Annis Stukus truly earned the title “Mr. Football,” backed by a fifty-year career that involved him in every aspect of the game from player, coach and manager, to sports writer and broadcaster of Canadian football. “Stuke,” as he was better known, began his career as a writer with the Toronto Star newspaper. As a player, Stuke was a talented member of the Toronto Argonauts, winning a league scoring title in 1938. His dual career was a convenient arrangement as he would often play a game and then write about it for the newspaper!
In 1953, he was approached to head a newly formed team, the BC Lions, a proposition that he cautiously considered at first. The offer proved irresistible however and he became the team’s first coach and general manager in 1953. His early work laid a strong foundation for the Lions’ franchise that has been revered by the club and its fans ever since.
After leaving the Lions, he was involved with sports in other parts of the country but BC Lions football remained close to his heart. He later returned to Vancouver and the sports journalism beat, working behind the sports desk of Vancouver’s CFUN Radio.
Stuke’s dedication to the sport was recognized with many awards including the BC Lions’ first “Sportsman of the Year” award and an induction into the Sports Writer’s Hall of Fame.