Birth: Toronto, Ontario, December 12, 1907
Died: May 15, 1979
Career Highlights1928 - 1929, ’35-37 - Hamilton Tigers
1928, ’29 - Interprovincial Title – Hamilton Tigers
1928, ’29 - Grey Cup – Hamilton Tigers
1930 - 1934 - Montreal Winged Wheelers
1931 - Grey Cup – Montreal Winged Wheelers
1933 - Jeff Russel Memorial Trophy
1933, ’36 - Interprovincial Scoring Champion
When Hawley Welsh burst on to the gridiron of his Hamilton high school, it was clear that this talented running back and kicker would go far in Canadian football. As a teenager, Welch led his Delta Collegiate team to three national interscholastic championship victories, earning two scoring titles in the process.
Welch joined the Hamilton tigers in 1928, helping them claim two interprovincial titles and two Grey Cup victories, in 1928 and 1929. In 1930, he moved to the Montreal Winged Wheelers. In one 1931 Grey Cup playoff game against the Regina Rough Riders, he kicked two singles, a convert, and a field goal to bring the Wheelers to a 22-0 thrashing over Regina. Naturally, Montreal took the Cup that year.
Rejoining the Tigers in 1935, Welch demonstrated his great kicking skills. In 1936, he kicked 26 singles for the Tigers, including eight in a single game. Before retiring from the field in 1937, he had 123 singles to his record.
While serving overseas during the Second World War, Welch played in a number of exhibition games between military teams. Upon his return to Canada, he coached high school football at his own alma mater as well as at other schools in Winnipeg and Regina. He also served as the first post-war president of the Tigers in 1946.
Welch’s tremendous performance on the field earned him the Jeff Russel Memorial Trophy in 1933 as the most outstanding player in the CFL’s eastern division, and he won two interprovincial scoring titles, in 1933 and 1936. A frequent Big Four and Canadian All-Star, Welch received an honoured place in the Canadian Football Hall of Fame in 1964.