During the 1920s, Ridley was a cricket powerhouse—the school won eight championships over the course of the decade. One of our finest players was Mason Gold Medal winner Billy Bell from the Class of 1928, who distinguished himself both athletically and academically. Billy remained a loyal member of the Ridley family for the rest of his life.
Billy served as a master at the school in the 1930s, teaching business and economics before leaving to practice law. He went on to serve as president of the Ridley College Old Boys’ Association from 1940-41, and was a fixture on the Board of Governors into the 1960s.
Billy's sporting exploits are legendary. He scored 504 runs and two centuries during the 1928 cricket season. That same year his brother, Clarke “Spark” Bell ’30, also scored two centuries. Kim Beattie notes in Ridley: The Story of a School, “Four centuries by school cricketers in a single season was phenomenal.”
He also excelled at football. As captain, Billy led Ridley to win the Little Big Four football championship in 1927. Never weighing more than 140 pounds, he was fleet and formidable as a quarterback—a perfect match for Coach Harry Griffith’s fast and flowing brand of football.
After graduation, Billy went on to play football for the University of Toronto. He was captain of the Canadian cricket team in 1936 when their side made sporting history—defeating their rivals by 76 runs in Canada’s first victory over an English XI.