Steve Gray to be Inducted in to the Ottawa Sport Hall of Fame

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

March 1, 2018

OTTAWA SPORT HALL OF FAME ANNOUNCES 2018 INDUCTEES

Former mayor Jim Durrell, one of five to be honoured

Ottawa, ON – The Ottawa Sport Hall of Fame announced today that Jim Durrell, Jeff Avery, Jim Kyte, Betty Shields and Steve Gray will be its 2018 inductees. They will be honoured at the Ottawa Sport Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony, which will take place on June 1 at the Horticultural Building at Lansdowne Park.

“Again this year, the selection process was very challenging”, says Dave Best, chair of the Ottawa Sport Hall of Fame. “We received many strong nominations from the community, a reminder of the broad range of sporting achievement and excellence that exists in the nation’s capital. This year’s class clearly reflects that diversity, as each inductee not only has a truly remarkable sports pedigree, but an impressive record of community service.”  

Jim Durrell served as Mayor of Ottawa from 1985 to 1991, and was instrumental in making the city an attractive and viable destination for professional sports. Among the many achievements attributed to him are the revival of the Ottawa Senators in 1990, landing the CFL’s Grey Cup in 1988, and championing the return of professional baseball. Most recently Durrell was the Chair of the very successful 2017 Grey Cup in Ottawa. 

Jeff Avery is a Grey Cup champion with the Ottawa Rough Riders, a CFL East All-Star, and a Vanier Cup winner with the University of Ottawa Gees-Gees in 1975. Since retiring as a player, Avery has covered CFL football on radio for 30years and has been president of the CFL Ottawa Alumni Association for 16 years.   

Betty Shields is a trailblazer for the sport of ringette in Canada and abroad. She began as a local volunteer and rose through the ranks to become the first president of the International Ringette Association. She was instrumental in ringette’s entry to the Canada Winter Games.

Jim Kyte is widely  regarded as one of the toughest hockey players of his time, enjoying a 13-year, 598 game career as an  NHL defenceman.  He was twice nominated for the prestigious Bill Masterton trophy, and founded the Canadian Hockey Association for the Hearing Impaired.

Steve Gray was a fixture on the national rugby team, notching 47 international caps as a centre, and representing Canada in three Rugby World Cups and the inaugural Rugby 7’s World Cup.

Athlete: Rugby

 

Year Inducted: 2018

Date of Birth: July 19, 1963

Born in: Ottawa, Canada

As a kid, Stephen (Steve) Gray wanted to play professional hockey and would have done so if it weren’t for Art McNaughton – his high school rugby coach. McNaughton convinced Gray to focus on rugby – a switch that led to an illustrious career and many laurels.

Gray ended up with 47 international caps, representing Canada in three Rugby World Cups – I987, 1991 and 1995) and the inaugural Rugby 7’s World Cup (Edinburgh, 1993). He was also captain of the Canadian 15s and 7s team multiple times.    

An Ottawa native, Gray went to the Canterbury High School where he had his life-changing meeting with McNaughton. He played club rugby in Ottawa with the Ottawa Beavers and Ottawa Irish. His big break came in 1982 when he was selected for the first-ever Canada U19 team, which went on to defeat Japan in Burnaby. The next year he played for the Ontario Men’s Team in the National Championship against BC.

The year 1984 was a landmark one for Gray. He was part of the Canadian team that defeated then world champions Australia at the Hong Kong 7’s Tournament. He would then earn his first national men’s team cap later that year when he took the field against the United States in Chicago. At that time Gray was the only Ottawa-born player in the national team.

Gray’s second cap came during the 1987 Rugby World Cup, which was held in Vancouver. This match too was against the United States and Gray went on to set the Canadian record for most trys scored in a game (3).

He was then a regular member of the Canadian national men’s team was part of many memorable victories – defeating France in Ottawa in front of his hometown fans, defeating England at Swangard Stadium in Burnaby, double wins over Argentina (home and away), beating Scotland and probably the biggest of them all – defeating Wales in Cardiff, on their home turf.

In the 7’s, Gray captained the national Ts team to a memorable win over the famous New Zealand All Blacks during the Fijian Airways Ts tournament. In 1996, when Gray captained Canada playing against the United States, he held the then record for the most Canadian Caps. 

In recognition of his achievements, Gray was inducted to the Canterbury High School Athletic Wall of Fame and also the Rugby Ontario Hall of Fame. 

After hanging up his boots, Gray joined the West Vancouver Police in 2004, was part of the Joint Intelligence Group of the 2010 Olympics Integrated Security Unit and is currently a detective in the Criminal Investigation Section. 

From being the first-ever Canterbury High School Athlete of the Week in 1981 to a Canadian rugby legend, Gray has enjoyed a distinguished international career and continues to inspire future generations wanting to take up the sport.

Comprehensive biographical information for each of the inductees along with photos can be found here:

2018 Inductee Bios

About the Ottawa Sport Hall of Fame

The Ottawa Sport Hall of Fame is a non-profit organization, which documents, curates and celebrates outstanding achievement in local sport heritage. The Sport Hall of Fame is overseen by a volunteer Board of Directors which works in close partnership with the City of Ottawa to maintain and preserve our rich sporting legacies. Each year, the Hall of Fame Board receives nominations from the public, and selects new inductees to be represented in the Hall. The Ottawa Sport Hall of Fame is located at City Hall. It contains artifacts, photographs and memorabilia honouring our sporting heritage, as well as commemorative plaques honouring its more than 270 inductees.

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For more information and interview requests, contact:

Dave Best

chairman@ottawasporthalloffame.ca

613-799-9415

2018 Inductee Media Release

Ottawa Sport Hall of Fame Ticket Flyer, 2018