|Date of birth:||
July 13, 1914|
|Place of birth:||
|Date of death:||
February 14, 1996 (aged 81)|
|Place of death:||
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North Dakota State|
Winnipeg Winnipegs/Blue Bombers|
|Career highlights and awards|
All-Western running back (1937, 1938, 1939, 1940, 1941)|
Dave Dryburgh Memorial Trophy (1938)|
Grey Cup wins: 1935, 1939, 1941, 1948|
300 punt return yards in a Grey Cup game (1935)|
Melvin "Fritz" Hanson (July 13, 1914 – February 14, 1996) was a Canadian football player for the Winnipeg Blue Bombers and the Calgary Stampeders. Hanson was signed by the Blue Bombers for $125 a game and free room and board, which was a considerable sum in the cash-strapped dirty thirties. Nicknamed the 'Galloping Ghost', 'Twinkle Toes', and the 'Perham Flash', Hanson was one of the pioneers of football in Western Canada and a huge star at the time. Although he weighed only Script error: No such module "convert". he used his incredible quickness to evade defenders. He helped lead the Blue Bombers to the first Grey Cup victory by a western Canadian team in 1935 and won again with the Bombers in 1939 and 1941. In the 1935 Grey Cup Game Hanson recorded 300 punt return yards, a record that still stands today, including a sensational 78-yard return for the winning touchdown. He played with Winnipeg from 1935 through 1946 then spent two years playing for the Calgary Stampeders, where he won a fourth Grey Cup in 1948.
Hanson was elected into the Canadian Football Hall of Fame in 1963 and inducted into the Manitoba Sports Hall of Fame in 1980. He became a Canadian citizen in 1966 and, in 2005, Hanson was named one of the Blue Bombers 20 All-Time Greats. He died in Calgary on February 14, 1996, at the age of 81.
Hanson and his wife, Maxine, had four daughters.