In the history of this storied Canadian Football League franchise, there have been two names that have stood above all of the other giants of the past. They are two names who will forever be intwined in Roughrider lore. One is Ron Lancaster. The other, George Reed.
Just a day shy of his 84th birthday, Reed died Sunday.
Reed proudly wore the green and white for 13 years, retiring as the league’s leading rusher just before training camp in 1976 with over 16,000 yards. That same October, the Saskatchewan Roughriders retired the #34, so no other player could wear it again.
Reed was able to hoist the team’s first ever Grey Cup in 1966, after rushing for 133 yards and a touchdown.
His work off the field was equally impressive as his work on the field.
He was a founding member of the current CFL Players Association and served at its first president.
In 1975, Reed established the George Reed Foundation and spent nearly 50 years volunteering and giving back in the areas of education, continuous learning, healthy living as well as with individuals with disabilities.
With Legends Night coming to Mosaic this week, there will be a chance for the team to honour this great player, and great human being.
“George Reed was a giant in life, not only for the Roughriders, but in the Saskatchewan community and across the entire CFL.” Riders President and CEO Craig Reynolds said in a statement.
“His strength and tenacity on the field was matched only by his compassion and dedication off of it. George made our province and the CFL a better place and I know I speak on behalf of all of Rider Nation when I say we will miss him deeply. It was an honour to have him in our life.”
The family has asked that instead of flowers, people make a cash donation to the George Reed Legacy Fund, and you can do that through riderville.com
“It was my dad’s immense honour to be part of the Saskatchewan community and to call it home for so many years.” Reed’s daughter Georgette said in a news release from the Saskatchewan Roughriders. “Sixty years ago, he received an offer to move to Regina to play for the Saskatchewan Roughriders and in accepting that offer it changed our lives for the better. Playing for the Roughriders was one of my dad’s greatest joys and we will never forget the love he and our entire family received from the people here until the very end. I know my dad’s legacy will live on in the hearts of Rider Nation, as well as our own. We will all miss him so very much.”