Winnipeg Blue Bombers legend Robert (Buddy) Tinsley, forever part of CFL folklore for his appearance in the Mud Bowl, has died at the age of 87.

The offensive lineman and Canadian Football Hall of Famer played for the Bombers from 1950 to 1960, making five Grey Cup appearances and winning two of them — '58 and '59.

Bombers president Jim Bell called Tinsley one of Winnipeg's "past heroes" in announcing his death Thursday.

"Buddy was a tremendous player on the football field and was an important member of this organization's rich history," Bell said in the statement. "He will be remembered as not only a great football player, but as a great individual."

The seven-time Western all-star was named team captain for 10 of his 11 seasons and was inducted into the Canadian Football Hall of Fame in 1982 and the Bombers' Hall of Fame in 1984.

He was honoured last season, along with 12 other Blue Bomber legends, during the franchise's 80th anniversary.

Tinsley was born in Texas and played collegiately at Baylor University. He spent one season with the NFL's Los Angeles Rams before joining the Blue Bombers, where he often played both ways at tackle.

But he is most remembered for his appearance in the 1950 Grey Cup game.

That year, Tinsley and the Bombers faced the Toronto Argonauts in the Grey Cup that year, the legendary Mud Bowl at Varsity Stadium. According to CFL legend, Tinsley was reportedly face down in a muddy puddle on the field gasping for breath when an alert game official pulled him up and prevented him from drowning.

Tinley later said such talk was overblown, that he was simply resting after the play.

Upon his retirement, Tinsley made Winnipeg his permanent home.