George Reed Obituary, Legendary Roughrider, Passes Away at 83

George Reed Obituary, Legendary Roughrider, Passes Away at 83

Saskatchewan, Canada – The Saskatchewan Rough Riders Football Club and the entire CFL community are mourning the loss of one of the all-time greats, George Reed, who passed away on Sunday, just one day before his 84th birthday. Reed’s remarkable life, both on and off the football field, has left an indelible mark on Canadian football history.

A Football Icon

George Reed’s legacy in the world of football is unparalleled. Over a remarkable 13-year professional football career, all with the Saskatchewan Rough Riders, he solidified his status as one of the greatest running backs in Canadian Football League (CFL) history. Reed’s incredible achievements include retiring as the all-time leading rusher with an astonishing 16,116 career yards and 134 touchdowns, a record that stands to this day. On October 24, 1976, the Roughriders retired his No. 34 jersey, ensuring that no one else would ever wear it.

Record-Breaking Excellence

Reed was not just a great player; he was an unstoppable force. He set a CFL record with 11 1,000-yard seasons during his illustrious career. He earned numerous accolades, including nine CFL All-Star selections, ten Western Conference All-Star honors, and participation in five consecutive All-Star Games from 1970 to 1974. In 1965, Reed rushed for a franchise-record 1,768 yards and was honored with the Schenley Award for CFL’s Most Outstanding Player. He was also a two-time runner-up for the award in 1968 and 1969.

Championship Glory

Reed’s championship pedigree shone through as he played a pivotal role in securing the Gray Cup for the Roughriders. His remarkable performance included rushing for 133 yards and a touchdown during the inaugural Gray Cup on November 26, 1966.

Beyond the Field

George Reed’s contributions extended beyond the football field. He was recognized for his sportsmanship and community involvement, receiving the Tom Pate Memorial Award in 1976 and the prestigious Order of Canada in 1978. His remarkable career earned him a place in various halls of fame, including the Saskatchewan Sports Hall of Fame, the Canadian Football Hall of Fame, the Washington State Hall of Fame, the Canadian Sports Hall of Fame, and the Place of Honor Hall of Fame.

A Visionary Leader

Reed’s impact on the CFL was profound, as he co-founded the league and served as the president of the CFL Players Association for over a decade, leaving an enduring legacy.

Honoring a Legend

To commemorate George Reed’s enduring legacy, the Rough Riders unveiled a statue in his honor alongside teammate Ron Lancaster in 2017. In 2019, the street adjacent to Mosaic Stadium was renamed “George Reed Way.”

A Heart for Community

Beyond his sporting achievements, Reed’s passion for giving back to the Saskatchewan community was unwavering. In 1975, he founded the George Reed Foundation, dedicating nearly 50 years to volunteering and working in education, continuing learning, promoting healthy living, and supporting individuals with disabilities.

Continuing the Legacy

To honor #34’s incredible legacy, the Saskatchewan Roughrider Foundation and the George Rider Foundation have united to establish the George Rider Legacy Fund. This fund will ensure ongoing support for causes dear to George Reed’s heart, including Special Olympics Saskatchewan and Mother Teresa Secondary School.

George Reed’s impact on Canadian football and the Saskatchewan community cannot be overstated. He leaves behind a legacy that will continue to inspire generations to come.

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