Eight-year veteran Edmonton Football Team long snapper Ryan King said Friday that he believes his time with the team was an “incredible journey,” following his announcement this week that he would be retiring from the CFL.
King, 35, had played with the Edmonton team since 2012.
“It’s been a great couple days of reflection, just going through the decision I had to make,” King said Friday. “It was just the right time. I played football for a long time, and some other opportunities brought themselves up.”
King, who grew up locally in Sherwood Park, said that his football career stems back to his childhood.
“Growing up, my brother Andrew and Neil, we grew up in a football family… my older brother Andrew was actually the first one to get signed by the Eskimos after his last college year,” King said. “That kind of really put it forward for me and my little brother Neil.
“As soon as we realized the big brother can do it then obviously the little brothers can do it as well too, right?”
The trio of King brothers made their mark on the team and cemented a family tradition of playing for their hometown team. Andrew was signed in 2010, Ryan in 2012 and Neil in 2016.
Ryan said that his memories of playing alongside his family professionally remain some of his favourites.
“To be able to play alongside my little brother wearing the EE logo on our chest, and to be running down field making plays together and celebrating, that was such a cool experience that I’ll keep close to me forever,” he said.
Also topping the list of standout moments? Helping the EE take the championship in 2015 with their Grey Cup win.
“What a cool experience that is. Not only to play for your hometown team but to be able to win a Grey Cup Championship and bring it back to celebrate with your city,” King said.
“It’s been an incredible journey, it’s been an incredible experience and I’ll honestly always remember my time and my years with the Edmonton Football Club.”
He added he hopes the players who follow him continue to volunteer within the community. Through his time with the team, King has been involved with numerous football camps aimed towards kids and remains a member of the executive board of the CFL Players Association.
“It’s just incredible to me how much engagement, how much support this community of Edmonton has,” King said. “To me, it was a huge motivation not only to get out in the community, but to try to set the new standard for all the players that come up behind me on the football team.
“I know how impactful we can be going out in the community, and how much these kids really do appreciate the time that we spend with them.”
King said he made the decision to retire after being offered a senior management position at Crystal Glass Canada, which has a head office in Edmonton. King has worked with the company since 2019.