American Football Database
Sonny Wade
Date of birth: (1947-04-01) April 1, 1947 (age 75)
Place of birth: United States Martinsville, Virginia
Career information
Position(s): Quarterback
College: Emory and Henry College
NFL Draft: 1969 / Round: 10 / Pick 236
(By the Philadelphia Eagles)
 As player:
1969-1978 Montreal Alouettes

Jesse "Sonny" Wade born April 1, 1947 in Martinsville, Virginia, was an All-American football player at Emory and Henry College in Virginia. He played for the Montreal Alouettes of the Canadian Football League from 1969 to 1978.

High school

Wade attended Martinsville High School where in 1994, he was inducted into the Virginia Sports Hall of Fame.


After graduation he went on to Emory & Henry College where he participated in football, basketball and baseball. Wade was voted Virginia’s College Football Player of the Year in 1966, 67, and 68.

In 1967, Wade led the nation in scoring with 141 points. He set numerous Emory & Henry offensive records. In 1968, Wade quarterbacked Emory & Henry to a national record of 553.3 yards per game, was 2nd in the nation in total offense and passing and was voted 1st team Associated Press Little All-American Quarterback.


Wade was drafted by the Philadelphia Eagles, but joined the Alouettes in 1969 after they had suffered 9 straight losing seasons. Coached by former Alouettes great Sam Etcheverry and the famed Marv Levy, Wade became one of the best clutch players in Grey Cup history.

During his 10 years with Montreal, he completed 1083 of his 2087 passes, for 51.9%, and 15,014 yards. He threw for 89 touchdowns, but his greatest weakness was the interception, and he was picked off 169 times. This includes 30 picks in his rookie season of 1969 and 31 in the Grey Cup championship year of 1970. He also had a record 7 interceptions against the Calgary Stampeders on September 24, 1972.

In addition, he still hold the Als record for most punts, with 852.

He is a three time winner of the Grey Cup Most Valuable Player award, tied with Doug Flutie for most ever. His first win came in 1970 in the muddy field of the 58th Grey Cup against the Calgary Stampeders, his second on the rain slick field of the 62nd Grey Cup of 1974 against the Edmonton Eskimos. Lastly, during the 65th Grey Cup of 1977, while quarterbacking on ice, he completed 22 of 40 passes for 340 yards, 3 touchdowns and 1 interception in a crushing 41-6 win over the Edmonton Eskimos. Wade excelled most exceptionally well under difficult weather conditions, playing better in the playoffs than the regular season.


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