In the early 1900’s, Albert Henry George Grey, Generor General of Canada, 1904 – 1911, had wanted to donate a cup to the top senior hockey team in Canada; however, Sir Montague Alley beat him to it with the donation of the Allan Cup.
Grey decided to donate his cup to the winner of the national rugby football championship, made up of clubs registered with the Canadian Rugby Union.
The first Grey Cup was held in 1909 at Rosedale Field in Toronto, where the University of Toronto defeated the Parkdale Canoe Club, 26-6.
In 1954, the BC Lions first season in the league, was the first year that only Canadian Football League teams competed for the Grey Cup. Starting in 1957, it became an annual tradition to televise the Grey Cup across Canada.
Here are some of the many great stories the Grey Cup has encountered over it’s history:
1920: The Grey Cup vanished for almost two years in a Toronto trust company vault. When it was re-discovered, a company trustee shouted “Get that thing out of here!”
1947: The Grey Cup narrowly survived a fire; it’s handle catching on a nail after its shelf burned, preventing it from falling into the flames below.
1964: The BC Lions forgot the Grey Cup in a hotel ballroom. They didn’t realize they had forgotten to grab the very cup they were there to celebrate winning until they had got to the airport the next day.
1969: The Grey Cup was kidnapped in Ottawa. Toronto police would later recover it after receiving an anonymous call to its whereabouts in a Royal York Hotel locker.
1978: As the Edmonton Eskimos carried the Grey Cup off the field, fans rushed the players, smashing the cup into two. “The fans almost hit as hard as the Alouettes!”
1983: A UBC fraternity threatened to steal the Grey Cup with the idea of giving the ransom money to charity. Their attempt was unsuccessful.
1987: An Edmonton Eskimos players used the Grey Cup as a victory throne, sitting on it and breaking it into two pieces.
1993: Edmonton Eskimos Blake Dermott smashed his forehead against the Grey Cup during the annual ritual of passing the cup, causing the cracking the priceless Canadian artifact.
2006: After receiving the Grey Cup, Ben Klumpter accidentally snapped the Grey Cup into two pieces; fortunately, he is also a veteran welder who was charged with repairing it.