Game Worn Football Jersey 

A game worn / game used football collection from the CFL, USFL, WFL, XFL, WLAF, NCAA, NFL, and Arena football leagues.

Edmonton Eskimos

Tom Wilkinson - Quarterback (Wyoming)

Tom Wilkinson began his career with the Toronto Rifles of the Continental Football League in 1966. He spent two seasons with the Rifles, appearing in 16 games. He joined the Toronto Argonauts late in the 1967 season and after leading the club in passing yards in 1969, he moved into a reserve role behind new starter Don Jonas in 1970. The Argos dealt Wilkinson to the BC Lions in 1971 where he spent one season and appeared in just a single game. The Lions released him and Wilkinson signed with the Edmonton Eskimos where he would spend the final ten years of his career until his retirement after the 1981 campaign. He never missed a game due to injury with the Eskimos. In 1974, Wilkinson won the award for CFL Most Outstanding Player by completing a lofty (especially for the time) 66% of his passes. He was the first person added to the Wall of Honour at Commonwealth Stadium in 1982 and was inducted into the Canadian Football Hall of Fame in 1987. Over his 15-year CFL career, Wilkinson completed 1,613 of 2,661 passes (60.6%) for 22,579 yards with 154 touchdowns and 126 interceptions in 196 regular season games. He was a CFL All-Star on three occasions and was part of 5 Grey Cup Championship teams.

Wilkinson wore this Russell Athletic size 46 cold weather knit for road games with the Eskimos in the mid-1970's. The tagging dates to around 1974-77. Video and photos show the green and gold collar to be a style match to the cold weather jerseys the Eskimos wore in 1973 and 1974 (including the Grey Cup). The jersey material is quite elastic and doesn't feel like it would be comfortable. It is not like the cold weather knits the Eskimos used in the later 1970's, also made by Russell. There are plenty of stains adorning this garment, particularly on the right sleeve in the elbow area which appear to be dirt or mud stains. The numbers and stripes are screened on. The long sleeves give it an outstanding look from a long-past era. There is no nameplate on the jersey and I could not find definitive evidence that there ever was one. It was acquired from the personal collection of a former Hamilton Tiger-Cats equipment manager.

Gerald Kunyk - Punter (Alberta)

A quarterback with the University of Alberta Golden Bears who was part of a Vanier Cup title team in 1972, Gerald Kunyk was the Hamilton Tiger-Cats 1st round pick (3rd overall) in the 1975 CFL Draft. He never played for the Tabbies, starting his pro career with the Calgary Stampeders later that year. Kunyk did not play in the league in 1976 but returned to the field in 1977 where he split the season between the Edmonton Eskimos and Ottawa Rough Riders. He remained in Ottawa for the 1978 season and finished his career with a single game for the Winnipeg Blue Bombers in 1980. Over his career, Kunyk played in 46 games and had a 42.4 yard average on his 305 career punts.

This Russell size 46 knit jersey featuring a North Star Sporting Goods distributor tag was worn by Kunyk in 1977. He played 6 games for the Eskimos that season, punting 41 times for a 41.8 yard average. The former college QB was also 2 for 2 passing for 47 yards, presumably on fake kicks. North Star supplied the Eskimos with game jerseys for several seasons in the 1970's and perhaps earlier. The jersey also has the XI Commonwealth Games '78 patches the team wore in 1977 to promote the event that was taking place in the city the following August. The garment displays lighter wear but does have a repair on the left shoulder just above the Commonwealth patch. The Eskimos often recycled their knit jerseys for several seasons during this period. The Russell tag dates to around 1974-75 to 1977 and it is possible the jersey was worn by defensive back Dick Dupuis in the waning days of his lengthy career that ended in 1976 before being assigned to Kunyk. 

