A native of Duncan, BC, Al “Dirt” Wilson is without a doubt the Lions most decorated offensive lineman, and one of the most popular Lions of all-time. After attending university in Montana, Wilson joined the Lions in 1972 and spent his entire stellar 15 year career with the Leos.
After starting as an offensive guard Wilson moved to the centre position and dominated. He was as tough as they come, playing in 167 consecutive games before incurring a knee injury that stopped the streak. The highly respected offensive lineman was well-known for his reliable snaps and tough blocking.
Despite a great career, as Wilson got older he still didn’t have a Grey Cup for his efforts. His first shot came in 1983, at home, under the dome at BC Place when the Lions hosted Toronto in the final. The Lions led at half-time, but failed to score a single point in the second half, and lost the game 18-17. Wilson’s battles over the years finally all became worth it when in 1985, he helped the Lions win just their second Grey Cup in franchise history with a 37-24 victory over the Hamilton Tiger Cats in Montreal. He played one more season before he retired.
In 1977 Wilson won the DeMarco-Becket Memorial Trophy for the CFL Western Division’s Most Outstanding Offensive linemen and he was a CFL and Divisional All-Star from 1975-1981 He was also a seven time West and CFL All-Star in each of seven consecutive seasons from 1975 to 1981. He was elected to the Canadian Football Hall of Fame in 1997.
- Inducted into the Canadian Football Hall of Fame in 1997.
- Inducted into the BC Sports Hall of Fame in 1997
- Voted to the B.C. Lions 50th Anniversary Dream Team in 2006.
- Voted to the Honour Roll of the CFL’s top 50 players of the modern era, compiled by The Sports Network (TSN) in 2006.
- Schenley Most Outstanding Lineman 1977
- All CFL All-Star 1975, 1976, 1977, 1978, 1979, 1980, 1981
- All CFL Western All-Star 1975, 1976, 1977, 1978, 1979, 1980, 1981
- DeMarco-Becket Memorial Trophy 1976, 1977, 1978