The Saskatchewan Roughriders have announced the Riders and CFL Legend George Reed has died.
In a press release, the team said that Reed passed away Sunday, one day before his 84th birthday.
Reed’s daughter, Georgette Reed, said it was her dad’s honour to be part of the Saskatchewan community and to call it home for so many years.
“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,” she said. “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.”
Reed was known as one of the greatest running backs ever to step foot on a CFL field.
Reactions have poured in from across Saskatchewan and the nation, remembering Reed.
“It is remarkable that George played 13 years in the Canadian Football League, an eternity in professional football, particularly for a running back,” CFL commissioner Randy Ambrosie said in a statement. “It is notable that he played all 203 of his games for one team, the Saskatchewan Roughriders, earning the CFL’s Most Outstanding Player award in 1965.
”But what truly speaks to the greatness of George Reed is the hold he has continued to have on so many of us long after he stopped playing the game he loved. It’s a hold on our hearts which has endured year after year, decade after decade, and even generation after generation. It has had such tremendous staying power because it had far more to do with George Reed, the person, than George Reed, the football player.
”His humility, kindness and devotion to community — the generosity with which he always responded to both people and causes — drew so many of us to him over the years, including thousands born long after he stopped scoring touchdowns. We’ll always honour his place in Canadian football history. But George Reed’s place in our hearts is what we’ll continue to cherish.”
Riders president/CEO Craig Reynolds called Reed “a giant in life.”
“George Reed was a giant in life, not only for the Roughriders but in the Saskatchewan community and across the entire CFL,” Reynolds said. “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 Roughriders said that instead of flowers, members of Rider Nation and anyone inspired by George Reed and his legacy can donate in his memory to the George Reed Legacy Fund by visiting riderville.com.
Additional plans to honour Reed’s legacy will follow in the coming days.
The Reed Family has asked for privacy during this difficult time of mourning. All media and information requests should be directed to the Saskatchewan Roughriders.
Reactions have poured since the announcement Sunday night.