Hank Ilesic - Punter (St. Joseph's High School)

Hank Ilesic joined the Edmonton Eskimos in 1977 as a 17-year old while still attending high school in the city. He punted through the team's five consecutive Grey Cup wins from 1978 to 1982. In 1983, he joined the Toronto Argonauts and won a record sixth consecutive Grey Cup. Ilesic would remain the Argo punter for 11 years but only played partial seasons in 1989 and 1990 due to also spending time in the NFL. In 1989, he punted in 14 games with the San Diego Chargers with a 40.1 yard average. He spent time with the Los Angeles Rams in 1990 but never saw regular season action with the team before returning to Toronto. Ilesic finished his time with the Argos after the 1993 season. He did not play in 1994 and returned to the field in 1995 with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats. Ilesic came out of retirement on a few occasions to fill in for kicking-needy teams, including the BC Lions in 1998 for 3 games, the Edmonton Eskimos in 2001 for 2 games and spent some time on the Ottawa Renegades practice squad in 2005. In 261 CFL games, he punted 2,062 times with a 44.8 yard average. He also handled placekicking duties for the Argos for a couple of seasons, converting 59 of 93 field goal attempts. Ilesic was part of seven Grey Cup winning teams, led the league in punting average six times and was elected to the Canadian Football Hall of Fame in 2018.

Ilesic appears to have worn this cold-weather knit Russell Athletic size 46 jersey in 1977, his rookie season. The photo above was taken at the 1977 Grey Cup, also known as the Ice Bowl. The jersey features the 1978 XI Commonwealth Games patch sewn on to the left sleeve, which was worn by the Eskimos in 1977. The name, numbers and stripes are screen printed on. A North Star Sporting Goods distributor tag is sewn on the lower hem. The garment has light game wear, which is appropriate for a punter. There is no nameplate but upon close inspection, I found two small pieces of loose thread where one may have been attached to the back.

Gary Hayes - Defensive Back (Fresno State)

Gary Hayes attended training camp with the St. Louis Cardinals in 1980 after going unselected in that year's NFL Draft. He had a tryout with the Ottawa Rough Riders later that season. In 1981, Hayes cracked the roster of the defending Grey Cup champion Edmonton Eskimos. He was a bit of a rarity initially in that he was an import who did not start although he was the team's primary punt returner. He later earned a regular role in the Eskimo secondary. Hayes played three seasons in Edmonton where he recorded 5 interceptions and 7 sacks in 47 regular season games while playing on two Grey Cup winning teams. After the 1983 season, Hayes moved south and inked a deal with the Green Bay Packers. He spent 3 seasons (1984-86) and saw action in 42 contests for the Packers primarily on special teams.

Hayes wore this Athletic Knit size XL mesh for road games during his tenure with the Eskimos. The jersey has vinyl numbers. It shows moderate game wear with some impact marks along with two team repairs, one on the right sleeve and one on the back. The nameplate is made of a knit material that the Eskimos used for cold weather games and shows some piling. It was recycled for Hayes as the name Reid is clearly visible on the reverse side. Reid was most likely a preseason player as we could find no player who saw regular season action during that time period with the Eskimos. In 1981, the Eskimos wore a patch on their left sleeve but I could find no evidence of one ever being on this jersey so this was likely worn by Hayes in either 1982 or 1983.

Carling O'Keefe Presents the 1983 Eskimos

Neil Lumsden - Fullback (Ottawa)

Neil Lumsden entered the CFL as a territorial selection of the Toronto Argonauts in the 1976 CFL Draft after a stellar college career with the Ottawa Gee Gees. He set records for most points in CIS history (410) and points scored in a season (148 in 1975). He was an OUAA All-Star at running back, punter and kicker as well as Vanier Cup MVP as the Gee Gees capped an undefeated season in 1975. Lumsden was the East nominee for CFL Most Outstanding Rookie with the Argos after he saw his workload increase when starting tailback Anthony Davis was injured. The Argonauts traded him for punter Ken Clark early in the 1978 season to the Hamilton Tiger-Cats, where Lumsden would remain until being dealt to the Edmonton Eskimos before the 1980 season. Lumsden spent the final six seasons of his career with the Eskimos, winning Grey Cup titles in his first three seasons there. In his 10-year career, he scored 51 touchdowns while carrying the ball 817 times for 3,755 yards and adding 180 catches for 1,729 yards. He was awarded the Dick Suderman Award as the Most Outstanding Canadian in the 1981 Grey Cup.

After retiring, Lumsden worked as a colour commentator on the Canadian Football Network in the late 1980's. In the 1990's he ran the business operations for the Hamilton Tiger-Cats where he grew the season ticket base from a reported 3,100 to 12,000. He resigned from the team in 2000 to pursue another business opportunity after winning a Grey Cup as the team's General Manager in 1999. Lumsden was inducted into the Canadian Football Hall of Fame in 2014.

