Inducted in 2002
Schenley Outstanding Canadian Award
Jim Young, better known as "Dirty 30," was a fearsome force on the Canadian gridiron throughout the 1960s and '70s. A standout football player at Hamilton's Westdale High School, Young decided to accept a scholarship to Queen's University, despite numerous offers from American colleges. He was an all-star running back in each of his three seasons with the Golden Gaels and, in 1963, was selected to play on both the offensive and defensive teams. By the end of his third year, it was clear that Young was Canada's best football prospect, and CFL teams began competing for prime drafting positions. Though the Tiger Cats lusted over their hometown hero, the Toronto Argonauts finished last in the Eastern Conference that season and thus won first pick over Hamilton. When Toronto couldn't meet his salary demands, however, Young decided to accept an offer from the Minnesota Vikings. All he wanted was some NFL training camp experience before finishing his degree at Queen's, but he was so successful that the Vikings kept him on for two years. In 1967, Young was traded to the B.C. Lions, who had acquired his Canadian playing rights from Toronto. Once in the CFL, he put all that he had learned in the NFL to good use. Though a versatile player, Young truly shone after being moved to the wide receiving position in 1971. The number on his jersey and his aggressive style of play soon earned him the nickname "Dirty 30." Despite his slate of injuries, which included a ripped kneecap, a dislocated shoulder, a hernia, and countless sutures, Young made no effort to change the way he played the game. The only time he let up on his hard-driving tactics was when he risked becoming ineligible for the Schenley Awards due to too many missed games. By the mid-1970s, Young held club records for receptions, yards receiving, and touchdown passes. He received five Schenley nominations, more than any other player in B.C. Lions history, and won the coveted prize in 1970 and 1972. He was also voted the All-Western running back in 1969 and the All-Western and All-Canadian wide receiver in 1972. Young retired from the field in 1979 after 12 glorious seasons with the Lions, over the course of which he had 522 pass receptions for 9,248 yards and 65 touchdowns. He rejoined the Lions for the 1989-90 season as assistant coach and then worked in community relations for the team from 1990 to 1992. One of the most colourful and dedicated players to grace the Canadian gridiron, Young received an honoured place in the Canadian Football Hall of Fame in 1991.