By Bailey

Athlete

Along with Norm Fieldgate, Byron Bailey remained as the longest serving Lions player until his retirement after the 1964 season. Coming to B.C. from Washington State, By played many different positions from fullback to linebacker and eventually as a defensive halfback. A constantly underrated player, he was named to the Western All-Star Team in 1957 and received consideration in many other seasons. He holds the distinction of having scored the first-ever Lions’ touchdown (a 1-yard run late in the 2nd quarter of the opening night of August 28, 1954 vs Winnipeg to give the Leos a 6-1 lead). Despite the passage of over 45 years since his retirement from the game, By still ranks among all-time leaders in rushing (3,643 yards), scoring (169 pts), receiving (1,161 yards) and particularly in kickoff returns where he is unsurpassed at 3,114 yards on 130 attempts. He was the first Lions player to return a kickoff for a TD (96 yards on September 17, 1956 vs Winnipeg) and led the team in rushing three straight times before his conversion to defensive back in the early 1960s. By Bailey was elected simultaneously to the Canadian Football Hall of Fame and the BC Sports Hall of Fame in 1975.