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June 4, 2011

Stamps mourn death of John Henry Johnson

The Stampeders are saddened to learn of the death of John Henry Johnson, who started his Hall of Fame career with Calgary in 1953.

Johnson passed away in Tracy, Calif., on Friday at the age of 81.

After starring collegiately at St. Mary’s and then Arizona State, Johnson started his professional JHJohnson_110604.jpgcareer with one terrific season with the Red and White.

He led the team in rushing in 1953 with 648 yards on 107 carries, an average of six yards per tote. He scored five rushing touchdowns.

The multi-talented Johnson added 33 catches for 365 yards and three more majors, 47 punt returns for 386 yards and 20 kickoff returns for 5778 yards including a 104-yard touchdown. He also starred and defence and made five interceptions.

He then spent 13 seasons south of the border in the National and American Football Leagues, suiting up for the San Francisco 49ers, Detroit Lions, Pittsburgh Steelers and Houston Oilers.

When he retired after the 1966 season, his 6,803 career rushing yards ranked him behind only Jim Brown, Jim Taylor, and Joe Perry as the top rushers of all time. The Waterproof, La., native was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio, in 1987.