This white away jersey appears to be a size XL and was worn by Lumsden in 1984. The Eskimos wore heavy knit jerseys like this example when the tundra froze. The name and numbers are screen printed on and there is spandex down each side. The jersey has been shortened, which would have removed any hemline tag. The jersey has light game wear with impact marks on the front and back of the numbers and a two-inch long cut in the v-neck. This jersey was obtained from Classic Auctions in 2009.

Milson Jones - Fullback (North Dakota)

Milson Jones was one of two territorial exemptions of the Winnipeg Blue Bombers in the 1982 CFL Draft. He spent just a little over one season in Winnipeg before being traded during the 1983 campaign to the Edmonton Eskimos for offensive linemen Pieter Vanden Bos and Ken Walter. Jones spent the rest of 1983 and another four full seasons with the Eskimos capping off his tenure by being awarded the Dick Suderman trophy as the Most Valuable Canadian in the thrilling 1987 Grey Cup that saw Edmonton defeat the Toronto Argonauts 38-36. From there, Jones moved to the Saskatchewan Roughriders where he would spend the last five seasons of a career that ended after the 1992 season. He went to training camp with the Bombers in 1993 but was released. Over his 11 year career, Jones carried the ball 973 times for 4,930 yards and 48 touchdowns. He added 359 receptions for 3,873 yards and another 15 majors through the air. This jersey likely dates to 1984 as it is a match to the one Joe Jenkins wore below during that season. 

Kevin Ingram - Quarterback (East Carolina)

Kevin Ingram wore this winterized knit jersey during his only season in the Canadian Football League with the Edmonton Eskimos in 1984. Ingram saw limited action that year, completing 15 of 32 pass attempts with a touchdown pass and an interception. He did score three touchdowns rushing the ball and gained 96 yards on 14 carries. Ingram's year in Edmonton sandwiched the arrival of two future Hall of Fame signal callers - Matt Dunigan in 1983 and Damon Allen in 1985. Ingram would resurface in 1987 as a replacement player for the New Orleans Saints during the NFL player strike. With the Saints, he completed one pass for a 5 yard touchdown. He also carried the ball twice for 14 yards and was sacked once. The Russell Athletic tag dates prior to 1984 and may have been issued to a player before Ingram despite there being little evidence of game wear.

Joe Jenkins - Linebacker (Alcorn State)

Joe Jenkins is an interesting story. He signed with the Edmonton Eskimos and was classified by the CFL as a non-import despite never living in Canada. This was due to the fact that Jenkins did not play football in high school or college in the United States and his football training was with the Eskimos. He was a basketball player at Alcorn State in college and was part of a team that went 27-0 in 1978-79. The only other team to sport an undefeated regular season that year was Larry Bird's Indiana State Sycamores. Still, the NCAA disgracefully decided to overlook the small, predominantly African American Alcorn State when it came time to send out invitations to that year's NCAA basketball tournament. Jenkins played in 8 games for the Eskimos in 1984, his only season in the CFL, and was credited with two fumble recoveries.

Jenkins wore this Athletic Knit size XL mesh jersey during his only season in the CFL in 1984 for games at Commonwealth Stadium. The screened on sleeve stripes show some cracking from age yet the vinyl numbers remain in very good condition. The garment shows moderate game wear with some impact marks present along with 4 team repairs.

Torrey Davis - DT (Jacksonville State)

Torrey Davis went undrafted by NFL squads but was signed as a free agent by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2010. He was released and played that season for both the Spokane Shock and Kansas City Command of the Arena league. In 2011, Davis headed north and signed with the CFL's Calgary Stampeders. Davis split 2012 with the Stamps and Hamilton Tiger-Cats and would remain in steel town for two more seasons. In 2015, Davis was signed by the Edmonton Eskimos but was among the team's cuts exiting training camp.  He made a return to the Arena league with the Tampa Bay Storm in 2016.

Davis wore this Reebok jersey in a June 13, 2015 preseason game in Fort McMurray, Alberta pitting the Eskimos versus the Roughriders. It has the correct tagging, including the CFL neck logo, a 2015 – 44 neck tag and a hem tag with the player’s number written in black marker. The numbers are sewn on to the jersey but the nameplate has been removed. This jersey is unique in that most of the 2015 jerseys had the Northern Kickoff patch removed. Because Davis failed to make the team and no one else wore #94 in this Grey Cup winning season, the Northern Kickoff patch was never removed. The jersey shows light game wear consistent with being used only in a single game and was obtained from eBay in 2016.