Toronto - At a media conference today at Turf Lounge in downtown Toronto, CFL legend Damon Allen announced his retirement after a staggering career. One of the most accomplished and celebrated players in the CFL, Allen's unprecedented 23-year career as an elite quarterback spanned three decades and included four Grey Cup Championships, two Grey Cup MVPs, one Grey Cup Offensive Player of the Game, one CFL All-Star nomination and one CFL Most Outstanding Player Award.
Allen's 72,381 passing yards are more than any other player in professional football, and his 11,914 rushing yards rank as the third-highest total in CFL history - just 329 yards behind his brother, Pro Football Hall of Fame running back Marcus Allen's career rushing total. He has played for CFL teams in Edmonton, Ottawa, Hamilton, Memphis, B.C. and Toronto and won championships in three of those cities. He is one of just three quarterbacks in league history to run for 1,000 yards and pass for 4,000 yards in a single season (Tracy Ham and Kerry Joseph) - an achievement he reached in 1991 with the Ottawa Rough Riders.
Damon Allen remarked, "The game of football has given me every emotion a person can feel. It has been a dream ride. I have given football my mind, body and soul. When it is all said and done, I have met some incredible people. I want to thank the fans across the Canadian Football League for supporting me, the players in the CFL for challenging me to be the best, and the incredible coaches in our league that continue to teach the game."
In just five seasons in Toronto, Allen has also carved his name into club record books. He sits second in club history in career passing yards (13,974), career attempts (1,713) and completions (1,051), career passing touchdowns (77), and once completed 13 consecutive passes in a game - the second-best streak in team history. He is one of just five Argos to win the CFL's Most Outstanding Player Award and in 2005 he became the first Argo quarterback since Doug Flutie (1997) to earn CFL All-Star recognition.
Allen's athletic gifts were just as evident at Cal State Fullerton where he was mentored by acclaimed football mind Steve Mariucci. His presence turned around a perennially weak Titan squad and led them to back-to-back PCAA titles. As a senior, he set several single-season school records and was named First-Team All-Conference. Allen finished 16th in Heisman voting in 1984.
Allen ends his illustrious career holding the following CFL Regular Season records:
In celebration of Damon Allen's career, the Toronto Argonauts will be offering a special $9 ticket to the home opener. This limited offer will be available for one-day only on Thursday, May 29 and is available by calling (416) 341-ARGO. Damon and his family will be honoured by Toronto Argonauts' owners David Cynamon and Howard Sokolowski at the July 3 home opener.