E.K. 'EDDIE' EMERSON
Inducted in 1975
Played 22 seasons with the Ottawa Rough Riders
Grey Cup - Ottawa Rough Riders
President, Ottawa Rough Riders Football Club
President, Interprovincial Rugby Football Union (Big Four)
An American by birth, Eddie Emerson fell in love with Canadian football when business brought him north in 1909. Though he was never paid a cent, Emerson played 22 full seasons with the Ottawa Rough Riders between 1912 and 1937 which, until 2000, marked the longest playing career in Canadian football history. Emerson played his first season as a snap with the Rough Riders in 1912 and then spent the rest of his career as a fullback and linebacker. Fondly known as the "Iron Man" of football, Emerson led his team to two Grey Cup wins, in 1925 and 1926. Since football was not a source of income for players in Emerson's day, the "Iron Man" made his living as an automobile salesman. He also owned various bowling alleys and night clubs in the Ottawa area. Although he was also an accomplished pool player, hockey, player, and auto racer, football was his life. After retiring from the field, Emerson stayed with the Rough Riders as president of the football club from 1947-51 (he had already served in this capacity while a player from 1930-31). He was also president of the Interprovincial Rugby Football Union, known as the Big Four, from 1948-49. In all, Emerson spent 40 years as a member of the Ottawa executive and 25 years as a member of the Interprovincial Union. Even at the age of 70, he still served as an unofficial scout for the Ottawa club, showing his unwavering dedication to his sport and his team.