A native of Trail, B.C., Lawrence “Sonny” Homer was a true hometown hero playing 11 seasons for the hometown BC Lions. He was part of their first-ever Grey Cup championship in 1964 where he had his finest season catching 50 passes for 776 yards, averaging 15.5 yards per catch.
Lauded for his speed when he was first signed by the Lions, “Sonny” even managed to overcome an injury in his second year in college having to have his kidney removed to become one of the Lions’ most prolific receivers in team history. He would finish his career with 217 catches for 3,765 yards, averaging 17.4 yards per catch for his career. In 2003, he was inducted into the B.C. Lions Wall of Fame.
Homer also made a mark in amateur football in the province. After moving to North Vancouver with his family when he was five, he went on to attend North Vancouver High School where he would lead the “Green & White” team in grade 10 and 11 before transferring over to Vancouver College for his final high school year. His performance with Vancouver College would lead to a scholarship at Grey’s Harbour Junior College in Washington State.
Homer’s kidney removal has become somewhat the story of legend. Only teammates and a few close friends knew he played his entire professional career with just one kidney. He also wore a special kidney pad designed for him. Although unverified, he may have been the only CFL player in history to play with one kidney.
Homer passed away on February 22, 2006.