The speaker at Tuesday's Mississauga Rotary Clubs Annual Dinner Meeting was Chuck Ealey.

Chuck was born in Portsmouth, Ohio in 1950. His parents divorced when he was very young. His mother could barely make ends meet, but he says that all that he is he owes to his Mama. He chose to go to a high school that had 500 white kids and 5 black. he jokingly says that he quickly learned how to become "bilingual"!

He played for Notre Dame High School and in 1967 the team caputured its first Ohio High School Athletic Association state championship. He finished his high school career with a 30-0 record, however the colour of his skin mean't there wasn't a line up of universities waiting to recruite him. He was offered a scholarship to the University of Miami to be their 3rd string quarterback . He refused and was then offered a scholarship to the University of Toledo as their 1st string quarterback, which he accepted. The difference in the 2 offers was a sign of the tough times socially.  He led Toledo to 35 consecutive wins between 1969 and 1971, an NCAA record that still stands. He says he reached that record by taking one play, one game at a time.

In 1971, his senior year, he was named First Team All-American by Football News, Second Team All-American by United Press International and Third Team All-American by the the Associated Press. His jersey is one of only 4 retired jerseys in the history of Toledo football.

Because he is African/American the NFL refused to draft him and in 1972 he signed with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats. He led Hamilton to a 11-3 record, and first place in the East. He secured a 13-10 last minute victory over the Saskatchewan Roughriders in the 60th Grey Cup when he also won the Grey Cup MVP award. He later played with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers and with the Toronto Argonauts. He suffered a career ending collapsed lung injury in 1978.

His wise mother insisted he finish college and he has a degree in Economics. He was employed by John Deere for 8 years and is now a Regional Director for Investors Group in Mississauga. He can be heard on radio and TV, giving investment tips and advice. Chuck lives in Brampton with his wife, has 3 children and 4 grandchildren.