombers scout, coach and general manager Cal Murphy to acknowledging the player who has shown ‘outstanding sportsmanship and dedication to the Canadian Football League and the community.’
Cal Murphy was a hall of fame coach and manager for the Bombers from 1983-96, helping the club capture three championships in 1984, 1988 and 1990. He was a two-time winner of the Annis Stukus Trophy as CFL Coach of the Year (1983, 1984). Inducted into the Winnipeg Football Club Hall of Fame in 2002 and the Canadian Football Hall of Fame in 2004, Murphy is second on the Bombers all-time coaching wins list with 86 behind only Bud Grant (102), and was an influential executive who helped Winnipeg land the rights to host the 1991 Grey Cup.
After retiring from the CFL, Murphy went on to work for the Indianapolis Colts as a scout before passing away in 2012.
It’s an honour to be selected for an award like this,” said Neufeld. “I was researching it and there have been some phenomenal Blue Bombers who have won this award from Milt Stegall to Obby Khan to Andrew Harris to Dave Mudge. It’s quite humbling to be mentioned alongside those guys.”
Pat Neufeld is a six-foot-six 311 pound offensive line that will be entering his eight season with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers after being acquired back in 2013 from the Saskatchewan Roughriders. During his time with the Blue bomber he has appeared in 82 games for the Blue Bombers including the 107th and 108th Grey Cup championships.
“I’ve been lucky to be able to play in this league for 10 seasons going on 11,” he said. “That length of time does give you some perspective and allows you to reflect on everything. When you first get into this league, especially as a Canadian kid, you’re a little big star-struck and you’re just hoping to make the team.
“But as you go along your path of playing professional football in this league you see the things required to be successful and make a career out of it. Most of all, though, you make a ton of relationships and friendships. It’s inspiring to think of the impact you can have on people just because of the position you’re in with the club in the league.
“It’s something I’m extremely appreciative of and really grateful for, especially at this point in my career.”
Past ‘Heart of a Legend’ Award Winners:
2021 – Pat Neufeld
2017 – Chris Randle
2016 – Andrew Harris
2015 – Bryant Turner, Jr.
2014 – Carl Volny
2013 – Kito Poblah
2012 – Kito Poblah
2011 – Obby Khan
2010 – Lavar Glover
2009 – Obby Khan
2008 – Obby Khan
2007 – Milt Stegall
2006 – Milt Stegall
2005 – Matt Sheridan
2004 – Moe Elewonibi
2003 – Khari Jones
2002 – Moe Elewonibi
2001 – Dave Mudge
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