Mel Becket
Personal information
Date of birth: 1929
Place of birth: Chicago, Illinois, USA
Date of death: December 9, 1956(1956-12-09) (aged 27)
Place of death: Mount Slesse, British Columbia, Canada
Career information
No regular season or postseason appearances
Career history
Career highlights and awards
  • N/A

Melvin Howard "Mel" Becket, (born 1929 in Chicago, Illinois - died December 9, 1956, on Mount Slesse, British Columbia, Canada) was an American college football and professional Canadian football player, and was one of 62 people that died on Trans-Canada Air Lines Flight 810, on December 9, 1956.[1]

Becket played his entire four-year professional football career as a tight end and center for the Saskatchewan Roughriders of the Western Interprovincial Football Union, and his #40 jersey is one of eight that has been retired by the club.

College career Edit

Becket played college football for the Indiana University Hoosiers from 1947 to 1951.[2]

Professional career Edit

Following college, Becket was drafted in the 8th round of the 1952 NFL Draft by the Green Bay Packers.[2] Becket spurned the NFL and instead signed with the WIFU Saskatchewan Roughriders, where he starred for four years. He was named a Western All-Star in 1956, and was on his way back to Regina, Saskatchewan, on Flight 810 after playing in the East–West All-Star game in Vancouver, British Columbia, on December 8, 1956.[1]

Death Edit

Becket, along with Roughriders teammates, Mario DeMarco, Gordon Sturtridge, and Ray Syrnyk, were passengers on Flight 810 with another WIFU player, Calvin Jones, of the Winnipeg Blue Bombers.[1] All five players were present at the 1956 All-Star game in Vancouver, British Columbia, and were headed back to their respective teams' home cities. The five players were accompanied by 54 other passengers, which included 1 football official, and 3 crew members, who all lost their lives in Western Canada's worst aviation disaster on December 9, 1956.[1]The crash is the subject of the 2012 documentary The Crash, part of TSN's Engraved on a Nation series of eight documentaries celebrating the 100th Grey Cup.[3][4] He is survived by his wife Joyce Wagner and his daughter Robin Becket.

Legacy Edit

Since 1957, in memory of Becket and his teammate Mario DeMarco, the DeMarco-Becket Memorial Trophy has been annually awarded to the most outstanding lineman in the CFL's West Division.[1]


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