BiographyAthlete : Rugby
Year Inducted: 2018
Date of Birth: July 19, 1963
Born in: Ottawa, Ontario
As a kid, Stephen (Steve) Gray wanted to play professional hockey and would have done so if it weren’t for Art McNaughton – his high school rugby coach. McNaughton convinced Gray to focus on rugby – a switch that led to an illustrious career and many laurels.
Gray ended up with 47 international caps, representing Canada in three Rugby World Cups – I987, 1991 and 1995) and the inaugural Rugby 7’s World Cup (Edinburgh, 1993). He was also captain of the Canadian 15s and 7s team multiple times.
An Ottawa native, Gray went to the Canterbury High School where he had his life-changing meeting with McNaughton. He played club rugby in Ottawa with the Ottawa Beavers and Ottawa Irish. His big break came in 1982 when he was selected for the first-ever Canada U19 team, which went on to defeat Japan in Burnaby. The next year he played for the Ontario Men’s Team in the National Championship against BC.
The year 1984 was a landmark one for Gray. He was part of the Canadian team that defeated then world champions Australia at the Hong Kong 7’s Tournament. He would then earn his first national men’s team cap later that year when he took the field against the United States in Chicago. At that time Gray was the only Ottawa-born player in the national team.
Gray’s second cap came during the 1987 Rugby World Cup, which was held in Vancouver. This match too was against the United States and Gray went on to set the Canadian record for most trys scored in a game (3).
He was then a regular member of the Canadian national men’s team was part of many memorable victories – defeating France in Ottawa in front of his hometown fans, defeating England at Swangard Stadium in Burnaby, double wins over Argentina (home and away), beating Scotland and probably the biggest of them all – defeating Wales in Cardiff, on their home turf.
In the 7’s, Gray captained the national Ts team to a memorable win over the famous New Zealand All Blacks during the Fijian Airways Ts tournament. In 1996, when Gray captained Canada playing against the United States, he held the then record for the most Canadian Caps.
In recognition of his achievements, Gray was inducted to the Canterbury High School Athletic Wall of Fame and also the Rugby Ontario Hall of ¬.
After hanging up his boots, Gray joined the West Vancouver Police in 2004, was part of the Joint Intelligence Group of the 2010 Olympics Integrated Security Unit and is currently a detective in the Criminal Investigation Section.
From being the first-ever Canterbury High School Athlete of the Week in 1981 to a Canadian rugby legend, Gray has enjoyed a distinguished international career and continues to inspire future generations wanting to take up the sport.