New Brunswick Black History Society

Chris Skinner

Previous slide
Next slide



1961, Saint John, New Brunswick

Chris Skinner is a retired professional football player. Born in Saint John, New Brunswick, he is the son of community activist and educator, Clifford ‘Nick’ Skinner. Chris Skinner was a star running back and receiver and played football for Simonds High School in Saint John. He had a standout varsity career at Bishop’s University in Sherbrooke, Quebec, winning All-Star and MVP honours. The Edmonton Eskimos selected Skinner during the first round of the 1984 Canadian Football League (CFL) Draft. After an exceptional season in 1986, Skinner was nominated for the annual CFL Schenley Award, recognizing the most outstanding player in the league. He and the Eskimos went on to win the Grey Cup CFL Championship in 1987. He had a CFL career spanning 8 seasons and three teams, also playing for the Ottawa Rough Riders and British Columbia Lions.

Skinner was inducted into the Saint John Sports Hall of Fame in 1997, and the New Brunswick Sports Hall of Fame in 2003. Known for his tenacity and hard work, in the words of one reporter, Skinner is “the best football player ever developed in New Brunswick.”


  • Played in the Canadian Football League for 8 seasons 
  • Selected by Edmonton Eskimos in the first round of the 1984 college draft 
  • Won the Grey Cup with Edmonton in 1987· Traded to Ottawa in 1989, and to British Columbia in 1990 
  • Retired at end of 1991 season Career statistics: 24 touchdowns; 2850 yards rushing; 2874 yards receiving 
  • Received a Schenley Award nomination as outstanding Canadian in 1986 
  • Played at Bishops University in 1982 & 1983 and was a League All-Star both years 
  • Voted Quebec-Ontario Football Conference Most Outstanding Player in 1983