OBIT: Legendary Hall of Famer Dr. Willie Lambert was 72 years old


MONTREAL -- Dr. Willie Lambert, who starred on the gridiron for McGill and played for Montreal Alouettes in 1964, died on Nov. 21 after suffering an apparent heart attack. He was 72.


The long-time Montreal dentist, who was inducted to the McGill Sports Hall of Fame in 1998, played six seasons with the football Redmen at running back, receiver, defensive back, kicker and return specialist.


Lambert was named to the league all-star team four times, including the 1962 campaign when he was all-conference at both running back and defensive back. He held the McGill all-time scoring record with 20 touchdowns, which stood for 14 years, and also competed in hockey, basketball and volleyball.


In 1960, he won the Lois Obeck Trophy as the team's most improved player, was second in the league scoring race with six TDs in six games and helped McGill to win both the Yates Cup conference title and the Churchill Bowl, then considered to be the national championship game.


In the 1962 Yates Cup contest he caught the game-winning TD pass with 59 seconds remaining in a 15-13 come-from-behind victory over Queen's.


A co-captain in 1963-64, he led the conference in scoring with 60 points (7 TDs, 4 field goals, 4 converts, 2 singles), won the Omega trophy as league MVP and the Forbes trophy as McGill's male athlete of the year.


After his final year at McGill, Lambert was selected by the Hamilton Tiger-Cats in the Canadian Football League draft. He attended training camp, but then returned to Montreal to complete his degree in dentistry. He played 10 games with Alouettes in 1964 before a broken hand forced him to concentrate on pulling teeth.


Born William John Lambert on March 23, 1937 in Wainfleet Township, near Wellandport, Ont., he graduated with a bachelor of physical education in 1960 and a doctor of dental surgery in 1964.  A trustee and member of the board of governors with the Martlet Foundation, he was instrumental in founding the Friends of McGill alumni support groups for hockey and football. From 1976 to 1986, Lambert served as honorary president of the McGill football team.


He is survived by his wife, Diane "Pinky" Lambert, two sons (Timothy, John), two daughters (Laurie, Shawna) and nine grandchildren. The family has indicated that Willie would prefer that donations be made payable to "Friends of McGill Football", c/o McGill Football Office, 475 Pine Avenue West, Montreal, Que  H2W 1S4.


A memorial service is scheduled for Friday at 1 p.m. at the Mount Royal Funeral Complex, 1297 ch. de la Foret, Outremont, Que. (514-279-6540).



Earl Zukerman

McGill Athletics & Recreation