Orville Burke


Orville Burke was the quarterback for the Ottawa Rough Riders for six years before World War II from 193 to 1941.

After serving overseas during World War II, Burke returned after the war to play one game for Ottawa in 1946. Burke played the season opener in Hamilton before leaving Ottawa for Vancouver to accept a positon with the BC Fir and Cedar Company. At the time, Burke had hoped to eventually play for a Vancouver team, but the Lions would not start operation until 1954. Burke, however, did become involved in football in BC. Burke coached the UBC Thunderbirds and then at the high school level with Vancouver College.

Burke played in two Grey Cups in 1939 and 1940.  Unfortunately, Burke ended up being the goat in the 1939 Grey Cup. A fumble early in the game led to a Winnipeg toudchdown and then late in the fourth he fumbled a punt which led to a game winning rouge by Art Stevenson and a 8-7 Bomber win over Ottawa. Burke and the Rough Riders returned to the Grey Cup ithe following year in 1940, looking for redemption. It should have been a rematch against the Bombers, but Winnipeg was denied a chance to play by the CRU (Canadian Rugby Union) over a rules dispute. The CRU decreed a two game total point series (the only one in Grey Cup history) between the Big Four champion Rough Riders and the ORFU champion Toronto Balmy Beach. Burke and the Riders won both games 802 in Toronto and 12-5 back in Ottawa.

Account of 1939 Grey Cup Game

Burke Outstanding in Win Over Beaches - December 2, 1940

Account of 1940 Grey Cup

Burke Named Head Coach of St. Patrick's College - September 4, 1941

Burke, Sports Officer at Camp Borden - September 9, 1943

Burke to Play for Canadian Armed Forces Teams Against Americans - January 25, 1944

Captain Orville Burke Helps Slow German Invasion of Russia - April 10, 1945

Saturday Will Be Burke's Swan Song - September 6, 1946

Burke Leaves for West Tonight - September 10, 1946

Burke New Football Coach of Vancouver College - September 4, 1951


Year Team GP PTS
1936 OTT
1937 OTT
1938 OTT
1939 OTT
1940 OTT
1941 OTT
1946 OTT 1 4

No individual stats other than scoringwere kept in the East before 1954.



Orville Burke

Orville Burke

Orville Burke