Apr 26, 2023
TD Place Wall of Honour. Rough Rider greats Dave Thelen, Gene Gaines and Greg Marshall will join the 14 other legends of Ottawa football on the wall.
The Ottawa REDBLACKS will kick off their 2023 home schedule on June 15 with the addition of three Ottawa Rough Riders legends to the Wall of Honour at TD Place.
As nominated by the CFL Ottawa Alumni Association's selection committee, Rough Rider greats Dave Thelen, Gene Gaines and Greg Marshall will join the 14 other legends of Ottawa football currently on the wall.
"The history of CFL football in Ottawa is special and an important part of who the REDBLACKS are today," said President Adrian Sciarra. "We're proud to honour these three legendary former players by immortalizing them on our Wall of Honour."
Dave Thelen, running back, played for the Rough Riders from 1958-1964, and then 2 years with the Toronto Argos winning the Grey Cup in 1960. At the time of his induction into the Canadian Football Hall of Fame in 1989, Thelen was fifth all-time in rushing behind George Reed, Johnny Bright, Normie Kwong, and Leo Lewis. He is still sits fifth with thirty 100-yard rushing games. Thelen was the 1960 CFL rushing champ, a year after being named Ottawa's Most Outstanding Player nominee, racking up 1,407 yards in just 12 games. He would finish second the following year, with 1,339 yards for an average of 105.6 yards per game over those two seasons. During his 9-year career, Thelen rushed for 8,463 yards on 1,530 carries and scored 47 touchdowns. Dave married Bonnie Murphy in 1961 and after his football days they were partners in the well-known Thelen & Torontow Lighting Centres in Ottawa for over 25 years. Dave and Bonnie have 4 children and 10 grandchildren.
Gene Gaines, defensive back, suited up for the Riders from 1962-1969 as part of a distinguished 17-year career, and was named to the Canadian Football Hall of Fame in 1994. He came to Ottawa from Montreal in a trade for Angelo Mosca. Gene is still the CFL Playoff record-holder with a 128-yard kick-off return in an Eastern final versus Hamilton in 1964 at Lansdowne Park, was an All-CFL All-Star in 1965, 1966 and 1967, and won the Grey Cup with Ottawa in 1968 and 1969. He also won the 1966 Jeff Russel Memorial Trophy as the East's Most Outstanding Player. Following a career that also included a second stint with the Montreal Alouettes as a playing coach Gene had many full-time CFL coaching gigs until he retired in 2003 which included time with Montreal, Edmonton, Winnipeg, Hamilton, and BC. Gene also coached one year in the USFL and two with Houston in the NFL. Gene and the late Marion have 3 children and 5 grandchildren.
Greg Marshall, defensive lineman, played all nine years of his CFL career in Ottawa, suiting up for the Rough Riders from 1980-1988. An All-CFL All-Star in 1981 and 1983 and All-Eastern All-Star from 1981-1984, Marshall was named the league's Most Outstanding Defensive Player in 1983. Marshall was also the long-time Ottawa football record-holder for sacks in a season with 16.5 in 16 games in 1984, a number that was just eclipsed by current Ottawa REDBLACKS player Lorenzo Mauldin, who had 17 sacks in 18 games in 2022. Marshall also had 15.5 sacks in 1983. He would go on to coach football after his playing career with stops as Head Coach of the Ottawa Sooners and the Ottawa Bootleggers followed by coaching gigs in the CFL with Saskatchewan, Edmonton, Ottawa Renegades, Winnipeg, and Hamilton. He's currently the Head Coach of the University of Toronto Varsity Blues. Greg and his wife Cindy have 4 children.