Lee Knight is one of the rare examples of a multi-talented athlete who played numerous sports and actually played them all very well. As a participant and a contributor, Lee continually confirmed that he was both dedicated and committed to anything that he undertook.
Born in Wallasey, England, and raised in Burlington, Lee has been involved in athletics all his life. While still in elementary school, Lee joined the Burlington Legion Track and Field Club. Competing with them, he became the 1973 and 1975 100 metre Ontario Champion for his age group. In 1977, Lee signed up to play soccer to represent our city in the Burlington International Games in both 1977 and 1978.
It wasn’t until he reached Lord Elgin High School (now Robert Bateman High School) in 1984 that Lee got his first taste of football. With his exceptional speed and athletic ability, he soon excelled. He was invited to participate in the Hamilton Tiger-Cats High School Evaluation Camp, a portent of his decade-long future with the Cats. His focus on football did not stop Lee from also playing basketball, volleyball, and soccer each year throughout his high school career.
In 1984, it was clear to Lee and his family that he should focus on football so he joined the more challenging program of the Burlington Braves Junior Football Team. Right away he earned Ontario Football Conference honors as an All-Star wide receiver. He led the team in receiving from 1984 through 1986. He is one of only two Burlington Braves to have had their number retired, a clear sign of the respect and admiration he earned for his contributions to this team.
In 1986, Lee was called up to the Hamilton Tiger-Cats practice squad and very quickly earned a place on the team as a slot receiver, running back, and even, on occasion, a place kicker. Lee’s career with the Cats lasted 11 years, an eternity in this sport at his position. In fact he is in the top ten of most games ever played for the Tiger-Cats. He was a member of the 1986 Grey Cup Championship Team, a winner of the Charlotte Simmons Humanitarian Award for community service in 1994 and the Cats own nominee for the CFL Humanitarian Tom Pate Award also in 1994. Lee was inducted into the Tiger Cat Wall of Fame in 2006 and today is a Board Member of the Tiger-Cat Alumni Association.
Through all his success, Lee never forgot his roots. He has coached youth basketball, Burlington minor football, and Burlington Stampeders football from 2004 to 2010. His team won the Ontario Minor Football Championship in 2009 and 2011 and Lee was named Coach of the Year in 2009. He returned to his alma mater in 2012, helping the Bateman football team reach the Halton Junior Championship.
Lee Knight represents all that is positive about sport in our community and we are very proud to add his name to the list of Inductees in the Burlington Sports Hall of Fame.