The original Cookie Monster

A former Canadian Football League and American Football League star, known as much for his rebellious behaviour off the field as his amazing talent on it, goes into seclusion, but is found more than 30 years later by a retired police detective who tracked him down on Facebook. The two become friends, and after the football player dies, his life story is crafted into a book by the detective, who had never written a book. If this sounds a little hard to believe, like something out of a Law & Order episode, well, it's the backdrop for a fascinating true story in a recently-released book about Carlton Chester (Cookie) Gilchrist, the original Cookie Monster.
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Terrific article.

What a sad story about one of our former Tiger-Cats.

Looks like a great read. Looking forward to getting the book.

Thanks, PiCat for bringing it to our attention.

The lack of interest on this particular post surprises me. Cookie Gilchrist was one of the most

exciting Ticats ever to don the uniform. He made his mark in the NFL as well and remaims

a football icon on both sides of the border. For those of us who were privileged enough to

see this man in action, his play is a reminder of why we remained true to this team all these years.

The combination of Gilchrist and McDougall (Gerry) remains the best of the best for me. What a

wonderful era! I will definitely get his book.

I remember seeing him play too.

In one game when he played with the Argos against the Ticats, a ruckus broke out about one thing or another. Angelo Mosca took exception to something Cookie said or did, and came storming up to Cookie looking for action, and taking his helmet off as he did, like a hockey player dropping his gloves. Cookie, still wearing his helmet, calmly let Angelo have it with one hard shot to the chin that knocked Mosca right on his butt. End of fight. I recall a fan in the stands yelling out, ""Alright Mosca, now why don't you hit him with your purse!" The crowd laughed like mad.

Unfortunately, most posters weren't born when Cookie was punishing tacklers with his brutal running style for the Cats.

The ones who heard of him don't feel a strong emotional reaction to the name Cookie Gilchrist like we do, rocky123.

They likely feel similar to the way I feel about Brian Timmis who played for the Hamilton Tigers before I was born

Before I looked him up on the internet I didn't know diddely squat about him I was barely interested and unemotional.

He was a similar running back to Cookie in his day and earned the label “the Jack Dempsey of Canadian rugby.?


I too am looking forward to getting the book.

My brother in law grew up watching him and tells me to this day a great football player. Thanks Picat for this. :thup:

ronfromtigertown, both of us saw Cookie play. Neither of us saw Brian Timmis play.

However, I know that you and I are old enough to have seen other greats that the youngsters can only read about.

We were around watching Joe Krol with the Wildcats, and later wIth the Argos teamed with Royal Copeland.
To the youngsters those are only names, but to us they are memories. Hopefully, as today's fans grow older, they will have their own gridiron heroes to look back on fondly.

To the young fans, remember that storing memories is one of the joys of the game.

I was a bit too young to remember the ORFU years, Wilf, so I didn't see Royal Copeland
but I did see Joe Krol making, or trying to make, a comeback as a kicker in the CFL era.

My Dad’s Uncle is the late Jimmy Simpson(#14 in any of those old photo’s you might have)…He played with Brian Timmis and Seymour Wilson (amongst others)…His name is on the Grey Cup 4 times…

I’m 41 years old and I know all about the exploits of the late Mr.Gilchrist…In the CFL and the AFL…

Bravo you guys! Good advice to the young football fans is to cherish those wonderful memories and

allow your own amazing gridiron moments to permeate your very being.

Forgive me... The older I get the more nostalgic I become.

Far be it from me to throw some water on this...HOWEVER the truth of the matter is that after my dad died in Jan. 2000 I found "The Jim Shanks Memorial Trophy" which my father was the first recipient of and Cookie won it in 1954. It was the first "pro trophy" Cookie had won. It had been given to my father for safe-keeping in the early 70's when Sarnia no longer had even a senior team. My father then donated a trophy for high school football.

I searched for a couple of years...Cookie was indeed a in a small apartment in Philadelphia... lots of phone calls and e-mails to find Cookie and it was Larry Felzer of Buffalo that said he would contact Cookie and ask if I could have his phone number.

Here is the first conversation we had...almost word for word...

Mr. Gilchrist...yes. My name is G**** W*******, I'm Joe's boy from Sarnia...UH huh....which one are you? I explained I was the youngest and my father had passed away and had always spoke highly of him and I thought he would like to know since we also had his first pro trophy. "I'm sorry to hear that...your father was a fine man"..."how is your mom?" A bit taken aback I replied..."fine thank you" and then he said the words that have taken me on quite a journey...

"Can you imagine what it was like for a black man from the States to come to Canada in 1954 and sit at your table and have a second piece of pie?" We became friends...we talked on the phone for hours on a regular basis. I encouraged him to reconcile with his family and get back out and let someone re-introduce him to the football community. I encouraged him to reconcile with Ralph Wilson of the Buffalo Bills ... accept the Canadian Football Hall of Fame induction. (something I've been encouraging for years)...he really never turned it down and that is documented in so many interviews, ( see the story by Larry Scholstis of Kitchener who's family Cookie lived with in 1955.) There are still people alive who know what really happened.

In fact the very first extensive interview he did since 1983 was with Jim Kernaghan of the London Free Press in Nov. of 2003 simply titled "Cookie". Two full pages with pictures etc. Four days later there was a second story again by Jim Kernaghan, "This Cookie Warrants Another Bite".

We were good fact visiting in Breckenridge...I took the trophy to him and when told our family was donating it to the Canadian Football Hall of Fame, he was pleased. I spoke with him shortly before his passing. I knew him well and I understood him...It's time to right a wrong and induct him to the Canadian Football Hall of Fame.

With the help of "Cat's Claws", (Thank You so much, you know who you are and how you helped) I was able to reconnect Cookie with Bernie Custis , and he did a couple of visits to Hamilton and some interviews.

Don't get me wrong...I'm pleased that the book came out, but Cookie had reached out long before the agreement to publish his biography...all involved knew Cookie had brain injury. It's fitting that he be included in "The Gridiron Underground" the documentary movie soon to be released about the black football players who came to Canada to play when their own country gave them such a rough time.

There are so many stories that could be told about Cookie...the 1965 Pro bowl boycott...his involvement with civil rights...his association with "Cassius Clay"...his attempt at acting and guest appearance twice on The Beverly Hillbilly's.
Trying to help other ex-football players including OJ Simpson.

Cookie had no bad habits...was really never on the wrong side of the law and his only "crime" was speaking up as a proud black man at a time when it wasn't "fashionable". He did have a brain injury that in retrospect explains his sometimes strange behaviour. Again, it's not too late to "right a wrong"...put him in the Canadian Football Hall of Fame, on this, the 100th anniversary of Our Great Game.

Woody, I agree with you fully that he should be inducted posthumously into the Cdn Football HOF.

Good for you for having the perseverance to follow things up and connect with him. And thanks for sharing your story here.