Edmonton Eskimos

Dave Fennell - Defensive Tackle - 1974-83 - North Dakota


excerpted Alberta Sport Hall of Fame

David Fennell began his football career at Victoria Composite High School in Edmonton. He also played one season with the Edmonton Wildcats of the Alberta Junior Football League. He attended the University of North Dakota and signed to play with the hometown Eskimos.


He gave himself the ominous nickname "Doctor Death", and throughout his career was one of the leaders of the defensive line known as "Alberta Crude". David Fennell was an All-Canadian defensive tackle and was selected as the Defensive Star of the 1978 Grey Cup Game -- which was the first year of the Edmonton Eskimos five-year string of Grey Cup victories.


Dave Fennell awas the heart and soul of the Eskimo defensive line through the dynasty years. With Ron Estay, David Boone, Dan Kepley and Larry Highbaugh the Eskimos had the most feared defensive unit in the league. Coached by defensive coordinator Don Matthews the 'Alberta Crude" was a dominating force.


He also won the 1978 Schenley Most Outstanding Defensive Player Award; was All-Western and All-Canadian five years in a row; and, Edmonton's Schenley Award nominee for Outstanding Canadian five times, winning in 1979 and being the runner-up in 1980.


David Fennell was inducted into the Canadian Football Hall of Fame in 1990. He continues to work and live in the Edmonton Area and keeps in contact with many of his former teammates.


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