Darrell K. Smith dies at age 55
TORONTO — Darrell K. Smith, a former receiver with the Toronto Argonauts and Edmonton Eskimos, has died. He was 55.
The Argos confirmed Tuesday that Smith died on Monday night. The cause of death wasn’t immediately known.
Smith spent eight seasons in the CFL, including seven with Toronto (1986-92). The native of Youngstown, Ohio, had 465 catches for 8,144 yards and 52 TDs with Toronto while returning 84 kickoffs for 1,139 yards.
“Darrell was an electrifying player who captured the hearts of our fans, etched his name in the Argos’ record book, and helped lead us to our Grey Cup championship in 1991,” Michael Copeland, the Argos president and CEO, said in a statement. Smith, a four-time all-star, remains the franchise leader in consecutive games with a reception (96), single-season touchdowns (20) and average yards per catch (17.5). He stands second all-time in career and single-season 200-yard receiving games (two), third in 100yard receiving games (25) and receiving yards in a single-season (1,826), and fifth in receiving touchdowns (111) and combined yards (9,374).
Smith was also a former teammate and close friend of Argos great Michael (Pinball) Clemons, who remembered Smith fondly.
“Darrell K. Smith was everything you think of when you speak of superstar wide receivers,” Clemons said. “His play was scintillating, his confidence overflowing and his competitive spirit undeniable.
“Today we celebrate his life and appreciate his contributions, both on and off the field. Beyond his confidence, I remember his laugh and the scream he would let out just before game time that let us all know it was time to play. More humanely, he was smarter, kinder, and more thoughtful than most of us had a chance to see.”
Darrell K. Smith exhorts the crowd at a 1992 Argos game at the SkyDome in Toronto.