Dick Suderman was a Grey Cup champion and three-time Canadian Football League Western Conference All-Star in the 1960s and ’70s. He is a member of the Calgary Stampeders’ All-Time All-Star Team, and a trophy named in his honour is awarded annually to the best Canadian performer in the Grey Cup Game.
Suderman was born in Windsor on October 18, 1940.
A remarkable athlete at Kennedy Collegiate, Suderman reached the prodigious height of 6’8” while still a student. In high school, Suderman played football, basketball, and track and field, winning WSSA championships in all three.
On the gridiron, Suderman was a member of the Kennedy Clippers’ WSSA championship teams in 1957 and ’58.
On the basketball court, he achieved the same feat in 1959, playing on a Kennedy team that would go on to also win the WOSSA title and reach the OFSAA All-Ontario semi-finals.
In 1958, Suderman was a WSSA champion in hop, step, and jump and high jump. He was also a member of the bronze-winning 440-metre relay team. In 1959, the following year, he won the WOSSA championship in the 120-metre high hurdles.
Outside of high school football, Suderman played one season with the Windsor AKO Fratmen and three seasons with the University of Western Ontario Mustangs.
Suderman went on to play nine seasons in the CFL’s West Division, all with the Calgary Stampeders. He played defensive end for the Stampeders from 1964 to ’72.
Suderman’s teams reached Grey Cup games in 1968, ’70, and ’71, losing to Ottawa and Montreal before defeating Toronto. In the 1971 game, which Calgary won by a score of 14-11, Suderman was picked as the Best Canadian Player. Following his death, the award was rechristened the Dick Suderman Trophy in his honor.
Suderman was named to the Western Conference All-Star Team as a defensive end in 1967, ’68, and ’71. He was also selected to the Calgary Stampeders’ All-Time All-Star Team.
During the 1972 CFL season, Suderman was traded to the Edmonton Eskimos, Calgary’s intraprovincial rival. Suderman played a single game for the Eskimos, against the B.C. Lions, before his life was tragically cut short.
He died suddenly while dining with teammates on October 16, 1972. He had suffered a brain hemorrhage. It was two days before his 32nd birthday.