WINNIPEG – He’s one of the greatest football coaches of all time and now former Blue Bomber Bud Grant’s legacy is cemented in Winnipeg.
“Most statues of this variety are when people are dead and I’m not dead yet,” said Grant. “It doesn’t represent me, it represents everybody that played for the Bombers not only in my time, but all time.”
After playing for the Bombers from 1953 to 1956, Grant went on to coach the team for a decade. He won four Grey Cups and was CFL coach of the year while wearing blue and gold.
“You need to recognize your past so you know your future, and that’s what we’re going to do as we move forward,” said Wade Miller, Winnipeg Blue Bombers president and CEO.
The 87-year-old hall-of-famer also coached the Minnesota Vikings for 18 years in the NFL and became the third winningest coach in all of pro football.
And after all those accolades, he only had one regret when the statue was unveiled.
“I shouldn’t have sold that trench coat from the garage sale,” said Grant.
The day was a special one for longtime Bombers fans who waited decades to see Grant honoured.
“There’s that real connection with the community with the Bombers and this is I think just a symbol of a link to the community,” said Bombers fan Gary Chase.
“Most sporting events are entertainment, the event is over and it’s forgotten, but this will go on forever,” said Grant.