The greatest kick returner in pro football, Henry "Gizmo" Williams played his final game October 28, 2000. Born May 5, 1963 in Memphis, Tennessee, Gizmo thrilled Eskimo fans for 14 seasons and leaves behind a legacy of records that will likely never be broken. Gizmo worked tirelessly in the community throughout his career and in 1999 was honoured with the Eskimo Community Services Award. He was inducted into the CFL Hall of Fame in 2006.
Henry Williams attended East Carolina University and played briefly with the USFL'S Memphis Showboats before joining the Edmonton Eskimos in 1986. His skills caused the CFL to create a 'Designated Import' spot on each team's roster to allow for a game-breaking specialist. No one else broke open games like Williams through 14 seasons with the Edmonton Eskimos.
In 149 regular season games Williams, affectionately know as "GIZMO", returned 26 punts for touchdowns, including, 5 in one season, to set CFL records. He also returned 3 kickoffs and 2 missed field goals for touchdowns, added 21 touchdown passes as a receiver and another on a running play. Undersized but speedy, he often punctuated his touchdowns with end zone back flips.
Williams spent the 1989 season withe the NFL'S Philadelphia Eagles and rejoined the Eskimos in 1990. At the time of his retirement in 2000, Williams was the CFL'S All-Time leader in punt returns (1,003), Punt return yardage (11,177 Yards), Kickoff returns (335) And Kickoff-return yardage (7,354). He amassed 23,927 All-purpose yards in his career.
Williams made 14 post-season appearances, playing in 22 playoff games and 5 Grey Cup games. In the 1987 Grey Cup he set a record by returning a missed field goal 115 yards for a touchdown. In 2002, he was inducted into the North West Mississippi Junior Collage Hall of fame and became a member of the Eskimo Wall of Honour that same year.
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