Known as "Prince" Hal, in 1956, he won the Jeff Russel Memorial Trophy then the Schenley Award as the Canadian Rugby Union's Outstanding Player as a tight end. That same year, Patterson set a record that has yet to be matched, when he caught passes for 338 yards in a single game and set the record of 88 catches that stood up for 11 years before Terry Evanshen broke it in 1967. He also set records with 1914 receiving yards, 2039 scrimmage yards (he was the first player to reach 2000 scrimmage yards) and 2858 all purpose yards. His receiving yards record stood until 1983 when Terry Greer beat his record with 2003 yards. His all purpose yards record stood until 1984 when Rufus Crawford beat his record with 2896 yards.
Hal Patterson still holds the record of 580 yards for most pass-receiving yards in Grey Cup history. Patterson scored 54 touchdowns in his 14-year Canadian pro career and had 34 games with at least 100 yards in pass receptions. He was inducted into the Canadian Football Hall of Fame in 1971. In November 2006, Patterson was voted one of the CFL's top 50 players (#13) in a poll conducted by Canadian sports network TSN.
On November 21, 2008, the Montreal Alouettes retired Patterson's number 75.
Early in his career, he was a triple threat, running back kickoffs, several for touchdowns, and played defensive back.
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