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Memorable Manitobans: Eric Eaton Coy (1911-1985)


Born at Nottingham, England on 17 May 1911, he came to Manitoba with his family in 1915 and settled in Charleswood. He joined the Manitoba Telephone System in 1929 as an installer and, through a 48-year career, held many positions until retirement in July 1977, his record only interrupted by service in the RCAF during the Second World War.

He dominated Canadian field events from 1935 to 1954. He won his first Canadian championship in the javelin event in 1935. He added championships in the discus and shot put in 1938 and won medals at the 1938 British Empire Games. He was named Norton H. Crowe amateur athlete of the year in 1938. Coy was also a champion in snowshoe racing. He established Canadian records during the 1948 Olympic trials. After retiring from competition, he remained active as a coach and official at amateur track and field events. He worked as a local organizer of the 1967 Pan American Games at Winnipeg.

He was inducted into the Canadian Track and Field Hall of Fame (1963), Canadian Sports Hall of Fame (1971) and Manitoba Sports Halls of Fame (1980). In 1970, an ice arena in Charleswood was named after him.

He died at Winnipeg on 28 October 1985 and was buried in Chapel Lawn Memorial Gardens. Champion shot putter Garry Bachman credits his interest in the sport to a demonstration by Eric Coy that he saw while attending Lord Selkirk School.


Dictionary of Manitoba Biography by John M. “Jack” Bumsted, Winnipeg: University of Manitoba Press, 1999.

Obituary, Winnipeg Free Press, 31 October 1985, page 60.

Garry Bachman, personal communication, 9 September 2011.

This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.

Page revised: 9 September 2011

Memorable Manitobans

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This is a collection of noteworthy Manitobans from the past, compiled by the Manitoba Historical Society.

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