Former Montreal Alouette fullback, Michael Soles, has passed away at the age of 54 after a battle against ALS. He is survived by his wife Catherine and their children Justine, Matthew and Anthony. Soles first went public with his diagnosis in 2013, and participated in multiple fundraising efforts for ALS research.
Born in Pointe Claire on November 8, 1966, he starred on the gridiron at St. Thomas High School. After graduating high school, Soles attended John Abbott College in Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue and was inducted into the John Abbott Hall of Distinction in 2019. "Mike was an example of excellence on and off of the field and an inspiration to all in the way he battled ALS," the college wrote in an online statement.
Soles went on to play college football for McGill University while earning a bachelor of arts degree in 1989, majoring in history and economics. In 1987 - he led his team to victory, winning the Vanier Cup national championship.
Soles kicked off his proffesional career with the Edmonton Eskimos in 1989. He won a Grey Cup with Edmonton in 1993. In 1996, he joined the Alouettes, scoring 20 rushing touchdowns and 25 receiving touchdowns. He ran 3,007 yards and an additional 3,500 yards on caught passes. In his first year on the team, Soles was selected to the CFL All-Star team and won the Lew Hayman Trophy for the Most Outstanding Canadian Player in the league's East Division.
“Soles was the face of the Alouettes when the team made a return in the league," Alouettes president, Mario Cecchini stated. "He was a true leader on the team and in the community. We will all remember a fighter, a true soldier and he will be missed.” Alouettes general manager and Soles former coach, Danny Maciocia described Soles as “a great football player who always saw the Alouettes like his second family. He fought until the end and despite being sick, he never gave up and was always smiling. He had a great influence on my career and was more than a friend for me.” Maciocia said.