There is something to be said for camaraderie in sports, especially those that involve a strong team element. While it is not a guarantee for success, as the bickering Oakland A's baseball dynasty of the early 1970's would attest to, the better a team gets along, the better chances it has of winning.

The Argo teams of the immediate post-World War II years were more than just a tight-knit group, they were almost like neighbours.

"Mostly everybody who played in Toronto lived in Toronto back then, and the majority lived in the west end, where the (Argonaut) rowing club was located," said Murray Sullivan, who added that the east-end was the domain of the Balmy Beach club of the ORFU. "A lot of us lived within three or four blocks of each other. We all played hockey and fastball together, and we used to beg our coach Teddy Morris to let us off so we could go to the Ontario Fastball Championships."

A graduate from St. Michael's High School, Sullivan was a 210-pound lineman who played guard and tackle on both sides of the ball. It would seem he was a bit small for the positions, but in those days the game was played a bit differently.

"At that point, you had a lot more pulling guards," said Sullivan, who would often lead the way on sweeps to explosive halfbacks like Joe Krol and Royal Copeland, whose exploits earned them the nickname "The Gold Dust Twins". As for Sullivan, he had to settle for the more conventional nickname of "Sully", and the extent of his offensive contribution was a fumbled punt that he recovered in the end zone for a touchdown. But he did play a key part in three Grey Cup championships, and wears a ring with the three different years emblazoned on it.

When his football career ended, Sullivan didn't fret about what to do in his post-playing days, which is a dilemna that many modern athletes must face.

"In those days, (football) wasn't a career, working was a career", stated Sullivan matter-of-factly.

Starting in the late-1940's, Sullivan went to work as a salesman, and later as sales manager, for a number of companies affiliated with the construction industry, primarily in the making of materials. Among those he worked for were Laminated Structures, Dow Chemical and Morval Industries, and he retired in 1992 at the age of 67.

On the family front, Sullivan and his wife of 39 years, Barbara, have four children (Kathy, Ian, Trish and Lisa) and three grandchildren (Jack, Sydney and Nigel).

Ancient Mariners Alumni Profiles Archive
Toronto Argonauts

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