Lionel Conacher


  • Sport: All-round athlete
  • Born: May 24, 1900 in Toronto, Ontario
  • Height: 6’0”
  • Weight: 195 pounds 


  • 1919-20 – Toronto Rugby Club
  • 1919-20 – Toronto Canoe Club (hockey)
  • 1921-22 – Toronto Argonauts (football)
  • 1922-23 – Toronto Maitlands (lacrosse)
  • 1923-24 – Pittsburg Yellowjackets (hockey)
  • 1925-27 – Pittsburg Pirates (baseball)
  • 1926-30 – New York Americans (hockey)
  • 1930-33 – Montreal Maroons (hockey)
  • 1933-34 – Chicago Black Hawks (hockey)
  • 1935-37 – Montreal Maroons

 Lionel Conacher (1900-54) was reputedly the greatest all-round athlete Canada has ever produced. As a child, he was obsessed by the desire to excel in sports and, taking up football, lacrosse, wrestling, hockey and baseball, he developed remarkable endurance and superb physical skills. In 1920, Conacher won the Canadian light-heavyweight boxing championship, and the following year he led the Toronto Argonauts to a Grey Cup victory. "The Big Train" then devoted himself to professional hockey. A defenceman for National Hockey League teams in Pittsburgh, New York, Montreal and Chicago, he gained a reputation as an aggressive player and a brilliant tactician. In 1937, Conacher retired from professional sports. Thirteen years later, he was named the outstanding Canadian male athlete of the half-century by The Canadian Press.

Visit the Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame website to learn more about Conacher and the award for male athlete of the year named in his honour.

Watch Historica Canada’s Heritage Minutes video on Conacher.