Neal Beaumont was a true legend of the game. A native of Vancouver, Beaumont earned a starting defensive halfback position with the BC Lions at the tender age of 19 in 1960 and would go on to win the Dr. Beattie Martin Trophy as Canadian rookie of the year in the west that season thanks in large part to 53 punt returns for 226 yards. In the process, he became the first BC Lions to win an individual CFL Player Award.
Beaumont, who was nicknamed CRUSHER, would go on to play eight seasons, recording 22 interceptions and becoming the team’s leading punter (both punts and yards) amassing a career total of 624 punts for 25,607 yards. He also holds the CFL record for longest interception return – 120 yards for a touchdown – against the Saskatchewan Roughriders on October 12, 1963.
His best season, statistically, came in 1964 when he recorded five interceptions and was a Western A—Star Defensive Halfback. He had the best punting average in the Western Conference (42.1 on 90 punts), led the team in kickoff returns with 19, and also returned 51 punts and added a final interception in the BC Lions’ first-ever Grey Cup victory that year.
In total, he played 123 regular season games for the Lions. He was the 1963 BC Lions' Most Valuable Canadian, selected to the 1985 BC Lions All-Time Team, selected to the 1993 BC Lions Dream Team, and inducted to the BC Lions Wall of Fame in 2003.