Surrey-raised Paul McCallum is among Canadian Football Hall of Fame inductees announced Tuesday, June 21.
His career in the CFL stretched 23 years, including 11 seasons with the Surrey-based BC Lions, with whom he won two Grey Cup championships.
Nicknamed “Clutch,” McCallum is the team’s all-time leader with a field goal percentage of 85.9, and is second to Lui Passaglia among all-time Lions in total points (1,506), successful field goals (348), punting yards (37,912) and kickoff yards (28,700). He earned CFL All-Star selections in 2010 and 2011.
Prior to his pro-football career, McCallum went to school at Queen Elizabeth Secondary in the 1980s and played for the Surrey Rams junior team.
“Playing with the Rams, the Lions asked me and four or five players if we would go practice with them at the end of their season,” the retired kicker recalls in a story posted to bclions.com.
“Doug Flutie was there and I think, Mark Gastineau. Murray Pezim was the owner. I’ll never forget it was (then director of player personnel) Bill Quinter on the last practice day of the season, it was raining so hard in Surrey funny enough, and we went to BC Place.
“Bill kept me afterwards and worked me out really hard. He had to drive me back to Surrey because the team left. He told me on that drive back from BC Place that I had a lot of ability and talent, but because I was raw, I had to work at it. From there, I was determined. I had two years left of junior so I was practising with the Lions on my own time.”
From 1995 to 2005, it was with the Saskatchewan Roughriders where McCallum established himself as one of the league’s top specialists. His accolades with the green and white included kicking the longest field goal in CFL history of 63 yards in October of 2001.
He returned home as a free agent prior to 2006. That season McCallum made an immediate impact in his longest stint in orange, tying a Grey Cup record with six successful field goals in six attempts as the Lions won their fifth championship with a 25-14 victory over Montreal. McCallum was named Most Valuable Canadian of that 94th Grey Cup.
In the next championship season of 2011, McCallum set a new CFL record with 30 consecutive field goals made, beating Dave Ridgway’s old mark of 28, and made three field goals in the 34-23 win over Winnipeg at BC Place in the 99th Grey Cup.
McCallum, 52, is now a realtor based in Langley.
Members of the 2022 Canadian Football League Hall of Fame class will be inducted as part of a Sept. 16 ceremony in Hamilton, Ont. This year’s inductees also include former BC Lions head coach Dave Ritchie, builder Roy Shivers and journalist Ed Willes.
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